Hi, this is Woody from Midlands Rocks in the UK! Santa Cruz is a new band hailing from Finland, can you tell us a bit about the band, how you got together and your musical style?
The band consists of me Archie (lead vox, lead guitar), Johnny (lead guitar), Middy (bass) & Taz (drums). I put the band together with Johnny in 2007. Middy joined in 2008, he actually only started playing bass the day he joined the band, haha. Taz we found in 2009, after a few drummers had been in the band. I think our music is kick-ass Hard Rock with attitude & musicality. It should make you feel the rush & feel like smashing things up!
You have just released the rather excellent Screaming For Adrenaline album on Spinefarm Records. Can you tell us who the principal songwriters in the band are and what the song writing process is like for you?
Thank you! Me & Johnny write most of the stuff. Usually the other one has an idea, sometimes just a riff or melody and sometimes almost a complete song. Then whatever is missing the other one comes up with. For example, Johnny had Relentless Renegades idea, but without any melody or lyrics. Then I listened to the instrumental demo and came up with the chorus line, and the “We came, we saw, we conquered” theme. Then I just made up the lyrics and the melody around it to the whole song.
Then for example, I had Anthem for the young n restless idea, with lyrics and all, but just didn’t have a good riff to it. Then Johnny remembered he had this killer riff from an older song we could try in it, and it fit perfectly! It doesn’t always go like that but more or less that’s usually the case. Middy has added some lines to the lyrics here and there as well, and the whole band participates in the arranging of the instrument parts.
Well, for example Alive tells about this one time I got a ticket in a tram from this really mean woman, and I didn’t have much money so the last thing I needed was that ticket. So I went home pretty pissed off, and just poured my heart out on the paper. Johnny already had the music to that one so we just put the lyrics on it. Anthem, Aiming High, and Relentless Renegades pretty much tell about the same thing, about our attitude. They’re kind of statements, like “we´re here, get ready to rumble!”.
With Nothing Compares To You I just wanted this mood of being free, kinda like in the movie Into The Wild. I had the basic structure and the melody to the song but didn´t figure out the lyrics completely, so Johnny did a lot of lyrics to that one, then I filled out the rest.
Aiming High was almost an accident! Johnny had this song made for his old band that had the riff, but it was in the Key E, so it had much lower, darker vibe to it. Then this one time I remembered that riff and recorded a shitty demo of it in A with the cowbell. Then we started rolling around it and took some beers at our rehearsal place and it came together in an instant!
Then again Let’s Get The Party Started just sums up a good ‘ol night out!
You have a couple of shows coming up supporting VEGA in the UK. How did you get the support slots and are you fans of VEGA?
Yeah! Our label is Spinefarm, so Spinefarm UK got us that slot. I have to admit that this is the first time we’ve heard of VEGA, their music hasn’t been released in Finland and they’ve not done any gigs here so I guess that explains it. We can’t wait to check those guys out and see them do their thing!!
Are you looking forward to playing in the UK and what can UK fans expect from you guys?
I think we’re looking forward to it almost more than anything else we’ve done with the band before! That’s what we’ve been waiting all this time, to get our music abroad and UK is one of THE places for rock music. I think fans can expect four guys putting absolutely all they got to the show and see us enjoying it with pure enthusiasm! Plus it’ll sound f’n rad!
Do have any other live dates or festivals coming up in the UK?
Not yet. We’re hoping to get a bigger scale tour in the Fall!
We all love the bands that influenced us the most, the likes of Skid Row, G’n’R or Mötley. A support slot with Aerosmith would be rad but you always keep searching for something new to get kicks out of and all of us listen to lot of different styles and artists. Most recently I’ve been digging to Bob Marley a lot.
Is there any Santa Cruz gossip or hush hush ‘you didn’t hear this from me’ secrets you can divulge?
Lot’s of weird stuff happening around Cruz all the time, haha. I´ll just let the gossip speak for itself ;-)
Is there anything else you would like to add or say to Midlands Rocks readers?
We´ll see ya maniacs from UK in July and hopefully later in the year too, come say Hi and rock with us!!