Matt MacDonald – vocals
Justin Duque – guitars
Paul Erickson – drums
Alan Clark – bass
Robbie Negrin – guitars
What is the Classic Crime? History is filled with heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice and martyrs who died for their cause. Whether their actions were viewed as "criminal" in their day was irrelevant. From those fighting against injustice to those who stood up for the folks who don't fit in, dying for one's beliefs or one's art is the Classic Crime.
Fitting, then, that The Classic Crime (the rock band) hails from the Pacific Northwest, a region whose rich artistic history boasts perhaps the biggest rock n' roll martyr: Kurt Cobain. Not to mention the countless other denizens of the area whose music has turned a corner for underground and popular music, from Pearl Jam to Gatsby's American Dream.
"Music has a profound effect on the listener. It even has the power to lift spirits and change lives," reasons singer Matt MacDonald. "If we can see our music change a life for the better, than we've been paid in the kind of way we hope to be."
The Classic Crime's new album, "Albatross," threatens to turn such a corner with the sheer expanse of its scope, conjuring the most brilliant moments of Brand New, Thrice and Third Eye Blind while alternately sounding refreshingly original. The vocals are unique, the lyrics are hopeful, and the boys' hearts are all in the right place.
An albatross is one of the most beautiful and complex creatures in the world. It has a wingspan of up to 14 feet, a lifespan of 80 years, and no natural predators. Perhaps best of all, it can travel 20,000 miles in 20 days. "That's what I wanted for this record and for our band," offers MacDonald. "Stats like that."
And with their Tooth & Nail debut, they should get them. Beautiful and complex – that would be the band's eclectic mix of melodic rock genres. No natural predators? Well, their songs are unstoppable. And with the touring ahead of them, they'll travel 20,000 miles in no time… Maybe not in 20 days, but you get the point.
The Classic Crime is a new take on an old rock n' roll sound for a generation hungry to be heard. Producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Iggy Pop, Chevelle, Cold) helped The Classic Crime shape and hone their already considerably strong material into breath-taking anthems, proving how far they've come since their days as teenage pals.
Justin Duque wasn't one of the "cool" kids in school; never an outcast, but never quite popular. "I knew that high school was a big popularity contest and I never bought into it," he says. What high school did offer Duque was a chance to meet drummer Paul Erickson.
"I grew up listening to mostly my dad's music," says Duque, whose father force-fed him a steady diet of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Jimi Hendrix. On his own, the soon-to-be guitarist discovered Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Nirvana, and they changed his life.
Duque and Erickson became fast friends and before too long they found themselves playing in a band called Orizon with bass player Alan Clark and singer Matt MacDonald, whose own parents confessed their love for Sabbath and Zeppelin in his teenage years. By the time guitarist Robbie Negrin came onboard, the time felt right to change the name.
The Classic Crime will leave their mark on the musical landscape with "Albatross." Don't worry about the over-saturation of bands out there. This album stands apart.
"If we are mentioned in the same breath as the greaet bands of the Pacific Northwest then I think that we'll have done something right," Duque says with modesty. "I just hope to develop long-lasting, loving friendships with new people and see people's lives changed for the positive. And all deeper in love with life."
"We have been given a talent to write and play music and it is my hope to give that to other people," adds MacDonald. "[We want] to inspire hope in other people who have dreams, doubts, and struggles. As Dustin from Thrice says, 'Every scar is a bridge to someone's broken heart.' And it is my hope that our scars can help heal hearts."