Q&A with ESMZ’s Crash Richard

June 23, 2018
David Wexler

From the difficulties of love to drug addiction, Crash Richard dives deep into many serious subjects in his second solo album, “Big Waste.” But at the same time, the five-track EP – released on April 20 – is packed with fun, silliness and lightheartedness, as one would come to expect from Crash.

Janglin Souls recently caught up with Crash before a private, intimate show in Springdale, Ark., where he performed many of his new (and older) songs.


Crash Richard

Q: What are some of the inspirations behind “Big Waste” – both the album and the title track?

A: “I was at the beach at the time. The title track came from that setting. Honestly, I just had some things that I couldn’t really talk about in plain words. So I ended up using a bit of satire for a political discussion – maybe views and or observations that I might share that wouldn’t offend a lot of my family. That’s why “Big Waste” is what it is. But I’m saying things about racism and sexism and maybe about the male bravado … So I’m being really silly about it, super tongue-in-cheek, so that it’s not such a heavy song or conversation. But for the other songs, it’s a bit more electrified from my first album, “Hardly Criminal.” It’s a style that I’ve been wanting to tap in for into for a minute – be a bit more juvenile and silly so that I can talk about these topics and again, lighten it a little, lighten the mood, lighten the subject, and have a bit more fun with it…lace it in some kind of silly psychedelic rock-and roll type stuff – stoner anthems, love and silly love – all those subjects.”

Q: What can Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros fans expect from “Big Waste?”

A: “It has a lot of personal stuff.  I feel pretty strongly about romance and I wanted to write about it. I wanted to write about the difficulties of it, so I wrote Le Marché , just about the market of love and partnership and the market of finding and courting. Like most of us, few of us want to die alone. Some of us walk alone and do the lone wolf thing. But I don’t know, maybe I’m too much of a romantic because of being where I’m from and yet I find it difficult. So I write about that. It’s a territory that’s always full of guesses, always full of surprises, trust, and things like that.

I also tell a story about a friend who got married to a cult leader’s daughter. There’s a bit of humor behind the story when he tells it, and I always was fascinated by the story. So I decided to take it upon myself to write a tune about it.

And I write a bit about drug addiction. There’s a part of me that thinks it’s a shame that we’re in the place where we have a national problem with addiction and death and I know that this is also a country full of deeply rooted faithful Christians. I think that that is also a position of service for people who are struggling in such ways. Maybe it be addiction, whatever, mental problems and illnesses that people can have. And I draw parallels to how if a Christian can understand salvation then perhaps they can understand addiction and what becomes a struggle of addiction. And I think it seems like we could call some of those communities higher to help the fellow man who is struggling – the man who doesn’t need as much judgment, but he just needs help. Not that he’s asking for a gimme. He’s not asking for a bunch of benefits and a bunch of freebies in life – he just needs help. I wrote about it in Hell or High Water – about seeking salvation as if it were crack.

Q: What’s next? Are you writing any new material?

A: “The first release is an EP. I think I’ll have a second EP but for now, I’m going to just do the first EP digitally and then maybe do “Big Wasted” or something, a second EP. Hopefully at some point be able to press it on vinyl as a full LP with both EP’s together. It’ll be on all the streaming platforms. And then I’ll have another album or a project that’s going to come after the “Big Waste” stuff, and that’s well into written right now. But yeah, it’s moving along. It’s feeling good. I’m in the driver’s seat right now. It’s nice.”

Q: Discuss the incredible power of music and its ability to bring people together?

A: “It’s relateability. It also changes from artist to artist and song to song. I happen to dwell in depth of emotion and a lot of people write fun records. I like doing that, too. I like writing fun songs and forget about the sadness of the world and just kind of party right now. Those are cool. But the other side of it comes naturally to me – the side that embraces the hardships, embraces the tears and the melancholy. I’ve always been able to relate to stuff like that – the songs that weigh heavy on subjects of struggle and the blues, those types of things. It’s a relatable thing, when I can hear something that I can relate to, and then other people relate to it and coming together because they relate to it. The things that bring us together emotionally I think are linked to music, whether it’s to celebrate or whether it is to mourn, whether it is to protest. It’s more on the emotive side – a place to channel those types of feelings. And we can even do that together.”

Q: We love the video you created and directed for “Ether” off of Orpheo McCord’s new album. How did you get involved with that? Have you directed any other music videos?

A: “I don’t do much music videos, but I had this camera and I thought, why don’t we just go and shoot and I’ve been throwing these effects on some other videos that I’ve been doing it. So I thought ‘Let’s film some stuff up in Ojai – get you in your element about one of your songs,’ and then I can do my thing on it, put my little flair on it. So I rode the train up there, and Orpheo and (his son) Matheus and I were hanging out and swimming – just hanging in the Ojai sun, catching the Ojai rays and the nature. It was really cool, and that’s a cool place up there. So I pieced it together, tried to tell a little bit of a story of him returning from tour and trying to get grounded again and connected with his family and with the earth and with everything just slowing down so you can get back to some kind of normal pacing and day-to-day compared to the often changing and constant travel of touring a show. It was fun. I want to do more. I want to film some other friends and songs and videos and even my own. If I could clone myself and shoot some other things with me, I would, but otherwise it’s just fun to shoot something in motion and move around and do things handheld, and I can’t really do that on myself unless it’s selfie mode. A lot of it was underwater. We held our breath a lot under water. I had Orpheo take his clothes off. I said ‘You gotta get down to your birthday suit to do this one. This has gotta be natural. We gotta get high on nature.’” (Check out the video here)

Q: Where can fans go to find your music and where can people see you perform?

A: “You can find it easier by searching under the name ‘Crash Richard’ – or you can visit crashdangdoodle.com. I’d love to play more shows out in different cities in the country, and I want to encourage people to reach out to me and shoot me invitations and let’s work out a way to make it to where I could come to your town and have a good little private time. I want to do more of that – play out some more around this lovely, lovely country.”

“Big Waste” – Crash Richard

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