36 Crazyfists recently released their 5th studio album, Time and Trauma, and it’s the band’s most defining and personal album yet. It has been recognised by peers and critics alike, all waxing lyrical about it. Before the band’s show in Glasgow, we caught up with lead singer Brock Lindow on their recent tour of the UK to talk about the personal experiences that gave helped to birth to the songs on the album.
With the album being written based on the personal loss of your mother and other such subjects, did you find the writing process an outlet to express this, and how difficult/easy was it? I read how much you realised you needed music:
“I don’t think it was really difficult in the sense that the lyrical content was there and the material was friggin’ engulfing me. That part of it, the writing and the words and the nature of it, wasn’t easy. But it was there. Recording it and just getting everything out of each individual song, each individual word, and the whole process of processing the entire event was difficult. But I also thought that a lot of things in my life I’d numbed through. Certain events where I was like ‘this is a really shitty thing that happened to me, I’m going to pounce and bruise and kind of just escape.’ Where I felt like this is the one time in my life id have to go through it you have to just deal with something like that. You can’t just put it off. You can’t just put a band-aid over it. It’s difficult and life-learning. I finally did find out how to cope with it all. I felt I had found some sort of closure from it. I’m still trying to put the pieces back together and all of us have to do it, and it’s a journey for everyone unfortunately.”
Time and Trauma teaser is like an epic forthcoming. From what I’ve heard, this sounds like old school 36 crazyfists. Would you agree?
“Yeah cause that’s what everyone says” he laughs. “Doing it I did have certain things I wanted to accomplish. Getting back to singing some more get back to my roots. I grew up loving more of a thrash vocal, and then onto guys like Lane Stayley and Chris Cornell. So my origins came long before a scream. As soon as we started letting our friends hear they were like ‘yeah that sounds like earlier Bitterness the Star and Snow Capped Romance,’ and I was like ‘yeah that’s cool.’ So we have released three songs, and I’ve seen overwhelmingly positive reviews which is great. I think a lot of bands want to evolve. Fans are always like, ‘I wish you’d write a song like you did.’ Music is a time vault and it brings you back to a time in your life. We didn’t try to write that we just wanted to do a moody rock record which is kind of our roots. I’m really happy for people to hear the record, it’s a nice mix of everything.”
How was your down time away from the band?
“I helped open a restaurant, I’ve carried on being a dad to my five-year old old, being married and just being regular. We’ve been hitting the road since 1998/99. We’ve been grinding. Then in 2010 when my mum got ill I wanted us to take a step back. I played soft ball with my buddies in the summer got back to playing beer league hockey with my buds and just doing regular stuff.”
Having enjoyed your time away from music, were you at all desperate to get back out there?
“Well I sorta seen that written a few times. The album was probably finished around April or May 2014. But it’s been floating around in our cars in the demo stages. Now a week away its super cool, having been on the calendar for so long.”
I loved the covers of ‘Sad Lisa’ and ‘Mother Mary.’ Are there any songs you wish you had written?
“I wish I’d written ‘Let It Go,’ that Frozen song” he laughed. Clearly, the success of Idina Menzel’s hit song had had quite the impression on Lindow, as he continued to joke: “You guys be sitting in my chopper right now like, ‘we’re gonna go hit the mountain top!’ We’ll do the interview on the mountain! You know, pop open the champagne, and I’d pull up to the dancing to get my little girl a car. I would pull up and little girls jump out they’d be singing it. It’s like, ‘wow what a song.’ Despite his admiration for the song, Lindow was quick to put the possibility of a 36 Crazyfists cover of ‘Let It Go’ out of the question: “No, but I did see a metal band cover it YouTube it!”
You must have met a few bands you love? Deftones , Faith No More and Metallica. Bands like that?
“You know, sometimes you tour with your favourite band and it’s not about the music, it’s about the people. Right now it’s my favourite of all time‘All Hail The Yeti. Wonderful guys, so funny. Candira, Killswitch Engage, Poison The Well… all great. The list hasn’t contained too many I didn’t care for. There’s always one band on the bill I’d be interested in. Not all about the music, it’s an interesting lifestyle to co-exist with others. People have totally different ides from you. One of my favourite tours was with Bullet For My Valentine, that was drunken ridiculousness. I have Fond memories of a lot of tours. Great memories.
Which song are you most proud of writing?
“I don’t really have one [I’m mot proud of]. Most my friends give me shit. But one of them, he loves ‘Bitterness’ and he sends me pictures of himself listening to songs. ‘Eightminutesupsidedown’ is his favourite. Older songs are fun to play though. We never fit into one genre as such but we are proud of that. But I love moments that aren’t just balls out and there are waves of something else… We are a no gimmick, no flash band. We wouldn’t mind a bad ass light show. A band called Refused had a great light show on their reunion show. So powerful. We’d get our asses kicked for getting flash!
Before finishing I want to teach you a couple of Scottish slang terms.
“Oh okay, this is good!”
The Scottish word for fantastic is ‘Gallus.’
“Gallus, ooh I like that”
So if the crowds good and the gig ends, you can say, ‘you guys are fucking Gallus!’
“I just wrote that on my hand, I’ll sweat it off!”