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Interview: 36 Crazyfists’ “Lanterns” is a shining affirmation of 23 loud years

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 1:08 AM (PST)
“…It’s about moving forward and leaving what’s behind you exactly that, behind you.” – Brock Lindow

 

Everyone sort of recalls the cover art for 36 Crazyfists A Snow Capped Romance the best, perhaps. It is kind of the record art you maybe subtly most associate with the band as far as branding, even though I listen to other albums by them more. But I feel like the NEW artwork for Lanterns sort of fits them as a band the most. The traveler faces the cold and the road ahead but is not overcome by it, a solid metaphor for an inspirational band that has pushed forward no matter what for over two decades as a leading light in grooving, depressive, melodic nu hardcore fusion and hard rock. There was a solid thumbs up from fans for the new track “Death Eater”, which premiered recently at Loudwire .

 

This group just really hits the sweet spot for me as far as cultivating their own sound and path/holding their own no matter what is the current biggest trend. I think they fuckin’ slay year after year.

 

It was great to catch up with vocalist Brock and learn more about the ebb and flow of sadness and motivation that fed one of the strongest releases yet from a band with plenty of good songs under their belts already.

 

Read more BELOW.

 

Photo by Bobby Bates

“Lanterns” is a great record name as far as simplicity. I have a newer lyric of my own that says ,”Every candle is a prayer.” A similar thing of trying to push through mood swings that tell you God or The Universe or whatever you believe in wants you to fail. What does your title mean to you? Obviously this record is coming off of Time and Trauma which was hugely personal and a hard album to follow, but you have made another banger. I am sorry to hear you went through a divorce so soon after the loss of your mom and I really appreciated the time you wrote me kind words after my dad passed two years ago already. 

 

Thx for the kind words, looking back on the album and trying to separate myself a bit from it to have a different look on it, I’m very proud of it as it wasn’t easy to create to be honest. For whatever reasons I wasn’t in the right head space initially so when I finally was able to start fleshing out the ideas and the direction lyrically it became a massive overflow of pain, struggle, survival and just finding the way to move forward in my own person life which like many of us, was quite messy at that time. So the title Lanterns is that beam at the end, that tool that was needed to put one foot in front of the other etc. Lanterns encompasses the way out.

 

“Sea and Smoke” is another example of a song fans can show people for how good you are vocally at kind of riding the anger or sadder parts and then suddenly twisting the melody slightly in a way that brings in a lot more hope. Is this intentional or are you just being emotional? 

 

I don’t know about intentional but I do think it’s me, everyone has their own vibe, their own signature move. I guess that’s mine.

 

The clarity is really there on this one. One of your best ‘sounding’ records. But the grit is still there. How was the working process? 

 

The actual recording process was the best ever I’d say, getting back with the boys and really putting in the work to complete the songs was a really awesome experience and really solidified why we are still doing this together.

 

Please tell me “Wars To Walk Away From” might be a single? Sometimes I hear a track jump out and the band never releases it in the main track push and I am like ,”noooooo”! Haha. That song is really powerful, man. Do you think we all at some point wrestle with things that are out of our control? I also think it is amazing some of the inconsequential hills people choose to die on.

 

One of my favorite tracks on the album is WARS, it really is a time vault for me where I realized in order to heal and clean up my own life I needed to forgive myself and embrace this journey I’m on and continue to better myself. So it’s about moving forward and leaving what’s behind you exactly that, behind you.

 

Do you feel like transfiguring suffering is a big theme for the band? How sad to see Chester from Linkin Park lose his fight, for example. I read a cool Toilet Ov Hell article the other way talking about how some bands who came out around the time of Nu Metal were way more innovative than they get credit for because some of the looks and lyrics were goofy even if the music was cool. I feel like your band sidestepped that and always had very relatable lyrics that were far from campy. 

 

Dealing with my own depression I could never act like I know what someone else may be going through but what I learned was that I needed to have a time to talk with people that are very close to me, let it out don’t keep it bottled up. The hard part is being that naked, that vulnerable. No one wants to admit they have these issues or these failures, but I know that keeping things locked inside is fairly dangerous. I found a tremendous amount of clarity and peace by leaning on my loved ones. I really realized how much I needed them in my life.

 

That’s great. Is it hard as you get older to keep up the energy? I mean, you sound as aggro as you guys ever have as a band! Haha. Some of your recent songs like “Old Gold” or “Slivers” really require a lot of dexterity as a performer. 

 

I feel great to be honest as far as our age, we are some vets these days no doubt but as far as letting it fly live we still have plenty of gas left in the tank…

Word up. I don’t know if this is healthy, but sometimes when I am depressed I will like binge Fear The Walking Dead or some show where everyone’s life sucks, hahaha. I am like ,”See, it could be worse.” Do you think this is not the best approach? Hahaha. Also, is it harder to do a song like “Dark Corners” that has kind of more sensitive parts and open up that energy or easier to yell when you are upset?

 

I find oddly that when I am really sad it all comes out when I am vulnerable. Like I will cry and cry in the shower when no one is around and then bottle shit up. It’s weird. I’m all for having a good cry, it’s needed for our mental cleansing at times. I count my blessings. Things can turn at any moment and always be worse. I try and live with that mantra these days and find peace in the gratefulness of what I have each day.

 

So, it is cool that 36 Crazyfists and Harry Potter fans can finally have a song to pit together over with “Death Eaters”. I feel like maybe the hardcore kids will be better at moshing but they will prob school some of your fans at Quidditch. I am assuming the song is not actually about Voldemort followers?  

 

Ha, well the title was initially “Death Stares”, but as I was writing it my daughter who is 8 years old and arguably the biggest Harry Potter fan says,”DaDa, it should be called Death Eater!” I laughed and then saw the look in her eyes and hell, I just couldn’t say no to her so there you have it!

 

Ha. That is cool she digs your band. Dude, 23 fucking years as a band! Congrats. So many bands pack it in after like two or three records. Any big moments you want to reflect back on that stand out as great times so we can end on a bright note to keep the lanterns lit out there?  

 

So grateful to be still at it, no question it’s been a wild ride. We are a brotherhood who has seen the world together because of our music and that to me is the Lantern, the music and the friendships we have that has been half our lives now is something I’m very proud of. 

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