AS A LOVER OF ROCK IN MANY OF ITS FORMS THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYTHING FOR ME TO TOUCH A DROP OR TWO OF GOO OLD-FASHIONED SLEAZE. AND THE GREAT NEWS FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME, STUCK (BY CHOICE), IN THAT LATE EIGHTIES TIMEWARP IS THAT OUR FRIENDS IN PLACES LIKE SWEDEN ESPECIALLY ARE MAKING SOME REALLY GREAT MUSIC. THE SECOND COMING OF SLEAZE? WELL SOME OF US ARE CONVINCED!
BUT THERES NO DISPUTING THAT SOME OF THE MUSIC OUT THERE IS JUST AS GOOD AS THEY USED TO MAKE IT BACK IN THE DAY. CRASHDIET HAS ALWAYS BEEN REAL NEAR THE TOP OF THAT TREE FOR ME AND SO IT WAS GREAT TO GET THE CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH ERIC IN THE LEAD UP TO THE BAND'S FIRST AUSTRALIAN TOUR...
Mark: Hi Eric, thanks so much for taking the time to speak to therockpit.net! So what brings you down under? Is it the weather, the women or the cricket?
Eric: (Laughs) That’s a good question, well actually it’s the promoter that brings us down. I’ve always wanted to come to Australia, I’ve met a lot of people from Australia, and you are such nice and open people and like such good music. We hear that we have a good following down there and we always tend to steer the ship where maybe we can have some fun! And of course if we have people who love our songs we want to go and play our songs for them. It’s a mix of everything, while we are there we want to have some nice days off and do some surfing and barbequing, and all that sort of stuff!
Mark: That’s great; it sounds like you’ll be hitting all of our traditional activities that we like our guests to get involved in when they come over!
It’s interesting that you’ve come over for such a short tour, is it just a testing of the waters, to maybe come back later with something bigger, if all goes well?
Eric: Yeah, basically that’s it, we’ll come down and see what happens, and we’re in the middle of doing the next album, so we wanted to keep it short, to leave more time to complete the album. We are going to try and have the new album out by April/ May, next year, and release around that time in Australia, and then maybe come back and do some more shows, maybe a longer tour next summer or fall.
Mark: That’s good to hear, and as we’re based on the west coast, and we’d love to get you over here too! We understand that with the mini tour we’ve interrupted you from finalizing the DVD as well. How’s that coming along?
Eric: The DVD is coming along well, the thing is we were in the process of finalizing it now, but then we thought to ourselves we’ll wait and put in some stuff from the new tour, with Michael Monroe, etc.
Mark: That sounds great, and we’ll talk about those dates in a while. We actually reviewed a couple of your live shows earlier in the year, one of our reviewers caught you on the Hardcore Superstar tour in the UK, and then on to Holland. He said you guys were absolutely amazing live!
Eric: We had a great time
therockpit.net caught Crashdiet earlier in the year in the UK
Mark: So now to you Eric, what made you pick up the drumsticks in the first place?
Eric: It was an old friend of mine when I was about nine or ten years old, who was taking saxophone class and they needed someone to keep the beat for them, while they were doing these awful saxophone tunes! So, it was like grab these sticks, and sit here and do this, and it was fun and keeping the beat wasn’t a problem for me, so it took off from there! My inspirations from there were Nirvana, Pantera and Metallica. The music that definitely opened my eyes was Nirvana.
Mark: So, what sort of things are you listening to now? Are your musical tastes different these days?
Eric: Actually it just became more extreme; I tend to broaden my music spectra every year, by looking at soft music and more extreme music. I really hope I continue doing that, because I don’t want to get old and stop listening to Cannibal Corpse and stuff like that, and that’s what keeps me going!
Mark: That’s interesting because I did find that on Generation Wild there was a lot more variety on that release than there was on the first two CD’s. Is that something that you think comes from those varied influences that the other members of the band and you may have?
Eric: Yeah. There were more songs on there that I wrote, I became more involved in the song writing, and so definitely, that’s probably what you are hearing. And also Generation Wild is an album that we, all four of us, worked really hard on in completing. Everyone had something to do with everything, so I think that’s also what you are hearing; all four of us were working as a band.
Mark: It sounds like Simon was quite involved as well, being the new person, I expect it made the transition easier for him, getting right in and writing the material.
Eric: Yeah, definitely, that’s what I was so pleased about, to see that he wouldn’t have done it any other way. He wanted to be part of it and have an input on everything, and that’s how every member should be, ultimately that’s you up on the stage expressing yourself, and if you can’t do that you should be in a cover band or just be a musician!
