Crashing Wayward is a unique new modern rock band. The band features Peter Summit on vocals, former L.A. Guns and Roxx Gang guitarist Stacey David Blades, guitarist David Harris, bassist Carl Raether, and drummer Shon McKee. Their debut record Listen! will be out on June 9 and guitarist Stacey David Blades recently took some time to talk to me about it.
Please press the PLAY icon below for my conversation with Stacey David Blades –
On how Crashing Wayward came together – It was kind of an interesting backstory. The band I had before that basically imploded right on the verge of success, and I was like, “Now what?” So the way this kinda came together was really a Godsend. Peter and I, our vocalist, we actually knew each other years ago in the early 2000s, he’s from San Diego, California, and used to come up to LA, and knew a couple of guys I was in a band with at that time called Smack. and I got to know Peter pretty well. Then we lost touch with each other. So it was a mutual friend that put us in touch with each other after that other band imploded, and I didn’t make the connection at first, but when it dawned on me that it was Pete, I was like, “Oh my gosh, yes”. It was great because Pete was like, “Don’t fuck around, I’m your guy”, and I was like, “Shit, yeah you are”. Then everybody just kind of came into the fold like a Godsend, and it was a real blessing how the band started. So our first two shows were in Vegas and LA right before the pandemic, and then the pandemic hit and we were like, “Oh, okay, now what?” So we just took that whole year of 2020 to write and demo, and then one of the studios here opened up that fall, we started recording with producer, Mike Gillies. We did the record and Mike, he was Metallica’s studio engineer for 26 years. He also worked with Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, The Cult, Our Lady Peace, an incredible engineer and producer. So two years later, we finished the record and we’re really, really happy with the album, super excited, signed with RFK Media last fall. So a little backtrack, we had put out, “Breathe” and “Disco Kills” as singles and videos on her own over 2021 and 22. We were really excited to finally get the new single and video out for “Closer” just a couple of weeks ago, so it’s good to have new music and finally, it’s like, “Pinch me, the album is really coming out”. :42
On how he hooked up with Ron Keel and RFK Media – Our drummer, Shon McKee has known Ron for a long time. I knew got to know Ron when I moved to Vegas, he used to live here, when I moved to Vegas 10 years ago from Los Angeles. I believe I had met him a few times prior to that, but I really got to know him well here in Vegas. So when he approached us and said, “I’m starting a new label and I have a staff of four”, he was just so blown away by our song “Stranger Days”, which we kind of put out only on Bandcamp as a single, he was just forward by that song that he wanted to sign us. Just knowing Ron as a person and his work ethic, and we just felt like, “You know what, there’s nobody that’s gonna work this hard for us”, we could go with a bigger company, yeah, but this guy is gonna work his ass off for us, and he is. So all the ducks are in a row now. 3:37
On the diversity of their sound – It’s very interesting. There’s four very strong writers in this band, we all have different influences, but that’s what makes it so diverse. So we kinda take a little bit of everything and throw it in the melting pot, which is very exciting because I think it separates us from a lot of the newer bands. You can list all these different elements, it’s a little Stone Temple Pilots, a little bit Killers, it’s a little bit Shinedown, it’s a little bit elements of U2, and David Bowie, it’s all these cool things that we throw in the pot and it just comes out the way it is. So that’s been a blessing to a very exciting thing too as well, from a musician standpoint, because every song is different. It’s not just one type of thing through the whole album, you get a lot of different elements. There are songs that have almost as heavy Soundgarden, Sabbath vibe to indie pop to elements of U2 or early 80s, New Wave to kind of punky. So that’s what I love about this band, it’s a lot of high energy, but then we can be very artsy and eclectic at the same time. 5:38
On if they’ve had a chance to play live yet – What is great, Jeff, is that we’re a fantastic live band. There’s a lot of bands that go, “We’re going to make this fantastic record, throw everything and all the bells and whistles”, but then when you see them live, they don’t replicate what they recorded. Fortunately, with this band, we sound like our records. Pete sounds like he does, he’s an incredible frontman with a voice and his energy, and when people see us, they’re just like, “Wow, what am I watching? Where did you guys come from?” The last band I had was not good live. Sounded good on record, but it was not a good live. So that’s been a blessing to have that. We didn’t really have to put a huge effort, we just did our thing and like any other thing, you work at your craft, obviously, we’re always like, “How can we make this better? How can we make our show?” We just kinda do our thing and Pete just got this incredible energy, it really comes to across. Back in March, we played a really big show with Puddle of Mudd here in Vegas at Brooklyn Bowl, and there’s about 2000 people there and by the second song, we had that crowd wrapped around our finger. You never know how you’re gonna, as opening act, how you’re gonna be (received). But I just knew from the first chord, it’s like, “You’re ours”. That’s kind of the way we just come out, Jeff, live. We just come out swinging and it’s really fun to play the songs from the record, they’re just amazing. 7:23
