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Interview: Crisis In Hollywood

Sean recently spoke with Orlando, Florida band, Crisis In Hollywood about the bands new album, 'Safe and Sound', its inspirations, the bands influences and working with Bayside's Anthony Raneri.

ATP: First of all, who are you and what is your role in Crisis In Hollywood?
Andy Wambach, I play drums in Crisis in Hollywood.

ATP: Whats the story behind the name Crisis In Hollywood?
Andy: We spent a full day sitting in a bookstore trying to come up with a band name. It was a full 8 hours of searching through obscure chapter titles and catch phrases, but nothing caught our attention. We left feeling a bit defeated, but on the ride home something was on the radio about Paris Hilton, and I blurted out "we should call the band Crisis in Hollywood", everybody loved it so it stuck.

ATP: How did the four of you come together as a band?
Andy: We had all been in previous bands that played together in the Orlando scene. A couple of us even lived together for a while. It was just a timing thing, we were all looking for projects at the same time and decided, what the hell, let's just start something.

ATP: You've just released your second album, 'Safe and Sound'. How would you describe the album to people who arn't familiar with your music?
Andy: I would say the album is for fans of pop AND punk, we get classified as pop a lot, but generally tour and play locally with punk and hardcore bands. Our individual tastes lean more towards the heavier side, which we've been told is apparent in our music. We wanted to make an album that anyone could appreciate. We branched out a bit on Safe and Sound to include some more dynamics in the songwriting, hoping to cater to the softer side of our audience. I think the album is simply a pop/rock album, and anyone who digs bands like Jimmy Eat World, Yellowcard, or Four Year Strong should be able to get into it.

ATP: The album was produced by Anthony Raneri. How did the collaboration come about?
Andy: We knew a guy, who knew a guy, who had a friend... Actually we only knew one guy out in LA who heard the first album and immediately thought of Anthony. Anthony was looking to produce a new band and we managed to get a copy of our first album to him via our mutual friend. He liked what he heard and called us up a few days later to see if we wanted to write a new album. We are all HUGE Bayside fans so this was incredible news. We got to writing, wrote 18 songs and were emailing ideas back and forth to Anthony before he came down here.

ATP: What was it like working with him?
Andy: It was an honor, like I said we were all huge fans of Bayside and Anthony's songwriting. Our only hesitation was not wanting to be one of those bands that has songs written for them, luckily, Anthony's approach was quite opposite of that. He already liked our songs and writing style, and we had the freedom to write the entire album ourselves. It was a huge help however to have a seasoned ear like his listen to our songs and offer suggestions for dynamics and structure. He was a great guy to work with, professionally and personally.

ATP: When you were writing the album, what influenced and inspired you?
Andy: Well, to be honest we weren't prepared to write an album, we had only been touring on the debut album for about 6 months before we got the call. The fact that a musical hero to us was interested in producing the new album provided a lot of the motivation and inspiration. We try not to listen to much pop/punk music while writing, because it's just to easy to write duplicate material in this genre. We all get inspired by different artists, but some collective favorites to listen to are bands like The Descendants... those guys were writing pop/punk song way before it was the cool thing to do, and we feel like we would rather get inspired by legends like them, instead of one hit pop wonders.

ATP: Which bands/artists have influenced your sound?
Andy: This is a tough question because we have a very wide array of tastes, but some collective influences include The Pixies, Bowling for Soup, The Descendants, The Queers, and New Found Glory to name a few.

ATP: When you play live, what can fans expect?
Andy: We pretty much live on the stage. We have all been playing and touring in the music scene for a while, and one of the first things you notice with up and coming pop/punk bands is that more time seems to be spent on their hair, clothes, and dance moves then it is on putting on a great show. We have really tried to focus on giving the audience a professional, yet insane, rock experience at our shows. We want people to come hear us live and think two things. First they should think they sound as good as they do on the record, and second those guys know how to put on a good show. Hopefully it translates, the reality is we just love paying and hope it shows. We may not be the best dressed band at the venue but we will certainly rock harder then anyone there.

ATP: What do you have planned for the summer? Any Tours?
Andy: We do! We are hitting the East Coast again for a 3 week tour in June with our pals Hand to Hand on Lifeforce Records and select dates with the The Casting Out (ex-Boy Sets Fire). After that we are putting together a 3 week West Coast tour, possibly some dates with Hand to Hand as well on that one. After that, who knows, definitely more touring, we plan on spending the majority of this year in our van.

ATP: What does the future hold for Crisis In Hollywood?
Andy: Hopefully Warped Tour next year, thats already in the works. We want to make it to every State at least once over the next year and then just keep it rolling. Everyone is in a band nowadays and the only way to make things happen in this biz is to get yourself in front of as many people as often as possible and thats what we're doing. We will also be looking to do some more festivals in the future. We played a few this year, like Sunfest in West Palm with punk rock legends, Pennywise, and we really enjoy the festival format for shows. We're already writing new songs for the next album and hope to keep releasing stuff yearly if we can.

ATP:Do you have anything else to say?
Andy: I don't think so... but whoever called Florida the Sunshine State was full of shit.

'Safe and Sound' is available now through Financial Records.
More information on Crisis In Hollywood can be found here.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!