Posted by: Staff | 02.08.2010

Inside Look at the CMP


Jonathan “Toast” Phillips ’12, Connor Laubenstein ’12, and Stephen Phillips ’11 sit, reticently playing their instruments, while laughing and joking with each other. These three members make up the group called The CMP.  We sat down with the band that bravely performed at a Tuesday Forum for the whole Upper School to get the inside scoop on the group.

What inspired you to start the band?

Toast:  We were originally inspired by the song “Rammstein” by the band Rammstein.  We wanted to do a song called “Laubenstein” inspired by the song “Rammstein”.  After that, we decided to actually form a band and play actual music.  

How did you decide to put on a performance? Why did you decide to do it for the school?

Connor: We wanted to express our artistic abilities and show what we can do.

Stephen: Also, we aren’t a signed band; we aren’t even an official band, so the only way we could perform was in front of the school.

What did you think the school’s reaction was going to be?

Connor: It actually went much better than I thought it was going to.  I’m not sure why.

Toast: I personally thought the school would cheer and be polite, but I wasn’t expecting the screaming that we got.

Stephen: I wasn’t sure how well Toast’s solo antics would go, but everyone seemed to like it.

It seemed like you were pleased with the performance.  Is that accurate?

Stephen, Connor, Toast: Yeah, we were pretty pleased.

Toast: We screwed up the first song.

Stephen: A little bit, yeah.  We messed up during the first song a little bit; we got a little bit off.  We caught ourselves, though.

 Connor: No one noticed.

Stephen: Yeah.  I was thinking when I was drumming that the drum set was going to start sliding away from me because you’re supposed to have a mat underneath, and I didn’t have one, so I used the floor mat out of the trunk of my car;  So I wasn’t sure how that was going to work, but it was fine.

Do you guys want to be asked for a record deal as a band?

Stephen: I mean, Connor has another band, so he’s off doing stuff with them.

Connor: I’m very open to the possibility of discovering other projects.

Toast:  I know Connor has written his own stuff, and so have I… If a record company came up to us and said, “Do you want to get signed?” we’d say yes.


Are you going to make the effort to get signed?

Toast: I mean, as of right now, we don’t have our own material, but we don’t know what’s coming down the road.

Stephen: Yeah, we don’t know how busy Connor’s going to be.


Where and when do you practice?

 Stephen: We practiced once out of school at my house, which was the day before the performance, but you can’t really move a drum set.  But other than that, we just practiced in Ms. Norgaard’s room during lunch and X-Block.

Toast: Shoutout to Ms. Norgaard and Mr. Nicholson for letting us practice in their rooms.


Who are your favorite musicians or bands?  By whom are you really inspired?

Connor: I have a very different taste than these two.  I’m more of an acoustic rock fan.  I would say I’m more influenced by bands like Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists.  I also like classic rock, though, like Led Zeppelin.

Toast: My biggest band right now is Tool, but I’m also into classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and music from the grunge movement.  I also like 90’s music like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Rage Against the Machine.

Stephen: I don’t have a very similar taste to Connor, but I’m not a metalhead either.  I pretty much like anything that’s rock or alternative.  I don’t like very emo music; I only like some songs that have a lot of screaming in them but mostly because of the drum solos.  I really like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.  I pretty much like anything from metal to something more softcore rock like All-Time Low.

When did you start playing your instruments?  
Toast: I started playing guitar about two and a half years ago, and I’ve been singing my whole life, I guess.  I also play clarinet and bass.  

Stephen: I’ve been drumming since 8th grade, and I played the trumpet before that, but that wasn’t really working out. I played the trumpet for 4 years, from 4th grade to 8th grade.  I also sing, but I never sing in front of people.

Connor: I started playing guitar 3 years ago, but I hated it, so I stopped.  I started playing bass a year and a half ago.  I started picking up guitar again earlier this year.  I play a little piano, and I “dabble” on many different instruments.  I also sing, and I am starting to take voice lessons.


What are your plans for the future?  Will we get to see you guys on stage again?

 Toast: We’re thinking of maybe doing another Tuesday Forum, and we’re also considering the possibility of doing an end-of-school in one of our backyards.      

 We are eagerly anticipating CMP’s next performance.  Until then, they’ll be working hard on a new set that will be even better than their first one.  Stay tuned for more updates on Beaver’s new up and coming band, The CMP.


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