I do find that we seem to get some of our best answers from “one-man bands”, and the following from Crejuvent definitely hits a home run in that department. I’ve even left in Freddy’s answers to our generic questions which don’t really suit solo artists as he’s at least gone to the trouble of answering them, despite them causing deep existential crises (and possibly disturbing eddies in the space-time continuum). But we like to live life on the edge here at Moshville Times. An edge so deep and black, some could confuse it with an event horizon.
We actually featured Crejuvent back in 2015, but didn’t speak to them/him/it/they/whatever, and with the upcoming release of a new EP it makes sense to revisit the band.
I’m half Italian and half Brazilian. I grew up in Italy, USA, the Netherlands, and I’ve been living in Liverpool for the past 5 years. Let that be a lesson to you: never assume a question is too simple!
How did you meet?
Oh boy, it’s only 3 in the afternoon and already time for an existential crisis! I mean, this is a solo project so… how does one really get to meet oneself?
How long have you been playing as a band?
I think the earliest I wrote a song for this project would have been about summer 2012. However, I’d argue that I only started to find my footing around 2015, what with the Pretty Demos release and whatnot.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I accidentally made the word Crejuvent up one day playing Scrabble when I was about 15 or 16. I could have sworn it was a word, but when I Googled it nothing came up. I immediately claimed it as my own, so whenever anybody would Google it only my 15 year old Soundcloud page or whatever would pop up. When I wanted to start releasing shit on my own I thought it was too stupid a name, like clearly something that a 15 year old child would think sounds badass. Which I found to be really funny, and like a small ‘fuck you’ to myself in a way!
What are your influences?
For Crejuvent, I’d say it ranges between the likes of Strapping Young Lad, Cynic, Gojira, Mastodon, Beyond Creation, that sorta stuff. It’s a bit weird for me to pinpoint my influences for a project like this. See, I’m primarily a bass player, and my biggest bass playing influences would be the bands I grew up learning bass to. But the only reason I picked up guitar was to write my own music, so I don’t really have an influential guitar player, or a band that influences me guitar-wise, and considering I write most of the stuff on guitar I think it creates a weird little paradigm in my head. I have more drummers that inspire my drum parts then I do guitarists, even though I can’t play drums worth a shit!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I’d like to think that what I mentioned above attributes to some sort of uniqueness in Crejuvent’s sound. That, coupled with the fact that I’m a shit singer but really good at editing sounds to mask shitness sort of creates a… “unique” sound. The main thing that I’d like to think distinguishes me from most other bands in the genre is attitude. An awful lot of metal bands take themselves way too seriously, and I can’t really do that, I mean it’d be ridiculous. On the flip side, I’m not a “joke band” as people have stated. There’s humor in everything I do, but it ain’t a comedy act. Like I usually say, I’m very passionate and serious about the music, but life as a whole is kind of a joke. Crejuvent very much represents that.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Nothing too specific. I’ll usually just mumble some words, and when I notice a theme I begin to build up on it. But sometimes I’ll start with a theme in mind straight from the get go. Usually the themes relate to depression, self identity, existentialism, fart jokes, the usual stuff.
The upcoming Time EP showcases how I write my lyrics quite well. The opening track, “Fuck This Shit”, was originally a song I wrote a while back. It was one of the first times where I was really pissed off about something and just thought to unload, hence why the lyrics are quite literal. “Code Orange” is sort of a story; it’s about a guy who’s forced into some sort of rehab facility against his will. Once I finished the lyrics I found a sort of link between the song and the plot of A Clockwork Orange, hence the name. “Malicious Clouds” is one of those random songs where I didn’t really put much effort into the lyrics, they’re vague and were basically just a collection of words that felt right to sing.
“Time” is about not being able to keep up with your surroundings and feeling like you don’t have a particularly good grasp of time, leading to a sense of depression, regret, and confusion. “Word Vomit” is about me being extremely shit at communicating. I find it hard to organise my thoughts, and it often results in me word vomiting everywhere and stuttering sometimes, and generally being frustrated in not being able to articulate and vocalise my thoughts and emotions in an effective way.
