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36 Crazyfists - Talking about beer, beards and getting old.
Vocalist Brock Lindow and guitarist Steve Holt from 36 Crazyfists were in the Netherlands to do some interviews for their band’s new record, “Rest Inside The Flames” which is out on Monday the 12th of June. Of course, Metalrage was there as well and asked the two about the new record, beer and staying young.
 
First, how was your day of in Amsterdam?
 
Brock:" It was good! We walked around and I taped a lot on video. We went to the Anne Frank house and the Red Light District and it rained on us. A good dinner at the Irish pub, slept on and off."
 
Rest Inside The Flames was produced by Sal Villanueva, what was the biggest difference between him and the previous producers?
 
Steve: "I think he was a bit more hands-on. We became friends pretty quick and he came in to do pre-production for three weeks. We got to know him very well and we were pretty much on the same page."
 
Brock: "He is of the same age as well and grew up on the same bands like Helmet and Quicksand. When we started talking with him we were all from the same school of thought. Another great thing with Sal is that before, we never did pre-production with a producer. Maybe just a weekend with the other guys from the band but that was it. With Sal, we had three weeks. So he came out to Oregon (The band lives in Portland, Oregon). Every day we would practice and afterwards go out for dinner and some drinks, and we would talk about everything from life to girls. When we got to New Jersey for the recording, Sal was already a good friend. Already we were going into the record while with other producers you just don’t know who you are working with."
 
Steve: "I think that the more relaxed atmosphere really helped us."
 
I believe I read an update on the website when you were working on a song, and it said that Sal suggested to slow down the tempo a bit with just a few BPM. You said that it made “such a difference”
 
Steve: "Yeah once you’re into recording the record you can really notice that. I think we changed songs with half a BPM one time."
 
Brock: "I think that to the instrument player, it might change things.."
 
Steve: "It’s all in the feel baby!"
 
Brock: "I notice when things speed up, but slowing down things a bit, I rarely notice that. But I rarely notice a lot of things.."
 
Personally I think Rest Inside The Flames is a bit more of a “Rock” record, it's still has its metal influences, but somehow I keep thinking of a more “Rock” attitude. Do you think the same about that?
 
Steve: "Absolutely. I think it’s a ‘very’ Rock record. It’s a bit more focused and there is no beating around the bush. You just go from riff to riff and make you get into the song and get it to the point. We didn’t aim to make the greatest record ever, we just wanted to write songs that kick ass live. I think that comes across pretty much."
 
Brock: "We just wanted to try to make a record that sounded as heavy as we do live, because all the time people came up to us and said “hey you guys are way heavier live”. We don’t know what the formula is but we just tried to keep that in mind and make each part better. The heavier parts more heavy, the melodic parts more catchy."
 
I want to ask you something about the cover, which has a heart in it just like A Snow Capped Romance. Is it becoming a sort of overall theme?
 
Brock: "Basically, we wanted to have a symbol that people relate to. Because really, our band name is just silly, no matter how cool you write it. We never could really get a logo. I really liked the heart from the last record and I saw people had tattoos of it, so it really became a symbol. We didn’t think about it too much and people are associating it with the band and that is something that we have wanted for around 13 years now."

Brock, You had vocal lessons with Melissa Cross (vocal teacher), can you say that you’ve gotten better in a short period of time?
 
Brock: "I don’t really know if I improved. I hope that I’ve gotten better. I took the lessons mostly for preserving my voice so it wasn’t to learn a certain style or something. Stuff like breathing, warming up and special exercises, that is what Melissa’s deal is. She has all kind of levels for it. If you are a pop singer, and you need to hit a high note, she has a technique for it. For me personally she is trying to help you not lose your voice."
 
So you can still sing in 10 years.
 
Brock: "Exactly. I haven’t really tried those exercises yet because we still have to go on tour but I know them and definitely plan on using them."
 
On the new record, you have some guests like Howard Jones..
 
Steve: "Ho Jo!"
 
Yeah, Howard Jones.
 
Steve: "Never heard of him."
 
How did that came to happen?
 
Brock: "We didn’t think that we should put on 3 guests or something. We talked to Howard about it before and when we were writing 'Elysium' we thought that it would be great to get Howard on it. We called him up and he came over. It wasn’t anything big and we didn’t really think a whole bunch about it."
 
