CRASH MIDNIGHT – Just Another Day In Hell
October 29, 2018, 11 months ago
Las Vegas-based rockers Crash Midnight are looking into the past to carry their future. The recently released “Another Day In Hell” single is their second in a series of four that will see the light of day in due time. Having released one full-length, the ‘70s styled rockers have all but abandoned the album format in favor of singles. The independent act is making strides in Sin City with their special Crash The Boulevard concerts events and are always looking for way to push Midnight hour forward. Vocalist Shaun Soho and guitarist Alex Donaldson took time to talk their latest single, being independent, the future, and their next, upcoming songs.
BraveWords: Tell us about the new single and video “Another Day In Hell”!
Soho: “This song came out of our trips out to LA meeting with record labels. Alex had this riff with a cool western vibe to it.”
Donaldson: “Yeah, the riff is actually in the guitar tuning drop Db - the lowest we’ve ever tuned to. It’s a lot heavier than our other stuff, but it still has that Crash Midnight sound.”
Soho: “I guess you could say it’s about opulence and apathy. We were going back and forth from Vegas to LA and getting wined and dined by this label. It was our first real experience with that ‘LA lifestyle.’ We were staying at this mansion up in Bel Air overlooking the hills the night before the meeting - it was pretty surreal. We had the meeting, they told us how much they loved us and that they were going to draw up the record deal that week.”
Donaldson: “I mean we walked out of the meeting and the whole front office is giving us a standing ovation …handing us coffee mugs with the label’s name on them.”
Soho: “So the week goes by and nothing. No emails, our calls go unanswered and it’s just this weird radio silence. We finally get a pretty weak explanation nearly a month later about budget and timing. The whole lack of personal accountability or the worth of someone’s word out there, man. It’s just a real different culture. This song is sort of a ‘Rome is burning, so play on, Nero.’”
Donaldson: “We shot the music video in downtown Las Vegas at the back lot of this cool bar called ReBar. The owner, Derek gave us the run of the place. They were awesome and took great care of us.”
Soho: “Our good friend, Barton Anderson, from Luxe 7 Media, shot and edited the whole thing on a pretty searing hot day last August.”
BraveWords: I understand the band’s plan is to release four new singles, with the first two being out, why the decision to go with the single format?
Soho: “Well ever since we started this band, we’ve always had this ‘us against the world’ mentality. Back in the beginning, there were no other bands making the kind of music we wanted to hear, so we said ‘fuck it, if no one else is going to do it, we will.’”
Alex: “It’s just the way this band’s always operated.”
Soho: “After the whole label thing, we took a good hard look at what we were doing and what we really even wanted out of this whole thing in the first place. We decided at this point it was time to just do it ourselves. We started to create the relationships that would make us completely self-sufficient so that we would never have to rely on any label to do anything for us ever again.”
Donaldson: “We’ve gotten tight with the talent buyers out here, the very best studios in town, and started hiring our own PR. We worked our asses off to build a fan base that would allow us to earn enough from our shows to cover all these recording and promo expenses so that this machine would just run itself.”
Soho: “The singles idea came out of that. No one really consumes music as an album anymore. It’s more like it was back in the ‘50s where everything was about a single. So rather than going into a studio for weeks or months to record ten-plus songs, we decided to just focus on writing and recording one killer song at a time and releasing about four singles a year.”
Donaldson: “Unfortunately doing an album would just fall on deaf ears with the current industry climate and there are a lot of pros to doing just singles though as well. Easier to promote and easier to guide people towards what you want them to listen to.”
Soho: “It gives our fans something to look forward to all the time and gives us the freedom to record whatever we’d like. We have some seriously cool stuff coming together, from tracks more like some of our songs off ‘Lost In The City’ to some stuff that sounds more like something off Exile On Mainstreet or Iggy’s Lust For Life.”
BraveWords: The singles have been tied in to these special Crash The Boulevard shows in your base of Las Vegas. Talk about these shows and any you have upcoming.
Soho: “So we had our first Crash The Boulevard night back in June at Brooklyn Bowl and it was an incredible turnout - like 650 people. We’re looking at having these Crash The Boulevard nights about once every three months or so and we’ll be doing a bunch of cool other shows and appearances in between as well.”
BraveWords: Any information you can give about the next two singles?
Soho: “We have a great little ‘70s sludge type song coming up called ‘Chinatown.’ It’s the last song I wrote before we left Boston, all about the excitement of these nights out in Boston’s Chinatown district when I was first dating my then-girlfriend, now wife, Bianca. It’s got a really cool horn section in the chorus and just blasts along like the excitement of a new relationship.”
