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......::::CRUCIFLICTION (Canada)::::......
Realized at: 30th, March 2014
(Answers by All members.)

"It’s this unique combination of well earned old school experience mixed with the rest of the bands youthful exuberance and modern pedigree that keeps Crucifliction sounding fresh and not like some of the carbon copycat bands that have emerged in the recent thrash revival movement."

1. I really hate boring introductions, but in 6 years in the metal scene I guess the band have a long history and, of course numerous interesting things to tell, about tours, ex-members, boycotts, rehearsals, etc...give me a resume about this.

The story of Crucifliction has pretty much been a long series of ups and downs. Chris Robertson founded the band after moving to Vancouver from a small town in the British Columbia interior and the first three line ups he put together all fell apart within months of each other. On his 4th attempt I, Calvin Ma, came in to audition for the bass player slot and I immediately noticed that outside of Chris, the drummer and 2nd guitar player he had at the time were very sloppy and inexperienced as musicians. What made me stick around was that I recognized Chris had a gift for coming up with amazing riffs and I knew if we could get a polished line up together we’d have a real shot at the big time. So I took a chance, joined up, and Chris and I began planning how to move Crucifliction forward.

We brought in a vocalist soon after that because at the time neither Chris nor I were interested in juggling vocals and guitar. We also set up some free studio time at the school I was attending, the Vancouver Art Institute, to record a few demos. From the word go it was a complete disaster. Chris and I had previous experience recording in other bands but the other three guys had no idea what they were doing. The three of them couldn’t keep a straight rhythm to save their lives and instead of trying to improve and fix their playing they decided to blame their mistakes on each other.  Tensions boiled over at a rehearsal a few weeks later where it came out that our 2nd guitarists girlfriend was sleeping with our drummer.  Before the two of them could seriously start fighting, Chris stepped in and fired the guitarist. I’ll never forget that day because it was one of the few times I’ve seen Chris intimidate someone so bad that they cried. Not long after that our drummer quit to focus on his day job and we let our vocalist go due to differences in musical direction. 

The next few years between 2009-2011 were spent mostly in hiatus. Chris and I scrapped most of the songs we’d had with the last line up and began working on new and better material. We also decided we were sick of dealing with egomaniacal lead singers and Chris took up the responsibility of doing both lead vocals and guitar. We tried auditioning other drummers during this time but every guy we brought in hit like a wet noodle and could barely count to four. Late in 2010 we brought in a guitarist named Stu Will whom we had known for awhile but wasn’t available to join the band previously. He was the first guy we’d brought in who was talented enough to perform the music we wrote but he caused a lot of financial strain on us due to his unstable employment situation. We stuck with him though because we didn’t know at the time if we’d ever find anyone better.

Early in 2011 we got lucky again and finally got a lead on a decent drummer from a drum teacher and mutual friend of ours. He suggested we try auditioning a student of his, and that’s how Alex Nacci came into the band. After Alex came in on drums Crucifliction finally had a solid line up of real musicians for the first time. The four of us dove head first into finishing the material that Chris and I had been developing the past few years and we made a plan to begin tracking our debut album, Heresy Is Met With Fire, the following year.

But like everything in Crucifliction, things that should have been easy and straight forward became needlessly complicated and problematic. Stu was still struggling financially at this time so it took awhile to raise the funds amongst the rest of us to pay for the first round of recording. We managed to get a great deal by hiring an engineer friend, Travis Box, to track, edit, mix, and produce our album for a minimum cost. In May of 2012 we tracked all of Alex’s drum parts at Rain City Recorders in the span of only three days. However, because of Stu’s money problems we weren’t able to start recording the bass and guitar parts until late September.

