YAH got to chat with Tad, the lead singer of the band The Crossing! Check out our interview below.
YAH: How did the band come about?
Tad: Well actually, the Crossing started out as just a song: “True North”. It was a collaboration between myself and the other guys and honestly just a bedroom recording. We recorded it, (hammered it out in an hour or two), and I drove home. There was a facebook page published to show family and friends the song, but it didn’t quite take off. We practiced a few times, but I moved on to solo stuff. The following year, I got a call while I was in Portland that someone “loved your voice dude, he wants to meet you and maybe sign you.” I agreed after a couple days of thinking, and we signed as a band a couple months later. There’s more, but I’m sure you don’t have two hours to hear it (laughs).
YAH: I know you’re all from California. How does this influence your music?
Tad: You know, I think there’s something to be said about the musical culture in California. It’s definitely different. I couldn’t describe it exactly, but there’s definitely a sort of electric “We’re young, we know it, we don’t care, let’s have fun!” energy, and it translates into the music; especially via pop-rock, pop/punk, etc. I think people that grow up in California (especially in the 80’s and 90’s) all have to have some sort of soft spot for feel-good rock.
YAH: How did you come up with your band’s name?
Tad: At first it was a name that we came up with that simply described the collaboration between me and the other guys; but it definitely morphed into something that was more so about the throes and hardships (as well as happy and rewarding times) of having to cross the terrain of “Just-out-of-highschool through being twenty-something”.
YAH: What do you draw inspiration from with your music?
Tad: I personally listen to a lot of very emotive, raw music. People like Damien Rice, Glen Hansard and other bands like Frightened Rabbit, etc. What’s interesting is how that influence translates (for me) being in a pop-rock band. Those guys are definitely not pop-rock, but what I take from them is the raw, emotional honesty, a sort of conviction. That’s really important for me to have in a song, so I take that element and weld it in with rock progressions, catchy melodies and lines and hooks that people can really sing along with. That way, I’m making intimate parts of myself and my song, accessible to anyone who will listen.
YAH: I really enjoyed the music video for Atlas, who came up with the concept for it?
Tad: Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. I’ll be honest, I felt so dorky filming that video. I had brought the wrong jeans, I had broken out on my face, so it’s safe to say I didn’t feel my most confident (laughs). As for filming that video… That’s a whole different story. It was AWFUL. We had so much gear to carry (and of course it’s all awkwardly shaped, heavy, hard to carry), and we had to carry it about a mile from where we parked; downhill at first on rough terrain, mud, rocks, drops. Then from there, uphill. It took us about an hour to shoot the actual performance shots, and six hours total to load and unload. Jordan Pulmano and Steven Darling (guitarist) filmed it . As for the concept, I believe it was Steven and the head of the label that picked up the “Pay-it-Forward” idea.
YAH: What kind of sound can we expect from your album?
Tad: If you’re talking about the “True North Ep”, it’s very throwback late 2000’s pop-rock. If you mean the upcoming album, “The Wild”, it’s a mix of a lot of different things. If I had to combine a bunch of bands, it’d be a mix between: All-American Rejects, OneRepublic, the Fray, Imagine Dragons. Obviously not quite on their level (laughs), but you get the gist of it. There are a lot of hooky songs on it, I would say almost cover to cover. The album breathes, it definitely has an ebb and flow.
YAH: Do you write your songs? If so, what is the writing process?
Tad: We wrote “The Wild” [Album Title] together. A lot of the time, I would bring an idea or a basic song to the guys, and we would create something from there. Colby Wedgeworth, killer producer by the way, produced and helped with some song-structuring and minor writing. There was an interesting instance with a certain song… I woke up at three in the morning one time, and I couldn’t fall back asleep. I remember it was 3:14 specifically (laughs). I had a strange feeling that I should sing or write. So I got my guitar out, I was in the house alone. I put my iphone on the voice memo app and hit record. I made something up on the spot, lyrics, structure, everything. I fell back asleep, forgot about it, and ended up listening to it the next day. That was when I wrote Atlas in one take, in under five minutes, alone in my underwear at 3:14 in the morning (laughs).
YAH: Is there a particular song on your upcoming album that stands out to you or has a special significance?
Tad: I would say “Night Sky”. It’s a song that I wrote when I was 21. It’s basically things that I wish someone told me when I was younger, things that I needed to hear. It’s about the belief that no matter who you are, what you’ve been through, what you’ve done, no matter how alone you feel, there’s someone out there that cares about you, wonders how you’re doing. And that you’re not alone, not as much as you think.
YAH: Where did you film your music video for “True North”?
Tad: Downtown Fresno, in a parking garage and surrounding streets, then in some sort of industrial factory.
YAH: Why did you choose this song for a music video/first song released?
Tad: At the time, we hadn’t had the rest of the album written, and “True North” was really our anthem. It was the song that we got signed for, the first song we wrote together, it was emotional but fun to perform- it was just perfect in so many ways. It seemed like it wouldn’t be right to start with another.
YAH: You guys have been on the road a lot lately! What do you like about being on the road? And on the flipside, what is hard about being on the road?
Tad: I think the traveling is refreshing for me personally. I like meeting new people, seeing new places, it’s therapeutic. I’ve never been very picky about places to sleep and eat, to be honest. I’ve lived sort of like a vagabond/drifter for the past five or six years anyway (laughs), so being on the road isn’t that much of a change for me other than the change of scenery.
YAH: Do you remember playing at your first live gig? What memories do you have from that?
Tad: My first live gig was in a band called “Your Truly”, my first ever band. We played at a church and there must have been about 20 people there. I didn’t know how to play guitar yet, I could only sing. I don’t get nervous, but I was anxious to just get up there and play on stage for the first time. I remember feeling the most confident I had ever felt, and I thought to myself, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad man.” The music was terrible, but we had fun.
YAH: How was SXSW? Any specific moment from that festival that stands out?
Tad: SXSW was… a lot. It was a lot of things. Wonderful, exciting, stressful, overwhelming, tiring, fun- those are just a few words to describe it. It was my first time playing a festival like that. We had a lot of down-time, then all of a sudden we had to play seven or eight shows in two days. It was intense. My favorite part of the festival was playing The Rockfest stage. At the start of our first song, there were about twenty people there to see us. By the time the second song had started, around 80-100 more people showed up. It was my first experience on a stage like that. People were dancing, and people I didn’t know were singing my lyrics. It was euphoric.
YAH: What’s your favorite song to perform live?
Tad: I would still have to say “True North”. It’s so emotionally charged, it’s relevant in my life, and it’s freakin’ fun to play. There are a lot of good “ROCK” moments in there, you know? Halftime, pauses, the whole deal. Definitely a great song to perform.
YAH: What’s next for you?
Tad: Album release, touring, more shows, meet-and-greets, traveling, writing the next album, meeting people, spreading love! I’m incredibly excited.
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