On if they would prefer to open or do headline club dates – In a perfect world, we’d love to get on a tour, because I think that’s our strong point. When you put us in front of a good crowd that’s there to enjoy a great night of rock music, that’s kind of where we shine. Of course, we’ve played lots of our own headline dates, but we really like that 45-minute, 50-minute, hit them over the head, high energy time slot. So that’s something we definitely want to pursue is to get on an established tour with an established band of our modern, alternative rock sound. 9:33
On the album cover and title – I think that’s like all of our songs have really something important to say, whether it’s about certain life aspects or suicide, or being in that dark emotional place of unrequited love. We’re not really a potilical band. It’s interesting ’cause our song “Disco Kills “people think, “Oh yeah, screw disco, man”, it has nothing to do with disco. It’s sort of a political song. Now, I can’t speak for Pete, he always tries to make a statement, whether it’s our pictures or his lyrics or any imagery that we project. We really discuss it as a band, we want everybody’s input. It’s not a dictatorship in this band. We all collectively come up with ideas. The original artwork that we were gonna go with, we were like, “Okay, done”. It was completely different. It was like a space man in a tunnel floating towards an Exit sign. I really liked it. It was a really cool cover and it didn’t have a title, so we scrapped that idea. I think it was Pete who was like, “What about this?” That’s his daughter (on the cover) actually, she’s a model and at first I was like, “Why does she have duct tape on her mouth?” Then he explained in this day and age where everything is so you can’t say this or you’re silenced and you can’t express ourselves, so it’s a really kind of a statement of, “We will not be silenced as a human race”. I think it’s gotten so ridiculous how everything is so politically biased now, and you can’t say this and you can’t address that, You can’t do this. What happened? It didn’t used to be like that. So it’s kind of an imagery of intolerance as well. Somebody might say, “Oh, look at that”, and have something negative to say. You’re portraying this or that, why does she have duct tape on her mouth? That’s why we came up with the title, Listen!. We need to speak our minds, freedom of speech. I feel that’s suffering in this country. So that’s kind of what the whole thing about that is like we won’t be silent no matter who it is, so that the imagery and the title, Listen!, that’s where that comes from. 10:23
On why Roxx Gang never saw they success they deserved – That’s a weird thing to really dive in and go down a worm hole because in 89 that the hard rock thing was still very, very strong going into even 91. People say, “Oh well, the LA metal stuff that was dead by 91”, Poison was headlining stadiums in 91. The Scorpions were headlining stadiums. It really was over, I’d say by mid- to late-92, done. So when you say, “Oh, that there were certain bands that came out in 89, but they didn’t do anything”, I think what it was, is it got to that point, Jeff, where there was too many bands. Your record buying public as a teenager at that time, he goes to a record store, and I can say this from personal experience too, is presented with a whole rack of 10 different bands at the same time. You’re going,” I only have 10 bucks. Which one do I buy?” I think that hurt a lot of bands that came out past 89 or so. Of course, there’s a couple of bands I can think of did very well in 89, but I think some just fell through the cracks. So I don’t think it has anything to do with what was going on at that time, musically. Now, if you say if a band like that came out in 91, yes, absolutely, they didn’t have a chance. That was a welcome change, to be honest with you. Because that type of music became like disco, it was overkill it. You see why all the teenagers in 92, they all gravitated to this new movement, because it was for years and years and years, LA-type hard rock. Here’s this new movement, this is exciting, this speaks to me more than a guy wearing purple pants with his hair a foot off his head. 13:51
On his book Snake Eyes: Confessions of a Replacement Rock Star and replacing Tracii Guns in L.A. Guns – I thought it was a bit of a plan words using that title, because a lot of people will say that when they talk about the book. I just thought it was a kind of a clever title, because most of my career, I replaced the guy, the original guy. So it is a little tongue in cheek, but I just wanted to use that. I’m very, very grateful that I had those opportunities in Roxx Gang and L.A. Guns to replace the original guitar player. So that’s where that monikor came from.
I kind of never really dwelled on that, it was just like, “Here’s a fantastic opportunity that I’m in. Wow, this is amazing. I’m going to dedicate 110% to playing the stuff like it was to honor that legacy of the catalog and to really win the fans over”, and I think I really did that in my 10 years with that band. It shows especially with the records I did, especially Tales From The Strip. So it was more about that. I think once that we cemented that line up with that album, people were like, “Wow, okay, you’ve got my interest now, we accept it, we accept you”. So it was more about that really dedicating myself to being a part of that band or a “2.0 version”, and really just when the fans over and be that personable guy and to have the respect of playing everything like it was recorded, the legacy of the catalog. 16:40
On if it’s tough being in a band with two versions – When I was in L.A .Guns, yeah, that kind of sucked, but we always did well. So it was just kind of more of a hindrance than a huge thing. Obviously, that’s something you don’t want if you’re in a band and there’s another version of it obviously, but looking back, we just did our thing and we were a great live band as well. 19:25