Interview: Mike and Tony Beliveau of the Crash Kings – Be wary of LA girls…
Fri, 21 May 2010 14:10:37
Crash Kings Videos
If you haven't familiarized yourselves with the Crash Kings yet, you 'd better.
This unique three-man-band operates without a guitar, but when you have a clavinet, manned by lead vocalist Tony Beliveau, combined with a distortion pedal and a whammy bar, you have magic.
Since the release of their self-titled debut album almost exactly one year ago, the Crash Kings have been more than just quite successful. The band's first single, "Mountain Men" was released on national radio stations across the U.S. in the fall of 2009, and swept the charts peaking at number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in March. They've performed with rock gods Chris Cornell and Stone Temple Pilots, as well as indie sensations The Bravery, Jet and Rooney.
With a whole lot on their plate, brothers Mike and Tony Beliveau of the Crash Kings were still able to find time to chat with ARTISTdirect.com's Jessica Nguyen before their live show at the Roxy for this exclusive interview about getting "played" by Hollywood breezies, why you don't need a guitar, their inspirations and so much more.
So what inspired you to not pick up a guitar?
Tony : It just happened that way. Mike and I don't play guitar really. I play piano, he plays bass, we put a drummer in the mix and it was just a full sound. We're a big fan of the trio so we wanted to keep it that way and anytime we would have a guest guitar player, it was almost too much so we felt like, let's just keep it without guitar.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Mike: Well, Tony and I grew up on '90s grunge rock and then started getting into '70s classical rock. We listened to the Beatles and Zeppelin and Queen and Pink Floyd; then we started listening to jazz and electronic music. Crash King is somewhat of a return to our roots. We used to do a piano trio in high school and so we kind of just wanted to revisit that piano trio idea and just have a rock and roll band.
What's the story behind "You Got Me"?
Tony : It's a reflection of my experience with girls moving to LA. The names are fictional, but it's like there's the Hollywood girl and then the girl next door. And the girl that you think is the girl next door, she's really not. She's just the same kind of [Hollywood] girl. It's like out with the old and in with the new and who knows where it's going to go. It's about having that feeling that they've got me where they want me and that conflicting feeling of not knowing where it's all going… It's a confusing, sexy song.
Is there a specific example?
Tony: [Laughs] Yeah, there was one experience where I definitely got played by a really beautiful girl and I'd never gotten played before. It just seemed so, "Ugh, this is just so fucking LA." Only here would I feel like that would happen to me and [the song] definitely came from somewhat of a negative experience because she had me if she wanted. So now I feel like I'm backing off a little bit more. I'm a little bit more wary of girls in Los Angeles.
You've played with some massive acts in the past year. Who was your favorite?
Tony : Stone Temple Pilots and Jet.
Mike : Jet was my favorite only because we had more time and we had like a full on tour with them. They were just great guys. Not that STP weren't; they were amazing guys. But there was more hanging out and partying going on, on the Jet tour. It was super fun.
Tony : It was awesome when we played at Caesaer 's Palace with Jet for this event called "Rock and Roll Wine" where all these wineries came and they displayed their wine. You could go and taste it and it was out by the pool area. That was when we found out that our song "Mountain Man" went number one; so we kind of raged it up. It was awesome.
So "Crash Kings" is based off all of your car accidents. What was your most memorable accident?
Mike: Well, I guess it didn't spawn out of a specific accident. Tony had an accident driving up Laurel Canyon once.
Tony : I was stupid and was racing a guy [Laughs] in an Acura.
What time of the night was this?
Tony : It was during the day.
Really? No traffic?
Tony: No, there wasn't really any. I was just stupid and I took a corner too fast and I spun out and hit a tree. Luckily, there was a tow truck that just happened to be coming over the hill and he found me and he was just like, "Hey, you need a tow? I'll bring you to this place. We'll hook you up." It was kind of funny because when we brought to the place, the guy came out and was like, "Hey man, so what happened?" So I was like, "Oh, I hit a tree." And he goes, "Looks like a hit and run to me!" So I was like, "Sweet!" And— I'm going to get in so much shit for this—but I got away with it because it was on the left side of the car so what we said was that the car was parked and I came back to my car and it just looked like that.