VQDM Interview with Crash Midnight
Interview questions answered by:
Shaun Soho (lead vocals)
Bo (bass guitar)
Alex Donaldson (lead guitar)
Steve Burchell (rhythm guitar)
Chris Bishop (drums)
VQDM: Let us begin with the story behind the band's recent relocation from Boston MA to Las Vegas NV, how and why did this come about?
SOHO: We've been in Boston since the band began. I think after touring most of the country in 2014 we really felt like we needed to get out west. The band is still in the process of getting everyone out here permanently but most of us are here now and it's been the best decision we've made as a band.
ALEX: Vegas has year-round pool weather. Boston had only about two and a half weeks.
SOHO: The west coast has really embraced us and we've gotten a chance to connect with so many cool guys out here like Bobby Ferrari and Steve Thompson that have been great for us. Hell! My buddy Rick DeJesus from Adelitas Way lives right down the street from me now.
CHRIS: It’s 75 degrees and sunny out right now, in February.
BO: Boston just got bitch-slapped with another blizzard.
VQDM: I have watched quite a few of your videos but are there plans for something new to come out this year? Will it have a different flavor to it if so?
SOHO: We've got a lot coming out this year. We're gearing up to release our next single "Roxy," produced by Steve Thompson, this spring and we'll be heading back into the studio to work on a bunch of new Crash Midnight songs as well.
ALEX: We will see. A lot of it is out of our control, but we are hoping for the best.
CHRIS: With a new lineup, comes new ideas and influences. It always takes a little bit of time to catch your rhythm with new guys, but we are all pushing each other out of our comfort zones, and the songs are stronger for it.
BO: Since I have a background in film production, I’m always looking for new ways to get video out there in the world so you can be sure that we’ll have some new stuff cooking up soon.
SOHO: We’ve got an upcoming live video from Hollywood coming out on INDEEASYLUM.COM that looks tight as hell!
VQDM: From our understanding there is a guitar teacher in your band, Alex apparently works and plays his instrument it seems nonstop. How has that helped or hurt him with the band and the overall writing section?
SOHO: It's always good to play as much as possible. I think having Alex playing with all these young kids and teaching them rock n' roll is great. Having more young rock players out there is really cool for the music industry.
ALEX: It's pretty cool to play guitar all of the time. It’s been the goal since day one.
VQDM: Who in the band does the majority of the writing and idea aspects for the entertainment in shows or for videos?
SOHO: In the past, I've brought a lot of the ideas to the table, but now we're writing a lot more together. There’re a lot of ideas coming in from everyone.
BO: It’s fairly democratic, especially when fleshing out songs. We tend to play off of each other a lot.
SOHO: With the shows, there's really not much forethought that goes into the performance. We just hit the stage and let loose. We all kinda do our own thing on the stage, but nothing is pre-planned. To me, that's the thing that makes our performance.
CHRIS: On stage we just feed off each other. It’s just one big snowball effect of craziness… until someone gets hurt. Typically Alex.
STEVE: Yeah live it's all about spontaneity, the magic always comes out when it's not pre-planned.
ALEX: Like the guys all said, the cool part about this band is how everyone feeds off each other spontaneously. Every song and every show is different from the last performance.
VQDM: Have you any plans for this year to release a new album and if so can you give us some ideas of what your muse was behind the new music?
BO: I generally take whatever other media I’m consuming, tv, film, book, etc. and find myself inspired by that when I’m writing.
SOHO: We're working on a lot of new songs right now and getting ready to record them in the next few months. I'd bet heavily on seeing a new Crash Midnight album later this summer.
ALEX: We are definitely getting into the studio. The process of releasing the thing involves politics beyond our control. I feel very good about the new songs and line up though!
SOHO: While the material on "Lost In The City" was based off of a lot of things from the early days of this band, most of our next songs are coming from more recent stuff, but we still do have a couple from back when the band was just cutting its teeth that we may work into the mix as well.
CHRIS: Our goal with this second album, is to capture the energy of our live performance. The studio is a very controlled environment, and our live shows are... pretty much the opposite. So as we are writing the new material, our focus has been keeping everything raw and dirty.
VQDM: Has family been a positive aspect for this band in it's building career or has it been a challenge?
SOHO: Our family has always been incredibly supportive. We wouldn't be here without them. They're our biggest fans.
ALEX: Very positive. Always has been.
STEVE: Positive, yeah life is about doing what you love
CHRIS: I would have to agree. My parent’s put up with me for years playing drums in their basement with shitty bands. And 16 years later, having spent more on it than I have ever made from it, they still support it. It’s a long and often defeating road and I had almost given up on playing music entirely. If it wasn’t for my Dad believing in me, I would have never found Crash Midnight.
VQDM: If you could replace any one member with a member of a former (passed) musician who and why would it be? (Just for fun of course)
SOHO: That depends. I guess I'd probably replace Alex with whatever guitarist is most capable operating and maintaining a functional cell phone
ALEX: Probably me. With anyone who responds to the internet ad.
