Crosses is the diverse new musical project set-up by Chino Moreno (Deftones), Shaun Lopez (Far) and Chuck Doom. Having created a huge buzz over in the States with select live shows, and much excitement throughout the rest of this universe with free download EPs and mysterious teaser videos, things are looking great for this progressive supergroup. We have a short natter with Shaun and Chuck about the band’s inspirations, the witch-house genre and the potential for a UK tour.
“There are really no rules or boundaries when we write”
S] Crosses came about because of your close relationship with Chino (that has developed over the years through touring with Deftones and Far). How do you enjoy working so closely together within a studio environment?
Shaun] “Me and Chino actually worked together in the studio before on ‘Saturday Night Wrist’. I produced the vocals and did some additional production on that record. Crosses is much different, in that there was never any expectations. With SNW, there was intense expectations, and it’s pretty well known that the band wasn’t in the best place.”
S] Has a similar closeness developed) musically and personally between you guys and Chuck Doom?
Shaun] “Of course. Chuck in a way was the reason this even began. I haven’t known Chuck long, but we quickly had some writing chemistry; Chino liked what he heard and wanted to be a part of it.”
S] Was the decision to create music within the boundaries of the witch-house genre (both musically and in terms of imagery) a conscious and consensual one among the three of you?
Shaun] “We make music we like. This whole “witch-house” thing was created by someone other than the three of us. We’d never try to be a part of any scene or genre.”
S] Are you a fan of any witch-house acts?
Shaun] “I like a couple. I think the Salem record ['King Night'] was pretty good. Also, oOoOO has some cool stuff.”
S] Can you talk us through the inspirations and ideas behind two particular tracks – the first being, ‘This Is A Trick’ and the second being, ‘Prurient’?
Shaun] “‘†his is a †rick’ was the fastest track and song we’ve ever made. The initial idea was for an “interlude”. Chuck and I were talking, and I had said ‘we need to make an interlude that is really hectic, but short. Next time we were in studio, he brought over a crazy bass-line and I started programming a beat over it. My first instinct was to go “dancehall” with it. Once I laid the beat down, we figured out that the bassline wasn’t going to work in its current form. Chuck suggested some parts to chop out, so we began chopping this bassline up a lot. Next thing you know we had a whole new bassline from the chops. We never thought this would be a track Chino would sing on. If anything, we were thinking ‘This would be great to get to M.I.A.’. Chino heard it shortly after and said he heard something in it, then went into the booth immediately and what you hear on the final result is seriously not much different from his original idea.”
Shaun] “‘Prurien†’ is the newest song we’ve written. When it began it was a heavier tune that ended up being a semi-pop kind of thing.”
Chuck] “That one was pretty quick also, I had brought in a beat and a kinda heavy bassline one afternoon, we shelved the riff for another time. I went home and wrote the chord changes for ‘Prurien†’ on piano over the beat, came back the next day and we got busy…. you can peep the two seed ideas on our ‘EP††’ download.”
S] How have your experiences in Far prepared you for this project?
Shaun] “I always say make music to have fun. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”
S] Can you describe for us what the key elements of a Crosses track are? Are there any particular processes or tricks involved?
Shaun] “Nothing really. If it feels good to us, then we like it. There are really no rules or boundaries when we write.”
S] We know you’ve always liked electronic music, but how does it, as a genre and style, inspire you differently to the more “rocky” stuff from your background?
Shaun] “Electronic music seems to be always re-inventing itself. The more technology moves and pushes forward, the more electronic music grows from that. Standard bass, guitar, drums and vocals definitely has it’s sonic limits.”
S] Releasing the first EP for free was fantastic for the “element” of surprise; how was the feedback for it?
Shaun] “The feedback was great. I think all we had hoped it would be. We wanted to let people find it on their own and spread it organically.”
S] How does the second EP differ from the first in terms of ideas; what did you learn from the first collection of songs that you’ve taken forward?
Shaun] “With the exception of ‘Prurien†’, all of the songs on ‘EP††’ were written and recorded at around the same time. Like I said, we don’t really set boundaries in Crosses.”
S] Will you tour the UK this year in time for festival season?
Shaun] “I’d love to if the UK will have us. I love it over there!”
S] The live show is going to have a good few people involved – two live electronic drummers, guitarists and Chino on vocals – was it difficult finding a collection of musicians to reinterpret your vision appropriately?
Shaun] “It actually came pretty easy. I served as kind of the ‘band director’ and I’ve known Dino [Campanella, drums] for years. Jono [Evans, guitars] I met probably a few years ago and knew he was a pretty ‘chilled vibes’ kind of dude and a ‘badass’ player. I knew it would work.”
S] Duff Mackagan [Guns 'N' Roses, Loaded] and Far’s Chris Robyn appear on the recorded material at various points, so will they be involved live as well?
Shaun] “Chris will, yes.”
S] In other interviews, you’ve stated you’ve no interest in signing a deal with a major label. Why is this critical for you?
Shaun] “It’s not that we aren’t interested, it just doesn’t seem to make much sense at this point. I’m sure if something came along that was good, we’d have that discussion then.”
S] Where do you believe the future for Crosses lies? How does it sit with the other commitments of its members?
Shaun] “One can never tell how long it will last. It could go on forever, as it’s a part time thing; but we will see.”
For more information visit the official Crosses website.