At the start of this month Alaskan heavy metal quartet, 36 Crazyfists released their eagerly anticipated new studio album Lanterns.
Hailing from Anchorage, Alaska – 36 Crazyfists have been a band for 23 years. The height of their success was found when they released A Snow Capped Romance back in 2004. Around the time of their seminal release the band’s lead vocalist, Brock Lindow married his then-wife, but following 13 years of matrimony together that marriage sadly ended this year. Subsequently, 36 Crazyfist’s new album Lanterns comes from a deeply raw and personal place following this life-changing event for Lindow.
Lanterns is a perfectly titled record created in the midst of Brock (a typically “happy guy”) having turned his entire life upside down. Speaking of the album Lindow goes on to say that “Lanterns’ represents the light we all seek, these songs are all about struggling to locate it and trying to find the way to move forward and get past what has mentally hampered you in your life. Everyone deals with depression on some level. It’s a matter of how you’re going to get out of it, put one foot in front of the other, get up, and live in this dark spot. That encompasses the umbrella of the album. I can say I’m much stronger mentally than I was two years ago when we started this.”
National Rock Review recently caught up with 36CF’s lead vocalist to get the lowdown on Lanterns, the secret to their career spanning in excess of 20 years and the band’s plans going forward into 2018.
NRR: You are currently out on tour across the US, how have the shows been going so far?
Brock: It’s been a long fun run so far, almost out for three months at this point with supporting DevilDriver and now into our headliner.
NRR: Earlier this month you released your latest studio album Lanterns. Could you tell us a little bit about the album and the inspiration behind it?
Brock: It’s a bit of a timepiece into a pretty challenging time of my life a couple years back. Lyrically it’s about the rock bottom, the way out of it and the tools discovered along the way to help remover yourself from the mud.
NRR: It seems that this album covers some deeply personal ground. To what extent do you find songwriting to be therapeutic?
Brock: It’s my constant therapy, it’s my exorcisms, my way of releasing tensions and addressing my missteps.
NRR: You recently released a new video for the track “Better To Burn” from your new album. I understand you recorded the video in your home state of Alaska, which features within segments of the video. Can you tell us a little bit about that song in particular and the idea behind the video?
Brock: Just a cool pairing between the performance of the band and the beauty that is Alaska. Lyrically the song is about the importance of going through whatever ails you and feeling it through a sober mind. Not putting a band-aid on it but actually burning through it.
NRR: In terms of the songwriting process within the band, how does that work – does it start with lyrics or a riff?
Brock: Sometimes either or but mostly the riff.
NRR: Do you have a favourite track on Lanterns and if so which song and why?
Brock: I think they all have their own story, their own life so I don’t really have a favorite but playing “Below The Graves” live has been an asskicker!
NRR: It’s now been 20 years this year since the release of your debut independent album In The Skin, which is obviously a huge milestone for the band and one which few bands seem to reach in this day and age. What would you say is the secret to the band’s longevity?
Brock: The brotherhood, the family atmosphere we have in our camp, were stuck together. There’s just so much we have gone through together and we are proud to be still at it!
NRR: Having had a long and successful career in the music industry is there anything you would have done differently?
Brock: It’s all one big wild journey and we are learning every day so I think the way it’s gone is always the way it was supposed to be. The long slow steady climb
NRR: I understand that a UK tour is on the cards in the not too distant future. I know you’ve played here many times in the past. I just wondered what is your favourite thing about our little island?
Brock: The crowds, the shows have always been some of our favorites, hard to beat the U.K. Crowd!
NRR: Obviously, we are coming close to the end of 2017. I just wondered what are the plans for 36 Crazyfists going forward into the New Year?
Brock: Touring, touring and more touring:)
Lanterns by 36 Crazyfists is out now via Spinefarm Records. The band will be in the UK for a January headline tour with further details to be announced in the coming weeks.
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Photo: Bobby Bates Photography