Estrella: Can you please state your name and what you do in the band?
Kristian: My name is Kristian and I sing for Crime In Stereo.
Estrella: Your tour with The Swellers kicks off today, how did you guys get together?
Kristian: We became friends of The Swellers probably about three years ago, they became good friends with us before they were even a band. We were initially going to do a headliner but since The Swellers and us are about the same size, we decided to do a co-headliner and everything fell into place after that. Mutually, we both wanted to work with This Time Next Year, so it came together rather well. Better and faster than most tours in the past.
Estrella: What are you looking forward to on this tour?
Kristian: Tonight, Chicago definitely. Detroit is always good and we play some Kentucky shows. Really, all the shows I am really excited for. This is the first tour in awhile where I feel like every single show is going to out do the previous show.
Estrella: When this tour ends Crime in Stereo is heading overseas, what are you excited for with that?
Kristian: Playing on the show with Bad Religion and Aerosmith. We are doing some festivals over there and the rock festivals are every big band you can imagine and then Crime in Stereo. It is going to be surreal but I am sure we will have a good time over there.
Estrella: When choosing a setlist for the concert how do you go about doing that?
Kristian: We like to change it up every night. A week into a tour you get used to what’s going to flow. Having as many songs recorded as we do you never know what people want to hear. We will do a heavy set of old songs but halfway through realize kids aren’t super into it so we bring up new songs and kids go crazy. It is hard to engage sometimes we fail and sometimes we pass. There are worse things to fail at.
Estrella: For this tour, will it be primarily songs off your album, I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone?
Kristian: It is going to be a solid mix. We have played up to one song, two songs from Explosives, two songs from Stateside, two songs from Dead and then some new songs. We definitely try to diversify as much as possible.
Estrella: Your new album, I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone, what was the recording process like for that?
Kristian: Our standard, living in a basement for a really long time, never really seeing the light of day. Perfecting the songs we ended up with.
Estrella: Do you guys live together when you’re recording?
Kristian: No, no, we recorded in our producers house Mike Sapone. He works out of his house who gets better sounds than most million dollar producers so we are really lucky to have time.
Estrella: When creating I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone, how many songs did you start out with before narrowing it down to the 11 on the album?
Kristian: It is not so much start off with than what happens along the way. A lot of times you just go into the studio with rough ideas and flush them out as songs. This time around it was some what similar, half material we came in with and half material we wrote in the studio. It’s good because it is always a surprise in the end what the record is going to be and for us I love that. If you put as much time as we do into being a band the end results of recording is always the best part of it. I am really excited with the finished product.
Estrella: When recording an album and you have leftover songs, do you save them or throw them away?
Kristian: In the past we released Selective Wreckage which is a collection of random b-sides. We never intended on doing that but Bride 9 (Records) came to us and said, “These are great songs we would like to release them,” and we agreed. We loved the songs but they didn’t fit into the record at time we were doing them. We put a bunch of songs together for that b-side records and whether we do it in the future we don’t know, but the response to that record was really good. Probably somewhat down the road we will do it again.
Estrella: How did you come up with the title I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone?
Kristian: It is like the band. We never really fit into a genre. We have always been hardcore kids carrying ourselves like a melodic I don’t even know what type of band. It is kind of how we are, never can put into words what we are doing. If you love us – you love us, if you hate us – you hate us a lot. It is who we are, it is who we have been. Most bands start off with a sound but as musicians, we have progressed our songwriting and our records have progressed. I know, for me personally, as far as singing is concerned there is a time line of my progressing as a singer. From Explosives and the Will to Use Them and our demos to now. I think that is really cool because you look back and see in Explosives that teenage anger and passion. Then, you slowly see us start to grow up and as we start to grow up we learn how to harness that passion in different ways. Whether it be not necessarily screaming in this part, but instead making it quiet and ambient and then going into the heavy part. We learned how to write songs and how to structure them out properly. Like I said, we are really happy with the end product of what we came out with.
Estrella: Crime in Stereo released “Drugwolf” back in January as the first song off I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone, why that one first?
Kristian: I don’t know, when the songs were put together we always felt that would be the song to release. I still agree with that, it is definitely a “radio friendly” song, it is definitely a grabable song for people right now that are not necessarily into punk rock or hardcore or whatever you see us as a band being. We all love the song, it is definitely a song we are all happy to of put out first.
Estrella: On your website you guys sometimes blog, is that something you will continue with?
Kristian: Yeah, you know we are a bunch of comedians in our opinion, in our own heads we are comedians not musicians. It is cool to have the willingness in some shape and form to leave a documented weekly what happened to us.
Estrella: Talk about ‘Lost’.
Kristian: Yeah and it makes my mom happy because she sees where I am. Yes, we heavily talk about ‘Lost’, it is kind of sickening actually.
Estrella: What is a song you never get sick of hearing?
Kristian: Good questions. Silent Majority “Polar Bear Club”, and it’s the song “Polar Bear Club”, not the band, although I love Polar Bear Club. I would say Johnny Cash does a cover of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt” and after reading about his life and going back hearing that song you can hear the pain in his voice of all the people he lost along the way. Maintaining a public imagine throughout your life until your death and there is something about that song you can hear every bad thing that has ever happened to him in his voice. To this day, I can turn that song on and get chills.
Estrella: Have you always been a Johnny Cash fan?
Kristian: Yeah, my father was so it trickled down. My parents are very, not musically inclined but lovers of music and it was always in my house. No one ever thought I would be doing this at 27 years old but they are super supportive of it.
Estrella: What is one of your favorite lines in one of your songs?
Kristian: “Not Dead”, ‘It’s in your four song seven inch. It’s in your pawn shop instrument. It’s in the West, the Pacific sun descends. It’s in your best friend’s basement. It’s in your head.’ It kind of describes this band, describes what bands go through. The passion and what we become as a band, all of that stems from the music we came from. Whatever you think this band is, we have always carried ourselves in respect to bands that came before us like Silent Majority. A band that is willing to push the envelope but at the same time spend as much time with the kids that came out to see them as humanly possible because they are the reason your here.
Estrella: What is something you have always wanted to do, but have not done yet?
Kristian: Tour Asia, South Korea, Indonesia, places like that. It is going to happen eventually, only a matter of time. We played a lot of really cool places I never thought I would be, so that would be icing on the cake.
Estrella: Has Crime in Stereo played in every state?
Kristian: For the most part other than Alaska and Hawaii, which we are trying to do Hawaii and Alaska as well. Whether it happens I don’t know but it’s weird because I find myself looking out the window where I used to be completely lost and now saying, “Oh, I think I’m here,” and being pretty close to right. When you are driving 18 hours throughout the country everything looks the same until you get to the mid-west. The west is more desert and I have been able to see where I am based on traveling through over time.
Estrella: That is cool though!
Kristian: Yeah it is.
Estrella: If you could see any band or artist perform any song live, what would it be and why?
Kristian: Anything from The Clash. I would quit playing music right now, if I could see them play. It is a band that growing up I never knew how much they influenced what I love and when I grew up I realized and wished I was a part of that in some point of my life. Although, I never would have been able too because they were out of touring circulation by the time I was of any age to appreciate it. I would definitely say The Clash.
Estrella: Any final comments?
Kristian: Buy our record, The Swellers have a new record, This Time Next Year has a new record out or about to come out. Support those bands and buy our record.