The veteran metalcore band 36 Crazyfists are back with their latest album Lanterns. Frontman Brock Lindow tells us of the effects of some personal difficulties on the album, touring, the evolving music industry and other topics.
Chad Bowar: Was there anything unique about the songwriting process for Lanterns compared to past albums?
Brock Lindow: We went back to the old demo’ing process, where I came down to Oregon from Alaska for two weeks and demo’ed the material with the band. On the last few records I did all my demo recording up in Alaska and then sent it down to the studio via email. So we decided to get back to the early ways on the approach to this album.
You went through some tough personal times since the last album. How did that affect the emotional tenor of these songs?
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to air my laundry through this album or not. I had some other ideas initially, but once I really sat down with it and the lyrics started coming together I found that the best release was for me to put it all into these songs. I’m a pretty vague writer, but if you dig deep enough the pain is fairly obvious.
You say you’re much stronger mentally now than two years ago. How is that reflected in your daily life?
Leaving the past behind you, putting the things I want to happen for my future more in the forefront of my mind and trying to get closer to those goals every day.
With this the second album with the current lineup, did it make for a smoother process?
I think we have always felt comfortable writing music together.
What are the pros and cons of producing the album in-house?
We have done the last four I believe with Holt in the captains seat and we really enjoy the process and I’d say that’s the reason we continue to do it ourselves. I can’t really think of any cons, to be honest.
You’ve been on several different labels. Has what you expect from a label changed over the years?
I think all of the labels had great people at the respective places, but now being at Spinefarm I really feel like we are at a great home for our band. People we really feel get our band and want all parties to succeed.
With how much the industry has changed, how do you go about setting goals and expectations for an album?
I really don’t focus on that much. I know I’m gonna tour each album for about a year and try and connect with our people every night. That’s what I focus on.
Is the increasing popularity of streaming services a positive or negative for artists?
It seems pretty one sided still, but it is cool to be able to listen all the bands like that.
What have been some of the highlights of your current tour with DevilDriver?
Just being on the road with friends is special, knowing that we are grinding together and looking out for one another is a great feeling that resembles the locker room vibe I experienced as a kid. DevilDriver are dear friends and they really treat the bands under them on their bills like family. It’s not always like that.
With so much material, how difficult is it to put together a setlist, and do you change it from show to show?
We try and find a balance so our fans get a good set of old and new. We are better about adding songs in and pulling ones out these days.
There has been a huge increase in U.S. festivals over the past several years. Has that been a good thing, or is it oversaturating the market?
We haven’t been invited since the first Mayhem fest in ’08 so I’m not sure. (laughs)
What’s been the most memorable end of tour prank/stunt you’ve either pulled on another band or had done to you?
We ended a tour many years ago in Germany with 12 Tribes and From First To Last, and the way 12 Tribes got us was pretty amazing. They went out and found like a ten man Turkish Mariachi band and brought them back to the club and when the lights went down for our intro to start these dudes all went on stage and started jamming. The look on the crowd was priceless and we laughed our asses off. Then the band wouldn’t stop playing, they didn’t really speak English so I think there were just so stoked to be playing to that big crowd they were taking full advantage of it. I’ll never forget it and thankfully most of it was captured on video as well.
There are tons of TV shows about Alaska. Do you watch any of them?
I do not.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I fish, hunt, play hockey, watch hockey, write about hockey!
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Architects and the new ToothGrinder
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
New album comes out Sept 29, thanks to anyone that picks it up!
(interview published September 29, 2017)