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Cruiser Gets The Spa Treatment.

June 21, 2013

Cruiser01SmallText by Nikki Volpicelli. Images by Kate Harrold.

It all started as a joke or, rather, a Facebook chat planning a Cruiser photo shoot at a hair salon under those bulky, helmet-like hairdryer stations that purple-haired 80-year-olds from Staten Island like to sit under.

“I own one,” drummer Jonathan Van Dine indulges, talking about some regular ol’ plug-in blowdryer he’s got at home. “And a pumice stone.”

But guitarist Josa Lazas won’t settle for that.

“No, I mean the like conehead cheese things,” he clarifies.

Frontman and founder of the group Andy States agrees, “Yeah, exactly those helmets.”

“They’re dryers,” Van Dine says.

“I just want the shot to be really ‘Sex and the City’ vibe,” Lazas continues, and all agree.

And suddenly, it’s not a joke anymore. It is but it isn’t because now the phone calls and desperate attempts to find a cooperative salon through texts and social networking begin.

Hairstylist Audrey Traum and the girls at Volume Hair Studio at 18th and Chestnut streets come through, closing up the second-story shop for the guys. They offer a scene stocked with tabloid mags, hair products and swiviling salon chairs and an iPod fully stocked with Rihanna tunes.

Cruiser02SmallThankful, the guys pour themselves and their company some mimosas and get down to lathering each other’s heads and making fun of whoever’s doing the lathering at any given time.

Cruiser started as a vehicle for States’ solo recordings before Van Dine put some pressure on him to start a band. That’s what happened. And it happened in a similar way that this photo shoot happened — thanks to Facebook.

“Andy knows these other idiots and I started this dumb Facebook group,” says Lazas, who started the “Philly Musician Cult” group page as a destination for local musicians needing to buy or sell equipment, find a practice space or collaborate with other artists. Created out of Craigslist spite, he wanted a place where indie people could discuss with other indie people.

After two years, the group has more than 400 members and continues to be an essential resource for practicing musicians in the area.

“That’s such a Seinfeld thing — Craigslist spite by Kramerica,” jokes Van Dine. “I thought Josa just showed up one day. Like the guy on the couch.”

States corrects him, “We went on a date. I put up a message on the Facebook group. Kyle’s the guy on the couch.”

Cruiser03SmallKyle Cook, who now plays bass for Cruiser, is on a plane during this Facebook session and can’t defend himself against the couch allegations.

“Jon and I went to Kutztown together for design,” says States.

To be more exact, Van Dine remembers meeting the frontman exactly on August 28, 2003 when the two were in college together.

“Jon worked at a design agency with Kyle, who also knew my girlfriend at the time because they went to design school together,” States continues. “But kinda who cares. We are all in LOVE —  Jon, Josa, Kyle, Andy.”

After releasing the group’s self-titled record in May 2012, the guys played countless shows up and down the East Coast, including a House of Blues performance with Matt & Kim and a sold-out Kung Fu Necktie show with fellow Philly breeze-pop groups Work Drugs and Night Panther.

But today they’re just a coupla guys begging for keratin treatments and flipping through glossy pages of predicted celebrity baby bumps.

And eating the cucumbers that were supposed to stay on their eyes to reduce any puffiness all of this performing might’ve plagued them with.

Special thanks to Audrey and the Volume Hair Studio crew, Seventeen magazine, Rihanna, Simply Orange Juice, Korbel Extra Dry Champagne, Freeman Feeling Beautiful Dead Sea Mineral Mask and Di Bruno Bros.’ organic cucumbers.

One Comment
  1. June 21, 2013 9:38 pm

    I love it when individuals get together and share thoughts.

    Great website, continue the good work!

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