“I feel it in my blood”: Salt Lake City’s Cinders Fuel the Fire Within on “Don’t Wait Up”

Cinders © Sarah Fender
Cinders © Sarah Fender
A spirited and dramatic indie rock song of passion and persistence, Cinders’ “Don’t Wait Up” off their ‘Going Nowhere’ EP is a sonically and emotionally charged anthem for all those who dive into their dreams headfirst, without a safety net or fallback plan – because those would only get in the way.
Stream: “Don’t Wait Up” – Cinders




I feel it in my blood, feeling so sweet…

It’s easy to half-ass something if you know you’ve got a buffer – something to shield you from failure. Take away that protection, and there’s nothing to save you but yourself – you have to give your all, because there’s no turning back.

Salt Lake City’s Cinders don’t have a fallback option and they don’t want a ‘plan b.’ There are no safety nets, safeguards, or alternate career paths – and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Music isn’t just a pursuit for them; it’s a way of life, and on their latest single, they try to find the words to explain, and the sounds to evoke that raging fire within – the one that keeps them pushing onward at all costs. A spirited and dramatic indie rock song of passion and persistence, “Don’t Wait Up” is an anthem for all those who dive into their dreams headfirst; who spare no expense and hold nothing back in going for their gold.

They feel it in their blood – and after listening to this song, you will, too.

Going Nowhere EP - Cinders
Going Nowhere EP – Cinders
At times like these
I just wanna be left alone

Until arrival, can’t help my survival
So please, oh please be mindful
that my brain won’t work the same

As you’re used to, I just want to be near you
But I know what’s best for you
won’t be the thing that’s best for me

I’m sorry
I feel it in my blood
Feeling so sweet
Feeling so sweet
Nothing can compete
Yeah safety, it scares me
when it’s within my reach

Don’t wait up for me
Don’t wait up for me

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Don’t Wait Up,” the focus single and opening track off Cinders’ brand new EP, Going Nowhere (independently out March 29, 2024). A scene-setting barnburner if ever there were one, “Don’t Wait Up” expresses almost everything you need to know about this band in its rip-roaring two-and-a-half minute run. The sonically and emotionally charged eruption finds Montana Smith (vocals/guitar), Adrian De La Cruz (bass), and Brad Bennett (drums) busting down the doors of normalcy and committing themselves to the only path that works for them: The uncompromising pursuit of music.

Please, oh please be mindful that my brain won’t work the same as you’re used to,” Smith feverishly sings in the first verse, drums and guitars churning relentlessly all around him. “But I know what’s best for you won’t be the thing that’s best for me, I’m sorry.” Theoretically you could see this as a breakup song – the narrator apologetically telling their would-be love interest that they come from two different worlds, and that his way of life simply makes them incompatible. Or, we can take this as Cinders’ recognition that the way they approach life is and will always be different, and that while their friends and family members may never understand why they do the things that they do, nothing in this world will stop them from giving the proverbial 110%.

So when Smith advises, “Don’t wait up for me,” what he’s really saying is, I’m not coming home; I’m not adhering to your way of life. I can’t comply, and I won’t comply. His reason is simple: I feel it in my blood. Who can argue with that?

Seems so simple when you are here
Until both my feet are burning on the concrete
But my brain’s feeling frosty
I guess I’ll leave this at your door
I wanna tell you I think you’re being lied to
Or at least you have the half truth
I wish I was compelled to stay here
But I can’t save you from myself
Cinders © Sarah Fender
Cinders © Sarah Fender



“‘Don’t Wait Up’ has been one of those long songs in the making,” Cinders tell Atwood Magazine. ‘We aren’t sure exactly when we started writing it, but our oldest demo we have saved is from June 2022. So it is definitely over a couple years old by now. The song was originally titled ‘Old Fashioned Donuts (Go Nuts)’ just because Brad had brought some old-fashioned sour cream donuts to the studio that day to share. He actually made up a rap about donuts, but it didn’t make it into the final version of the song. Oops. We called the song ‘Donuts’ up until February 2024, and when we were trying to think of an actual title for the song we almost went with ‘Safety Scares Me,’ but ultimately decided to go with ‘Don’t Wait Up’ because it kinda sounds like the word donuts if you say it fast enough with a slur.”

