Interview with Brock Lindow
When speaking to 36 Crazyfists frontman Brock Lindow via phone, we got some insight on the bandís new label home (Ferret), the bandís past collaborations, and what we can expect from the bandís new album THE TIDE AND ITS TAKERS (ed note: this interview wa
You guys are now on Ferret after some situations at other labelsÖtalk a little bit about how you guys wound up on Ferret?
Brock: Iíve known Carl and a lot of the boys over at Ferret for many years. Carl actually sang on our first our Roadrunner release, so Iíve known and been friends with Carl for years. The fallout with Roadrunner really started after we got to become a part of Roadrunner. We wanted to be a part of Ferret actually for this last record, as we were trying to get off Roadrunner but the schedules just kind of conflicted. So, we ended up meeting with the DRT people and they were nice enough to get our record in stores earlier than Roadrunner was going to. It was nice to be with the DRT guys just for this limited time, but all they were doing for us was just basically putting the record in stores. Being with Ferret now with a fresh start is I think perfect timing for us. Even though weíve been through so many ups and downs over the years with labels and things, I think itís a place where weíve wanted to be for a while and are glad we could finally say that weíre there.
So whatís the deal with your previous recordings now? Do you guys own them or does the label own them? I mean can you guys re-visit them? Whatís the situation with that?
Brock: Well as far as the DRT thing is, Iím not really sure. I havenít seen all the paperwork for their deal and Iím not sure exactly how itís all gonna go. But to be honest with you, Iím not really real concerned about the past stuff. I think itís done what itís done and weíll turn the page and start fresh over here at Ferret. And I think thereís no harm to us now. We got what we wanted out of those records as much as we could and you canít cry over spilled milk I think is probably the best way to say it.
Thatís a very good attitude to have in this businessÖ
Brock: Well yeah for sure. I mean our band, weíve been together for 14 years now. It would take a lot to tear the boys down. I think weíve seen so much and got to do so much that we didnít expect to ever get to do in the first place. So I think we just have the attitude that as you get older you hopefully become a little wiser and you try not to worry about the small stuff too much.
How does a 36 Crazyfists song get written? Is it a process you guys go through? Is there a certain way? Does Steve come up with riffs? Do you guys work off each other? I mean does someone does someone come in and present a full song and you guys work on it from there?
Brock: Steve has his own little studio at his house. He kind of puts the tempo together gets the riffs and goes with a little drum machine. And then he and our drummer Thomas get together and kind of structure the song. And then Mick comes in and puts the bass down put add his thing and Iím kind of the last piece of everything. I kind of wait for the structure to be there and then vocal melodies and all that that stuff. I think itís kind of similar to most bands. But definitely Steve and Thomas write the majority of the music and get the structures going that way.
You guys always have a knack for collaborating with some pretty awesome people. How did the collaboration with Howard from Killswitch Engage come about and whoís out there that you havenít collaborated with that youíd approach to?
Brock: Howard and the others have been friends for a long time now and itís been kind of something we had spoke about over the years. I talk to Howard every couple of weeks. So itís something that was easy to get and Iím really glad he was a part of it. I think itís the heaviest track weíve ever got to do so. It turned out pretty cool and it was a lot of fun. As far as Jonah Jenkins and the other vocalists' on the last record, that was probably someone that dictated a lot of things for me growing up as far as music went and melody and music. I guess he was one of my favorite singers when I was in high school and it was kind of surreal to actually meet him and become friends with him over the last few years. And then actually getting him to sing with me was just such a special thing, being around him and creating vocal melodies with him. I was really grateful that both of those guys were a part of it.
Mike: Any plans to collaborate with anybody in the future? You guys working on some stuff right now?
Brock: Yeah weíre writing a new record right now and have been for the last few months. Iím not really sure if weíre gonna have any guests this time but definitely I know exactly who I wish I could have. Just some old friends, people that weíve toured with over the years. One of my favorite bands is the Cult's Ian Astbury and it would be cool to hear him on a heavier track with his voice. So I always kind of think that somebody like that would be kind of neat.
Whatís your take on the state of metal in general?
Brock: Without a doubt I think that itís on the upswing for sure. There are so many young bands that are just killing it. 18 through 21-year-old kids that are just so good. Itís pretty amazing to see how good these young bands are. Itís on the upswing and itís a force rising. As far as festivals are going...itís the type of music that people want to hear. You donít really see the big pop festivals flourishing as opposed to our festivals when those tours are on. As far as Europe, itís never had a downswing. Itís always been the forefront as far as young people and thatís why itís been special for our band to be able to tour over there as much as we have over the years. So itís awesome over there and Iím really proud to be in the scene and to be friends with some of the great bands that are there and get to see the young bands that toured last year with this band. Iíll even put a little plug in for Ďem this band called Catherine.
