CROSSON fuses the theatrics of KISS with the catchy choruses and bid harmonies of Queen / The Darkness while delivering a seen to be believed stage show.
Their new release “Spreading The Rock and Roll Disease” was mixed by legendary producer / engineer Duane Baron (Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Poison) and European metal producer extraordinaire Mikko Karmila (Nightwish, Edguy, Stratovarius)
How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?
Believe it not, my first instrument was the piano accordion (Greek father !!) who was devastated when at 16 I gave it up to focus on the electric guitar… The house was never the same after the BOSS distortion pedal and Amplifier shook the walls of the house!! I was into KISS from a young age (.. you wouldn’t know by the way we look!!). However once I saw Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills on MTV, I quickly jumped on the metal train. My first gig was Iron Maiden and after seeing all the fire, smoke and monsters it was an epiphany.
How did you become a guitarist and vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?
I guess I just wanted to be Paul Stanley. It was a natural progression. My brother could listen to a song and play it straight away. I’d try and work something out and ended up with something completely different which led down the path of writing music. Funny how ones weaknesses can actually lead to strengths in other areas!!
What was the local scene in Australia like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
Years ago the Metal / Rock scene was much bigger than it is today. Every weekend you could see a different metal band playing in different venues. There were Glam Bands like the Candy Harlots (who have now been laid to rest) Nowadays, thanks to venues like Franky’s and The Bald Faced Stag, it is keeping the genre alive.
I’m actually listening to a lot of European bands at the moment like Kissin Dynamite, Crystal Ball, H.E.AT, Shakra, Crazy Lixx, Vega, The treatment, StOp! sTop!, Axxis to name a few.
Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?
I may look wild in all the regalia, bit I actually don’t do drugs and drink very little (one or 2 drinks socially and that’s about it) . I train at the gym and swim 6 days a week and do hot Bikrim yoga 3 times a week. Most of the creative juices flow late in the evening in the studio when I get into a zone!
How would you best describe your sound?
CROSSON’s music can be described as Theatrical Melodic Glam Rock with catchy choruses and gig harmonies!!
Is doing ticket pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?
I understand it from a venues owner point of view. They have bills and staff to pay and they can’t afford to have 10 people in the audience. Unless bands have good managers, they really need to go out there and bust their guts to get people to see them. Its marketing and as such should be treated just as importantly as the music and the image. A crappy band that promotes themselves will be more successful than a great band that nobody knows about. Social media is really accessible and bands should use this avenue.
What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?
… As a youngster it was ABBA and Bay City Rollers (showing my age now!!! ), then I discovered KISS and just had to get the entire back catalogue. I’d spend my school holidays going to 2nd hand record stores and picking out CD’s and Vinyl on anything that looked slightly rock and Metal.
DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?
CROSSON is still DIY as far as putting the product together (music, image, videos etc.) . This way we still own our masters and everything associated with it. We have a licencing deal with a Metalapolis Records in Germany who press, distribute and market the album throughout Europe.
Its wasn’t easy getting a deal. I literally had to hop on a plane to the other side of the world to meet with the label to show I was serious. However, when this album was completed I wouldn’t settle until we got a deal.
My advice is to be patient and go out and shop your product when you have everything in place i.e. well produced great songs, a great image and some good videos. It makes it much more appealing to a label to knowing they don’t have to develop an artists from scratch.
Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?
Probably have to say an outdoor festival in Sydney a while back. I’m always nervous but as long as I’m well prepared and rehearsed the nerves tend to dwindle a bit. While others tend to have a few drinks before a show I prefer to stretch and get into a mental state. .. Once I’m up there though, I tend to just get into auto pilot and do what I was born to do. I’d love to have my own personal masseur on tour like Jon Bon Jovi does ………one day!!! J
Is commercial rock radio dead?
I think streaming like Spotify and online Metal radio programmes are the thing at the moment. I love the fact that within a few seconds I can listen to whatever album I like.Online metal shows I learn about so many new bands!
Favorite songs on the new album and why?
My favourite tracks are All About The Music, Lies & Take Another Shot. For me , these are they catchiest tunes. That being said others like Taxman, Spreading The Rock N Roll Disease and Rip Out My Heart.
Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?
There is a new song called Never Give Up, which will be on the next album due for release in 2018. Its the add lobbing at the end singing “Never Give Up , Never Give In, when it’s tough … follow your dream”… Sends a shiver up my spine every time!!
Are there any political or social issues hidden in Crosson songs ?
None at all. CROSSON is about fun and uplifting music. I’m an entertainer not a politician.
What was the process of putting the songs in order.
Spreading the Rock N Roll Disease was always going to be an opener due to its strength and its also the album title. With the others I put the strongest ones at the beginning and also close on a high note . That’s why we put Rise as the last tune.
What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?
Would love to have some more guitars hanging off the wall… my wife would kill me though!! Due to the cost of touring, some indorsements to carry the burden of putting a CROSSON show together would be great… Anyone out there reading this… feel free to contact us J !!!!
Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?
It would be great to open for KISS, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi as these were my childhood heroes etc. We are grateful for whoever takes us on board and it’s a blessing playing to whoever wants to see us!!
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
Oh Boy, this interview is getting dark J !!! .. Better bury me with some Stryper albums… just in case I’ve been a bad boy!!!
Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
Thanks to you Iron Serbian for having us and congrats on the great work you are doing at Capital Chaos and for defending the faith and keeping the genre alive and kicking!!!