CRASH MIDNIGHT - The Next GUNS N' ROSES?
June 7, 2016, 5 years ago
Hard rockin’ ‘70s style band Crash Midnight has been busy since the release of their Lost In The City debut in 2014. The band has relocated headquarters from the east coast in Boston to the left coast of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Building off the momentum of the first album, Crash Midnight has released a new single, “Roxy”, and is working on new songs with famed producer Steve Thompson; the man responsible for recording the legendary debut from Guns N’ Roses, Appetite For Destruction. Lost In The City is also due for a re-release with the album being remixed by Bobby Ferrari at Vegas View Recording. BraveWords got the lowdown on the all the new happenings with vocalist Shaun Soho, bassist Bo, lead guitarist Alex Donaldson, drummer Chris Bishop, and rhythm guitarist Steve Burchell.
BraveWords: How's the transition been from Bean Town to Sin City?
Soho: “It’s been real hard getting used to all the nice weather all the time.”
Bo: “It’s been even harder hearing about the other guys getting used to it! I’m still in Boston and haven’t moved yet.”
Chris: “The heat’s a bit much, but I’ve got palm trees now.”
Alex: “I'm still in Ohio. Which obviously means I take every excuse I can to head out to LV.”
BraveWords: Has the new sights/experiences affected the songwriting for the new album?
Soho: “We’ll always love Boston, that’s where this band was born and our experiences there still shape a lot of our new material. Hell, our new single is about a stripper in the old Combat Zone days of Boston, but the new locale has put, I guess you could say, a fresh delivery on the sound.”
Bo: “It’s certainly a different scene. Boston’s a weird mix of blue collar grit and college party scenes. Vegas is a weird mix of showbiz glamour and the grime that hides backstage behind the scenes. I’m always interested in exploring the friction between different groups or emotions so they’re both really interesting places for me.”
Soho: “Vegas and LA have helped us tap into a lot of influences and experience that just aren’t available back east –that and the great guys out here that we’ve worked with like Bobby Ferrari or getting to bounce things off our friends like Rick from Adelitas Way, who now lives right down the damn street from me is real cool.”
Alex: “Well the guitar solos are the same. Now I'm just at a pool while I prepare them.”
BraveWords: How's has been the experience been working with producer Steve Thompson? I'm sure his extensive knowledge and credits have helped tremendously.
Soho: “The man recorded Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction…it’s pretty tough to top those credentials. Steve brought a lot to the table especially in driving the band to work harder than we have in a long time on the writing. He doesn’t do the work for you, but really demands you give him something better than you think is possible.”
Bo: “I thought it was really cool to work with someone who knows what he’s doing. He made everything look effortless, whether it’s planning, tracking, or whatever; so much of what it did left me thinking ‘shit, that’s such a simple, good idea. I can’t believe it never occurred to me.’”
Chris: “He was real easy to get along with. It can get pretty stressful in the studio, but he was just a cool guy who could make you laugh.”
Steve: “Working with Thompson was a blast, stories forever and a fuzz pedal to take the tones over the edge.”
Alex: “Yeah he really pushed us to make sure every part had a function. I'm really happy with the end result! The guy has everything from GnR, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tesla, Soundgarden and Alice Cooper all the way to god damn John Lennon and The Rolling Stones under his belt. I mean we’ve owned all those albums since we were kids!”
Bo: “If the press is going to keep suggesting that we could be the next ‘Guns N’ Roses’ all the time, we might as well do our damnedest to live up to that kind of praise. Can’t get much better than recording with the guy who did their first two albums.”
Soho: “We also got to work in a top of the line studio in Vegas View Recording with Bobby Ferrari, who has started writing with us as well now and helping us really get the most out of our songs. The whole experience has elevated the band to a point where we feel we can genuinely live up to the media calling us ‘the next Guns n Roses’ or ‘the next Aerosmith’ or whatever the hell they’re calling us this week.”
BraveWords: Are you guys feeling a certain pressure to capitalize on the success of the debut and to stay away from the "sophomore slump" so to speak?
Bo: “I always feel like I’m under pressure to not suck. It’s tough for me to accurately evaluate something we’re writing because after it comes together all I can hear are the seams and cracks of the song. I’ve learned that it’s important to take a big step back, take enough time away from the song to be able to listen to it in its entirety rather than just an accumulation of parts.”
Soho: “I think like a lot of bands, your first album is years in the making and it’s all your best stuff put together from those years. That can be pretty tough to top when you all of a sudden have a way shorter time-frame to put the next album together. Fortunately for us, or unfortunately maybe, the time it took to get our shit together for Lost In The City resulted in multiple albums worth of songs getting written in the meantime. So when we went into the process of starting to figure out what would make the next album, we had a collection of material that was damn near as big as what we were picking from for the debut album.”
Alex: “I think this round of songs have better hooks than the last. The songwriting is a lot stronger this time around.”
