Questions asked by Jon Wilde, added to Rock Realms 12th April 2010.
Crazy Lixx - Danny Rexon on vocals, Andy Dawson on guitars, Joey Cirera on drums and Luke Rivano on bass - formed in Malmö back in 2002. Their new album New Religion is utterly fantastic, so we thought we'd better find out why...
Andy Dawson answers questions on behalf of the band.
Hi Andy, thanks for taking a moment to answer these questions. Hope you are well?
Andy: Hi Jon, No problem! I'm great... Hope you are too!
First of all, congratulations on the new record; I assume you are proud of it?
Andy: Thanks a lot, I don't feel so much pride...more 'satisfaction'. A lot of hard work was put down in 'New Religion' and I'm glad we're done.
How did Crazy Lixx get together?
Andy: Well, Since I just been in the band for two years now my facts are not so strong hehe, but Danny and Vic started 'Crazy Lixx' back in 2002 and Joey joined pretty early as well, Luke joined later, maybe in 2004. When they started 'Lixx' back then this style of music was gone in Sweden so that's way Crazy Lixx, together with bands like Crashdiet, got titled 'New Wave Of Swedish Sleaze'. It was the beginning of a new era, a huge expansion has been going on since then. Just see how big today's scene is...
Did you make a deliberate decision on what the band should sound like...or did it simply evolve into what you are today?
Andy: We all were agreed on what kind of sound we wanted for 'New Religion' within the band but since it is Danny and me that writes the material we kinda shaped the sound, but I think it came naturally to us while writing the songs. You kinda know how you want it to end up, I mean you already hear it in your head. We did pre-productions of the songs just to fill our producer Chris Laney's head with ideas and stuff and he really understood what we wanted; like he read our minds. When he added his artistic abilities to the album we had the sound.
Who would you list as the main influences on your playing/writing styles?
Andy: Well for my personally the list is long, I mean everyone from Aerosmith's 'Steven Tyler', 'Desmond Child', the 'Gunners' to 'Lady Gaga' & Toto inspire the writing. My playing is also influenced by a lot of artists, not only rock-musicians. But some heroes of mine are Richie Kotzen, Yngwie, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mark Knopfler and John Norum.
When did you start writing new album ‘New Religion’?
Andy: Oh, I think...if I remember it right, the first ideas came in the summer of 2008.
How does the writing work? Is there one main contributor or are the songs a band effort?
Andy: It is me and Danny who write, but Danny does it more. We wrote some of the songs together on the album like, 'My Medicine', 'Voodoo Woman', 'Rock and a Hard Place' and 'What of our Love', but a lot of times we write individually.
What inspires your lyrics, and do you really recommend people lock up their daughters when you are in town?
Andy: Oh that's a tough question. I guess anything can inspire a lyric. I really like what Danny put together in the song 'Children Of The Cross'. It's a very pretentious song, a sad tale about child abuse coming from not only Christianity, but religion overall. One part of the lyric I especially like is; "Love taken, God forsaken, Failed by the one they relied on, They are they children of the cross.." Most importantly, this is the only song in the song bank of Crazy Lixx that I really can call timeless to one hundred percent. 'Lock up your Daughter' is written by Danny so I don't know what inspired him there, It's a rock n'roll tune in the style of Alice Cooper, Guns N'Roses that thing.
How does ‘New Religion’ compare in terms of sound and quality to your first release ‘Loud Minority’?
Andy: I think it is much better played by the band & recorded better. The songs are a lot better, there are a few real great songs on 'LM' but generally the songs are better on 'New Religion'.
Has it made a difference having the backing of a label, or did they only come onboard once the record was finished?
Andy: No, Frontiers signed us after hearing demos of the album. I think we sent five songs and, of those five, only two made the album. But yeah, it's a big difference especially for distribution and promotion. It's great!
What was it like working with Chris Laney, and what did he bring to the album?
Andy: Chris is awesome and it was great working with him. He brought a lot to the album. He really wanted this album to be as good as it could be and we together worked really hard. Chris really understood our vision of how we wanted the album to sound. It felt like he crawled into our heads and just made it happen. His also did range-stuff that was awesome like the song 'Road to Babylon'. That song was not even properly recorded as a demo, but he saw potential and made it happen. That really amazed me. Overall he's fabulous.
Did you use any special techniques or instruments on the album?
Andy: Yeah, a lot of stuff. Another great thing about Chris, he dragged in all this cool guitar-stuff, real old amps like a Fender deluxe from perhaps the 60/70's, a 'Rockman Guitar Amp Processor' that I know Def Leppard used a lot and we used the Rockman a lot on the song 'My Medicine'.
Do you enjoy the writing and recording process, or do you prefer being up on stage playing live?
Andy: I really enjoy both, but the writing process is really special - at least it was for this album. A lot of great times shared with Danny. Recording is a lot of pressure, mostly because of the lack of time. Of course, playing live can be totally amazing!
Any plans to come and play the UK?
Andy: Actually yes. Nothing is confirmed right now, but I know our booker's are working within the UK as we speak.
Where did the idea for the album artwork come from?
Andy: I guess from me and Danny. I have always been really fond of the whole 'Voodoo' thing, Needles and pins, medicine men and African beliefs in witchcraft. That's cool! Me and Danny drank a lot one night and we tried to put this concept into a song, mixed it with sex and we got 'Voodoo Woman'... then the idea of the artwork came.
You guys sound like you enjoy or a party or two. What’s the most amusing thing you’ve ever done when drunk?
Andy: Hehe, so many things have happened when drunk, but one time that comes to my mind now is when my good friend Markus (drummer of 'Jailbait') and I threw Ivve's (the singer from Swedish glammers 'Pretty Wild') girlfriend Josefina down a jetty into the water. She was wearing these expensive clothes and shoes, then she cried and we drank beer in the sauna... but of course we apologised later.
What are you up to once you’ve finished answering these questions?
Andy: Actually we have a concert tonight here in Malmoe, Sweden and tomorrow we play in Stockholm with Hardcore Superstar, Heat, Bullet and so on, so I'll pretty much just play music.
Thanks again to Andy for his time. You can check out the Rock Realms review of Crazy Lixx' latest album New Religion by clicking here.