INTERVIEW: 36 Crazyfists @ Academy 2, Manchester (10/03/2009)

Date: March 10th, 2009
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Interviewer: Zach Redrup

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Long overdue a visit to the UK after the release of their latest album ‘The Tide And Its Takers’, finally 36 Crazyfists begin a European tour along with labelmates Poison The Well and Gwen Stacy. After having to be escorted into the building entrance past security into the main second floor foyer, DEAD PRESS! wait and are joined by vocalist Brock Lindow to discuss the tour and the album, amongst other things:


Zach: How’s the tour been going so far?
Brock: Good, yeah, excellent man. I’m having fun.

Zach: How’ve you found the response to your latest album?
Brock: Fine I guess. I haven’t really paid much attention to be honest with you. I think some people like it, and some people don’t, and I don’t have any control over it. I enjoyed writing it, it’s fun to play live. It’s been the, I guess sales-wise, the best that way for us, but I don’t really know what that categorises anyway.
Zach: You can’t win them all, can you?
Brock: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I’m not trying to either, I’m way over those years. We’re still writing music that is fun for us and is still somewhat, I guess relevant in the big genre of things. So it’s cool, yeah.

Zach: There seems to be a few links of war on the album, was that a strong influence when you were writing it?
Brock: I guess in a sense it’s hard for the current state of affairs of the world not to affect you, you know, and I’ve never really ever written on a political or really a war-driven topic before. But I was affected by the war by one my best friends being over there for like three years, and then just e-mails of military men and women who had said that the music had helped them in some way. So, throughout that I guess somehow, you know, I decided to write a little bit about it.

Zach: How would you compare your time on Roadrunner Records with working with Ferret Music?
Brock: Well, you know, we had an almost ten year relationship with Roadrunner, and some days were good, and in the end it was not good. So, you know, I don’t look at them with any ill – you know, I’m thankful that they signed us in 1999. They basically made my dreams come true, so it’s hard to talk shit on them. But at the end of it in the States, and I get it too, that you know if you’re not selling ‘x’ amount of records you just kind of get lost in the shuffle, you know. You’re not getting the cause back, and there’s no advertisement for your band anywhere, and just things like that happened, and it was just time for us to part ways and go to somewhere where maybe we’re somewhat a decent-sized band on the label as opposed to the smallest band, you know. So, I didn’t want to leave Roadrunner Europe/UK at all, but the deal was if we went with Ferret in America then we became worldwide wherever we signed with them. So I didn’t have a choice, but I love Roadrunner UK people.

Zach: ‘We Gave It Hell’ was a single off the album, are there anymore planned to be released?
Brock: No. No, you know, I think the financial situations of labels right now are, they don’t have an abundance of money to be throwing around. So we’ve only been on this tour and on the road on this record for a year and a half. We’re gonna do this tour and then take the summer off, and then come over and do another European tour in September, and then it’ll be time to write the new record. So ‘We Gave It Hell’ is basically the only video for the album.

Zach: ‘Only A Year Or So…’ seems like a stand-out track to the rest of the album with the two talking bits, how did the idea of that go about?
Brock: Well, I just had the idea that those two talking bits are actual letters of husband and wife that I met over the years online. He’s a U.S. serviceman, and I just had the music and was like “What the hell do I do with this music?” you know. So I had this idea that maybe they could write me some letters, or send me their letters about their separation of family, and the struggle that that is, you know. It’s really hard to even realise how hard it really is for them. So it was just an idea that turned out way cooler than I thought it was going to. I mean, I read online some people think like that song is like the ‘dud’ of the record or whatever, but to me that song I think is pretty killer. We’re never gonna play it live, it’s not like a live song, but it’s a powerful song. It’s like, those are their real words, you know. Like, you read her’s and her’s is more like family-driven, you read his and he’s like, “What? I’m way over here, like killing people” and it’s like nuts, you know. If you get into the whole mind-set of it it’s like “Fuck, it is crazy”, and ‘Only A Year Or So…’, I got that from, I was sitting at home one day and on the news, there was this husband and wife, and she was holding the baby, and he was home two weeks. He had been gone for two years, got to come home for two weeks, and was going back for another – well, a year, and she said “Hopefully, it’s just only a year or so”, and I was like “That’s fucking crazy! This dude was like gone for two years! He came home for two weeks, and he’s going for another year?”
Zach: That’s pretty crazy.
Brock: He like – he missed the birth of his child, just had met his child, and then the kid was like two now, or some crazy shit and it just – I don’t know, it’s a hard thing to wrap your head around. The world is not a friendly space sometimes, you know.