BraveWords: What can listeners expect from the new single "Roxy"?
Soho: “This song just slams right from the opening riff. It sounds great live too and instantly became one of my favorites to perform. It’s got this great mix of modern production without losing the soul of the more classic rock n’ roll sound we built this band on.”
Alex: “I love the production on the track. I used active pickups for the rhythm guitar tones for the first time in my life. It turned out great!”
Steve: In a cliché? ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll.’
Bo: “Yeah so aside from the song being a sledgehammer of a rock anthem, it’s gritty as all hell. It’s set in the old Combat Zone days of Boston in the 1960’s. That area was like the mecca for anything you’d want to get into back in the day. From dirty strip clubs, to prostitution, drugs, the whole lot.”
Soho: “I was living down there a few years back and started getting into learning more about the history of the area. It’s crazy how much they’ve cleaned the place up. Aside from a couple holdover strip clubs and your random ‘rub n’ tug,’ you’d never know what used go down out there back in the day -especially looking at all the Starbucks and luxury high-rise apartments on every corner these days. I wanted to do a song that let people in on a little history of the place …especially all the pretentious young grad students living there now. You know, give them something to think about as they throw daddy’s money around trying to convince one another that they’re cool. Like that Johnny Thunders reference, ‘you should get to know your town just like I know mine.’”
BraveWords: How much will this remixed version of the Lost In The City differ from the original release?
Soho: “Hearing what Bobby and Steve were able to do in the studio with Roxy, this thing is going to be a huge overhaul from the original Lost In The City. Bobby has a vision for the remix and we really trust him to deliver. Vegas View Recording has this great sound through their board and I can’t wait to hear this whole thing blast as hard as ‘Roxy’ does now.”
Bo: “And since Bobby Ferrari will be doing the remix of Lost In The City, we figured we’d get a direct quote from the man himself on the plans for the album revamp.”
Bobby Ferrari: “I'm not sure at this point. My goal is to treat the tracks on this record as totally new music and find the excitement and energy in the performances. I try to be concerned with energy of content and then worry about sonics. Basically if it makes you wanna dance, fuck, and drive fast, I've done my job! I really believe in this band and am looking forward to what comes out of these new versions of the songs on Lost In The City.”
Chris: “We want to revamp Lost In The City, not only with a new sound, but with a taste of the next album.”
Steve: “I’m looking forward to adding my guitar work to the album. Alex and I work really well together stylistically and I think that’s going to bring a lot to the original material.”
BraveWords: When is the planned release of the new second album? Do we have a title yet?
Soho: “That’s a good fucking question. We’re about half-way through three new tracks and hoping to have them ready to roll sometime in June. We’re discussing everything from releasing the tracks one at a time as singles, doing an EP, or signing another label deal for a full album. These three songs will really be the determining thing of which direction we go.”
Bo: “Like everything with this band, we’ll be fucking winging it.”
BraveWords: Touring plans? What else is coming up for Crash Midnight?
Soho: “We’re working on tour dates for July through the fall, starting out in the southwest and expanding out from here. We really want to get ourselves out in this region since we haven’t hit it much before and so far, everytime we have played around here it’s gone over huge.”
Alex: “I can't wait to get out on the road again! We all had such a great time the last time out.”
Soho: “We’ve got a ton of stuff happening here in May. We inked a deal with Musicarchy Media to release ‘Roxy’ May 25th and the new Lost In The City album this September in Europe and Asia. They’ve been great with doing radio and press and we’re really excited about getting to play overseas in the near future.”
Bo: “We’ve got a real edgy music video coming out for ‘Roxy’ too. It’s produced by Ron Sperling, who’s done decades worth of major music videos for the biggest labels out there. I actually got to help shoot and edit some of it and just wait until you guys get to see this thing. YouTube has warned against us posting a music video like this so we’ll just see how long it stays up there. If they pull it, we’re just going to make it exclusively available on our new Crash Midnight App.”
Soho: “Yeah so we’re launching this new Crash Midnight App and the thing’s going to be insane. Everything about it will be super exclusive just for our fans who are on the app. We’ll be giving them a free song download every month that you can’t get anywhere else, live performances, contest giveaways, discounts on merch when you buy stuff through the app, and if YouTube does try to censor us, the Crash Midnight App will be the only place you can see the uncensored ‘Roxy’ music video.”
Alex: “Plus, there's going to be a section on this thing where I teach our riffs on guitar. I think that's a really unique level of interaction.”
Chris: “We also just recently shot an episode for Indee Asylum, which features some behind the scenes of the recording of “Roxy’ and as well as our first ever live performance of the song at our Hollywood debut show at Lucky Strike. Check it out now on IndeeAsylum.com.”
Steve: “Yeah you can now watch it exclusively through IndeeAsylum.com. Get ready for a live Crash Midnight full-out balls-to-the-wall concert from Hollywood, CA with all the debauchery you'd expect at a Crash Midnight show on the road!”