Interviews : Crashdïet – “We want people to think for themselves” (An interview with Simon Cruz)
Crashdïet – Simon Cruz
With the impending release of the band’s fourth album and a heavy touring schedule, that will take them to almost all corners of the globe to follow. Swedish sleaze rockers Crashdïet are going to be a busy bunch this year. To coincide with this release Metal Obsession had the pleasure of speaking with band vocalist Simon Cruz about what we can expect from their latest release and his love of English punk, Australia and future plans for the band.
Metal Obsession: Hi Simon how are you going mate?
Simon Cruz: Hello, I’m good and well thanks.
MO: The new Crashdïet album ‘The Savage Playground’ is about to be released soon, what can people expect from this release?
SC: Well, hopefully a lot of things [laughs]. I think we have sort of widened out perspectives a bit and been a little braver and experimented with different sounds. I think we are always going to have the raw sound of Crashdïet in everything we do and I think it still sounds like it has always has in a way. We have however been a bit more open minded in the song writing process and tried out some different things. I think it’s an interesting combination you know, some of the songs have been mixed with string arrangements and we have oriental instruments and things in some songs. I think it’s an interesting album; it’s sort of like a concept album in some ways.
MO: The single Cocaine Cowboys off ‘the Save Playground’ has been out for a while now and it’s a good song with an interesting film clip. What was the inspiration behind this video?
SC: It was actually a friend of mine that directed the video. We used to play in a band together previously before I joined Crashdïet and then he started to work with video editing and different things. He also did a recent video for some other friends of mine and he’s got a good eye for that of stuff, so we took him in and worked on the storyline together. I think it turned out pretty cool and it was a blast recording the video.
MO: Yeah, it looked like a load of fun to shoot.
SC: Oh yeah [laughs] for sure! It was a little hard to breathe with all that powder on my face.
MO: [Laughs] So it’s safe to assume that wasn’t real cocaine?
SC: No, no we don’t quite have the budget for that yet [laughs].
MO: The Savage Playground’ is the first Crashdïet album to feature a repeat performance from a vocalist. How has this changed the way that the band approached the writing/recording process this time around?
SC: I think everyone has been more involved in this album. Before it was mainly Martin that wrote the material, now all of us have been much more involved. It is usually Eric or Martin that comes up with musical idea and then we work together with the melody and lyrics. We basically just started writing and wrote what we were inspired by and just chose songs out of that to find the right compilation for the album.
MO: Has it ever been considered by the band to re-record one or both of the first two album’s ‘Rest in Sleaze’ or The Unattractive Revolution with your vocals?
SC: Well maybe in a live album. That would be cool I think, to release a live album but no studio album I’m afraid. Martin originally wanted to re-record the second album with my vocals, but I guess that sort of takes a little bit more time than we actually have.
MO: Are there any plans in the works to record a live album or DVD in the near future?
SC: We haven’t planned it; we are trying to record as much as we can when out in the road though. We are going to have the same sound guy during this whole spring touring schedule and he’s going to be recording loads of stuff for us, so hopefully we will be able to release a live album. Maybe be that will the next album, I’m not sure. We’ll see about that.
MO: Sleaze and glam rock is a very underground scene here in Australia; I understand you guys have quite a good following back home however. Where else in the world does Crashdïet enjoy a good following?
SC: A lot of countries I guess, but the USA is pretty keen on this whole thing obviously because they have their whole LA scene which is where this whole thing was born. We have quite a big following there, although it’s kind of popping up everywhere and we’re becoming bigger and bigger and exploring new areas of the world, where they perhaps don’t have this kind of thing. South America too and Russia, we’ve practically been all around the world on ‘Generation Wild’ with the exception of Asia and Africa, we’re pretty keen to hit up these places also though.
MO: Do you think you will get to these places on the next album?
SC: Yeah, South Africa we have plans for and we’re playing a gig in Tokyo in May! India has been requested us too, so we have two gigs in India coming up also, which should be interesting.
MO: Oh yeah, I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be too much Glam Rock in India!
SC: Yeah it’ll be interesting; I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of Indian people wearing lipstick at our shows!
MO: Crashdïet and bands like Hardcore Superstar are leading the charge in what I guess could be called the next generation of Sleaze/Glam Rock. Obviously there are a lot of elements to your music taken from the classic 80’s sound, but there are also elements of punk and even thrash metal to your sound. What bands apart from the 80’s scene have influenced you most in your sound?