At this point Stu had been in the band for about a year and a half and at no point had he ever paid his fair share for any of the band expenses. It was difficult, but the three of us decided to fire Stu and have Chris record most of his parts. The problem was that now we were halfway through finishing the album and we had no lead guitarist to play any of the solos Stu was originally going to record. We rolled the dice and took a chance on a talented young guitarist named Chris Sheehan that Chris Robertson and I had met teaching a music camp the previous summer. Within three weeks of letting Stu go Chris Sheehan became an official member and began composing guitar solos and leads for the album.

Both Chris Robertson and I finished tracking our instrumental parts by the end of November by recording after hours at Long & McQuade (a music store we both work at) and we spent the next two months demoing out Sheehan’s parts and polishing them for the album. By February of 2013 we had exhausted what remained of our recording budget and Sheehan ended up recording all of his parts at our producer Travis Box’s home. 

In March we scraped enough money together to finish the vocal recording at Long & McQuade and by May we submitted the final mixes to our mastering engineer Stu McKillop (whose previous work includes bands like Anciients, Bison B.C., and Unleash The Archers). We got the final mastered tracks back by June and just as we’d finally completed the album and were ready to move onto artwork, photos, and getting a promotional campaign together everything came crashing to a halt. Chris Robertson and his wife got into a huge fight which led to her fleeing the province with his 2 year old daughter and unborn son. Chris was forced at this point to get a lawyer and begin the process of divorcing her and getting his children back which left Crucifliction on an unofficial hiatus for most of the fall and winter. We spent this time doing whatever little work we could, getting the artwork, photos and CD package put together and ready for release.

In the end, we launched the digital version of the album on bandcamp in December, and after getting the CDs manufactured and working out a distribution deal with Senseless Life Records we put together a CD release party for March 1st of 2014. We brought in Levin Shum Productions to record video of the CD release, Dave Ottoson to run sound, and our producer Travis Box to mix and edit what was a special recorded concert which we plan on releasing later this year. Despite the setbacks Crucifliction has conquered every obstacle that has stood in our way and the reception to Heresy Is Met With Fire couldn’t be more positive from fans and critics alike. The future is bright and we hope to finish out the promotion cycle for this album by the end of the year and begin recording our follow up in 2015.

2. Despite your long career, you have just released one album in 2013, why did it take so long? Are you satisfied with the final results and the feedback?

Well, it took so long because finding talented, hard working, and financially stable people was next to impossible even in a city as large and diverse as Vancouver. Couple that with struggling to pay for our monthly expenses, and our frontman going through a painful and costly divorce has kept any progress we could have made slow and troublesome at every step.

The final result and the feedback we’ve gotten since the release has made all the pain worthwhile though. From the outset we always intended to put out an album that could compete with the biggest names in metal, and we’re all proud to say that Heresy Is Met With Fire accomplished that and more.

3. Why exactly did you choose this name for your band? Who came up with the logo and everything? Does it have any deeper meaning for you?

Chris Robertson came up with the band name early on after getting frustrated with a brain storming session that wasn’t going anywhere. He basically made the name up on the fly, everyone loved it and it just kinda stuck over the years. Chris and I came up with the design of the logo shortly after Stu was brought into the group.

I can’t speak for the rest of the guys but for me the name speaks to how afflicted modern society is with religious nonsense. It’s a middle finger to organized religion and their effect on the laws of our country and the holding back of social and scientific progress. They are the disease that plagues humanity, and we are the cure.

4. You have defined your music as Speed/thrash metal. I feel strong influences from bands such as Metallica and Megadeth (especially in the voice). Am I correct?? Tell us a little more about what inspired the writing of your music?

Undeniably, Metallica and Megadeth have both had a huge influence on our sound along with other bands like Sacrifice, Annihilator, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Pantera, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Machinehead. The lyrics were all inspired by the things in our lives that angered us the most both personally and politically. Whether it’s the unjustified war in Iraq, religious intolerance, welfare fraud, drugs, or bad relationships if it riled us up it made its way into one of our songs. As for the music itself, a lot of the origins of the songs come from Chris Robertson’s time spent working in the Northern Alberta oilfields in his younger days and the isolation of that lifestyle. What better way to pass the time in a place where there’s nothing to do but write some kick-ass riffs?

