The Crash Bandits: We play ten songs in nine minutes

Categories: CD Release
Photo by Carter Haaland
The three young men, no longer boys, of Minneapolis band the Crash Bandits are crammed into a booth of the bar portion of the Triple Rock. Empty beer glasses sit on the table between the three friends as they open up about their new album and excitedly make plans for the next week in Austin, Texas for SXSW. Their third record, Closer, captures much of their charged energy, something that is not easily contained.

Before their album release at the 7th Street Entry -- a place they claim as the "best venue," then glancing to see if anyone has heard, add, "After the Triple Rock, of course," -- the trio shares with Gimme Noise about the new album and moving on from their old fanbase.

The Crash Bandits came together during the interim between the end of Matt Brown and Nick Westgor's old band Skies Alive and Kevin Goff's the King and the Thief. The three had been friends for many years and decided to casually jam for fun when they became musician orphans. In TCB, Matt Brown took on a new role with lead vocals, something that he missed out on in Skies Alive.

Music is second nature to all three members. Brown grew up in a musical household with his brother Pat Brown -- formerly of the Semester and Sing It Loud, currently as a solo artist who tours with Mod Sun. "Of course my brother was a huge influence on me. You kind of grow up with that hero worship of your older siblings," Matt says of his brother. When Goff comments on how big of a fan he was of the Semester, Westgor adds, "I guess you had to settle for Matt when Pat wasn't available to be in your new band."

With the lead singer role for Brown came songwriting duties. The group would get together and play for hours. Brown shares, "We wrote so many songs, and we'd forget them every time. We'd practice, write songs, play covers -- this went on for a while until we finally said we should form a band." Kevin adds, "We eventually had to record our demos so we'd remember them. There were a lot of songs that got lost in that time." When pressed if any were good, all three laughingly answer simultaneously, "Probably not."

Brown continues, "We had a very 'not-give-a-fuck' mentality about the band, which was awesome. The group started out as not being serious, and our goal was to have fun -- we still adapt to that."

That adaptation led into the direction of the sound. The trio wanted to move past the pop-punk sound that they were related to and into more of a punk/grunge aesthetic. Nick gives some insight into the sound, "We keep everything short and sweet; we play ten songs in nine minutes. If you're gonna tune, you gotta find time to fit it in -- sometimes that's after the song is over."

This mindset has found a way into the way in how they have released their music -- in quick succession. In the two years that they have been together, Closer will be the third album they will have put out. Matt shares, "We're always writing; bands should always be doing that. Never stop."

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