36 Crazyfists
By Dave Schwartz

In May I was offered the chance to interview Brock Lindow, vocalist of 36 Crazyfists.  I knew that they were about to release a new album, "The Tide and the Takers," and I recalled the fun interview I had with them several years back.  How could I pass on the chance to see what is up with this kick-ass Alaskan band and to see where this new record has taken them?  Here's how it all went down.

DB:  Hi Brock, I appreciate you taking the time to call me back.

BL:  Not at all.  I was sitting here eating lunch and didn't hear the phone ring. 

DB:  Are you on the road right now or taking some time off?

BL:  No, we just got off the road and now we have two weeks at home before we go to Europe. 

DB:  And there you are getting pestered by me.

BL:  That's OK. 

DB:  Well first of all congratulations on the new record, I really like it. 

BL:  Thank you very much. 

DB:  "The Tide and Its Takers"- where did you get the title? 

BL:  Just from umm.  my mind! 

DB:  Woke up one morning and there it was?

BL:  Yeah, I actually had the title for the song before the album.  So the title was just kinda kicking around that way, in that form first off. 

DB:  Well, as you've already mentioned, you just got off the road.  That means you've had a chance to perform some of the new music.  As of this interview the record isn't out yet- how was the reaction? 

BL:  It was great.  It was a really good tour, one of the best U.S. tours we've been on.  We only played one of the new songs the entire time.  We only had a 30-minute slot, so we didn't want too many new songs that people wouldn't know, so we played the first single, "We Gave It Hell."  It went over really well. 

DB:  Now you said the first single, "We Gave It Hell,"  I thought you were going to say "Absence of Saints." My notes tell me that your first video is "Absence of Saints." 

BL:  Nope.  The first video is "We Gave It Hell" and it premieres tomorrow night on "HeadBangers Ball."  "Absence" was the first song we put up on MySpace. 

DB:  Ahh, there it is, connecting the dots.  The debut is tomorrow on MTV, very cool,  I mean, I know this isn't your first video, but it's still exciting times. 

BL:  Actually, yeah, it is way cool.  We are really excited. 

DB:  you mentioned that you're getting ready to go off to Europe.  Are you doing a festival tour or, well, where are you playing? 

BL:  We're doing a bunch of festival dates all over Europe and we have some off-day shows with Bleeding Through that we're going to do in the U.K., Germany and Italy.

DB:  And then you're coming back to America.  I read that you have been added to the "Metal Mayhem" tour. 

BL:  Yeah, that starts right when we get back. 

DB:  This must be a bit of a change of pace for you.  I know that this will be the first time that you've done a festival type show across the United States, how did this opportunity come about? 

BL:  I think this is a mixture of management and our new label, Ferret, going to bat for us.  We have submitted our name to other
festival shows in the past, but never got the nod.  But this year we were picked and we're real thankful for that. 

DB:  I'm sure that you've heard from other bands that this type of tour can be very grueling, as well as rewarding. 

BL:  I think it's just one of those things.  You show up early, you play early and then you've got the rest of the day to kind of hang out.  I've visited "Ozzfest" and friends on "Ozzfest," so I kind of know a little bit about what to expect. 

DB:  Let's get back to your new record for a moment.  "The Tide and The Takers" is like many of your other albums in that, from the opening notes of the first track, it is completely in-your-face.  But later in the album the writing kind of turns inward; you become more introspective.  For instance, the song,  "Only A Year Or So," is that autobiographical? 

BL:  No, actually I met a guy online a couple of years ago who was a soldier in Iraq.  He was into the band and had this idea.  He had this piece of music and I had this idea that he would send me a letter from himself and then from his wife.  We just kind of put a song around being separated from your loved ones and so that's actual letters from him and his wife and I wrote the choruses. 

DB:  That's amazing.  It's funny that just hearing the song I took it from only a musical perspective.  Actually, I'm a bit ashamed.  There are many Americans separated from loved ones these days.  What's amazing is how well the song fits the lifestyle of someone in a band, as well as a soldier. 

The Tide and its Takers Album CoverBL:  Yeah, you're right, it is somewhat similar.  I can certainly relate to separation from loved ones, although his situation is much more drastic, much more meaningful for his family.  I honestly didn't realize how cool it was until after we finished the song and I actually got to meet this guy when he returned home after being overseas two years.  I met him at Fort Brag.  It was a pretty powerful moment when I got to play the song for him, we were both in tears.  It was kind of cool and certainly brought out feelings that I didn't expect. 

DB:  That's a very touching story.  Thanks for sharing.  And staying with introspective songs on this record, "The Tide and The Takers" isn't the song I expected to hear close the album.

BL:  On the past couple of albums we've tried to do an acoustic song. I guess if we ever tried to do a ballad this song would be the closest thing to it. 

DB:  Let's talk about the single, "We Gave It Hell."

BL:  The song is about all the ups and downs the band has been through.  The video is special.  We finally got a chance to shoot a video in our hometown in Alaska, it's something that I've been working on for almost 10 years.  The fine folks over at Ferret let us do that.  It turned out really cool.  We shot over it over a couple of days up here.  We had some professional snowmobiles come in for the video, along with lots of our friends.  We had a good time.

DB:  You know it's always good when you can get a slice of home into the videos.  It's great to be able to show people where you're from and what you're about.  I know the history of the band, you've certainly had your ups and downs and you've talked about it in interviews until you're blue in the face, so I'll try to avoid some of those typical questions- are you guys back in Alaska now? 

BL:  Yeah we are.  I like it here.  We have a really cool music scene.  There's lots of young bands doing some really cool stuff.  We're so far removed from the rest of the states that they get passed up. 

DB:  Well you've told me 'why the glass is half-empty, but maybe it's half-full because, being that far removed, these young bands are developing in ways that are new.  I'm sure a lot of these bands are taking music on new twists and turns and maybe the lower 48 haven't considered.

BL:  Umm, could be.  Could be.

DB:  Your guitar player, Steve Holt, produced this record.  Does the band always do its own production? 

BL:  Steve co-produced the last couple albums and has been doing our demos since we were 18.  Obviously he's someone we are really comfortable with.  I don't think our last label, Roadrunner, believed in it enough to ever let Steve have full reins.  So when we got over to Ferret we didn't really ask., we just told them that we were doing that and they would just have to forgive us.  They were totally cool with it and I'm really happy for Steve.  He got the full reins, the full producer credit and he did a really good job. 

DB:  Well I'm down to my last question.  I had the opportunity to interview you a few years back, it was at the House of Blues on Sunset in Hollywood.  It was right around the end of the hockey season, about this time of year in fact.  So I go walking into HOB and the Flyers are on the TV and after a couple of strange looks in my direction the road manager walked over.  He asked, "Who are you?" and I said that I'm the guy who does the thing and he said, "Is there any chance that we could wait to do this interview until in between the first and second period?" 

BL:  That is hilarious and I totally remember that!  You know, so funny cause there's a big Flyers game today too.  We're just waiting for the game to start up. 

DB:  Isn't it funny how history repeats?

BL:  That is really funny.  I completely remember that and then later I actually found your article and when I read it I was cracking up.  I would love to find that again, it was so funny. 

DB:  Well, you can find it along with all our features in the archive section of our site or just Google 36 Crazyfists and DaBelly. 

We went on to talk about the Flyers and their game that day against Pittsburgh.  Many thanks to Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists for having a good laugh and taking the time to return my call. 

To learn more about 36 Crazyfists, visit  www.36crazyfists.com

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