Friday, December 24, 2010

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : ,
Our friend and faithful reader, David Count Agranoff, spoke with Earth Crisis' Scott Crouse the other day to get the inside scoop on whats up with the new ExC record as well a few other things including the original demo. We want to thank David for all his support and for conducting this interview. Take a minute and check out David's new book "The Vegan Revolution...With Zombies" on Amazon.

Interview by David Count Agranoff author of The Vegan Revolution...With Zombies and Earth Crisis historian.

David Agranoff: I am going to assume that almost everyone reading this interview knows who you are, and what you are about. So I am going to focus on the new record. Could you tell us about how your writing process has changed?

Scott Crouse:Back in Syracuse when the band all lived in town you guys practiced six or seven days a week. Yes, we used to practice at least 3 days a week, and more like 5 when we were writing. In a lot of ways I think the new style of writing we have is a more efficient use of our time. I'll work out the basic layout of a song at my house and then send it to the other guys for their input. Once we feel we have a solid group of songs, we'll get together for 4 or 5 days in Syracuse to spice them up. I do miss the more creative vibe of the old way at times, but I think this style is working well for us.

DA: When we last talked in march I asked you about the writing of this record, you said "I have not thought of a concept yet." How does a musical concept function for Earth Crisis and are you able to put into words what the concept is?

SC: Well, it's more a musical direction than a concept. This one does have a lyrical concept though. What I meant was an overall vibe of the record I guess? It usually takes 2 or 3 songs into the writing process to figure out what the flavor of the new record will be. I'm a firm believer in never putting out the same record twice. It's more of a challenge to try and maintain the integrity of the band with each release, but explore new territory musically.

DA: The titles we know...100 Kiloton Blast, Neutralize The Threat and By Conscience Compelled. 100 kiloton blast reminds me of Cease to exist, which was a very cinematic song, it told a vivid story. Cities Fall on To the Death also one of Karl's most vivid songs. How much do you and Karl work on the mood of the music fitting the songs?

SC: Karl does an excellent job of crafting the lyrics to fit the mood of the song. When we were working on demos, he spent a lot of time listening to the songs, then sorting through his folder of lyrics to find one that fit the feel of the music best. That was really what we were going for on this one. We wanted this record to have the mood of Gomorrah's, but with more focused songwriting as is on To The Death.

DA: Most people don't know that Karl is more than vocalist, that he even wrote every note of classics like ecocide. How much input if any does Karl put into the music?

SC: Yes, Karl actually wrote Ecocide and All Out War. We spiced them up a bit, but they were basically done when we met him. He does still have input in the music, but it is usually from a vocalist stand point now. They are more arrangement oriented ideas.

DA: Last rumor I heard was 10 new songs and re-recording 4 classics? is that still the format?

SC: Well, that has changed unfortunately. It's going to be 10 new songs, plus 2 "bonus" tracks. As "music biz" as this sounds, our lawyer advised us against trying to re record old stuff due to past contracts and blah blah blah. I'd love to do it someday, hopefully we can get it sorted out.

DA: Morality dictates was written in studio. At the GSE record release show you played a different version. It was faster, with crazy double bass. Any chance you guys will record that version of the song? I have tried for years to find video of that show!

SC:No plans to right now, but we do bring up playing that version live again from time to time.

DA: When you recorded GSE there were rumors that You guys knocked Karl around to get angry before doing the vocals. Is that a Syracuse legend or true? What does Karl do to prepare in the studio?

SC: Haha, no that never happened that I remember. Many people don't recognize this, but Karl is a true artist. I'm not exactly sure how he channels his rage, but I know he has his methods, and I feel like that is a personal thing so I've never even asked.

DA: As the member of the band with the producing experience do you feel extra weight while recording?

SC: It can be tough, but I feel like there is so much of me personally in this music that I'd have a hard time not being involved in the entire process. I'd love to have the freedom of popping in, playing guitar and then leaving, but I'm not sure I could ever feel comfortable doing that.

DA: On the last record you pushed Dennis hard on the drums, he delivered some really fantastic drum arrangements I am thinking of Against the Current. How did you guys approach the drums differently on these last two records?

SC: I record completed songs with programmed drums as a guide for what I'm envisioning, then Dennis will tailor them to his playing. When we first started doing it this way, I wasn't sure if some of the things I was programming were even physically possible? Dennis showed up playing them so I guess they were!

DA: You said that this record is not radically different from To the Death. In the past each full length album was so different from the last. Do you feel like you are more comfortable with the Earth Crisis sound than in the past?

SC: I think so. I personally have always been trying to get the perfect blend of heaviness, imagery and listenability. I think To The Death was the first EC record where I felt like we hit that mark. This new one is along those lines, but infusing some character that I feel like To The Death may have been lacking.

DA: Got to ask what you think about international Earth Crisis day on 3/15 ???? Will the new record be ready for that day? Might be a good day to unleash a song!

SC: I think it's funny, and very cool if it catches on! The new record won't be ready by then, and unfortunately I think it'll be to early for a new song too. We'll try and think of something to do though.

DA: After 7th dagger put out the two 93 demo songs do you have any plans to release the rest of the demo? I'd like to, but we are having a hard time tracking down a solid copy of that demo. The sound quality on the SD 7" is terrible, but the rest of the songs we have sound even worse!

DA: Album have a title yet?

SC: No, not yet. I hate that part of the process!

DA: Also on to the death I remember Karl had 19 songs written for that record, two demo takes became bonus songs for the japanese DVD did you end up using any of those songs?

SC: No, those are still sitting around on my computer. I did about the same number of songs for this one. In some ways calling them songs isn't accurate, they are more rough drafts of songs I just didn't feel were hitting that hard. Sometimes though, I go back and listen to them and find pieces that are solid, so it pays to hold on to them.

DA: Any final thoughts before you start recording?

SC: I'm excited to get the recording underway! Every song on this record is inspired by actions carried out by various vigilante groups around the world. Lyrically it's probably the most brutal record we've put out since Destroy The Machines.


Anonymous said...

good read!