“The other single is something we resurrected out of an older song called ‘Take It.’ There’s a whole long story behind ‘Take It’ originally being written as a collaboration our label had wanted us to do with Lil’ Wayne right before he went to jail. When he got locked up, they abandoned that direction and the song ended up sounding compromised to me as a half-finished idea.”
Donaldson: “Even though there was a great groove to it and really strong riff.”
Soho: “Just working on new material out here, I ended up writing these lyrics in response to this head of some bullshit ‘UK label’ - if you can even call it that - that ended up defrauding our former US label and taking them for a ride. This lady reported all these fraudulent expenses, all this ridiculous crap.”
Donaldson: “Just a total joke.”
Soho: “Then recently I heard she decided to announce that she’d be the new singer for one of the bands she had signed trying to resurrect her career or something. A day or two after that announcement she apparently created and leaked a fake sex-tape of herself in some desperate attempt to get attention. You can’t make this stuff up.”
Donaldson: “I wish he were making this up. Actually it sounds a lot cooler after the fact and in this context, haha.”
Soho: “This song is loosely about that sort of attention whore waste of a person and I guess we can dedicate it to - I don’t want to even say her name since that would be the most press she’s had - but we’ll dedicate it to her and her fake-ass sex tape. It’s called ‘Killing Time.’”
BraveWords: Is there any desire to make another full-length album or having a physical product out there?
Soho: “I think we’ll always continue to evaluate the climate out there and see if the demand for an album comes back en vogue, but for now, the singles seem to give our fans more content and allow us to really put the effort behind each release instead of spreading it across a ten-song album.”
Donaldson: “I guess eventually, once we’ve released enough singles, maybe we’ll repackage them into a full album, but that’ll be a year or two off.”
BraveWords: Do you guys feel there is an advantage for band’s going independent nowadays versus being tied to a label?
Soho: “Well I think it depends. The music industry is so volatile right now. If the right label with the right promotional commitment came along that genuinely seemed like it would be worth exchanging a percentage of our stuff for their marketing muscle …but it would really need to be something that we felt would make a significant impact.”
Donaldson: “There are just too many $40K/$50K deals out there that, while you end up being technically signed, the money isn’t enough to make any real impact so some of these bands just end up touring year round making only a couple hundred dollars a week. That’s just not worth it to us.”
BraveWords: On the other side of the spectrum, what are the disadvantages of being independent (if any) and does it add to the struggle/stress of getting your name out there for the public?
Soho: “You know, so far our fans and a lot of our friends in the industry have really rallied behind what we’re doing. We’ve found that we have so many less road blocks doing it this way. We’re not waiting on any middle men to get call backs or updates, we just go directly to the source and take care of the deals. It’s actually been way easier and much more effective.”
BraveWords: What are your thoughts on ’70s style rock? Do you feel like it’s making a resurgence in the States?
Soho: “You only have to look at the rock tours out there making money and the new bands like The Struts, Royal Blood, and Greta - they’re all hitting that sound that people have been waiting to come back around.”
Donaldson: “We’re right in there. Some of our new stuff has a much more ‘70s vibe to it, some of it has that punk vein running through it more like classic GnR (Guns N’ Roses), but we just keep making the stuff we want to hear and fortunately our fans are on board.”
BraveWords: Are there any plans to get out on tour or is the plan to stay in Vegas for the time being?
Soho: “We’re always keeping an ear out for the right tour so for sure that’s something on our radar. We just want to make sure anything we take is a good move for the band and really makes a significant impact rather than just ‘touring to tour,’ you know?”
Donaldson: “We’ll see man. I don’t put anything past us at this point.”
BraveWords: There was recently a change to the band introducing a new drummer. Where did the new guy come from?
Soho: “So we got introduced to Billy through a mutual friend. We’d been using some really good session guys in the interim, but hadn’t found someone that was right as a full-time member. Billy has amazing chops. He’s played with the Drum Bots - those guys in the neon glasses that play the Vegas Golden Knights hockey games. Some of his stick work is pretty jaw-dropping.”
BraveWords: Anything else you’d like to add?
Soho: “We're working on our next big Crash The Boulevard event that is shaping up to be this spring. In the meantime, we've got the two new singles ready to release and we're finishing up the music videos for those this fall with director, Barton Anderson of Luxe 7 Media.”
Donaldson: “You'll also see us popping up on shows all over Las Vegas over the next few months. We're not able to announce them all yet, but we'll be playing with some pretty big names that we're real excited about.”
Soho: “We love our new home city and the fans have been so great out here. We'll have a lot more to announce as the next single drops this December.”
Donaldson: “And as usual, you'll hear about it first here on BraveWords! Haha”
(Photos by: Barton Anderson – Luxe 7 Media)