Gareth Jones of Australia’s Metal Obsession recently conducted an interview with vocalist Simon Cruz of Swedish sleaze rockers CRASHDÏET. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Obsession: The new CRASHDÏET album, “The Savage Playground”, is about to be released soon. What can people expect from this release?
Simon Cruz: Well, hopefully a lot of things. [laughs] I think we have sort of widened out perspectives a bit and been a little braver and experimented with different sounds. I think we are always going to have the raw sound of CRASHDÏET in everything we do, and I think it still sounds like it has always has in a way. We have, however, been a bit more open-minded in the song writing process and tried out some different things. I think it’s an interesting combination you know — some of the songs have been mixed with string arrangements and we have oriental instruments and things in some songs. I think it’s an interesting album; it’s sort of like a concept album in some ways.
Metal Obsession: “The Savage Playground” is the first CRASHDÏET album to feature a repeat performance from a vocalist. How has this changed the way that the band approached the writing/recording process this time around?
Simon Cruz: I think everyone has been more involved in this album. Before, it was mainly Martin that wrote the material, now all of us have been much more involved. It is usually Eric or Martin that comes up with musical idea and then we work together with the melody and lyrics. We basically just started writing and wrote what we were inspired by and just chose songs out of that to find the right compilation for the album.
Metal Obsession: CRASHDÏET and bands like HARDCORE SUPERSTAR are leading the charge in what, I guess, could be called the next generation of sleaze/glam rock. Obviously, there are a lot of elements to your music taken from the classic ’80s sound, but there are also elements of punk and even thrash metal to your sound. What bands apart from the ’80s scene have influenced you most in your sound?
Simon Cruz: Apart from the ’80s scene, well, different stuff. I’m into some old English punk bands. I used to live in England for a while, so I’m in to some of that stuff like NUCLEAR SUBS, THE FORESKINS and COCKNEY REJECTS. I also like some American punk like THE CASUALTIES. I guess we don’t play much of that music, but I think the whole thing about bringing some kind of message and having something behind what you are saying has always been something I’ve fell for. Bringing the message about something, not necessarily something like where we are telling people what to think, or what to be like, but instead to think for themselves. We want people to think for themselves and to not be afraid to break out of their normal lives. Otherwise, I think Martin and Eric come from a bit more of a black metal background, they listen to a lot of heavier stuff. Swedish/Norwegian black metal and stuff like that, so they have that kind of influence.
Metal Obsession: How is the response to your band from the old generation of glam rock fans, people that may have grown up to bands like KISS, POISON and MÖTLEY CRÜE back in the ’80s?
Simon Cruz: Well, I think sometimes we have a mix of generations at our shows, I mean, sometimes its dads with their kids attending our shows now, whereas in the past times it wasn’t really like that, I guess. I mean, listening to the kind of music that their parents probably didn’t want to hear about, but, I guess, their parents have listened to something like this before, so it makes it easier for us now.
Metal Obsession: Yeah, I guess times have well and truly changed.
Simon Cruz: Yeah, there’s a good mix of ages now, it’s quite big. I think in America, in some places when we play, there are a lot of older fans who lived through the ’80s and experienced that whole scene who are now a bit older, so we have both sides, really. The older generation seem to really like it and think that it’s a great thing that we are bringing back that kind of sound. I haven’t heard anything bad from anyone; I guess they are just happy that this style of music is becoming popular again.
Read the entire interview from Metal Obsession.