It seems like just yesterday where I would sit and watch MK for hours, ogling over soaking wet band members splashing in the waves, belting out everything my angsty teenage heart wanted to hear! Finally, post-grunge South African superstars, Crash Car Burn, announced their return in the form of "Headlights". Would they return with the same fervor and gut wrenching tunes or are they taking on a new angle?
I had a chat the the guys to see what we can expect from their latest offering!
Q: Since your last album release, have you guys continued to write music? Or was it a sudden burst of creativity that spawned this album. If you have been writing, why take so long to put it all into one package?
A: Nope, we never stopped writing! For a long time we'd been following the industry trend of releasing singles in stead of full length albums. Even though we haven't released a full album since 2012 (yikes!!), we've released a good number of singles during that time. The problem with putting out singles though, is that you're always writing something that might have a chance on radio, so you miss out on those little gems that might not necessarily be picked up by radio, but are nonetheless great tracks! So eventually we we're like 'ok the singles journey was fun, but it's time now for an album!'
Q: It has been six years… How has your aging, or maturing, influenced the content of this album or has your mindset remained the same?
A: That is very true! I think it's a very positive album. It's not like we're angsty teens anymore...we're all happy, relatively well adjusted adults now hahaha! So themes of appreciation, love,perseverance and optemism are there throughout the tracks.
Q: The producing and mixing of CrashCarBurn tends to involve international names in the industry, this album specifically involved Chris Brink in the UK. Why did you choose to involve him with this album?
A: Chris is a long time friend of the band (He actually used to play bass for CrashCarBurn in 2005/6) and an amazing engineer. When we record, it's not like it's a given that Chris will mix. We generally send a test mix (kind of like an audition for engineers) to a bunch of engineers before we decide who is going to mix the album and every time, Chris comes back with the best mix and gets the job!
Q: Album recordings always have their highs and lows, but what was your most fun or funniest part (or moment) of the recording process of Headlights?
Garth: For me my favourite part is when the vocals finally get recorded. It's then that the song really comes alive and it gives me a thrill every time.
Brendan: My funnest part was experimenting with drum sounds on "Nobody Wants You". We used tea towels and a 1970's drum kit to get a vintage and muted sound that really works for the mood of the track.
Photos by Andre Badenhorst
Q: Most bands strives to give every album a unique sound and to differentiate it from the previous works. How is this album different and why should old and new fans give it a listen?
A: I don't think we necessarily took a firm decision to go for a different sound on this album. The new sound was, I think, a result of our songwriting approach which was different this time around. In the past, we’d all pile into the band room with a basic idea and then and flesh out the song very much by feel i.e. 'how does this FEEL when I play it live?'. The approach worked well for us in the past, but on the down side, what this method did was immediately eliminate any slower songs because they just weren’t ‘fun’ to play. With this album we tried a very completely different approach: We sat down and wrote in the studio and only asked one question ‘does this SOUND good?’ regardless of how boring it might be to play. I think it’s that process that allowed songs like Nobody and Headlights to see the light of day.
Q: Lastly, do you have an album launch tour planned for Headlights?
A: We do have a bunch of shows coming up in Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Centurion and Jozi as well as a festival or two. Can't wait to share the new songs with everyone! All our gigs are up on our facebook: Facebook.com/crashcarburn.