Founded in 2012 and hailing out of Fresno, California; The Crossing are a four-piece alternative indie rock band that are on the rise thanks in no small part to their high-quality lyrics, energetic instrumentation, and catchy melodic tunes that have turned heads and captivated YouTube audiences across the globe, bringing their latest single ATLAS to a quarter of a million views in only a matter of weeks.
With a full-length record recently completed (of which they exclusively revealed the title to us below), and US Tour Dates slowly trickling in, the California four-piece are now at SXSW, performing showcases, and consuming copious amounts of pizza.
We recently had an opportunity to sit down with the band before their first SXSW showcase to learn more about what makes them tick, and what we can expect from them in the year ahead. Read our interview below.
AW: I had an opportunity to listen to your EP yesterday and I’m really digging the sounds. For those just learning about The Crossing, could you tell us a bit about your band, including how you all met?
Tad Kent / The Crossing: Well, we are pop-rock band from California. I am the lead singer, my name is Tad. I knew Jared [Ramos], who plays drums, from a prior band [of mine] and he had me come and sing on a song that he was working on with Steven [Darling] who is our guitarist. It was kind of more of a pop-punk sound from what I had been doing, and we collaborated on it and it ended up turning out pretty cool. We did nothing with it, and it ended up getting heard a year later and that’s pretty much how we got signed.
AW: Tell me about the recording process for TRUE NORTH. What was your favorite song to work on off of that EP?
Tad / The Crossing: What would you guys say? Steven, what was your favorite on the EP?
Steven / The Crossing: I would say that would have to be SIRENS for me. It was the first time that we really went super poppy with our music and had those 80’s leads in there, with almost a ‘funky’ little bass line in some parts and it was really different from any other stuff I had ever done.
Tad / The Crossing: Yeah I think it was the first time that we had started listening to what was relevant on the radio, and truly started to ask ourselves “Well what can we do to be relevant? What should we be doing to make sure that we’re hooking people and really grabbing people’s attention?”
AW: And you know, I think you do that really well. It’s been a really long time since I’ve come across a band that sounded so experienced and polished from just the first EP. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that we’re definitely eager to hear more music from you. Any plans to release a full length this year? Are you working on more music at the moment?
Tad / The Crossing: The full length is completed actually, and the EP is included in it. We’re working on a release date, I’m not sure exactly when but we’re really excited for that to happen too. We can’t wait for you guys to hear it.
AW: Is it a strange feeling to already have almost a quarter of a million views of your new video in only a month? How has the band been reacting to receiving all this buzz?
Casey White (bass) / The Crossing: Oh, it’s overwhelming! It’s nice to see the reactions, and the comments that we’re getting from the fans who like our music!
AW: You guys were scheduled to do a few showcases at South By Southwest. Have you played them already? Was this your first time being at the festival? How excited were you to perform for those crowds?
Casey / The Crossing: We’re about to play it actually. We’re actually on our way to play that, and yes this actually will be our first time doing something of that nature. We’re scared but we think we’ll have a lot of fun. I think nervous is actually a better word than scared [laughs].
AW: Your band is due next to play the Heart of Texas Rockfest. Are there any other dates in the works? Any plans to do a small US tour?
Casey / The Crossing: Steve, didn’t we have some stuff in April?
Steve / The Crossing: I think it’s going to correlate with however we’re doing the album release, which is something we are working on with the label. I think what’s going to happen is that we’re probably going to do some sort of West Coast tour to promote the CD first, and then however they want to take it from there and depending on whatever reaction I get, I think is how it’s going to start.
Tad / The Crossing: We also have some venues in April in Los Angeles don’t we?
Steve / The Crossing: Yeah I think House of Blues?
Tad / The Crossing: Yeah we’re playing the main stage in House of Blues on April 2nd, and anything else is probably on our website.
AW: Individually, what would you say are your influences? For each one of you, which artists or bands influenced you to get into music?
Tad / The Crossing: I’ll start it off, because I for whatever reason have this answer ready for whenever we’re asked [laughs], but honestly the music that really connected with me is emotional raw music that usually was acoustic driven so artists like Glen Hansard, and Damien Rice. Stuff like that had a really emotional impact on me. That was always what was really important to me, in transmitting into my music. Casey, what about you man?
