|Bitterness The Star (2002)||A Snow Capped Romance (2004)|
36 CRAZYFISTS is a band that came straight out of the icy depths with an agenda to prove that some things are too hot even for Alaska. With Mick Whitney on bass, Thomas Noonan on drums, Steve Holt on guitar and Brock Lindow on vocals, the foursome has toured with the likes of Canira, God Forbid, Chimara and touring on the European Road Rage tour with Killswitch Engage and Five Point O. They have also been featured on the soundtrack to MTVs’ Headbangers Ball. Mick sat down and talked to R.A.G. before a show recently and this is what he had to say.
RAG - Define your style of music.
MW - That’s a hard one. Everybody doesn’t know where to put us. I think we’re just a good rock band. A lot of people look at us as “scream-o” with the metal melody thing going on.
RAG - Who were your major influences?
MW - Well … I’m the oldest guy in the band. (laughing) My influences are like Sabbath, Zepplin, of course, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, early Metallica, early Ozzy albums, Rush. The newer stuff…Deftones, maybe some Living Sacrifice, Quicksand and Refuse.
RAG - How did the band get its name from the Jackie Chan movie?
MW - Yes, exactly. Our guitar player Steve is a karate flick nut. That’s one of the names he wrote down in high school. They made me watch the movie when I joined the band.
RAG - How long have you been with the band?
MW - The band’s been together since ’94. I’ve been with the band since ’96. The bass player before me – he passed away in a car wreck! Through mutual friends back home in Alaska … we came together that way.
RAG - What are some of the other bands that you’ve been in?
MW - Not many, really. The band before this … was a local band back home called Damien Crank. It was together for 5 years. Before that, I lived in Hollywood. I graduated in 1986 and went from Anchorage, Alaska, to Hollywood, California. I learned a lot about life.
RAG - Did you ever meet anybody that were your influences?
MW-I got to party with Paul Dianno. I used to see the guys from Guns N Roses all the time because they partied with the gals that lived below me. In fact, on their “Appetite For Destruction” album they thank Gabby and Abby. Those were the girls that lived underneath me. I’d see them all the time, but never met them.
RAG - What were some of the bands that you’ve toured with?
MW - We’ve toured with Chimera, Dicast, God Forbid, Five Point O when they were together. Agents Of Man. We did an overseas with Killswitch (Engage) and Five Point O too. That was awesome.
RAG - Are there any differences between the “Walls” tour and this one?
MW - Yeah (laughs). The Walls Of Jericho guys are awesome. If you were to look at the sheets at the list we have of cities and capacities, it goes from 150-300 people room capacity venues to 800-1200 people venues. That itself alone … this is like a rock show versus a hardcore show which can be more intimate and cool, too, in it’s own way.
RAG - Do you have any memorable experiences, good or bad?
MW - (Laughs).
RAG - That you can talk about.
MW - Yeah … well on the European tour I drank Absinthe for the first time. I don’t remember much about that night. (laughing). I know my gut and my cheeks hurt from laughing so much. So, that was good. Everyday is something. A lot of it is hurry up and wait and then good times when you don’t expect them. This tour has just begun, so there hasn’t been a chance really yet.
RAG - Where in the U.S. is your biggest fan base?
MW - I believe Philadelphia is our biggest. It’s weird … you’d think back home in Alaska would be. We went home in February and played a convention center there. We sold it out for 2800 people. But when we turn around and counted the album sales, it was only 200 and something. It was weird. You can see how much the Internet actually doing.
RAG - What about over in Europe?
MW - We do a lot better over there. They end-capped us over there in the U.K. recently, so that’s cool. I don’t know actual numbers. When we did the Road Rage tour our sales doubled over there.
RAG - Can you tell us about the show in Fresno, California, with the run in with the police?
MW - Yes, I can (grinning). It was an all-ages place, so there wasn’t any beer. Somebody in the club got busted with beer. Steve and Brock were out by our band loading gear, just having a beer by the van…no part of the club or nothin’. When the cops rolled up they decided to pull the “power trip” thing. “Take everything out of your pockets, get on the ground.” They cuffed ‘em…all that stuff.
RAG - Really?
MW -Yes … total bullshit! I didn’t see it because I had gone back inside for something, and when I came back out, it was all done and over with. They sure pulled the power trip on ‘em. They (Brock and Steve) went through a bunch of crap all over one stupid kid.
RAG - What effect do shows like Uranium and MTV Head Bangers Ball have on your career?
MW - I think it’s opened up a lot. It gets your creativity and art out there and more people are going (to) come to your shows that didn’t know about us. I think it’s definitely a very good thing.
RAG - Who is your latest release “A Snow Capped Romance” different from your debut “Bitterness”?
MW - “Bitterness” had like 3-5 songs that were 4-5 years old when we did it. “Romance” is much more fresh, more where the band is at now. More mature. I think it’s better now everyone came together and how those guys arranged stuff. Better vocals. The lyrics Brock wrote are more mature. I noticed when he started writing he got 3 songs under writing and he says to me “I’ve noticed that I’m not putting any cuss words in my stuff.” I was like “Right on!” He tried to make it cool and not be able to cuss, which results in our stuff being in WalMart…which is good. “Snow Capped” is definitely more mature.
RAG - “Star” was more on the depressed side for songs.
RAG - “Snow Capped” is more on the positive side.
MW -Totally … I think Brock had a lot to get out on “Bitterness” and on “Snow Capped” he’s missing home and kind of reflecting how we’re all missing Alaska, but we’re here doing the music thing and that’s first.
RAG - How does that affect your live shows going from depressing songs to positive ones?
MW - I don’t think it affected us. We all want to rock and get it out. I know for me personally, playing live is the only place where I can feel that aggressive. I don’t think the albums effect our live shows. We’re still trying to give 120%.
RAG - Do you ever get used to the days having sun all the time?
MW - I love it! I don’t mind it at all. Winter’s the one that’s hard to handle. In December in Anchorage, you get about 5-6 hours of daylight … that’s it. I used to work in a warehouse and go to work at 7 and come home at 5 and never saw daylight. It was dark when I got there and dark when I left. If course, in the summer it’s just the opposite. You come outside in June and from whatever happens … a few drinks, whatever, it’s 2 in the morning and the sun is down but the sky is still lit because the sun is just down behind the mountains.
RAG - What are the plans for the future as a band or individuals?
MW - Right now … one day at a time. Try to tour as much as we can on the “Snow Capped” because before this tour it was a month and a half with Chimera, a month with Canderia, and than a month and a half over seas, then we were done. We’re hopin’ that this will be a little more so we can spend the next year out to promote this album. Make a little living … maybe (laughs).
RAG - It there anything else that you want to say to your friends or fans?
MW - Thank you … thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you purchased the album or dig our music and support us … thank you. Especially our families. None of us would be here without our families. Everyone’s parents, I’m married, the other guys aren’t, and their girlfriends have all been behind us at all times.
Troy- I would like to thank Maria Gonzales and Jeff Hill for all of their support.