Crashdïet: Youth Gone Wild
Words: Brian Fischer-Giffin
Latest release: Generation Wild (Frontiers/Riot!)
Stockholm's Crashdïet are the modern epitome of rock n'roll upstarts. With a classic glam image and attitude, they rose through the local underground with a couple of Hanoi Rocks-inspired demos and in 2004 were signed to the Swedish arm of Universal after being discovered drinking outside a liquor store. Their debut Rest in Sleaze hit #12 on the Swedish charts and they toured Britain, playing at Download on their first ever tour there. Then tragedy struck when vocalist Dave Lepard took his own life following a bout of depression, aged only 25. After some months of soul-searching, Crashdïet returned with new frontman H. Olliver Twisted, an association that lasted for another album. Last year, with current vocalist Simon Cruz third album Generation Wild peaked at #3 in Sweden and the band has since opened for Ozzy Osbourne and toured Europe with Hardcore Superstar and 69 Eyes. In October, they will be bringing their rock n' roll assault to Australia for a whirlwind two date tour. Loud caught up with drummer Eric Young to chat about what to expect.
Q: Hi Eric. Crashdïet is going to be down here in Australia very soon.
A: Yes! You wouldn't imagine how much we are super excited about that, actually.
Q: It's only two shows though! What's the story there?
A: The fact is we're working on the new album now and we just wanted to not take too much time out of that, and go down and test the waters a bit and stir up some water a bit and see what happens. If it's a total success, go back and do more shows.
Q: It seems like the Swedish rock scene is really going well right now. I interviewed Rikki from Sister a little while ago and he tells me the whole thing is really going off.
A: Sister has been like little brothers - or sons - to us for a long time, so it's great to see it's going off for them too now. Martin Sweet our guitar player has helped them a great deal with their album, mixing and so on, and that album that's released now is really a cool album. We're looking to doing some tours with them. We've done it before but it would be fun to do a more extensive tour with them.
Q: Who would be your ultimate band to tour with?
A: We've toured a couple of times now with Hardcore Superstar, and we just always have a blast. We're a match made in heaven. And not just for ourselves, because we always have a good time touring, but also for the audience. It's a good mix between bit more extreme thrashy 80s music, and the more classic 80s music that we provide. I think they are, for us, the ultimate band to tour with. I'm sure they are a million other bands we'd love to tour with too. Black Veil Brides is one of them. We've talked about doing stuff with them, so we'll see what happens. Who knows? Maybe we will get together for a tour down there some day.
Q: So when can we expect the next album?
A: I would say around April/May next year. Because the thing is, when you do an album, you have a long preparation; a lot of time and preparation to do the right promotion done. We're working now to get all these songs done. We usually do around 30 to 50 songs per album and choose out the very best. That's the way we go about it. And the tours that we're all of a sudden doing in the late Fall beginning of winter - mini-tour in Australia, and the US and England - that's eating into our making-an-album time, so hopefully April or May next year.
Q: 50 songs! That's a lot of material to work through.
A: Yeah. Well, we kinda push ourselves. And if we don't write that many songs, I get nervous. We always fire away with lots of songs.
Q: What's the make-up of your audience? It would seem to me that Crashdïet would perhaps appeal to an older crowd as much as it would younger people.
A: Our audience is basically young people. Mostly people between 15 and 20 who are searching for the meaning of life. And they find us and we give them the fuel to meet the world on their terms. But also fans of the 80s who were growing up in those days. And we found that the 80s music fans, when they saw us for the first time, we like, 'Argh! A bunch of guys trying to repeat the 80s, who do they think they are?' But after a while they started to see that we were here to stay and really struggling against the music scene that is today and I think more and more people are coming to the shows... well, I know that they are, so it's a steady mix I would say.
Q: It must have been difficult, then, to break through that perception that you were just doing 80s rock without bringing anything new to it.
A: Both yes and no. I mean, with our band we just play the music that we like and the music that comes out of us. If you take me for instance, I'm a big fan of Mötley Crüe, but I'm also a big fan of Cannibal Corpse and Lady Ga Ga and stuff like that. Obviously the music that comes out of our creation is a steady mix. So we kind of interpret what we all are influenced by and I would say if you put on our first album you're going to hear the Mötley Crüe and stuff like that, but it's also going to have elements of the new stuff. Nobody can honestly say that we sound like the 80s music bands and sleep good at night. Because they obviously haven't listened to the album or they wouldn't throw shit at us.
Q: What are you listening to at the moment? What is inspiring you right now?
A: What inspires me is different things. Sometimes I feel like going for the mellow music and I listen to a lot of different styles, but mostly I would say to get me going sometimes I need a Slayer album. Sometimes to keep me going I need a good old 80s album of course, any KISS album will do. Or easily I can put the new Katy Perry album on. I really like that one. Of course Hardcore Superstar is one of my favourite bands. They kinda mix the 80s with thrash metal, which I'm a big fan of. So that's something... every time they do a new album I listen to that day in and day out.
Q: How would you describe Crashdïet to someone who had never seen you play or heard your music before?
A: Oh that's a hard one! I would describe Crashdïet as a big fucking tasty cake with lots of cream on top and loads of flavours inside. It's hard for anyone to say they wouldn't like it because there's something in that cake that anybody would like. I would just say a big tasty cake!
Q: So we will be getting a big classic rock from Crashdïet here in Australia?
A: Oh yeah. Classic in the sense of what we can provide for you guys. I mean, flying overseas we can't bring our big stage set and all the pyro and all that shit. But we'll make the best of situation and just bring our energy and play all the songs people wanna hear.
Q: So for now it's just the quick visit, and we can hopefully get you guys to come back again some time soon?
A: Yeah that's the point of this. Just to give people a like taste of what we are and then come back and do the whole full blown tour later.