BO: Yeah. Fix your damn phone Alex.
STEVE: Replace Chris with Keith Moon, but not necessarily for his drumming, I've heard the partying was epic!
VQDM: Has any of the band members struggled with any major obstacles and had the ability to conquer them due to the fact that you have pushed forward together?
SOHO: See my answer for the last question. The struggle has been mind-bogglingly real.
ALEX: Learning twitter is a bitch. #mindfuck
BO: Having no money. Still working on that actually.
STEVE: I definitely struggle with interview question lists, this is taking me a while...
SOHO: To his credit, Steve’s been real quiet and well-behaved while answering these questions though. Thanks Yvonne!
VQDM: What is your worst fear for this coming year?
SOHO: The statute of limitations hasn't fully expired on something they have on us.
CHRIS: Nevada not legalizing Marijuana.
BO: The new owner of our first band van will eventually track us down.
VQDM: What would be your ideal show and where?
BO: Any stadium in South America, they pack thousands and thousands of people in there that absolutely love rock n roll.
SOHO: We actually played one of those kind of shows last fall. That show I mentioned earlier in Hollywood for The Indee Asylum Concert Series. It was our first time playing Hollywood as a band. It’s pretty cool that the whole thing was captured on video and our fans all over the world will be able to check it out for themselves.
ALEX: On a beach with babes.
CHRIS: For me, I would have to say Red Rocks Amphitheater in CO. The acoustics are as incredible as the scenery.
STEVE: Download Festival, Donington Park U.K, practically my hometown
VQDM: Does anyone in the band have an alter ego, if so who and do they have a name?
SOHO: We used to call Alex "Timebomb" back when he was 18. He'd pretty much imbibe anything you put in front of him and minutes later be face-down on the floor. It was like lighting a fuse.
ALEX: Shaun had bleached blonde hair once.
STEVE: Alex with coffee and Alex without coffee and Alex with too much coffee are definitely alter-ego's
BO: Alex needs to have exactly the right amount of coffee to be tolerable. When we all lived together in this small apartment in Kenmore Square in Boston, he would wake up, fill this huge glass with espresso and buzz around all morning wearing sunglasses and a Flash t-shirt. Do we have a clip? Well, we have a picture somewhere.
VQDM: How do you feel today's social media has effected the realism of bands who attempt to tour and make a name for themselves?
SOHO: Social media is the new way of grass-roots promoting like bands used to do back in the day with flyering. A lot of the most effective bands back then used to hand out flyers to everyone, constantly promoting and working rooms. That's still important to do, but now you can do even more digitally by showing them the band right there on their phone. Have them pull it up, watch the band, hear the songs - it's all right there. It's like an interactive flyer.
BO: It’s any touring band’s lifeblood and also a huge leveler of the normal barriers between artist and audience. It’s an incredibly interesting time to be a performer.
VQDM: Do you have anyone you would like to give direct shout outs to that maybe has been behind the scenes and yet been a huge force in your positive direction?
SOHO: Huge shout out to Ron Sperling at Indee Asylum. He's been in our corner since we met. Not only was the whole experience playing The Indee Asylum Concert Series in Hollywood real cool, but he's gone way above that after the show. Ron hooked us up with his good friend, Steve Thompson, to produce our new record. He's been steadily connecting us with everyone from management to agents and taking a real vested interest in the success of Crash Midnight far beyond just our involvement in Indee Asylum.
CHRIS: I just have to echo Shaun on that. We can’t thank Ron enough for his support and belief in this band.
STEVE: Yeah Daddy Ron! LEGEND!
ALEX: SUP DR DRE.
VQDM: Do you consider yourselves unique to the rock n roll genre in your style and writing abilities?
SOHO: These days I would say there's really nobody else out there doing what we're doing. That's one of the reasons we started this thing in the first place. We were sick of all the mediocre stuff going on in rock music and we were like, "shit, if nobody else is going to do something about this, we will.”
CHRIS: I want to say yes, but I guess that’s not really for us to decide. There is definitely a lack of talented musicians playing honest rock these days. The focus is on shoving a catchy hook down your throat on repeat for 3 minutes that took a dozen writers and producers to come up with. We hope the music speaks for itself and the fans can decide where we stand.
BO: Yes to me. Nobody does what I do …for good reason.
VQDM: What is your biggest inspiration to keep going as an up and coming artist?
SOHO: The guys in this band and the people close to us keep me pushing harder all the time to work harder and harder and our fans are the people who allow us to be able to be so successful and keep this train tenuously on the tracks.
CHRIS: The live show. There is no better feeling than a crowd of people who love your music. When you’re giving it your all on stage, and they are giving it right back… that’s when I know I’m doing what i was born to do.
ALEX: My Spotify royalties.
BO: I’m always looking forward to working with talented people, not just the other members of Crash Midnight, but with people like Steve Thompson or Bobby Ferrari.
STEVE: To no longer be "up and coming."