Santa Cruz are back with a new album and their first UK headline tour. Their new album, New Blood Rising, is very different from anything they have done before. We caught up with bass player Middy Cruz to find out about the Santa Cruz sound.
PG: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM NEW BLOOD RISING
MC: The new album is pretty much the good, bad and ugly of Santa Cruz. It contains songs from acoustic ballads to double kick-drum mosh anthems. Compared to our previous albums it has bit more depth when it comes to lyrics. It's a 45 minute long cross-section of what Santa Cruz is at the moment.
PG: WHAT WAS YOUR AIM WHEN YOU SET OUT TO WRITE AND RECORD THE ALBUM?
MC: We didn't have any specific aim or vision, we just gathered to our rehearsal place and started going through ideas. And for the reason that we didn't have any special aim we could just go on with whatever the songs needed without having to put them in a certain mould. So basically we were open minded to all ideas and had the opportunity to take influences from all possible directions.
PG: WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON WHO HEARD THE FINISHED ALBUM AND WHAT WAS THEIR REACTION?
MC: It was probably our sound guy when we were coming back from a gig. We were driving through the night and we played the whole album to him and he was pretty impressed by the new nuances that we had and he looked a bit surprised.
PG: WERE THERE ANY TRACKS THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT ONTO THE ALBUM – IF THERE WERE WILL WE EVER HEAR THEM?
MC: Well there were ideas we decided not to use, but actual left over songs we don't have from the sessions.
PG: THERE ARE A LOT OF REFERENCES TO AMERICA ON THE ALBUM, FROM DONALD TRUMP TO CALIFORNIA – HOW MUCH HAS AMERICAN AND AMERICAN MUSIC IMPACTED ON YOUR OWN WRITING AND MUSIC?
MC: Many of the bands that influenced us the most are from US so that might have some kind of effect. The way I see it the main reason is the time we spent in US after the second album. We did couple of long tours in there and it was pretty inspiring time for us as a band. Archie spent lots of time in LA when ever we had a break from touring. Also these places and persons that we mention are known to everyone and they paint a certain picture in peoples' minds. If we would sing about Eiranranta or about Päivi Räsänen people would probably a bit astonished.
PG: DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE ALBUM?
MC: My two personal favorites are Bad Habits Die Hard and Get Me Out Of California. Bad Habits is something totally new to our band and maybe that's is the reason I'm so into it.
PG: YOU'RE GOING ON TOUR TOO, WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM YOUR LIVE SHOWS?
MC: This is the first headline tour that we are doing and fans can expect a band that leaves everything on the stage every night no matter what. No circus tricks but an honest rock show.
PG: WHAT IS A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SANTA CRUZ LIKE?
MC: We've toured pretty much all the time since our first album came out in 2013 and so far I haven't seen a typical day. Though one thing is for sure, anything can happen at any given moment. I just asked our technician while writing this "what is a normal day like with us" and he answered laughing "what is normal?"
PG: YOU'RE KNOWN FOR PLENTY OF BAD ATTITUDE – WHAT'S THE BADDEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE?
MC: We don't wanna have a date with the grand jury so let's just leave it here :)
PG: NOW THAT HIM HAVE SPLIT UP THERE'S A GAP IN FINNISH METAL – ARE SANTA CRUZ THE BAND TO TAKE THEIR PLACE?
MC: Music wise we cannot fill that huge torpedo torn gap that Him leaves behind in the Finnish metal music scene since our genre is totally different. But we can be the band that keeps the assumption in peoples heads that Finland is not just a country that shoots bouncing little colorful pissed of birds to the world but also great rock bands.
PG: WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
MC: This band wouldn't exist without bands like Skid Row or Guns N' Roses but these days we take our influences from black metal to rap. We try to be as open minded as possible and when it comes to music we don't wanna get stuck in a small genre box and become a boring group that repeats itself.
PG: WHAT IS THE ONE TRACK BY ANOTHER ARTIST THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
MC: I must say Nightrain by Guns because the first time I saw Guns N' Roses open up their show in Tokyo Dome in 92 with that song was the moment when I knew what I wanna do with my life. It had something in it that I had never seen before and I was blown away by it. Still am.
PG: WHAT'S NEXT FOR SANTA CRUZ?
MC: We just started our European tour last night from Stockholm and the plan is to tour for the next two years pretty much non-stop and after that go back to studio and start giving birth to our baby number 4. But to look a bit closer in life I have a soundcheck to do here in Oslo in 5 minutes so I think I'll start with that.
UK tour dates 05.12. Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms 06.12. Milton Keynes, UK - Crauford Arms 07.12. Grimsby, UK - Yardbirds 08.12. Sheffield, UK - Corporation 09.12. Birmingham, UK - The Flapper 10.12. Glasgow, UK - Cathouse 12.12. Manchester, UK - Academy 3 13.12. London, UK - Underworld 14.12. Chester, UK - The Live Rooms 15.12. Swansea, UK - Sin City 16.12. Bournemouth, UK - Anvil