Steve: "I’m thinking about what someone else said before. If you didn’t know he was on that track you could probably just let it slid past you. He fits in that song really well."
 
Brock: "Some people didn’t notice he was on it, but I tell them “hey, that wasn’t me!”. It was really cool to have him and Jonah Jenkins on it. Jonah is a massive influence on my singing if you can’t hear it or not."
 
Well I wrote down that he played with Only Living Witness..a band that I personally never heard of.
 
Brock: "They were an awesome band from the 90s, probably one of the first bands that dubbed the “post hardcore” thing. They’re a good band from Boston and I got in touch with Jonah through the internet. I was talking to him about the new record and asked if he could sing on a track and he was all for it, so I was blown away by that. Probably one of the highlights of this bands career."
 
One of your all time heroes.
 
Steve: "It was like playing with one of your idols."
 
Brock: "It was pretty weird. I have never been close to someone who I used to listen to every day. I don’t know the guys from Metallica or Faith No More so it was great to work with someone from Only Living Witness. I really love his lyrics. They have all these big words that you need to look up in a dictionary. He is an extremely intelligent man and he couldn’t understand why we liked him so much."
 
I read stuff about some video being recorded about the making of the record. Is that footage being used?
 
Steve: "We were going to try to do it for the record, but -texas accent- we couldn’t get it done in time."
 
Brock: "This summer we hope to shoot our first DVD. We have 13 years of tape piled up, like our very first show. A lot of things that fans would love to see. We had talks with the label and we want to get the guy who did the Chimaira and the Roadrunner United DVD. I hope it happens.  We’re playing a show in Alaska this summer and it will have that plus all the other material."
 
Steve: "He will probably follow us around for a bit, stuff, leading up to the show. It should be cool."
 
Steve, you worked on the RR United album with Peter Steele. It's such a standout track, can you tell a bit about that?
 
Steve: "Yeah it's weird right! I believe it was on a Sunday afternoon that I got a call from Monte Conner at Roadrunner so I flew out the next morning. It was very interesting to work on a song in that manner, because Joey (Jordison) had some drums and keys layed out and just asked me to play whatever I want. I think he just let me do my thing and took a nap for a while."
 
So he came back and it was done?
 
Steve: "I just sat there and played with a bunch of stuff, acoustic guitars, electric guitars. I just played a lot of stuff so they had a lot to choose from. Joey was cool as hell but unfortunately I didn’t meet Peter Steele because we were there on different days. But it became this really cool, crazy song."
 
It always reminds me of a Communist March thing.
 
Brock: "It has just..strange vocals. I really like the music. No, I also like the vocals but they are so bizarre. He made up his own language."
 
I thought it was in Russian or something?
 
Steve: "No, Monte said that he had just made it up. I think it’s a great closer for that album."
 
Brock: "Now who on earth does that..well I guess Peter Steele does."
 
Steve: "A seven foot dude."
 
You recorded some b-sides, 'Diggin’ the Grave' by Faith No More and 'Mother Mary' by Far. I haven’t really heard from Far to be honest..
 
Brock: "They were friends of the Deftones, a bit more mellower. They weren’t like the Deftones but they toured with them a lot and we always liked them so it was cool to do one of their songs."
 
Kerrang Magazine recently did a Master of Puppets tribute album with bands recording songs from that CD. What song would you pick?
 
Brock: "'Disposable Heroes'.  I would love that."
 
Steve: "That would be a good one."
 
Have you heard some of it yet?
 
Steve: "No, just the Machine Head one, 'Battery'. It sounded pretty good."
 
Brock: "Yeah I think Machine Head can do some good songs on that."
 
'Funeral for a Friend' did 'Disposable Heroes' but I didn’t like it. I couldn’t recognise half of the riffs. And the vocals were just bad.
 
Brock: "They should have asked us…the bastards."
 
It's time to talk about beer now.
 
Steve: "Yes!"
 
Did you guys try some of the new stuff yet?
 
Brock: "No not yet but I saw one that I hadn’t seen before, something called Iffe?"

Leffe. It’s a Belgian monastry beer.
 
Steve: "We’re in the right spot for beer. This is like where all the good beers are from.
Brock: "I had Duvel before and that’s damn powerful. But Grolsch Kanon, that can put someone out. It has like, 11.8%?"
 