Mike: Who were some of your influences either from your youth or even now?
Brock: Everyone in this band was influenced initially by MetallicaÖthat was the band that we all loved growing up and afterwards Slayer, Testament, all the Bay area thrash stuff was real big for us growing up and then even bands like Ratt, Twisted Sister, and Quiet Riot were huge bands for me when I was in elementary school, and as I got older, Faith No More and Only Living Witness and Quicksand and a lot of the New York bands out there like Biohazard. I mean I could go on forever but I think today probably a band that we really loved as we were getting better was we wanted to have melody so we were trying to do kind of the Deftones type stuff. Not the Korn stuff but more the melodic stuff that the Deftones were into but still keeping it heavy. So I think that was a big band for us when we were first starting out was definitely the Deftones.
Mike: Vocally, how do you keep strong and donít strain yourself?
Brock: I think that the more you do it, the more you get conditioned to it. Thatís the bottom line...itís not all a mystery; thereís so many metal bands and stuff that are touring these days. You just becomes somewhat used to it. Thereís definitely ways to hurt yourself...I used to smoke cigarettes for years and years and when and now I think that was affecting with the drinking every night and smoking tons of cigarettes and then waking up in the morning and having to do it all over again. For me, it wasnít it wasnít working, so I quit smoking cigarettes back then and itís helped me. But then there are guys like Randy from Lamb of God who smoke and drink all day and it doesnít even affect him. Some people are just different. If youíre a runner, you got to stretch out and your voice is a muscle. So, you got your warm ups. I got the opportunity to go and take some vocal lessons with Melissa Cross. Sheís an amazing woman and I think a lot of the guys that are in the forefront of the metal scene are going to her. She has a video out called THE ZEN OF SCREAMING, which has great instruction. I learned good warm-ups from her... prior to that; I really donít warm up that well. But if thereís any advice I could give them, I tell them to get Melissa Crossí DVD. If youíre into the hard rock metal stuff, sheís great at trying to preserve the voice.
Mike: What do you feel sets 36 Crazyfists apart from your contemporaries?
Brock: I donít really know to be honest with you. I donít think thereís one thing that makes us most distinct. Musically, we try to be honest as possible. Obviously we have our influences, but I think that the writing process for us is pretty slow just because so many times we end up scrapping the whole thing. We try hard to make it our sound but thatís even hard these days with so many bands. And obviously weíre from Alaska. That makes us a little different as well, but musically weíre just trying to make melodic metal without reinventing the wheel, just trying to be honest about it and have our own little niche, whatever that is. I really donít know the exact wording to say what makes us different than everybody else, because I think everybody these days is sounding similar in ways...the whole Swedish guitar riff thing, etc. Everybodyís branching out to those things and making them their own and itís hard to find real original bands these days and thatís not to a fault. Just everybody likes the same stuff it seems. So, itís important to try and stand out and be that sore thumb if you will I guess here and there.
Mike: What can we expect from the new music?
Brock: Iíve got two songs so far that Iím writing to and it sounds like us for sure but the goal when we all got together and was to make to set a moody, Alice in Chains vibe, who were super eerie with this dark feel to Ďem. Weíre not a dark band, Iím trying to write lyrics about hope and thing that, but we definitely are trying to make a moody record. Weíve made a slow progression on each record good or bad and a little bit different on every record. I think thatís kind of the only goal that we have for the moment.
Mike: Who you guys gonna work with?Are you guys doing more of a hands on approach this time and whatís the situation with that?
Brock: Yeah actually for the first time, Steve is producing this record completely, so itís gonna be an all Crazyfists deal here, but Andy Sneap will mix the record again. Heís our boy and we wouldnít want anybody else to mix the record. So itíll be Steve and Andy doing the entire thing this time around. That was one thing that Roadrunner would never let us do and as soon as we got with the Ferret guys we asked them, ďHey man weíd really to have our own try at thisĒ and they were totally for it. So thatís another big plus for those guys in my book.
Mike: How do you spend your down time on the road?
Brock: Watching movies, getting on the Internet, like most people I think. Read books and talk to my wife constantly. Thatís quite enough. The only thing make sure Iím up to all of my sports scores. And Iím a big hockey fan so that pretty much dictates my life during the winter. Nothing too crazy. Iím pretty mellow and Iím not the big partier that I used to be although I still can be when need be.
Whatís the best advice you ever got?
Brock: I think the best advice I ever got was from my father-in-law whoís dead. Be who you want to be not who others think you should be. And that always stuck with me and I think thatís great advice.
Do you have any final words to talk to the people reading or anything else you want to say about 36 Crazyfists or anything else going on?
Brock: Just basically if anybody supports our band any shape or form weíre eternally grateful for it. Thanks a lot. And hope that everybody picks up the new record when it comes out.