“The song structure was finalized quickly. We have already been playing ‘Donuts’ at shows for over a year now. At the time, we didn’t get around to recording/mixing it and getting it finalized because we had talked about possibly getting it produced by someone. We were lucky enough to have it produced by Mike Sapone. Getting around to working with him took us over a year as we were busy with touring and still needed to write a handful of songs we’d want to work on with him.”

“Reaching out to Mike was originally something we did just for fun, as a kind of manifesting activity. We looked at a handful of our favorite bands and checked out the big time producers that they had hired, and Mike’s name popped up a few times. He has worked with Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, The Front Bottoms, and Grouplove. We sent him an email with a demo to see if he’d respond. He immediately messaged us back and said he was super down to do work with us; we were so surprised. But like we said earlier, we were not prepared with enough songs to set something up at the time. Fast-forward to January 2024, we flew out to Ghost Hit Recording, a studio in Massachusetts, to meet up with Mike to produce a few songs. For all of the Pokemon fans reading, ‘Donuts’ was finally going to go through its final evolution to become ‘Don’t Wait Up.'”



The sessions that produced “Don’t Wait Up” and the rest of the Going Nowhere EP represents Cinders’ first time working with a producer in any capacity; and while the full four-track record is still self-recorded and self-produced (Montana Smith has always been the group’s de facto producer), Sapone is credited as a co-producer.

“Montana was actually quite nervous that Mike would take over or pull the song in a direction we didn’t want to go, but that anxiety was soon put at ease as the studio sessions began,” the trio explain. “We didn’t hire a producer because we needed one, we hired one to have a new experience and mix things up, and see if it could open any new doors. Mike is honestly one of the nicest dudes we have ever met. We don’t even know if he made any money for the job. The dude picked us up from the airport, made us breakfast each morning, and swung us an awesome deal.”

“We had only booked three days in the studio to record a few songs. He did not waste a second. It was an eye-opening experience to see him do his thing and run point by helping us pick drums, guitars, mics, etc. He was very kind but also very stern and regularly pushed us to make little adjustments in the parts. It really felt like he was naturally a part of the team, and in no way did we feel like he was doing something that wasn’t ‘Cinders.’ We will definitely be working with him again in the future.”

Cinders © Sarah Fender
Cinders © Sarah Fender

When it comes to our band, we always say, ‘Having a Plan B distracts you from your Plan A.’

As for the substance of the song itself, “Don’t Wait Up” is, musically and lyrically, pure Cinders DNA.

“Everyone wants to know what our songs are about because sometimes it is not always obvious. We do that on purpose. We want our songs to mean something personal to you, so we keep the lyrics ambiguous and open for interpretation. The underlying inspiration for ‘Don’t Wait Up’ stems from our desire to pursue a career in music, instead of the normal path of going to college and then getting a 9-5 job.”

I feel it in my blood
Feeling so sweet
Feeling so sweet
Nothing can compete

“Many dreamers often have a ‘safety net’ or some job that they can fall back on if their pursuits don’t go according to plan. But we have always said ‘Plan B gets in the way of plan A.’ Being an aspiring artist can take a massive toll on your mental health, to the point where just thinking about giving up and choosing an easier path can ease the anxiety and stress. We cannot imagine a life without music, nor a life giving up on our dream of Cinders touring the world while our music positively affects millions. This is what truly scares us.”

Yeah safety, it scares me when it’s within my reach
Don’t wait up for me
I’m halfway holding onto people that change
And to ground laid to waste
Soon I’ll wake up and find that my whole life is plain
So until then I’ll plead
Don’t wait up for me…

A song for all the dreamers who feel that fire burning deep inside their bones, “Don’t Wait Up” is a rallying cry and a mission statement –  an intense and uncompromising call to action from three guys who are living out their dreams every day, with nothing to fall back on, and nowhere to go but up, up, and away.

Feel the heat with Cinders’ scorching “Don’t Wait Up,” streaming exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and listen to the band’s new EP Going Nowhere out tomorrow. We promise, contrary to what its title suggests, this band is most definitely going places.

After all, they have no other choice!

I feel it in my blood
Feeling so sweet
Feeling so sweet
Nothing can compete
Yeah safety, it scares me
when it’s within my reach

Don’t wait up for me…

— —

:: stream/purchase Going Nowhere here ::
:: connect with Cinders here ::
Stream: “Don’t Wait Up” – Cinders



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Going Nowhere EP - Cinders

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? © Sarah Fender

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