Zach: Which album would you say is your favourite in your catalogue?
Brock: I mean, I really love the new record and I had a lot of fun making it. ‘A Snow Capped Romance’ is probably my favourite record I think. We hated ‘Bitterness The Star’, so when we wrote new songs it was so fun to be writing new songs, ’cause like ‘Bitterness The Star’ – half of that record is like from 1996 and it came out in 2002, so reasons for it being a very unfocussed record, lyrically it’s very immature, things to that nature. So erm, I love ‘A Snow Capped Romance’, and I like the newest record, but yeah, I’ll just leave it at that.

Zach: Is there anything you’ve wanted to do with the band, but haven’t had the chance to yet?
Brock: Man, I am constantly blown away that I am still conducting normal business you know, and at this level. It is our 15th year, and we just went to Japan for our first time, and I always wanted to do that so I’m stoked on that. I guess it’s just traveling still, you know, although we hate to fly. Coming over to these places like Europe in general, you know, we’ve been coming for a few years now, but just where we’re from, you know, nobody even got out of the goddamn garage playing music, you know. So for all this stuff to have happened to us, we’re very grateful, and I guess just to see more cool places. We’re going to South Africa later in the year, that’s nuts you know, so just stuff like that.

Zach: If you could be any other member of the band for the day, who would you be and why?
Brock: I’d be the drummer because I always wanted to be the drummer as a kid, and for whatever reason I became the singer ’cause I can’t play an instrument very good. But, yeah, I’ll be the drummer. Get way back from the crowd.
Zach: And thrash things out. [laughs]
Brock: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Zach: What would you say makes you stand out from other metal bands doing the same kind of thing?
Brock: Ouch. I don’t even know, you know. To be honest, I guess maybe vocally. As far as what’s been written of our band over the years, I guess the vocals are a focus of somewhat, either you love it or you hate it, and so I guess that’s been something that has made our band be a little bit different, the vocals. Another thing that we’re from Alaska definitely makes us stand out a little bit too. But yeah, mostly just well, I guess me [laughs]. And I’m not trying to be arrogant, I just – I’ve read it a lot.
Zach: You have it on your shoulders [laugh].
Brock: Yeah, I don’t think the band relies on me, it’s an equal partnership, but I think that people have focused on the vocals for whatever reasons.

Zach: You played Download Festival last year, how was that for you?
Brock: Oh killer man, yeah, that was our third time. I’d much rather play the Snickers Stage to be honest with you. The Main Stage is an honour, and you’re stoked like the idea of it, but once you get out there – like, we’re like a small stage band, like I like to be close to people, I don’t like how the people are like a hundred feet away from the stage. It’s like you’re little humans on display basically. Some bands look really good at it, you know, bands that have like two guitar players, and I don’t know man, just some bands look really good up there, and I always think we don’t. So I’m honoured to have been asked three times, but I would – if I had the choice, I’d play the smaller tents.

Zach: I saw you last year, I thought you were pretty good.
Brock: Thanks man, thanks man.
Zach: It was my first Download Festival too.
Brock: Oh okay, cool. Yeah, yeah, it’s a cool festival.
Zach: You were probably one of the best bands I saw over the weekend.
Brock: Thanks man, thanks. I wish we were playing this year, ’cause I love Faith No More.
Zach: Are you not playing this year?
Brock: No, no.
Zach: Ahh right, okay.

Zach: What plans do you have for the rest of 2009?
Brock: Well, this will be the end of it, as far touring cycle – we’ve been at it for like a year and a half. We’re going to go and have the summer off for like the first time in a long time. My wife and I are having our first child in July, so that’s fairly exciting at my house, and erm, yeah. So, and then we’ll do like one more European tour in like August/September, and then probably go away for a while and write a new record.

With that the interview was over, and due to kids already flooding in buying band merch and getting into the venue room to see the show, DEAD PRESS! walked in to watch and review the show that night. This interview shows just how much of a respected band 36 Crazyfists really are, and how meaningful their songs and their lyrics are compared to a lot of the crop going right now.

Written by Zach Redrup