Interview: Crime In Stereo @ Hevy [August 2014]

By Chris Marshman

When we were at Hevy, we spoke to Crime In Stereo to find out the lowdown on why they split up, what spurred them on to get back together, and what we (and they) have to look forward to in the future. Enjoy!

How are you guys doing?


I heard you just flew in this morning?

Yeah, we got off the plane about three hours ago and we’re onstage in about an hour. We’re feeling kinda brain dead right now! There’s no guarantee any of our equipment works, so that’s something we’re gonna have to look into.

So, how did your return to the UK through Hevy Fest come about?

To be honest with you it’s actually really kinda great, because typically to do a European tour, so much goes into it. There’s so much planning, like travel visas and work permits and lodging and transportation. It’s quite a big production to get a European tour going, but for this they [Hevy] were like: “Do you wanna come over? Come in on Thursday, play on Friday and go home whenever you want” and we were like “Hell yeah! A weekend gig for us”. It’s great.

And what sort of relationship do you guys have with the UK in general?

Oh man, we love it. It’s like a second home. I think we’ve toured here more than anywhere else. To be honest with you, we might have been here more than we’ve been to California, or at least a comparable amount.

What memories have you got of the UK?

A zillion, honestly. We’ve played so many great shows. We played with Sick Of It All in London. We did a sold out Brixton Academy with Four Year Strong and New Found Glory, which was crazy. I think to date that’s our biggest club show we’ve ever played. Playing Download was fun! We got to watch Stone Temple Pilots from side stage and Slash was walking around in his top hat and everything, it was totally surreal. We played our record ‘Troubled Stateside’ in its entirety at The Peel and we’ve never done that anywhere else other than Long Island.

…and onto Crime In Stereo, how does it feel to be a band again?

It’s amazing. Breaking up the band needed to be done, it truly was absolutely something that needed to occur but it was a bad decision… if that makes sense? It was totally the right decision but it was also a bad decision, so having gotten away from it and taken a break, it’s fucking amazing to be back.
You don’t realise how much you miss something obviously until it’s gone. I mean how much a part of our lives Crime In Stereo was for so long. When it was gone, for the first few months it was like, “Ah, I’m home, this is great, this is awesome, I can be a professional now”, then four or five months in I was wondering why I was missing it so much. All our friends would be leaving for tour and we’d be feeling that too.

There must be no substitute for that feeling of being in a band and the buzz of going on tour?

There really isn’t. I’m sure it’s similar to football over here but in America, you hear professional athletes and NFL players say all the time that they have to be forced out. They literally have to tell you, “Ok, you’re done playing” because once you’re done, you’re done and you can never go and get it back, so you should play until they throw you out and that’s I think how we feel. We’re gonna play until just truly nobody cares anymore and nobody can stand us and then you have to force us out because it’s not something you should wilfully give up.
We’ve had friends recently, friends that are in big bands or whatever who have been on the verge of breaking up and we’ve told them “Don’t” because once it’s over, it’s over. The only reason for bands to actually break up is if you truly, personally cannot stand each other, like if you can’t stand to even be in the same room, like if you fucking hate each other then fine, y’know? But as long as you can be somewhat personable and get along, there’s no reason for bands to break up because it’s such a positive experience. What happens is you get burnt out because you’re on the road for ten months out of a year for years at a time. I know it sounds like a lot of fun but you get like, murderous, seriously homicidal.
So yeah, that’s really the thing, for us anyway. Growing up being into hardcore and punk rock, you only know that mentality where you put out a record, you go on tour for two/three years straight, you play everywhere that there ever is to play. You play every show and you stay out on tour for as long as you can and you just do that over and over and over again. That’s all we ever knew so that’s what we did. We kind of realised later that you don’t have to be on tour ten months out of a year. You can still do shows here and there. You can do a festival and still live your life. It’s a much healthier way to do it.
What was really eye opening to me was towards the end before we broke up, we got signed up by this major talent agency. One of the top four talent agencies, I mean the two smallest bands on their roster was us and Baroness, and Baroness are huge. Anyway, the woman who owns this thing was a legend in the music business, she was the one who created OzzFest and the first time we ever sat down with her for a meeting she’s got like reams of data in front of her. She explained that it was all of our numbers; shows we’ve done, ticket sales, CD sales in specific cities, how many people have downloaded the album and where. I had never seen any of that stuff before and had no idea it even existed. She was basically like “Alright, last time on tour you played Cleveland like four times, you sold 20 records there, nobody likes your band there, why do you keep playing there?” and I’m like, “That’s what you do.” That really was my answer, I was almost stunned at her mental approach to it. I explained that’s what you do and she was like: “But why?” And I don’t think it was wrong for us to do that. I do think it was the right thing for us to do at that time but now we’re all in our thirties y’know? So we don’t need to go to Cleveland four times a year, especially if people truly don’t care. I’m not bummed about it! If people want us to play then we totally will but it used to be that every year we’d play all these places and every show would have like sixty kids at it and it wasn’t until somebody asked us if this was really the smartest way to do this? And it’s like no, it clearly isn’t. It’s absolutely nothing against those cities or anything like that, it’s just there is a more efficient, intelligent way to do it other than the general punk rock lifestyle attitude towards it of playing anywhere and everywhere, which is amazing… for like the first seven years and then you just wanna fucking murder everybody on the planet [laughing].

So, people wanna hear about new music that might be on the horizon: do you have an update?

Yes! New music is officially on the horizon. I know we’ve said that a lot but we didn’t mean it insincerely. Basically now that we’ve got adult lives and careers at home, we’ve been trying to figure balancing our lives with doing the band and now we’re in a good place with that. We have studio time booked, we start recording at the end of August through September and October. There will definitely be a new full release, either a long EP or a full length early next year and most likely we’ll have a single or 7” out at the end of this year. I know we’ve said that so it might seem like lip service or whatever but things are officially booked. It takes a lot to get it rolling but the ball is rolling now.

And future UK plans?

Definitely. We have to go back out to California because it’s been a couple of years but then we’re coming back to the UK for sure.

And just a quick word about the Long Island scene, who should we be looking out for?

What’s funny is that all the bands that were coming up and opening for us when we stopped doing this a couple years ago are all fucking gigantic. Bands like Backtrack and Incendiary, they’re huge now. Iron Chic and I Am The Avalanche. To be honest with you I almost feel sheepish trying to answer this question because I’m sure there are a thousand amazing bands that I don’t even know about yet because I don’t have my ear to the ground like I used to.

There’s like two Long Islands: there’s the scene of Long Island kids who are trying to rip off Brand New and Taking Back Sunday and Glassjaw. We love those bands but the bands that they then spawn are not my thing for lack of a better term. And then there’s the real Long Island hardcore scene that spawns the Backtracks, the Iron Chics etc. Which is the scene that put out Brand New and Glassjaw, that’s where they came from. That half of the Long Island scene always puts out phenomenal bands so I’d always encourage people to stay up on that.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]