How is singing a creative outlet for you? Both in terms of writing and singing live.
I think that doing anything that allows you to voice yourself is a creative outlet. Sometimes it is hard to explain what you are trying to get out without providing emphasis on the subject matter. I think a lot of criteria people come up with nowadays are just words to fill the void. Creative songwriting is what i look for when i go to a show. The music is usually cool but if there is strong subject matter, then that is usually what sets that band apart from everyone else. You really gotta have both strong music and strong views/subject matter to make a mark.
How have you approached writing lyrics and singing for Thought Crusade differently than you did in the past?
With TC, i wanted to get it all out on the table. Nothing or no one to hold myself or the band back from what we wanted to do. If i want to write a song about religion brainwashing our youth, then i will. If i wanna write a song about our economical crisis, then i will. To be honest, that is really my main focus, singing. Not just getting up there and screaming. Actually taking the time to figure out "how this verse can be sung and what we can do with my voice to make the music catch".
How do you view balance in life as related to the song "The Tightrope"? Have you found it easier or harder at different points in your life?
I am not going to go on about, "how my life has been such a struggle", because a lot of us can look that life that way. Life is what you make of it. That song can mean something to one person, but totally mean something to someone else. It's all about how its perceived. I have stayed on the path for quite a while but have been shook a few times. The key is balance. If you have it, then you can afford to be shaken at times.
The song "Bleak Reality" seems to look at the future with a good deal of uncertainty while not wanting to accept the pain that comes with that feeling. What sort experience did you have that made you want to write about this?
I am not sure where my life is going to take me. I mean, there is 80% chance i can tell you how my week will probably pan out, but there have been times in my life where i couldn't determine that. There have been times where i could have lost everything i have and thought "how the hell did i make it through that with out losing something?" It's more less saying that life is a gamble. I had no idea where i was going to go or what I was going to do when i got out of high school. I didn't think i would go to or graduate college, have a career, or even have a girlfriend. But i did and I continue to think what the future still holds. In this day and age you cannot be too sure on anything. The world is very different from the way it was 15 years ago. I didn't think we would ever have a tragic situation like 9/11 or even think that we would have a black president. But it did and we do and that is life.
Can you explain the line in "Pay Your Dues" that says "fighting a war you'll never win signifying that we all live in sin"? To whom is this song speaking?
This is pretty much a song about pe
ople that try to put vices on our freedom. You have the right to think or believe what ever you want and so do i. I don't need so
meone persuading me to join their causes to benefit their well being. We all have our own choices and a lot of people just get fall blind to actually living life. They don't earn their stripe
s to gain any sort of respect. I normally don't like to subject people out, but this more less a shot at the peace punks that have no idea what they are talking about. They train hop, and travel, and then try to pan handle me for change. This is a luxury. A vacation. You are 21 and homeless already. I have way more respect to the 40+ homeless dude then you, any day of the week.
When writing lyrics do you feel like you react to situations around you or do you have an idea in your mind of something you want to communicate?
It's a combination of both. I elaborate on something without making it too biased. I really want it to be something for everyone but sometimes that is very difficult thing to do. I guess you can't make everyone happy as i explained above. I guess i just more or less depend on common sense to help me out with a lot of the lyrics. I focus on a subject or memory or what ever comes to mind and throw in my two cents. If it is a more relevant subject that everyone can get something from, then i like to look at from an outsiders point of view. Writing is hard, especially when you are trying to create something different from what everyone else is trying to do. 90% of the time common sense is my aide to writing lyrics.
What or whom have been some of your influences thus far lyrically and/or ideologically?
lyrically, a lot of the regulars in our scene, Ian McKay really knew how put things together and make it sound good. I like people that you can understand and that are clear. I am not saying i don't like the grit that comes along with punk and hardcore but i really like to know what they are saying without a lyric sheet hahaha. Rollins is very clear in his speech and gets the point across very well. Jerry Lang is pretty good too. ideaelogically? Probably my dad. Definitely someone who has been around to see enough shit go down in the world.
Songs like "Bitter Pill" and "All Talk" have a very blunt tone that and a similar sentiment that seems to carry from one song into the next. Did you feel like there were somethings you really needed to get off your chest when writing these lyrics that just couldn't be said with a degree of empathy but instead needed the harshness with which they were delivered?
Yes. At that time there was a subject that was the driving force behind those songs. I really don't want to get into it but the lyrics were written for reason and for a listener or fan, i am sure they might be able to relate to points in their life were they have been pissed off one way or another.
Is there a certain idea or topic that you are looking to address in one of the new songs?
We are more less going for traditional tones with writing. Going back to the grit of the demo and really staying true to the sound. With IOW, there was more of faster drive in the songs. But with this newer material, we want to revisit the foundation on how this band really evolved and why we did it.
What is it that you want to accomplish with Thought Crusade? What is it that you hope people walk away feeling or thinking?
All i want people to think, is that we are real. We are not pretending to write songs that pertain to our normal lives. We live this stuff. I am serious. We are not fucking around. This is real talk through and through. Sure we may have some fun, but that is outside, off the stage, and in our personal space. I don't care about going to Europe or Antarctica, or Asia. If we go then we go. If we don't then we don't. If you wanna see us play, come to Chicago. If you want to us to play a gig, then contact us and we will work something out. We are men of reason. That is all i can really say. ;)