Finally, Auusie fans will get to see them in the flesh at Soundwave 2014. We got to have a chat with front man John Reis AKA 'Speedo' about the upcoming tour and what's been happening over the last few years...
How excited are you guys to head down under for Soundwave? Is this your first time playing in Australia?
No actually we have been there at least two or three times before this. We are totally excited to come back, really looking forward to it.
Are you ready to endure our brutal summer weather?
You know what, I really hope that it is brutal. We are from San Diego, California, so it doesn’t snow here or anything like that, but there is a difference between our winter and summer. It get’s a bit cold sometimes, at least for me anyhow. So when it’s Winter here I’m really looking forward to going to a place where it’s Summer and hopefully it is quite warm. I have been there once where is has been a 110 or 115F… I don’t know what that is in degrees centigrade but it was pretty fucking hot.
What can fans expect from your stage show because I hear you have quite an amazing brass section and unique image?
Well I don’t think it’s super unique, it’s actually pretty traditional. It’s very traditional rock'n'roll kind of line up of the band with a saxophone, trumpet, two guitars and a bass, drums, a whole lot of shouting. You know, I yell at people and tell them funny things.
Out of all the many brilliant songs that you have written, tell me what’s your favorite and why?
Ah, I don’t have a favorite song really. You know that’s not to say I am totally in love with them all, but they are all my babies. I do like everything we play… you know… enough to play them, to shout it and to jump up and to share it with others. But there’s not a song where I’m like 'oh this is my favorite song'. I have favorite songs by other people but not so much my own. Sometimes things just happen, sometimes there are these cool moments as a band that you just click and things sound different to you. You know you might do something accidentally and for that moment that could actually be your favorite song. It’s kind of like a sand castle, you build a sand castle, something that you really like and then it’s just gone, the tide washes it away and then you make another one.
After you all disbanded, what was it like coming back into the scene again? Were you guys excited? How did you think your fans would respond and did you receive the welcome back you were expecting?
Well yeah, I was expecting a warm welcome back, it had been a long time and people were happy to see the band and we thought that if we got back together again and played that it would be fun for us. For me, I love the people in the band and I love the songs and playing, so for me it was an easy decision to say, ‘yeah lets play again’. The response has been good, it’s been great, to tell you the truth the years that we stopped playing kind of went by really fast and the last time we played actually seemed like a matter of weeks as opposed to years.
Well we were a band for 18 years and we kind of did everything that we wanted to do and nothing lasts forever. We played in all of these great, cool places and made great friends and recorded thousands of songs, made hundreds of records and we just kind of had done it. We hit a point where it felt a bit like repetition and the truth is that there is nothing wrong with repetition. It was the whole lifestyle of being together and playing and when you do that you don’t really have time for anything else, you don’t have time for a family and to pursue other interests and to enjoy the things that are right at your feet. You know for me it was a conscious decision to re-connect with who I was outside of the band.
I suppose you need that break in a way, to come back fresh?
(Laughs) Well I can’t really claim to be fresh but I’m not entirely stale either.
I hear that there’s talk of you guys bringing out a new record. Is this true?
Well, it’s not true but it’s not false. It’s just that there’s nothing happening at this moment. We are just really enjoying playing shows and having fun. We haven’t started recording a new record or writing any songs or anything like that… it’s just fun to play again. That might just ruin it too. Let’s say we made a record that we really liked a lot and we feel like we were re-defining the wheel and we came upon something musically that we felt we were incredibly proud of and we wanted to share with other people …and well we only just started playing again too so people aren’t going to want to hear 12 brand new songs, they kind of want to hear the songs that they have been used to hearing and that they love. I mean some people grew up listening to us, be it not very many people but some people have been listening to the band for quite a long time. It’s one of those things where we are very happy and content to play those songs. It’s been a while since we have played them so they almost feel new to us. We are just very happy to go and travel and to hook up with friends that we haven’t seen in a long time and hopefully make a couple of new ones on the way and to just be the weirdos that we are.
What actually inspires you?
I really get off on the connection with people who have the same rock'n'roll perspectives as I do or as the band does. People who hear and look at things the same way that we do, and I hope it doesn’t seem to grand to say, but to be able to bring people together in a way. Music can do that; it can make you realize that we have a lot more in common. It creates moments for me that will burn forever, in what’s left of my mind, that’s the things I am really excited about still. It’s also the desire to just captivate people and to rub your nuts off on their ears … to rub a little bit of your stick off on them… you know I really like that.
You guys have been a band for a while now, are you happy with what you have achieved? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Well it’s still happening, I haven’t really spent any time reflecting; it’s more like what’s next. I’m always playing and I’m always doing stuff. So it’s always just about the next idea or challenge, waiting for the next voice in my head to direct me and take me to the place I need to go. You can’t have any regrets necessarily because I’m not done, I’m still doing things. If you have a desire to do something, you just fucking do it! I’m sure most bands feel the same way, it’s the on going creative process, the music doesn’t stop, it just keeps going.
Tell me a secret I would love to know, is there anything special waiting on the horizon for Rocket From The Crypt?
Well it’s all special to me, I’m really enjoying it. We look forward to just everything that we are doing, just the newness of playing again, we are all just still in that second honeymoon stage of our band.