CrashCarBurn Throwing Headlights [Interview]
CrashCarBurn Releases New Album
The day has finally arrived! CrashCarBurn has just released their 4th studio album, entitled Headlights. It has been years since fans last saw an official body of work from them.
In a music industry obsessed with producing back-to-back singles, CrashCarBurn chose to take their time and release a full-length record – a defining choice from a group of musicians that understand the importance of identity.
I caught up with frontman, Garth Barnes, to talk about the new album.
Probably the question everyone wants to ask: why the 6-year-long wait to release a new album?
For a while now, there’s been a bit of an industry trend of releasing singles instead of full length albums. We did that for a while and, even though we haven’t released a full album since 2012 (yikes!!), we’ve released a good number of singles during that time. The problem with putting out singles though, is that you’re always writing something that might have a chance on radio, so you miss out on those little gems that might not necessarily be picked up by radio, but are nonetheless great tracks! So eventually we we’re like ‘ok the singles journey was fun, but it’s time now for an album!’
Completely agree! I read that you guys haven’t stopped writing new music since your last album, though. That must be quite a collection of songs by now. How did you choose which songs to add to the album?
Haha! Yes that is correct, six years worth of demos,voice-notes and ideas that had to be carefully sifted through! In the end, the process was somewhat democratic within the band: ‘Ok guys, here’s a truck load of song ideas, which ones do you like the most’. It’s a touch process, there are a lot of tunes that didn’t survive the vote that I would love to have taken through the process…maybe they’ll still get their turn!
I hope so! So, what has changed since your last album, and how different will this one be from your last album?
We think it’s a pretty significant departure from previous albums. I think there are two or three tracks where you could say ‘yeah that would have fitted nicely on one of the earlier albums’, but the rest are quite different. Melody is still the most important thing for us (that will always be the case), but i think in general, this release is much calmer than some of our earlier offerings.
You decided to make HEADLIGHTS the title of the album, even though you say the title-track off the album is the most un-CrashCarBurn song fans will experience. Why did you make this decision?
True, I think fans will be surprised when they hear the song…but hopefully in a good way! Maybe that’s the very reason we all like it so much: because it’s something different for us. These decisions are never easy to make, it’s always weeks of debate within the band before we make a call. In the end, ‘Headlights’ ticked all the boxes: It’s one of our favourites on the album, it ties in with the album artwork nicely, it’s short and it conveys some underlying themes that run throughout the album.
You’ve said about the new album that you “know it’s a risk”. Why do you think this?
Well, it’s a risk because it’s a bit of a departure from what fans would probably expect. Bands have gone down in flames many times in the past where they have deviated unsuccessfully from what earned them fans in the first place. I think (or hope!!) we have gotten the balance right on this album: the balance between giving the fans something new and interesting whilst still staying true to that thing that made them enjoy your music in the first place. I guess we’ll find out! At the end of the day, this is our album and we are very proud of it, that’s the most important thing.
What have you guys been busy with besides the album over the last couple of years, and can this be called your big come-back?
We haven’t been totally absent the last six years, we’ve still put out plenty of singles, its just that this is the first album in quite some time. So we’ve been around, just on a pretty low level. We certainly haven’t gigged much while we were working on the album for the last year or so. Is it a comeback? Nah, maybe a revival. Hahaha!
What’s happening after the album release? Perhaps a country-wide tour?
We have the launch show this Friday (6 April) at the Stanley beer
yard in JHB, then we’re supporting american band ‘Secrets’ at Arcade Empire on 13 April and then it’s off to Stellenbosch and CT on the 4th and 5th of May.
Lastly, what else are you planning for CrashCarBurn in the future? Do you have any big dreams that you still want to make a reality?
I think we’re past the stage of wanting to become the next U2 or Metallica, we’re just happy to be making music and playing live for now. That said, I wouldn’t say no to a world tour before our time is up!
Get The Album Now: HERE
Photos by Andre Badenhorst