CROSSTIDE Brimming with bust-outtage.
Thurs Aug 12
Ash Street
225 SW Ash

You probably didn't hear it here first, but let's pretend you did: Crosstide will be HUGE. And not just because they just got a single, "Talk Radio," into NRK's regular rotation, and are, according to front man Bret Vogel, talking to "every record label that there is right now." No. I have utmost faith that Crosstide is about to explode because when I see them onstage, everything--Vogel's crooning vocals, Rian Lewis' ass-tight guitar playing, the anthemic climaxes in every song--screams one thing: "These guys have their shit together." Once referred to strictly as emo, Crosstide has evolved. They still have Bret Vogel's tortured croon, and those sad, sad lyrics, but now it's all in support of a greater cause: straight-up rock. Matt Henderson's driving percussion fuels Vogel's unstoppable melody hooks, and the band's trademark, U2-riffic climaxes are bigger than ever. Vogel, appropriately, agrees.

Are you guys as aware of your bust-outtage factor as I am?

Yeah, we feel it. From what everybody's telling us, if it were five years ago, we would have had a [label] deal a long time ago.

Why is it harder to get the deal now than five years ago?

Nobody wants to sign a band that just has potential, because there's so many things that could happen--the band could break up, they could go in and make the record that might not be that good after all, and so on. We need to be a sound investment for the label, be it indie or major.

Is that why you guys transitioned from kind of hardcore to more melodic and catchy? To be more radio friendly and thus a "sound investment"?

Ideologically we're all still right where we used to be in the sense that we're all vegetarians, and we all have a lot of those PC punk rock things in the background. But somewhere along the line we just developed a priority to be able to play our instruments and have skill and facility that is not necessarily a priority in punk rock. It's just a nice coincidence that the stuff that really excites us is the stuff that hooks people.