Crash is a New Orleans-based singer-songwriter. He is also a member of
Edward Sharpe and the Magnectic Zeros. Crash is playing the Riot Room
on September 14th. He recently discussed how he became interested in
music, the creation of “Motion Animal” and his strangest night out in
NOLA. For more info on Crash, check out
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
Not really. my paw-paw played bass all his life, but nothing formal.
He has been in many bands with his fellow veterans over the years. One
band was called The Lizard Creek Ramblers. That’s too cool if you ask
What was your earliest musical memory?
Silly you ask. I can remember singing with my brother to the Chipmunk
Christmas records, if you want to call that musical. I haven’t shut up
Who are some of your favorite vocalists and why?
Frogman Henry is the shit because he can sing like a girl and he sings
like a frog. I’ve always loved Art Neville’s voice, too. He’s a slick
dude. His work as The Hawketts was major.
How did Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros get started?
Alex came into the studio where me and the Deadly Syndrome were
finishing up our debut record. Nico and Airin produced both those
records, but I remember sticking around once Deadly were done because
I was enamored. I felt like something special was about to go down.
There I was, seeing this band take shape, so I decided to invite
myself along. Haha. That’s at least how it started for me.
What first got you interested in New Orleans R&B?
I guess just growing up hearing it. I was genetically predisposed, I
suppose, plus so many of those songs about heartache and good times
alike. Guys like Al Johnson and Lee Dorsey. It’s a great recipe to
How often do you find yourself writing songs?
When i’m moved to, that can vary. I don’t like forcing it, but
sometimes that’s the craft.
How do you go about creating songs?
Sometimes I have to set out on a thought or idea and begin to source
the pieces. Other times, I just get the heck out of the way and let
the thing happen. All these things change when recording. even playing
a song a bunch live before recording it allows it to take shape. That
way you can shape it in the moment, discover new things before going
How did the song “Motion Animal” come together?
I was with a couple friends practicing another song I wrote and we
were taking a break for the moment. As musicians do, we began playing
what we were rehearsing, but this time around we were casually playing
it, slower and in this lighter, sexier mood. Believe it or not, this
mood cleared enough fog for me to see ahead to what it could become, a
bigger soul song. Weeks later, I decided to can the original version
and move more towards the way we were playing it when messing around
that time. Then, it began to grow and grow into “Motion Animal.” We
began to play it live in the Ed Sharpe sets, which aided me in
finishing the writing. To this day, it still seems to be growing.
What inspires you lyrically?
One of my biggest goals with lyrics is to use the words in song that I
would in my speech. Talkin’ like a local Yat and telling stories is
all I really care about. I don’t want to be pulling out no
dictionaries or nothing like that.
What is your preferred NOLA bar of choice and why?
Erin Rose and The Saint have always been two of my favorites in terms
of dive bars. I remember going to Dixie Tavern and Nick’s on Tulane
before being of age to drink. Man, I love New Orleans for that.
Spotted Cat is always a great staple to intro folks to the live music
scene. There are so many great bars and places like that in NOLA. You
What has been your strangest night out in NOLA?
The night I should have been arrested or beaten up for being an ass.
It involved lots to drink, lots of acid, getting ripped off trying to
buy more drugs, lighting coasters on fire at the bar, witnessing
brawls, and putting my hands where I shouldn’t have. I remember
several nights like that and I wasn’t even out of high school yet. How
am I still alive?
Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
“Always for pleasure” and “Laissez les bons temps rouler.”
You’re playing the Riot Room in Kansas City this year. What do you
enjoy most about playing Kansas City?
Honestly, the fact that KCers want to come hang out with me and listen
to these tunes, man, that’s the business. Let’s dance!
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your
I don’t read sheet music, nor am I much of an instrumentalist, but I
write songs, and I sing. Not going by the book, I have to depend on
instincts, ear, feeling, mood. any technique I picked up along the way
was from experiences, and not study. The good news is how this can be
a blessing just as much it is a challenge. I’m better off heels up.
What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
Not so serious,no expectations, only for you.