Mark: I think there are a lot of us out there, especially those of us that love our Sleaze, who see Generation Wild as a really important album and if it had been put out back in the day it would rank up there with the best of them. What sound are you going for on the next release?
Eric: It will be similar. The fans already know the Crashdiet sound but you always get worried when you start writing material and you wonder how much you struggle to stay true to your regular sound. But this will be similar, and it will come out sounding like Crashdiet whether you like it or not!
Mark: We would love to come and see you on tour, and a lot of us will be heading east. Did you realise you are up against Def Leppard on those dates?
Eric: Yeah, I know. I’m not too concerned about that. I talked to our promoter about that, and basically the tickets are about three times as high to go to Def Leppard, and they’ve been before. This is the first time we’ve been and we are a young band, and so I’m not concerned about that.
Mark: Yes, I think there’s a good scene, both in Melbourne and Sydney, and I think you’ll get plenty of people coming. Just by looking at some of the forums on the internet, you should get a great crowd. We hope so anyway because we want more bands like Crashdiet to visit us!
Mark: You are now signed with Gain, which is an independent record label, distributed through Frontiers, which have now got that global coverage. How does it compare being on a smaller label, because you were on universal for a few years? Did you feel lost on a bigger label?
Eric: Well the thing was, the bigger label gave us what we needed, i.e. the knowledge, and the money to get started, and that’s the great stuff with a big record company, with the big fat wallet they can spend money on promotion, videos and all that stuff. The guy that signed us and brought us to life was a Swedish guy Anders Johansson, a top A&R man here in Sweden, and he found us outside a liquor store, handing out demos to passers by, and he thought we looked interesting and he brought us to Universal. That started the whole circus of ours. Nowadays, we are on a small label called Gain, and we get more attention because they have less bands, obviously, on the bill for them. We also get more focused work, here in Sweden the distribution is through Sony, so basically it’s the same set up, and now we have that base from which to work from so we don’t need the big bucks and all that stuff!
Mark: It’s great to hear from a band that has had a positive experience like that when you hear so many disappointing stories about labels. You also have one of the best websites out there, plenty of downloads for the fans and plenty of content, and it also seems to be updated frequently as well.
Eric: Oh, yes, we are on it all the time!
Mark: You also have some more exciting tours coming up, the UK with Mike Monroe and also just a few US dates so far co-headlining with Pretty Boy Floyd. How big will that US tour be at this stage, do you know?
Eric: At the moment we are looking at two weeks over there, and booking as many dates as we can. It’s like a showcase/ press trip to the States, just to stir up some water and see what happens over there.
Mark: Are you looking at the East coast as well?
Eric: No, I think it’s just going to be the West Coast, but anything is possible, we’ll see what the guys come up with!
Mark: Tell us a little bit about the show you did with Ozzy in Stockholm? Was that the biggest and best show so far?
Eric: Yes, that was a great show at the Globe Arena; it’s like a big golf ball! It’s a great building, they have ice hockey there. It was a great night opening up for one of our idols, of course, it was a good moment for us, and we needed that. Hopefully people liked our show, even though it was only 25 minutes, but we came out quite intense and it was a good energy show.
Mark: It must be great on nights like that to work with people you particularly admire. Just a few quick questions before we go. How would you sum up the whole Ollie saga with the band? Was it something you’d rather forget?
Eric: Let’s put it this way, Ollie was not right for the band, and lets face it you go for something sometimes that turns out not to be the correct thing, it’s as simple as that, and that’s why it ended.
Mark: I think now you have the perfect front man, he looks really at home with the band, and seems to be going down well with the fans as well.
Eric: We sure think so
Mark: I could chat all day, and it feels like we’ve only just scratched the surface; very quickly then, if you could have been involved in the creation of any album or piece of music, in the history of rock, what would it have been?
Eric: I would have wanted to be part of Reign in Blood by Slayer, because that was really a cool album, and I would have loved to be part of that and see how minds work when you create an album like that! That would give me a lot of inspiration and insight in to how these fucking serial killers think!!
Mark: Finally, an easy one, what is the meaning of life?
Eric: Wow, the meaning of life is to never look back, and just have fun, you never get younger, you only get older, so live every day to the maximum, and that’s my motto!
Mark: Any final words for Australia?
Eric: Well, basically, I’m so much looking forward to coming down there, and hopefully see you guys at a show, bring lots of energy and we’ll bring ours, and have lots of beers!
Mark: That sounds great! Thanks very much for your time, Eric, and I hope you enjoy your stay down under!
By Mark Diggins
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