Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy Squeeze

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Johnny Witmer

Where is the band from?
The band is based out of Los Angeles, CA. The band members are from different parts of the country, world including Cleveland, Portland, Chicago, Boise and Vietnam.

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Johnny Witmer: Lead Vocals/ Lead Guitar
Johnny Sleeper: Lead Vocals/ Drums
Frankie Delmane: Lead Vocals/ Guitar
Dat Ngo: Bass

You guys have a pretty impressive roster of previous/current bands (Stitches, Teenage Frames, Superbees). How did the band get together?
Sleeper and I were playing in a band with Jimmy Greco (pro Skateboarder) and Francois (Motorcycle Boy) called The 10'ors in 2007. We did some shows, lots of practice and even recorded a few songs (still unreleased, but amazing. Someone should put this out wink, wink...) we all sang in the 10'ors so you had four different styles. Other members had some other stuff going on, plus Sleeper and I had a bunch of rehearsal time booked, so we split from the 10'ors and just started a writing session.

We messed around for a few months looking for people. We ended up getting Logan Graham (original guitar player from The Stitches), and Tara (Ciril) on bass in 2008. Logan had some issues, and left. We were always interested in Frankie Delmane (Teenage Frames) as a replacement, and he wanted to do it. We carried on with some new Frankie Delmane songs added to the mix. Tara left in 2010, and we got Chris B (Richmond Sluts) on bass. He stayed for a little over a year, and then now we have Dat Ngo (ex-Superbees). We even had world famous DJ Mark Weddington on keys for a few months.

How influential is living in Hollywood to the band’s sound? I ask this because on the Facebook bio it reads “Living life loud 'n fast, with a unique mess of star studded filth, Hollywood grind, and a nasty habit of producing heart [throbbing] hit songs.”
We love Hollywood, because it's always been dirty & sleazy. I've lived in Hollywood since I moved to Southern California in 1993. Even though most of the underground music scene has moved to downtown LA, Hollywood is still Rock ‘N’ Roll town #1 in the world!

What led to the decision to put out the debut 7 inch on Rapid Pulse?
Jim Budds is amazing! He's run Underground Medicine mail order for years. He was always a fan/supporter of The Stitches. He sent me a text (or maybe I sent him one), but we agreed to do the debut 7" on Rapid Pulse and No Front Teeth records. Jim did a great job getting the record pressed, and Marco (No Front Teeth) did the fabulous artwork!

Explain the monkey character. Most bands just have the name as the logo, but for a while it was incorporated into the logo.
We still feature the monkey in one way or another on all artwork. I'm like a Silver Back Gorilla; Sleeper is like a giant skinny orangutan. Frankie is like a sophisticated chimpanzee, and Dat is like a tall spider monkey! Ape is the plan, and we're here to prove it!

50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think affects music in anyway?
Water is still free at a lot of places, and people still make records, and CD's. At least we don't have 100,000 shit bands making indie 7"s on purple vinyl anymore, but now they all have YouTube videos. File sharing/ streaming is just technology. Hopefully it will attract more fans for good bands, and you'll see more people at your shows. You don't have to know a cool kid, with an awesome record collection to make you a tape anymore; you don't need to buy the magazines to find out the latest craze. Everything is online, and everyone is a writer. You see nine million posts from people from Facebook to blogs. Most of it is crap, but there are some people out there with great taste. Those people should like the Crazy Squeeze...

Where can people hear the band?
www.facebook.com/thecrazysqueeze or type in Crazy Squeeze in a search on www.youtube.com

What’s next?
We have a new LP coming out on Vinyl Dog in the USA, and Wanda Records in Germany. Northwest tour in fall 2012, European tour in spring 2013 (if the world doesn't end in Dec.)

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