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Santa Cruz

In november vorig jaar bracht het Finse Santa Cruz hun derde album uit getiteld 'Bad Blood Rising', een energiek werkstukje. Tijd dus om bassist Middy Cruz aan de tand te voelen over hun recente album, waarbij ook zaken als invloeden op de sound van Santa Cruz en het metalklimaat in Finland de revue passeren.

Door: Wim R. | Archiveer onder hardrock / aor

First off, congratulations on 'Bad Blood Rising' a great album!
Thank you so much!

As Santa Cruz isn't a household name for our readers yet, could you give an introduction and where the band wants to stand for
Our band is here to prove all those who say that rock is dead are wrong. We're a four piece out of Helsinki Finland formed in 2007 and just got our third album 'Bad Blood Rising' out few months ago and at the moment we're on a European run to support the LP. What comes to music we usually want to leave it for listeners to decide what boring genre box they wanna shove us into but to put it simple Santa Cruz is a honest rock band with a modern seasoning.

How does the song writing process work within Santa Cruz? Did you do things differently for 'Bad Blood Rising' compared to your two previous albums?
Well, Archie and Johnny have always been in charge of the songwriting but this time we started with more raw demos than before and got to our rehearsal place and spent about the month there finishing the songs. Cause previously the demos that we've had have been pretty close to the actual versions that made it to the album. This time the demos we're more like ideas that we could work on together.

In my review of 'Bad Blood Rising' I compared your music with that from the US rockers Skid Row. Can you live with this comparison, or am I way of track here?
Skid Row was one of the bands that got us started at the first place so you got a point there. So we'll live to fight another day.

Talking about other bands, I would say you guys are quite influenced by the 80s US hardrock movement, also known as the hair metal age. Is this true, are bands like Skid Row and Guns N' Roses your musical heroes?
Yeah, like I said, those bands were our major influences when we got started and they still are today. The difference is that these days we're taking influences from a wider range of bands and musical styles. We're not as tunnel-visioned as we used to be.

Some people would say that your kind of music isn't modern enough and it has all already been done 30 years ago, so it will only appeal to those who already were around in the 80s. What is your opinion about this kind of criticism?
I think in most of those cases one must have seen a promo shot with four longhaired guys and made their conclusion based on that without bothering to open the wrappers and blow the dust of ones cd player. But looking at the front row during our gigs I bet that not a single one was already born when ‘Appetite For Destruction’ by Guns N' Roses actually came out. But freedom of speech ay?

It seems that Santa Cruz likes to keep things under own control, for example you produced 'Bad Blood Rising' yourselves. No need for outside advice or is there another reason behind this?
When we are in a situation where we are able to do that, then why bother to drag someone in the studio and try to explain our vision to him or her? But there are no rule about not having other people working with us or anything like that.

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'Bad Blood Rising' has been released November 10th. How are the reactions so far? Did the international metal press treat you nicely?
I don't read reviews that much, but as far as I've heard most of the press has taken it with an embrace. Or maybe it's just that the bad reviews are not forwarded to us hah... "Don't tell the band the bad news".

Recently the band did a small European tour in promotion of the album, but you only covered Scandinavia, the UK and Germany. Will this be the only European visit, or are things just getting started? Maybe some festival appearances coming summer?
Due to an occasion called Christmas we only had time to do so many shows this year, but there are already plans for another European run that's gonna cover more countries than the ones we did until now. To put it this way; we played about 200 gigs after the previous album so we're just getting started, here don't you worry.

If you could make a dream come true, with which band would you very much like to go out on tour with, and why?
From the bands that are touring at the moment I think Avenged Sevenfold would be a perfect match and Guns N' Roses. Wouldn't mind playing for 60,000 people every single night.

You have been around for ten years now, if you look back are you satisfied with what you have achieved until now? Or are there things still left to be desired?
To me I think we've really been around since we got our first album ‘Screaming For Adrenaline’ out in 2013. And since then I've been really happy with the progress, for example now we're doing our first headline tour in Europe instead of opening for some other band. Last year was our first time in Japan and I think next year we're going to visit a few places we've never played before. Still the thing is that it's a great big white world out there and lots of places to explore. So there is plenty of work to do and lots to achieve. Now is not the time to start looking back, yet cause that stuff belongs to a memoir or something.

You guys hail from Finland, a very healthy metal country, with great names like Nightwish, Amorphis, Apocalyptica, Children Of Bodom, Turisas, Impaled Nazarene and Ensiferum, but these bands clearly play a different kind of music then Santa Cruz. Nevertheless you make a fine addition to this list, and I wonder if there are more bands like yours from the land of a thousand lakes that we should know about.
To be fairly honest with you metal is still the big thing in Finland. Lots of people ask about that and think that Finland is the new promised land of hard rock but it's not. Sorry if I crush expectations but Finnish kids make rap music these days rather than walk into a nearest Guitar Center. The kids either have a spirit of Tupac inside them or then they tend to worship the main man bringer of light but no upcoming Bon Jovi here.

Okay, that's it for now. Thanks for your time, have you got any messages, info or thoughts you would like to share with the Lords of Metal readers?
We hope to come to Netherlands next year and till then; take care you pretties.

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