5. I must underline its possible to find an old school feeling on your music, but also a modern mood. How do you attain this fusion without being boring?

The old school vibe in the music primarily comes from Chris Robertson. Being the elder statesman of the band, he was around and active during the height of the thrash metal era in the late 80’s/early 90’s and a lot of the sound he brings to the table was forged at that time. The rest of the band, myself included, are almost two decades younger which means our playing styles and influences are more rooted in the modern era we grew up in. It’s this unique combination of well earned old school experience mixed with the rest of the bands youthful exuberance and modern pedigree that keeps Crucifliction sounding fresh and not like some of the carbon copycat bands that have emerged in the recent thrash revival movement.

6. I am curious to know more things about your debut CD. Tell us something about the main idea of the 12 tracks. Where did you record? Did you have any problems in studio and all sorts of interesting details for our readers?

The main idea behind our debut Heresy Is Met With Fire was to create a solid thrash metal album where we told the honest truth about everything that pissed us off in our lives and in the world around us. It’s also a personal fuck you to every naysayer and saboteur that’s tried to stand in our way.

We recorded the drums at Rain City Recorders, the bass, vocals, and most of the guitars at Long & McQuade, and we recorded Chris Sheehan’s leads and solos at our producer Travis Box’s home.

The only problems we really had in the studio was getting the money to keep the album moving forward and finding and training a replacement for our old lead guitarist that we fired halfway through.

7. You've been playing a number of shows in the past and present. Have you got a good reputation for your performances? Are live shows a central aspect of CRUCIFLICTION? What have been the best and worst live experiences you've had?

The live show is a crucial part of what Crucifliction is. Good or bad, our reputation is we always go for the knockout punch every time and we play louder and harder than anybody else. I’d say our CD release party show and our recent show at the Red Room have been our best because of the awesome crowd response. Our worst experience is tie between every show we ever played with our old guitarist Stu. The common thread for all of those bad shows was small stages, equipment failures, and sloppy performances we thankfully have avoided repeating.

8. I always enjoy hearing what life is like outside of a band. What can you share with us about what your lives are like outside of the bands? Wives, kids, jobs, hobbies?

Both Chris Robertson and I work as music teachers at Long & McQuade when we’re not hard at work with Crucifliction. Alex works for a private construction company during the day and Chris Sheehan recently graduated high school and is currently working as a cashier. Alex and Sheehan both have long-term girlfriends, Chris Robertson is in the middle of his divorce, and I’m the swinging bachelor of the group. Between our day jobs and Crucifliction there’s not a lot of time for anything else but somehow we make it work. 

9. I’ve noticed your pretty solid technical skills. Are you a self-learner, or do you have some musical education? Do you think that musical education is important, when creating, or playing music? Or both?

All four of us are definitely a mixture of both formal education and being self-taught. I personally took bass and guitar lessons for about 4 years before venturing off into bands and expanding my horizons on my own. I took a professional recording arts program at the Vancouver Art Institute for 2 years after high school where I learned a lot about music theory and composition.

I think musical education, whether it’s done through a formal program/professional teacher or learned alone through the millions of free online resources is vital to building the skill set necessary to both perform and create complex and challenging music. You can fake your way through the simplest singer songwriter and pop music fairly easily but when it comes to metal you have to build your chops through real hard work.

10. No more questions my friend. Just thanks for your time and good luck for your future plans. Closing is yours…

Thanks for your time, and for those that still haven’t heard us be sure to check out our debut album Heresy Is Met With Fire on bandcamp at Crucifliction.bandcamp.com/. For more news and updates visit us on facebook at facebook.com/Crucifliction. We hope to be able to bring our music to your shores as soon as we can so show your support and help us bring the noise to you!

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