Ever had Dommelsch?
 
Brock: "Yeah I liked that one as well!"
 
But, what is the difference between American and European beer?
 
Steve: "I don’t know. I don’t know what you guys do over here brewing-wise."
 
Brock: "American beer is “Colder”."
 
Steve: "But it doesn’t taste nowhere as good though. I don’t know any beer which comes close."
 
Brock: "I like a lot of the Microbrews (small commercial brewery)."
 
Steve: "Yay and Nay".
 
Brock: "It's all good in the end. I haven’t had any horrible beer over here. But I like all beer. There is no beer that I won’t drink. I do like the beers over here because they’re different and new for me. I really liked Dommelsch, I asked for it at the Irish Pub but they didn’t have it."
 
Steve: "Do they still make Elephant? I believe it’s a Belgian Ale or something. That was great."
 
I believe they do. I can advise you to walk into a liquor store over here because you can find some really weird beers over there.
 
Both: "Will do!"
 
So you guys are going back and start practicing for the tour?
 
Steve: "Yeah we have to get ready for the festivals."
 
You can always blame Noonan (Thomas Noonan, drummer)
 
Brock: "Always."
 
Steve: "He said that he would be practicing while we were gone. I find it highly unlikely. You never know with him, he either never practices or goes on all day."
 
Brock: "Sometimes he goes on all day long, comes home and starts again on the drum pad. It drives me nuts because all I hear is -makes drumming sounds on the table-."
 
Do you rehearse a lot?
 
Brock: "We try to, but everyone has his daily life to conduct. But when it's time to get on tour it’s a priority. We have to tighten it up. If you would hear us now we would suck. We need a good week to be “good to go”. The first day always has the “oh shit” thing."
 
Are you looking forward to touring with Atreyu?
 
Brock: "I’m looking forward to touring, period. You know, you can have some preconceived notions about a band because of their music but sometimes they might end up being your best friends. For the most parts we’ve become good friends with the bands we toured with. But usually everyone is pretty nice… until they had 12 beers and the real guy comes out. And that’s mainly our band."
 
Is it that bad?
 
Brock: "Nah we’re good guys. And we’re getting older anyway."
 
Do you see yourself on stage when you’re fourty?
 
Brock: "I have a hard time imagining that. I heard someone talking to guys from DevilDriver and they were like “I’m going to do this forever”. I think that’s great, but if you look at it: Playing in bands is a young man’s game. And if you make a little money to pay for rent it's just great if you’re 25. But when you get older, your priorities change. I think you should do other things in life as well."
 
Steve: "I still want to do so many things. I want to go fishing, I want to go camping, all these things. But I can’t because I’m on tour all the time."
 
Brock: "I really want to go fishing."
 
Steve: "But when you are in a band, which basically demands all the time you have, you don’t have time for those things."
 
Brock: "Being in a band has allowed us to do things we never considered possible. We never thought in a million years that we would be talking to you, go on a press tour, come to Europe, etc. We’ve gotten to do all these crazy things and not for a second are we bitching about that. But if you’re going like this for so long, you start to miss things. My friends back home, they play hockey, softball, go camping, fishing, so on. The Alaskan summer is so big for the outdoors stuff and we used to do all those things when we were kids. Those are things I look forward to to get back. But I’ll definitely miss the band when it’s over. It will be weird to not-be “Brock from 36”. I do think that all good things come to an end."
 
Steve: "I might be that straggler guy who keeps the band going. Find some other guys and go “This is my new Brock” instead of a 45 year old version."
 
Brock: "You would get all these young guys while you’re the only old one or what?"
 
Just like Axl Rose is doing!
 
Brock: "It would be cool if people would still want to hear our songs in the future.."
 
Steve: "We should make a pact for a reunion tour of some sort, no matter how gay it is, when we’re all like 50."
 
Brock: "Well..Mick (Whitney, bass) is actually 39. He doesn’t look 40 to us though. But when Steve or Thomas shave they automatically look younger. So maybe that’s the trick..just keep it growing and shave it of you get 10 more years."
 
And that’s all the time we had at the Roadrunner Office! You can catch 36CF on the road this summer, check our tour guide for that!