Crash Midnight Talk Punk, Sleaze and Opening for the Pretty Reckless
You may not have Crash Midnight in your rotation, but that's about to change. After nearly a decade of slugging it out on the road, the Boston band will drop their debut album, 'Lost in the City,' on Nov. 18.
Out on the road right now supporting the Pretty Reckless, the band -- Shaun Soho (vocals), Bo (bass), Alex Donaldson (guitar) and Andrew Merkle (drums) -- took a little time out to answer some of our questions.
You guys are from Boston, but we think we're catching more '80s L.A. sleaze in your songs. How would you describe Crash Midnight's music, and who are some of your influences?
Soho: This band draws from a lot of eras for influence. There's definitely an element of the spirit from that Sunset Strip scene in the '80s, but musically the only real bands we draw from on that side would be Guns N' Roses, Hanoi Rocks, and I guess maybe you could say the inhibition of Motley Crue.
Donaldson: I'm a recovering punk rocker. As a teenager I was very huge into punk music. I bought a Marshall amp because of East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys. The advantage of playing punk music is that the learning curve is slim to none, so I was able to start performing at an early age. I think that really fast tracked my confidence to get up on stage and perform.
Bo: I've always been into the punk scene which, to me, is just as much about attitude as it is the music. I like that you can hear such a wide range of influence in our stuff, but that the more raw punk edge still remains throughout.
Soho: I always describe us a hard blues rock band with a punk delivery. We draw so much from guys like the Stones and '70s Aerosmith, then we slam that together with our influences from punk bands like the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop. I think it's all rock 'n' roll. I mean, I wouldn't ever call the Stones a sleaze band but they're right at home tossing out lyrics like "you make a dead man cum."
'Welcome To Boston' is becoming kind of a local sports arena anthem. Where have you guys heard it, and seriously--how cool is that?
Soho: It's been really cool for us. The New England Patriots played it during home games all last year and are doing it again this year. On top of that, I got the opportunity to perform the national anthem at one of their games last season. The Boston Bruins and Boston College football and basketball have all been spinning it, too.
Donaldson: This was one of the earliest songs this band wrote and it almost didn't even make the album. It was originally called 'Nothin' To Lose' and we all thought the title was a little trite and the song just wasn't there yet musically.
Bo: It was pretty amazing the first time I heard our song blaring out of the speakers at Gillette Stadium.
Soho: We have a lot of friends at the major sports teams here in Boston and we were getting asked if we could give them a song to use. 'Nothin' To Lose' was all about the Boston attitude and hard edge of this city. It just sort of hit me one day that, hell, let's stop beating around the bush, this song is all about this city. So we changed the chorus and it's just taken off.
Donaldson: The very first thing I wrote for this band was the intro guitar solo. It was originally an idea for a something in my high school punk band.
'Lost in the City,' your debut album, drops on November 18. Tell us a little about the album.
Soho: We're really proud of this album. I keep describing it this way, but even though it's our debut, it's really more like a Crash Midnight greatest hits album.
Donaldson: With this band having been around since 2006, we've written a lot of material and had the time to, I guess, trim away the fat you'd say.
Soho: Yeah, some of these songs like our lead single,'151,' have been around since before this band played its first show. So we've played this stuff live for years and only kept the ones that got the best reactions.
Donaldson: That's what's so great about this album. If you're into one of our songs, you're really going to like everything else on the album, too.
Soho: I love that people who listen to this album always seem to have a different song that they fall in love with and adamantly tell us should be the lead single. I think that means you're doing something right.
Bo: The most important thing to us was to write songs that meant something to us as a band. We're fortunate to have been able to see so much success playing exactly what we want to play without any compromises. We put a lot into these songs and we put a lot into performing live them every night because of that.
You guys were just out on the road with Sevendust. What was that like? Any favorite shows?
Donaldson: I cannot say enough fantastic things about the guys in Sevendust and their entire crew. LaJon actually introduced himself to me, which blew my mind. One of my very first metal concerts was seeing Sevendust in the late '90s, so it was an unreal full circle experience for me.
Soho: Our favorite show was a last minute venue change in North Dakota to a smaller venue called The Original Nightclub in Minot. The staff was incredible, the owner was hanging out with us and taking shots with us all night. Everything was on the house and it was like a giant house party. Amazing people.
Bo: I'm pretty sure I actually crawled out of the bar that night.
And now you're out with The Pretty Reckless. How's that tour going?
Soho: These guys are one of my favorite new acts out there right now. I feel like in music, tour pairing is a lot like picking a prom date. You want to go out with someone cool and someone you won't be embarrassed about looking back a few years down the line. With the Pretty Reckless, these guys are the real deal. They have great presence and great songs. I guess, you could say it feels like we're f---ing the prom queen.
Donaldson: Also, it is so cool to be sharing the bill with Adelitas Way. I've been a huge fan of theirs for years. They get a lot of radio love back in Columbus (99.7 The Blitz) and are real cool guys.
Soho: The crowd response has been incredible. This tour has been the perfect audience for us.
Donaldson: Full of babes!
Pick your hometown favorite: Aerosmith or Boston?
Soho: Boston's debut was the first album I ever bought, and singing along with Brad as a kid was what helped give me the range I have. That being said, as much as I love Boston, '70s Aerosmith all the way.
Bo: Dropkick Murphys!
Our thanks to Crash Midnight for the interview. Pre-order their debut album, 'Lost in the City' at iTunes.
Watch Crash Midnight Perform 'Welcome to Boston'