Take Five with Cinema Hearts

Photos by Sammy Hearn

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Special Edition 2022 – I Belong

Caroline Weinroth is a singer-songwriter from the Washington, DC indie rock musical Cinema Hearts. Cinema Hearts has played concert halls and rock clubs, including the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Museums, the Black Cat, Alphaville, Fort Reno, and more. They have shared the stage with Cold War Kids, La Luz, Dengue Fever, Death Valley Girls, Esmé Patterson, and The Shivas. Caroline was a former Miss America competitor and played electric guitar for her talent. Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Cinema Hearts about her creative process, inspirations, and experiences that led her to make music her passion.

Tell us a little about your musical background; how old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your passion for music?
I started playing guitar at 18, which is pretty late, but I didn’t know women played guitar when I was a kid. That’s why I think it’s cool that guitar culture has started to change, and there’s more visibility for all kinds of guitarists. I’m primarily self-taught, but growing up, I took piano lessons and sang in community theater, so I had a solid musical background. But I mostly learned guitar from the Internet and took lessons for a year. My mom inspired a lot of my love for music. She was a piano teacher and always encouraged my brother and me to be creative.

Photos by Sammy Hearn

What inspires you to wake up every day and continue pursuing your dreams?
There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Nothing makes me happier than going to a show, jamming with friends, or being in the studio. I love the connection that happens through music. It’s wild to think that I’ve made friends and fans worldwide through the songs I write and that my lyrics can be meaningful to someone other than myself. Being a musician has challenged me to be vulnerable and tenacious, but I’ve never considered stopping because I know this is what I’m meant to do. I don’t even think of it as a dream, but maybe a calling? I just know my life is dedicated to performance. 

Take us through your songwriting process. What types of environments do you feel you need to be your most creative?
I like being at home. I have a lot of art, collectibles, and books that inspire me. Also, tea or coffee is ready to go. I usually write lyrics on my computer because it’s easier to see the line or song structure when it’s typed, but sometimes I’ll do long-hand free writing if I feel especially stuck. I haven’t been as prolific as I’d like to be lately, between the stress of the pandemic and then focusing on my upcoming EP release. I’ve been trying to let go of the notion that I need a “perfect” home studio or the “perfect” idea to make a song – because then I never start. I did a songwriting workshop this past winter, and it taught me that songwriters could create on a schedule; we don’t have to wait for the muse. I wrote some of my best songs too, which wouldn’t have happened if I had kept waiting for the perfect moment or space.

What guitars are you playing right now?
I play a Fender Modern Player Jaguar. It’s been my favorite guitar for years. I like my Yamaha TransAcoustic. It has built-in reverb and chorus effects. 

Finish this sentence: I believe music…
will outlive us all.