SC: Apart from the 80’s scene, well different stuff. I’m in to some old English punk bands. I used to live in England for a while, so I’m in to some of that stuff like Nuclear Subs, the Foreskins and Cockney Rejects. I also like some American punk like the Casualties. I guess we don’t play much of that music but I think the whole thing about bringing some kind of message and having something behind what you are saying, has always been something I’ve fell for. Bringing the message about something, not necessarily something like where we are telling people what to think, or what to be like, but instead to think for themselves. We want people to think for themselves and to not be afraid to break out of their normal lives. Otherwise I think Martin and Eric come from a bit more of a Black Metal background, they listen to a lot of heavier stuff. Swedish/Norwegian black metal and stuff like that, so they have that kind of influence.
MO: How is the response to your band from the old generation of Glam Rock fans, people that may have grown up to bands like Kiss, Poison and Motley Crue back in the 80’s?
SC: Well I think sometimes we have a mix of generations at our shows, I mean sometimes its dad’s with their kids attending our shows now, whereas in the past times it wasn’t really like that I guess. I mean listening to the kind of music that their parents probably didn’t want to hear about, but I guess their parents have listened to something like this before so it makes it easier for us now.
MO: Yeah, I guess times have well and truly changed.
SC: Yeah, there’s a good mix of ages now, it’s quite big. I think in America, in some places when we play there are a lot of older fans who lived through the 80’s and experienced that whole scene who are now a bit older, so we have both sides really. The older generation seem to really like it and think that it’s a great thing that we are bringing back that kind of sound. I haven’t heard anything bad from anyone; I guess they are just happy that this style of music is becoming popular again.
MO: Crash Diet last visited Australia for a brief East Coast stint in 2011. Are there any plans to visit our shores again in the near future and do you think the tour would be more comprehensive next time around?
SC: Definitely, our manager is currently in talks with the guys down there, the record company and everything, and they seem to have a very good basis for promoting us. So maybe we can go on the Soundwave Festival or a bigger tour next time around. They are talking about a lot of different support bands and things like that too, so I think it’s going to be a lot bigger than last time which I’m very happy about.
MO: Great news, it’ll be awesome to see you guys take on a bigger tour of Australia next time around and hopefully you can squeeze in a few more of the cities!
SC: Yeah I’d love to see more of Australia!
MO: I’m assuming you didn’t get much of chance last time around?
SC: Ahh, we stayed for about a week actually. So we got a couple of days in Sydney and a couple of days in Melbourne and I got to go surfing.
MO: How’d you go?
SC: I went pretty well actually, I was pretty proud of myself. I went there with my Mohawk and I managed to catch a wave and stand on my board before I fell off, wet my Mohawk and it went down (laughs). There was a picture of me standing up on my board with my Mohawk still up, so I was really happy with that!
MO: That would have been quite amusing for the people standing on the beach also I bet!
SC: [Laughs] Yeah, that was my goal for the day because there was everyone there standing in a group and they asked what everyone’s goal for the day was, and I said to stand on the board before my hair got wet and everyone was quite amused at that.
MO: Are there any Australian bands that you’re in to at the moment?
SC: Just the old bands really like AC/DC of course. I like Hayseed Dixie too, are they Australian?
MO: No, I believe they are an American hillbilly tribute to AC/DC.
SC: [Laughs] Ahh, ok. Well I like Jet too. Oh and Airbourne too, I love those crazy guys. When we played at Wacken in 2011, they played too and that was one of the best concert shows I’ve ever been to.
MO: So what are the plans for the rest of the year for Crashdïet?
SC: We are going to be touring all through the year I hope. We have a lot booked right up until summer and then its Festival season. Basically, we are doing Sweden first, then South America, North America, UK/Europe and Japan, then its summer and festivals. Autumn we’ll have some more dates of Sweden maybe and then possible Australia in Autumn even, I don’t know yet, it’s still all being planned.
MO: It’s seems our time is up Simon, thanks for the great interview and all the best with the release of the new album and touring though out the year. Do you have any final words for the Australian fans?
SC: I just wish to come back soon, I had such a blast when I was there last and I haven’t experienced that kind of crazy audience since. I don’t know I’m just comparing to countries like Brazil and that but I think Australia beats them all. They were onstage as much of the time as I was. I was surprised and it was a blast. I just hope to be back there soon!
Make sure to pick up Crashdïet‘s new killer album, ‘The Savage Playground’ through 3Wise Records and all leading music outlets. – www.3wiserecords.com