Musicians often lead very unglamorous lives. Sure there can be fame and money, but usually only after years of toil and poverty. I've interviewed enough musicians now that I'm rarely surprised by any back story of stricken youth or hurt egos or really much of anything anymore. Still, Simon Cruz, the new singer of Crashdiet surprised me with his candor regarding his not so distant past. I interviewed the Swedish Cruz via phone for Noisecreep to talk about Crashdiet's upcoming album Generation Wild. Stereotype or not, it usually does turn out to be the case that musicians are generally laid back and cordial. When Cruz spoke, it was as if we'd known each other for some time. I've interviewed other members of Crashdiet long ago, but had never really had any contact with Cruz. Still, the lulls in the conversation were comfortable and I even questioned his accent. In a lot of ways, Cruz sounds British. He says this is because he's "spent a lot of time in London."
I knew from my research that Cruz had told at least one other reporter that he had to "pee in juice packages" when he was with his unsigned band, Jailbait. I had to ask exactly what he meant by the statement.
"I lived in the rehearsal space at one point with my last band. I lived there for a couple of months because I didn’t have anywhere to go," explains Cruz. "We were going to have a house together as a band but they [the band members] f*%ked up and they didn’t move along with me [and] I didn’t have anywhere to go so I was living in the rehearsal space. I lived there for awhile and I showered at work and I peed in juice packages because it was too far to go to the toilet. You’d have to go outside and down a couple flights of stairs so that was the way it had to be. It was kind of charming but it was rough at the same time. I came there during the evenings, we rehearsed and the rest of the guys would say 'Bye bye, goodnight' and I’d go to sleep."
At this point, I'm completely startled because 1) I've tried to clear up if Cruz was homeless or not and 2) the odd word choice of calling what is basically a squatter's life "charming" has me reevaluating my own priorities. Is it wrong I like a home with a warm bed and hot, running water?
"I had somewhere to stay but I wasn’t allowed to live there because of the owners but no one noticed," Cruz continues, as if to clarify."I was a bit concerned sometimes because they had workers in the building and they saw me sneaking out in the mornings and stuff. It worked out for awhile and then I swapped bands and I got to move into Eric [Young, Crashdiet drummer] mom's place and I stayed there for awhile and now I’m living with Martin [Sweet, Crashdiet guitarist] here in a flat. I haven’t really been trying to build up my materialistic surroundings very much. I’ve always just wanted to do music and I don’t really care so much as what happens around me as long as I’m doing music. I can put up with most things. Definitely hardship and troubled times helps you express things through music."
Needless to say, this conversation made me an immediate Cruz fan. I was already rooting for him considering just how important Crashdiet is to the modern glam movement. Crashdiet's new album, Generation Wild, will be released next month. The single, "Generation Wild" is available now via the band's website and Cruz promises the video will be very dark and edgy.
The full interview with Simon Cruz will post on Noisecreep soon.