ReverbNation Feature Band CRASH MIDNIGHT - “I Constantly Go Back To ’70's Rock Over And Over Again As The Definitive Era For Rock N' Roll”
September 23, 2014, 8 years ago
Boston’s Crash Midnight full-length debut album comes out this fall, but these rockers have been around since 2006, dodging shady contracts, all the while championing the sound of 1970s hard rock. Crash Midnight is starting to gain momentum in the rock world with the release of their debut, Lost In The City, and the recent announcement they will be going on an North America Tour with Adelitas Way and The Pretty Reckless. With the arrow pointing up for these guys, lead vocalist Shaun Soho was interviewed by BraveWords and he talks about the formation of the band, expresses his love for the 1970s rock and roll, chastises current bands for their recording techniques, their writing technique, and why they aren’t your typical hard rock band.
BraveWords: What is the history of Crash Midnight? How did the band form and where did the name come from?
Soho: “This band has always been about loosely organized chaos ever since it formed. We've had a bunch of near misses and close calls, a bunch of hustlers trying to rope us into abusive legal contracts, but just like the way we perform on stage, we've always been somewhat of a moving target. Nobody's been able to lock us down yet. Even the name came out of a complete wreck. It was just when we were starting to put together what would eventually become this band, our bass player, Bo, was cruising home one night and I get a call from him telling me he's got the perfect name for the new band. Then he tells me to come pick him up because his car is totaled and is spilling gas everywhere. So, you know, it was sort of a mixed bag for the evening.”
BraveWords: Your style of hard rock reminds of the glory days of the 1970s. What drew the band to that style of music and what is it about 70s hard rock that makes it timeless?
Soho: “I constantly go back to ’70's rock over and over again as the definitive era for rock n' roll. The music from that time just has so much more to it than much of the stuff that's coming out today. I love the way Keith Richards never plays the same line twice in his guitar parts or Mick (Jagger, Rolling Stones) or (Robert, Led Zeppelin) Plant or (Steven, Aerosmith) Tyler have such a ‘live’ feel to their delivery because things weren't auto-tuned within an inch of their lives. To me, that all adds so much more character to a song and makes it something that you can listen to many more times than the cut and paste contemporary production. I've listened to Exile On Mainstreet so much that anyone who even casually knows me can probably recite every song by heart at this point, but I still catch something new, some nuance every time and that's what makes it so timeless.”
BraveWords: What do you make of the state of hard rock today?
Soho: “Well, I could try to be positive, but we all know it's complete shit right now. Bands are spending more time on their computers than they are playing their instruments. Just because a computer can fix all the mistakes doesn't mean we should be relying on it for everything. I connect with those classic albums so much more because people played on those albums, they didn't "program" them the way you have engineers today just flying one take all over the track and piecing it together. It's not every band out there doing this by any means, but the 'hard rock' genre has some of the biggest culprits unfortunately - hell, some of these bands are programming their entire live set too which is just lame as fuck.”
BraveWords: Tell me a bit about your debut album, Lost In The City please. What can fans expect?
Soho: “This band has been around for a few years now and amassed a lot of material. All the bullshit we went through that held up the release of our first major album here ended up helping us hone in on the very best of our catalog to make the cut. Even though it's our debut, it's really more of a Crash Midnight Greatest Hits sort of thing here so I think if you like one of our songs, you're going to like the whole album. We also tried very hard to capture the feel of our live show on this album and we're really proud of the way it came out - just the right mix of raw energy.”
BraveWords: Songwriting process: Do you guys usually write music to lyrics or vice versa? How does the formation of songs come about?
Soho: It really depends. Sometimes I'll get an idea for a chorus or a riff and everything will flow from that. Sometimes it's just an idea that comes from something going on, in or around the band. All of our songs are always about something real, true to our lives or some situation we got ourselves into. I think that's what connects with the audience so well is that we're not up here just trying to write whatever we think people want to hear. I think the truth behind these songs comes through both in the recordings and especially live. When we play these songs it really takes us back to whatever situation we were in when we wrote them and that's what we ride on stage and deliver to our audience. Although, that said, I'm sure Alex (Donaldson, lead/rhythm guitars) would tell you ‘sometimes I just come up with a real kickass riff’."
BraveWords: What do you think separates you from other bands?
Soho: “I wouldn't say this separates us from all other bands out there, but what makes our music stand out from most other current artists is the approach - and I mean that both sonically and in the subject matter. We play a hard blues-based rock with street level punk delivery and lyrics and there's just nobody else doing that out there right now in mainstream. We put a lot of work into writing songs that aren't just about finding the fastest way to get to a chorus. I think the other thing is, hey, I get why a lot of artists try to write about the most vague, catch-all subjects that can sort of cast a big net and have it appeal to the widest audience possible, but that's just not what we're about. I always found those songs to be like a summer blockbuster movie, full of mass appeal but indistinguishable from last year’s round explosions and steroids. I think the more interesting stuff is the glimpse into more personal and real subject matter that might not be the listener's own life experience but is much more compelling because of that.”
BraveWords: Future plans? Where do you see Crash Midnight heading?
Soho: “We are on a 26 date North American Tour with The Pretty Reckless and Adelitas Way. We'll be hitting most major US cities as well as a handful of dates in Canada. You can check out all the info on CrashMidnight.com. We're also really proud of how we're getting from show to show in our new Green Energy Tour Bus. This bus was built by our rhythm guitarist, Tony (Pizzo), who has been doing a lot to advance clean energy initiatives over the last few years. It's very cool that we get to be a part of this and take this thing across the continent this fall to show everyone what he's been up to. You can check out the bus and find out more about his project on CrashMidnight.com as well.”