36 Grazyfists - 08/07/2008

36 Crazyfists is a four-piece metalcore band originating from Anchorage, Alaska. The band's name comes from a Jackie Chan movie, The 36 Crazy Fists. The band's original line-up consisted of vocalist Brock Lindow, guitarist Ryan Brownell, bassist JD Stuart and drummer Thomas Noonan. 36 Crazyfists independently released two EPs and one LP before being signed. Their first EP ‘Boss Buckle’ was released in 1995, followed by ‘Suffer Tree’ in 1997 and their LP ‘In the Skin’ was also released in 1997. 

In order to break into the industry, the band moved from Alaska to Portland, Oregon after the death of their original bassist in a car accident. From here, they opened for such acts as System of a Down, Primus, Blink-182 and NOFX. Signed by Roadrunner Records in 2000, the band recorded their major debut album ‘Bitterness the Star’ which was released in 2002. The band re-emerged two years later, on March 16, 2004 with their second album ‘A Snow Capped Romance’ which was produced by James Paul Wisner.

36 Crazyfists entered the studio with producer Sal Villanueva  in October 2005 to commence recording their third album ‘Rest Inside the Flames’ which was released across Europe in 2006. Ultimately, Roadrunner decided not to release the album in North America. A deal with DRT Entertainment was struck and the album received a belated release on November 7, 2006. Vocalist Brock Lindow announced that a new record would be released in March 2008 on Ferret Music entitled ‘The Tide And Its Takers’. This date has been pushed back, and the album was was released on May 27, 2008.

After the release of 'The Tide And Its Takers’ we talked with Brock Lindow (Vocals) about 36 Crazyfists' latest effort. 

Your latest album ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ was released just recently, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!

First of all, how are you doing?
Everything is cool. We are having a blast on our European festival tour.

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
It wasn’t too bad, the ideas came about pretty nicely, it was the most relaxed I have felt in years when it came to writing.

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to write the album? What inspired you and did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on your new album, any elements you definitely wanted to have on it?
No not really, we never set out to have an exact plan or idea, we just get in the room and let it fly, for the most part it went pretty smoothly with a good combination of moody rock songs and straight up heavy metal songs.

How hard was it to come up with a follow-up for the well-received album ‘Rest Inside the Flames’?
I didn’t really think of it as trying to beat any of the previous albums. I just wanted to bring a new extension of the band out into our new album.

What do you think are the main differences between your last album ´Rest Inside the Flames´ and the new one ‘The Tide And Its Takers’?
There are still the classic elements of the band there but it has different lyrical approaches on some songs and it's maybe a bit more technical as well..

Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on the new album?
lyrics are my job and the music was written by the guitar player Steve Holt and the drummer Thomas Noonan.

You recently signed a deal with Ferret Music, what was the reason you joined them?
Because they absolutely rule and would be a much better fit for us in our own country..

So Roadrunner was out of the picture and Ferret Music came in, did this change have an influence on the writing process of the songs on ‘The Tide And Its Takers’?
No not at all.

I think the main theme on ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ is clear, but can you give us a little background info about the songs on the album, do you have any stories behind them?
Mostly it is how our lives are in constant movement, we have our good days and our bad ones. Equally we will survive them all until our lives come to an end. It's really a collective story of the cycle of life.

How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
Well it is my job to write them so I put my soul into them, so people who like our band have always been positive to us about the lyrical content.

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?
We were at the studio for 4 months roughly. Between the writing and the actual recording.

Was the recording process for ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ different from the rest of the albums you did and how can we imagine you’ve worked this time?
It was awesome because our guitar player was the producer so it was on our time and we worked very well with him...The best experience in the studio yet.

Were there any difficulties you had to deal with, as the release date was pushed back several times?
Just waiting on schedules was the main deal, nothing major.

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to 36 Crazyfists?
The structure and the melody is usually pretty important for us, we like to keep an even balance of them.

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘The Tide And Its Takers’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
It's about how everything comes and goes, victories, struggles. Love, hate, despair... The perseverance of the human spirit.

So tell us a little bit about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing? Are there any particular bands who’ve been a big influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise?
What are you personally into? I’m influenced by hockey...Life...love....and metal.
 

What was your incentive when you recorded ‘The Tide And Its Takers’ in a time where a fan would rather download than buy an album?
I just make music with my best friends and it's been that way for 15 years...no incentives really.

The producing was done by your guitarist Steve Holt, would you ever work with a producer external to the band if your label asked you to? Who would be your first choice?
I mean we always did in the past and I think for the most part it was expensive and we could do it ourselves, so we will try and stick with this way.

Do you want to preserve the vision you have for 36 Crazyfists by taking control of the production?
Exactly.

The album was mixed by Andy Sneap, what made him the perfect man for this job and are you satisfied with the result?
We love Andy, he has been our mixing man for the past 3 records.. He is the man.

Are there things from the past that you would have done differently with 36 Crazyfists if you had the chance to do it again?
No not really..

Have you received any feedback on the new album yet? How do you feel about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
Its been awesome so far, the best first week out of all the previous albums and the sales are going strong, we are thankful.

What part of the CD are you most proud of? Do you have any favorites on this album, songs that you think are somehow above the others?
I like the element of love that revolves around the lyrics, I think this album is strong in the mood department..

Where will 36 Crazyfists go from here or do you not think of the future too much? We will be touring all year and into next year as well.. It’ll be a long road out of hell...ha

Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:

How did you get involved in the music business, what are your influences and how difficult is it these days to sound original ?
Don’t know about how hard it is, but creating music that you feel is honest is important. I loved Metallica in the late 80s and they made me want to be in a band.. So I joined one..

With all the touring and several studio albums under your belt, how far has 36 Crazyfists surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?
The most rewarding is the connection with the fans. They're amazing and it's so flattering to have them...yes this band has far surpassed my expectations...

What songs and bands do you listen to these days?
Kill Switch Engage, All That Remains, Kyuss, Faith No More, Slayer, Testament, Deftones, Underoath..etc.

What do you like to do besides making music?
Play hockey, make love to my wife...hang out with my dogs...

What is your opinion on the metal scene these days, is there anything missing? 
It's better than ever, but maybe a few too many bands..

Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
James Hetfield and Metallica.

If you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?
Metallica, Kyuss, Deftones

Any last statement...
Thanks to all the folks who have supported us, we love you all......peace and respect..

Thanks for the interview and take care!

 

Members :
Brock Lindow – vocals (1994 – present)
Steve Holt – guitar (1996 – present)
Mick Whitney – bass guitar (1996 – present)
Thomas Noonan – drums (1994 – present)

Former Members :
JD Stuart – bass (died in a car accident in July, 1996)
Ryan Brownell – guitar (1994 – 1996)[3]

Independent releases :
Boss Buckle EP (1995)
Suffer Tree EP (1997)
In the Skin (1997)
Demo '99 (1999)
The Oculus EP (2008)

Major releases :
Bitterness the Star (2002)
A Snow Capped Romance (2004)
Rest Inside the Flames (2006)

The Tide And Its Takers (2008)