Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Classic Crime Interview

  The Classic Crime has had a lot going on recently, from signing with BadChristian Music, to working on an anniversary album for the bands 10th anniversary. I wanted to catch up with lead singer Matt MacDonald and ask him about the new album, as well as get a little history on the band.  My questions are in white, and Matt's answers are in blue

Can you give us a little background history on how you personally got started playing music?

  I grew up in a hymn singing church, where I would often hear harmonies sung and mimic them. I took piano lessons as a young kid, and in the 5th grade, I learned to play guitar at school. My mom, who was always very supportive of our talents, noticed that I enjoyed it and purchased a classical guitar for our home. On my 16th birthday I got my first Stratocaster and started writing punk/rock songs immediately. I guess at that point I knew I liked writing music and being creative with melodies and words.

What were some of the other band names considered before settling on The Classic Crime?

  I can't remember... I think one of them was The Red Line, or something like that. Which is funny because it's similar.

How would you describe your sound musically, and who are some of your influences?

  We have many influences, but the ones people hear are Brand New, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World. For more general music listeners, I tell them we're a cross between the Foo Fighters and U2.

What is the main message that you are trying to convey to listeners through your music?

  There is no main message, as I don't believe music has artistic integrity when it's sole goal is to teach. Music is art, and art is an expression of the soul. It's more than just getting point across, it's about entering into a feeling, being connected to an emotion, and expressing oneself.

You guys just recently signed with BadChristian Music, what led to that partnership?

  I've been friends with the Emery guys (Matt Carter & Toby Morrell from BadChristian) for years, and in recent years we'd had a lot of conversations about independent music, as both of our bands have become independent. I had a lot of ideas about how to do it successfully, and they happened to enjoy hearing those ideas, so I started to help them out with a few projects. After seeing the inside of the company, I realized it was a great opportunity to get resources to help TCC's releases, so a partnership was formed.

You guys have a new anniversary album coming out October 27th, called “What Was Done, Vol. 1: A Decade Revisited”. What inspired you to make an anniversary album? 

  Ten years is a big feat. The modern music industry can chew up and spit out a band in one-record flat, so we wanted to celebrate the fact that we're still here, due mainly to the fact that our supporters have stood by us.

What can listeners expect from this album?

  We've re-arranged and re-recorded some older songs, hoping to bring them back to life for those who've appreciated them. Originally, it was supposed to be a mostly acoustic record, but since we received so much support, we got carried away with layers of strings, auxiliary percussion, pianos and lots of other things to make the tracks interesting. We've also added two brand new songs to the track listing, just to make sure we are always bringing something completely new to the table.

The Classic Crime has been around for a decade now. Congratulations on that! How would you say that your band has grown the most over the last 10 years? (Musically, Lyrically, etc.)

  We've definitely grown musically as our tastes have changed, and we've tried to incorporate that into each new album. We've never liked the rinse-repeat approach, so we've always tried to push the boundaries a little. Ultimately we've learned to do this because we love it. It's not a job or a career anymore, it's become a passion again, which is what makes us so happy to write and play.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

  Either quit, become a hobbyist, or give everything to it. Those are your three options. If you're in school, working a 9-5, and you think you can make it a career, think again. As with many things in life, it's really competitive, and you have to give everything to it in order to get anything out of it.

 What is your favorite tour story, and would you mind sharing it with us? (Funny, inspiring, just plain awesome, etc.)

  One time, Alan (Clark, our bass player), had to go to the bathroom on stage. He had a wireless bass... so he simply walked off in the middle of the song and went backstage. He continued to play from the bathroom, even strumming between wipes. I didn't even know he left until I saw him come back. We all had a good laugh.

 Five Random Bonus Questions
1. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Have kids.

2. What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

Any kind.

3. If you had one day to do anything, anywhere, what would you do?

Sky dive somewhere nice?

4. What is your favorite movie line?

"Don't condescend me, man..." -Brad Pitt's character in True Romance

5. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you? (or something they would never guess about you)

I'm part of a scooter club that wears animal helmets. I'm the Lion.

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