Thank you to all the Warped fans who came out this summer, see you in 2015
Sign up for the Warped newsletter for the latest Warped news delivered to your inbox
Browse through hundreds of tour photos on the Warped Flickr profile
The Warped Youtube channel features loads of video from the live webcast, pit blogs, artists videos and more
2015 tour dates announcement coming this fall
The Warped Webstore is open 24/7 for custom jerseys, tour merch and more
2015 Warped Wishlist survey is out! Let us know your top 5 bands/artists for next year
960x360

Cute Is What We Aim For

About

from Buffalo, NY
Pop Punk Alternative
Shaant Hacikyan has come full circle. This is true literally and it's true figuratively. The Buffalo-based musician, although only in his early 20s, has seen his band, pop-rock outfit Cute Is What We Aim For, rise and fall. He's traveled around the world, and after experiencing what the music scene can do to a young musician, he's returned to Buffalo and is starting over from homebase. He's learned a significant amount of lessons than can only be learned through experience, and now he's ready to apply them to a reincarnated version of his band. Read Full Bio

Shaant Hacikyan has come full circle. This is true literally and it's true figuratively. The Buffalo-based musician, although only in his early 20s, has seen his band, pop-rock outfit Cute Is What We Aim For, rise and fall. He's traveled around the world, and after experiencing what the music scene can do to a young musician, he's returned to Buffalo and is starting over from homebase. He's learned a significant amount of lessons than can only be learned through experience, and now he's ready to apply them to a reincarnated version of his band.

Success found CIWWAF quickly. The band formed in January of 2005 and by the fall of that year had signed with Fueled By Ramen. The band's catchy debut, The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch, which was produced by Matt Squire, hit shelves in June of 2006, debuting at No. 75 on the Billboard Top 200. The group was upstreamed to Atlantic Records, and began recording their sophomore effort with John Feldmann in 2008. That disc, Rotation, was released in June of 2008, and this time hit the charts at No. 21. But despite the group's positive press and frequent touring, all was not well within the ranks. In April of 2009, CIWWAF returned home from tour and things began to fall apart. They parted ways with their label and one by one the members decided they didn't want to work together anymore. CIWWAF was officially on hiatus by the fall, and Shaant was forced to come face to face with reality.

This reality was that he had been drunk every day for two and a half years. His drinking had compromised many of his relationships and left a bad taste in people's mouths. He had to decide in what capacity he wanted to continue making music and how he could best do it to fully embrace the opportunities he was being given. This ultimately meant that in October of 2009, Shaant checked himself into rehab. There he got clean and has remained so since. As hard as it was, it was the best decision he's ever made and sobriety has repositioned for a second chance.

"We had such a great opportunity and one that many people would kill for, and I abused it and was throwing it away," Shaant says. "I decided I needed to see if I was worthy of such an amazing opportunity. I eventually came to the conclusion that yes, I am fully capable. It's a very scary thing when you realize your mortality. I was an eighteen-year-old kid who went from my bedroom to a tour bus. Being able to tour the world makes you feel almost invincible. It was such a crazy ride for four years and I found myself thinking 'Nothing can stop me.'"

After rehab, Shaant began informal acoustic jam sessions with some friends, not with the intention of writing a new record but simply to reestablish his connection to music. These acoustic sessions became frequent, nearly four or five a week, and by January of 2010 Shaant felt ready to begin work on what will be CIWWAF's third--and yet to be titled-- album. He began recording throughout the spring with engineer Doug White, electing this time to self-produce his music. The goal was to create a feel-good summertime record that urges its listeners to sing along. Instead of harping on his past tribulations and struggles with substance abuse and depression, Shaant has elected to write songs that embody a sense of hope, offering catharsis and release from both his own issues and those of his listener.

"I needed this music to get me out of a depression," he explains. "You can be that far down, but you can pick yourself back up. I want to make an impact. For a while I was scared to say that. I want to do to those who listen to the music I make what they have done for me, which is keep me alive. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do that for anybody but it's my hope, and it's a big hope."

This new album will be released [when?] and CIWWAF will be touring in the spring with support from The Friday Night Boys, The Bigger Lights and Down With Webster. It's a fresh start for an experienced musician who fully intends to make the most of his second chance. There is no drama, only positivity. CIWWAF for has returned home, to its roots, and it's in that way Shaant feels he can best help it thrive.

Connect

Dates Playing

Jun 13 Houston, TX  
Jun 14 San Antonio, TX  
Jun 15 Dallas, TX  
Jun 17 Albuquerque, NM  
Jun 18 Mesa, AZ  
Jun 19 Las Vegas, NV  
Jun 20 Pomona, CA  
Jun 21 Mountain View, CA  
Jun 22 Ventura, CA  
Jun 25 Chula Vista, CA  
Jun 26 Wheatland, CA  
Jun 28 Southeast Auburn, WA  
Jun 29 Portland, OR  
Jul 02 Maryland Heights, MO  
Jul 03 Noblesville, IN  
Jul 04 Toronto, ON  
Jul 05 Montreal, QC  
Jul 06 Holmdel, NJ  
Jul 08 Darien Center, NY  
Jul 09 Scranton, PA  
Jul 10 Mansfield, MA  
Jul 11 Camden, NJ  
Jul 12 Wantagh, NY  
Jul 13 Hartford, CT  
Jul 15 Burgettstown, PA  
Jul 16 Cincinnati, OH  
Jul 17 Cuyahoga Falls, OH  
Jul 18 Auburn Hills, MI  
Jul 19 Tinley Park, IL  
Jul 20 Shakopee, MN  
Jul 22 Columbia, MD  
Jul 23 Virginia Beach, VA  
Jul 24 Atlanta, GA  
Jul 25 St. Petersburg, FL  
Jul 26 West Palm Beach, FL  
Jul 27 Orlando, FL  
Jul 28 Charlotte, NC  
Jul 29 Nashville, TN  
Jul 30 Milwaukee, WI  
Jul 31 Bonner Springs, KS  
Aug 02 Salt Lake City, UT  
Aug 03 Denver, CO