So yeah, themes are usually pretty bleak, but what do you expect in extreme metal?
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I’ve only ever done two live shows with Crejuvent. I don’t have a band, so when I get asked to play I do it playing bass and singing to backing tracks. It’s super cool because it’s purely “me” time on stage. I play loads in other bands and projects, some of which I go berserk on stage and it’s a lot of fun, but in this case it’s just me. I don’t have to worry about doing something that might upset the other band members, I don’t have to worry about misrepresenting the band, none of that shit. As a result, I end up with a lot more stage banter and beers on stage. I also gotta come up with good jokes, it’s just my way of compensating for making people listen to such shitty music.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I was assisting the stage manager for this festival here in Liverpool where this band Heck was playing. They warned us they would be bringing their own mics and cables and shit because they “go a bit nuts”. They ended up running all over the goddamned venue with us holding up the cables behind them so nobody fell, they kept climbing the sides of the venue mid song and wrapping their mic cables around the lights, it was fucking mayhem!
I tend to go pretty all out on stage, but I usually draw the line when it comes to vandalising the venue, but not always. I once climbed the side of the venue whilst playing, and on my way back my bass cable got caught in the monitor. I fell flat on my ass and broke my cable. I used to chug beers on stage to this song with one of my other bands Novacrow, but people didn’t really seem impressed by it and it made jumping around and screaming a whole lot harder to do so I had to put a stop to that.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Ah yes, the highly anticipated ‘nerd’ question!
My main bass is a Warwick Streamer LX 5-string. It’s got a fat ass neck that’s incredibly ergonomic and has very small string spacing for a 5-string. I’ve had that bass for 7 years now, it’s everything I ever want and beat up to shit, so Warwick please endorse me. I use DR High Beam strings on it, they’re a bit pricey but goddamn it they glisten like dainty butterflies in the sun… My pedalboard consists of an MXR bass compressor, a Digitech X-series bass overdrive, and a Sansamp bass driver DI (coupled with a few extra pedals here and there). I don’t currently have an amp, so for the recordings I ran that straight into Bias FX, and the tone sounds fucking amazing. I cream every time I hear it.
My guitar is a guitar I built from spare parts I got throughout the years. I think it’s an Ibanez neck (even though the design is mirrored at the top?) and a Harley Benton body but I’m not too sure, plus I modded the fuck out of it now so it looks pretty different. I recently put on a custom made Zombie Dust pickup with ceramic magnets in the bridge, I’ll have something out soon to show it off! That guitar goes straight into Bias FX, and any effects used on the record are plug ins.
When I play live it’s just me playing bass and singing. I don’t have an amp but I do have my Sansamp, and since bass gets DI’d about 99% of the time anyway, it goes straight to FOH from there. I’ll use an amp onstage if there is one or if the other bands let me use it, but otherwise it’s only there for monitoring and I know my parts well enough to not really need it. I recently got a new wireless system from Smooth Hound Innovations and my god it’s amazing! It’s small, cheap, surprisingly durable, and sounds better than other competing wireless systems I’ve ever used. I go down to a low G on my bass, and that little transmitter handles the low frequencies very well! Go buy it. Now!
What are your plans for 2017?
Crejuvent’s gonna come out with the BRAND SPANKING NEW ‘TIME’ EP ON THE 1st OF JULY! There’s gonna be a lyric videoooo, a playthrough videoooo, and some other neat stuff. The rest of the year will mainly consist of me basking in the inevitable glory and fame that will ensue, hopefully it’ll all go to my head and by the end of the year I’ll die a horrific yet just death instigated by an oversized ego. That’s if everything goes well of course.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Well I don’t really have any friends so that last part of the question can go right out the window. Regardless, I’d pick Fleshgod Apocalypse as headliners because they’re fantastic and I’ve yet to meet a fan of metal who doesn’t like them. I’d be second, and opening the whole thing I’d pick my friend Joey’s one man band Conscript. He released an EP a few months ago and it sounds super dope, it’d be a perfect fit for a bill with Fleshgod Apocalypse. Plus I know he’d be up for dicking around backstage, which is one of the most memorable things about gigs really!