36 Crazyfists’ Brock Lindow Talks ‘Time and Trauma’ Album, Rejuvenated Lineup + More
36 Crazyfists frontman Brock Lindow was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. The band is returning after a lengthy break with their new album Time and Trauma and Full Metal Jackie had a chance to speak with Lindow about the inspiration for the disc, the band's rejuvenated lineup and what it's like to have reached this point in the band's career. Check out the chat below.
How are you?
I'm good. How are you?
Doing great, happy to have you on the show. I feel like it's been a really long time. [laughs]
Probably did five years almost.
Happy to have you back and happy about this upcoming record. I'm digging what I'm hearing so far. New 36 Crazyfists Time and Trauma album coming out Feb. 17. Brock, you're the voice of the band. LIterally the vocalist and figuratively as the lyricist. What's the most important thing you wanted to express on behalf of the whole band with your lyrics on the new album?
The lyrics are kinda following the similar theme in that is the passing of my mother that happened in between the last album and this album. So, a lot of the songs lyrically are about the process of learning about the fragility of life and how one comes from such a tragic event to turning it into a positive. That's what the record is about and I've never really had a record that encompasses one topic throughout the entire record. You usually have a few different topics. And this record has a couple of songs that are not completely the passing of my mom. But, as a whole, it was just a difficult for me and one of the reasons we've been gone for five years since the last album. Usually we had records coming out every two years, so just basically needing to get off the grid and spend time with family and I think all of us did. So, in turn, it was very cathartic and therapeutic to find music again and realize why I'm in a band in the first place, to get all those things out. It was really a special thing for me to be able to utilize music again in a way that I needed it.
36 Crazyfists started in 1994. How do the lines between a band being a career and life begin to blur once it has such an extensive history?
It definitely becomes your identity. Being away from the band, as far as the touring element for the last few years, you start to realize that you're wrapped up with the band that you kind of forget what else you do. I did get into some other things up here in Alaska but it's a beautiful thing that we just completed our 20th anniversary and I'm pretty proud of the band that we've lasted this long in general.
Time and Trauma is the first album with Kyle on drums and a first with Mick on bass since he rejoined the band. Musically, how did that change in personnel affect the end result of this new album?
The two major songwriters in the band are me and Steve Holt, so those two pieces of the puzzle were still there. I don't know how much different the approach was but having Nick in the band and definitely getting Kyle, those two guys have really rejuvenated the band as far as the excitement level and everybody just being away from it for a while.
Myself, it feels really good. It's weird to be so excited at this stage of the game but I'm very grateful for the feeling. But having Kyle, especially since this is his first record with us, he's a bit younger than us and he's got a lot of excitement in him. That's nice, because I think at one point towards the end of the last album, there was definitely some being burnt out and running through the motions. So it's nice to have taken a bit of a step back from everything, have Kyle come in and get Mick back and just enjoy each other's company and that in general just made the approach a lot lighter, even though the topics of the songs were maybe a little darker.
Having Mick back for sure is huge, we love him to death. He was in the band for so many years and took about a three year break. It's definitely great. With Kyle, he's just a super talented kid. He's never really got to do much touring outside of the states and he's done one U.K. tour and we're getting ready to do our first European tour with him so his excitement has breathed some fresh air into all of our lungs.
Writing lyrics can be an extremely revealing task. Brock, what strength do you find in being so vulnerable?
I don't know. I guess it's just always been my way to get things off my chest. So when you know when you're in need of getting things out, it's almost been my tool and exercise. There's a certain thing that was said to me by my family, by my sister that when my mom passed and we were all dealing with this and I started writing the record right around that time. She said something to be that really resonated with me, she said you're super lucky to have music in your life. I've never really thought of it that way before but she was right. Everybody has to deal with things in their own way but me having music to write and have my own conversations with myself through song, it was very therapeutic and I didn't really realize how much I needed it until I started doing it again.
What aspects of the new album Time and Trauma that you think best represent artistic growth while maintaining the familiarity that makes the band identifiable?
I think the coolest thing I've seen from the feedback from the interested so far is that they think the music got back to the roots and the vocals got back to the roots. I think the main conscious effort that we were trying to convey was just what makes the band unique. That being said, it's mostly the vocals that people will either love or hate. I feel that we really got back to that really vocal sound, the vibrato. I remember back in the early days, the goat boy tag was thrown out at me quite a bit and it's fine, I embrace it. I think we really honed in on our signature sound, which is these may be unique melodic singing vocals and definitely the signature guitar sound. So ultimately, I think I'm really excited that people think that it sounds like more of the earlier stuff and that's kind of what we were hoping to achieve.
Any updates on touring or what's coming in 2015?
We start our European tour, couldn't be more excited to do that. The U.K. is the first place that really embraced us outside of Alaska, it's always great to go there and get your morale boosted for sure. We'll be there for six weeks and then we come back to the U.S. and do a U.S. tour. Then we go from there to Canada, then the summer is all being mapped out right now. But there's some really cool things that we never got to do that are on the calendar.
We're going to South Africa, India just some cool places, of course going back to Australia is going to be huge. Love that place. Lots of touring. The whole year we're going to be busy, we're really excited to be busy again. We'll be touring and hopefully we'll be coming to everybody's city and everybody can stop bitching, [laughs].
Thanks to 36 Crazyfists' Brock Lindow for the interview. As stated, the band's Time and Trauma album arrives this Tuesday (Feb. 17) and is available for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes. As for their touring, check here for tour dates. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.