By Wylie Burchall
36 Crazyfists could be considered as nothing less than pioneers in their musical genre, relentlessly executing their emotional lyrics and deafening tone to the ears of millions across the globe for in excess of 18 years. With their recent absence since 2010 put aside, they’ve returned with the ambitious release of Time and Trauma scheduled to hit the shelves over the coming months. I managed to have a chinwag with the chirpy vocalist Brock Lindow where directly from the blistering winds of his Alaskan abode where we discussed their past, present and future.
After asking Brock where on earth have they been as of late, he replies with sincere apologies accompanied with the odd chuckle or two.
“We kinda got off the grid in 2011 and just headed towards being around the family. So we then kinda regrouped and started writing a new record to the end of 2011 then really dove into it throughout 2012 and started recording in early 2014. Now it feels good that we’re close to the release.”
After being fed with curiosity, I was in need of knowing more of their new release and the differences from their previous.
“Well for one, we joined up with the new label Spinefarm and they’ve been awesome so far. We have new management as well. We settled one of our old bass players back in the band and a new drummer plus we had our 20th anniversary recently so the excitement level is at an all time high for sure.”
Lindow continues to elaborate on the production of the new album and touches on guitarist/producer Steve Holt’s unceasing commitment towards the bands sound.
“We’ve still got our guitar player, Steve, who produced this album and has produced the last three. Probably the strength of this album is that we’ve got back to sounding what was unique with the band and what makes that signature sound when you out on a track. People will love or hate it but I wanted to get back to that uniqueness, more singing approach and not screaming as much. Not really trying to get back to the early stuff, but in turn trying to be a little more melodic. I’m reading a lot on what people have been listening to the tracks we’ve released so far and they’re really excited ‘coz they think it sounds like the earlier stuff and that’s pretty cool you know?”
Following the emotional rollercoaster over the years of their existence, the Alaskan quartet have suffered one negative blow after another with the fatal stabbing of their companion drummer in early ’94 to the passing of their bassist in a car accident mid ’96. More recent tragedies have taken place that may also explain the lyrical structure of the new album.
“Another reason why we got off the road in 2011 was because my Mom got sick with cancer and she ended up passing away that year so the entire record has kinda bridged from that whole process and the experiences I went through. It was pretty tragic then in my life so writing this record helped me find some sort of peace and closure. My Mom was a really big fan of our band and all the boys in the band where close to my Mom as well so it was kind of a tough blow for all of us. There’s a way to heal from these problems and find some peace in it and that’s kinda what I took from the whole process.”
Lindow lovingly continues. “Yeah, you’ve gotta take care of family so we rallied around Mom and ourselves and it was very helpful to be around the band as well. Music didn’t matter as much at that time but when the dust settled, I started getting some songs from my guitar player Steve and I was like ‘wow’! I really, really needed music right then and I didn’t realise how bad I needed it to be honest. So once we started writing the record, it really helped out on the highs and lows and looking forward to singing the new songs and reliving the learning process of separating yourself from the tragic experiences in life.”
As unforeseen circumstances grapple our lives on the odd occasion, the best we can do is overcome the pain that may be heaved upon us and this was the perfect explanation from one who has experience it on forefront. As positivity regained, Lindow enlightened me on the year ahead and thereafter.
“We leave in a week to kickoff in the UK and then to Europe from there then right back to the states with Nonpoint and Five Finger Death Punch. Hopefully we’ll be coming to Australia as it’s definitely on the list as it’s one of my favorite places in the world and cant wait to get back down and play for our people down there.”
I wanted to converse a little more on the number of bands in existence today as to what had been an ever-so-sweet shortness of genres and groups that even then lacked the credibility that they deserved when ‘nu-metal’ had established.
“You know, this is the beauty of social media. We’ve been able to talk to our people and even though we were kind of quiet for some time, we came back to Australia and were grateful to be given the opportunity down there for the loyalty and it’s just such a cool place to come to. My wife and daughter came over with me the last time we were there and we ended up renting a house in Byron Bay for a week or so and yeah, I just love that place.”
On that note, I questioned his surfing skills (or lack of).
“Well the plan was to take some lessons but I never did. So no, I’m not much of a surfer but I did enjoy sitting on the beach drinking beer. There actually is surfing over here (Alaska) but they’re pretty die-hard and the water is really cold. There is a little surf scene here but nothing like where you live.”
It’s only been a short period of time since the lads have been down under and after hearing further of his wombat experiences and the intensity of the Australian sun, we revert back to the topic of another Australian tour. Lindow enthusiastically expels his excitement on what looks to be yet another trip to Oz.
“I mean all I’ve thought of is you guys as I’ve been speaking to Australians all day. After dinner I’m going to make sure I email my booking agent again to force that down his throat so he knows how bad we need to get back to Australia this year so it’s definitely in the works.”
The future continues to look promising for 36CF and it’s evidently clear that we’ll be seeing the guys again sooner than later.
Time and Trauma is released on 13 February through Spinefarm Records/Caroline Australia.