terça-feira, 19 de junho de 2018

Chiba City Love Songs with Crash Dept - An Interview

Já que estamos em época de Copa do Mundo, e a Rússia é o centro das atenções, ao menos , esportivamente falando, vamos fazer uma conexão sonora via, a cidade de Yekaterinburg, e o duo pós punk, dark, gazer, ou tudo isso junto, Crash Dept.

Na miscelânea barulhentamente dançante dos caras, há espaço ara Mach Violets, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Pop Will Eat Itself e Curve, em doses precisamente iguais.

Guiado por bases eletrônicas, o Crash Dept soltou "Chiba City Love Songs", seu primeiro trabalho, que unifica as referências citadas, em tons gélidos e soturnos, sem em momento algum deixar o lado dançante e cerebral de lado.

Se vai existir algum vencedor pelos lados da Rússia, o Crash Dept é grande favorito a taça.

***** Interview with Crash Dept *****

Q: When did Crash Dept start? Tell us about the history…
(G) In fact, we've been around for some 8 years: we first formed as Twinmachine in 2010 to play old school goth post-punk. As it usually tends to happen, things had gone wrong at some moment, we lost momentum and technically disbanded by 2012 (still managed to release a full-length album though). The latest reunion attempt resulted in our car slamming into a concrete fence shortly after we drove out to play a gig in a neighboring town (things can get tricky on snowy roads at -30°C). Okay, we thought, maybe it's time for a major reboot. (Also we decided that our new band name just HAD to have 'Crash' in it. Unavoidable JG Ballard reference! I guess we'll have to do a Warm Leatherette cover)

Long story short, if I were to write a book about those years I'd go with a title "How To Screw Up Your Band For Sure".

We 'restarted' just recently, and the rest is technical details. What you hear on the debut EP comes partly from the old demo archive and is partly new, and I should say we've got a few more demos in that archive.

Q: Who are your influences?
(G) Unsurprisingly enough, we grew up largely on late 90's music. Britpop, nu metal, big beat, industrial rock... you name it.

And then came the Internet-powered post-punk and shoegaze rediscovery. The March Violets, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Chameleons UK, Comsat Angels etc. had inspired our earlier goth rock efforts, and you might hear traces of it in Crash Dept as well. Bauhaus and Peter Murphy had defined Constantine's vocal manner. And, of course, early 90's Curve, Ride, JAMC and MBV albums were like a revelation and later a production handbook to me! Also, nearly everything I love in modern music turned out to have been produced or mixed by Alan Moulder by some coincidence.

Lastly, the 2nd wave bands like Ceremony and APTBS just made us do it!

Q: Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
(G) Obvious shoegaze classics aside, over some debate we've agreed upon these supersolid monoliths one can listen to without skipping a track:
(in alphabetical order)

British Steel by Judas Priest
Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth
Disintegration by The Cure
God Hates Us All by Slayer
Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins

Q: How do you feel playing live?
(G) At the start of the set, mostly "When does it end?" and "I wanna go home". At the end of the set, "Seems not so bad. Wait, what, the last song already?" As stressful and anxiety-fueling as it gets, there can hardly be anything more emotionally rewarding than a successful gig, so it's a love/hate relationship. Anyway, we're a studio band rather than a live act at the moment, however hope to return to the stage sometime soon.

Q: How do you describe Crash Dept's sounds?
(G) I'd love to think of it as The Missing Link between Loveless and Pretty Hate Machine (pun intended). Well, some people have described our sound as 'true' or 'classic' shoegaze. I'm okay with that: it's not like we dream of reinventing the genre, and we can't relate much to all that recent dreampop hype.

There's a quarter-century old sound archetype we're reproducing, voluntarily or not: heavy mechanistic beats, layered drum loops, generously distorted guitar walls and occasional gritty synths. You could easily do an industrial rock track with these tones.

And yes, that said, we're preparing the next EP which will sound somewhat different as we feel a need to close the Trent Reznor-wannabe gestalt, so I guess Crash Dept is going to not just be a shoegaze band but a broader attempt to interpret that decade's legacy and reflect on our background.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
(G) A song usually starts with a bedroom demo, then some structure tweaks follow and the lyrics appear (Constantine does that; I don't know how and I suspect some kind of magic).

All the tracking and mixing gets done at my studio (I also happen to be an audio engineer working with the local underground bands). Sometimes it takes an evening or two to lay down all the guitars for a song, sometimes years (as revisions and re-recordings come). There's usually some serious multilayering involved too.

As you know, a track can never be finished, just abandoned. If we hadn't set a deadline I'd probably still be editing a thirty-something revision of the opening track mix.

One could think that recording/mixing your own music (when you've got the skills and gear) is pretty convenient but I'm afraid that's totally opposite. You end up overthinking, overworking and plainly wasting time trying to get your song another millimeter closer to perfection that almost no one would give a damn about. Don't be like me: support your local engineers!

Q: Which new bands do you recommend?
(G) There are so many new bands these days that you just regret you have only 24 hours a day!
It's hard to trace every band's background (besides, I'm not really sure what counts as new) so I'll go by the latest albums/EPs instead if you don't mind.

So let's see: Principe Valiente (Swe) released a wonderful album last year, be sure to check it out if you've come from the dark side just like us; what else... FUTURE (Fr), DoZzz (Tw), Lacing (US), Soft Touch(US), Luby Sparks (Jp), Collapse (Jp), Lowtide (Au) to name a few. As for the adjacent genres, I'm totally in love with High-Fuctioning Flesh and Drab Majesty.

The local scene in Yekaterinburg seems surprisingly active lately too. I'd recommend checking out SAAT, a shoegazey Midwest emo band. Those guys got an attitude!

Also check out COSme, the reunited Russian shoegaze veterans (ex-PLASTICA). Gorgeous sound!

Q: Which band would you love to make a cover version of?
(G) The Normal (see Q1), Front 242, The Human League... There was a period we wanted to abandon guitars altogether and start a synth rock band. Well, doing guitar versions of those would be fun too!

Also we've got A Taste Of Decay by Whispers In The Shadow in our goth rock setlist and it sounds unexpectedly raw and aggressive. We prefer not to announce that it's a cover so the audience might think we can write good songs.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
(G) Apparently, to make another bunch of typical band mistakes we hadn't made yet. Anyhow, recording the next EP is top priority, and then we'll see. Planning is not our strong side, if there's any.

Q: Any parting words?
(G) So long and thanks for all the fish. I mean media support. Renato is the man! Also remember to stay hydrated and please mind the gap.

Oh, and be sure to stop by https://crashdept.com/ and hit your preferred social media link!