Casey / The Crossing: I grew up listening to classic rock and all the popular songs of the 90s. So all the usual radio, plus Tom Petty, Journey etc. As far as my bass inspirations, I was playing modern Christian music like Jesus Culture once I started playing bass.
Jared / The Crossing: When I got serious about music, for me it was a band called North Star. They were pretty angsty, kind of rock-ish. They really got me into wanting to become a musician. But most of my influence comes from bands, from back in the 06′ pop punk era. Bands like Mayday Parade, All American Rejects, you know all those guys. For me as a drummer, I get a lot of influence from them. They just had really awesome parts and they’re some of my favorite music, so I’d say that’s my main influence. Steven?
Steven / The Crossing: Perhaps for me I could give you 5-6 artists, but then I’d keep naming off other artists [laughs], so instead I’ll give you a moment. My stepsister bought the Third Eye Blind CD with the blue cover, what was it call-…
Tad / The Crossing: It was called “Blue”. [band erupts in laughter]
Steven / The Crossing: Haha! She got that CD on Christmas. I stole it, and listened to it in the garage over and over for about two days, hiding out from her. She couldn’t find it. There were songs on there that made me want to start playing music, so I think that was my main influence…like, the moment of it.
AW: Excellent, looks like you guys pull from all types of rock and roll. That’s awesome! You guys have some pretty cool music videos, who comes up with the concepts for your videos?
Tad / The Crossing: (sarcastic humorous tone) I’m Tad and I have all the creative influence in the band! [everyone laughs] But honestly I think it’s really cool, because usually I don’t believe bands when they say “we all do this together, and we all come up with this together”, because I think ‘You guys are full of it. One guy is doing all of it and you just don’t want him to have all the credit!”. But really with us, that’s really what’s true. We bounce ideas off one another. The TRUE NORTH video was a concept we all came up with, with a director at the time. The ATLAS video was something where we felt it was really important for people to get the message, because it’s a message that’s important to all of us. It really is all of us I’d have to say. That’s true for ATLAS and SIRENS actually.
AW: Speaking of SIRENS, I understand you just filmed a video where you invited fans to be a part of the shoot. Could you tell me more about the video, and when you expect it to be released?
Steven / The Crossing: For the video itself, we just invited a bunch of people on Instagram and Twitter, and said “hey we’re gonna have pizza, and we’re gonna play music and you can come sing your lungs out if you want”.
Tad / The Crossing: They came for the pizza.
Steven / The Crossing: Yeah they came for the pizza! [laughs]. But um, we kind of did a house party setting but it still gives off a ‘bigger stage’ impression from it.
Tad / The Crossing: What was cool when we shot this video, we were excited because with the other videos they were kind of stressful, and they were all about a message but this one was just all about having fun. I think he also asked about a release date. Do we have one? Do we know?
Steven / The Crossing: I have no idea about the release date. I know that it’s almost complete editing wise and it’s almost delivered to the label. It’s kind of up to them.
Tad / The Crossing: But soon! Very, very, very, very, soon!
AW: What are your plans for the year ahead? Anything you’re really excited about?
Tad / The Crossing: Hopefully touring more, and getting our album released. We’re really excited to release our full length.
AW: Do you have a name for the album yet?
Tad / The Crossing: Ah…are we allowed to say yet? We do have a name. Let’s say it, you guys wanna say it? [band agrees]. We’re calling the album “The Wild”.
AW: Awesome! So basically releasing The Wild, touring a lot and getting your music out there I presume, right?
Jared / The Crossing: And all the foreseeable pizza in our future.
Tad / The Crossing: So much pizza!
AW: What’s The Crossing’s preferred brand of pizza?
Jared / The Crossing: Every kind. Ever made.
Casey / The Crossing: If it starts with a pizza, we’re in!
Jared / The Crossing: I’m not a big fan of anchovies though.
Tad / The Crossing: Who likes anchovies anymore? I don’t think anybody does. But anyways! Just pizza man. We’re the new Ninja Turtles.
Jared / The Crossing: Actually, we’re a band called The Crossing. We’re actually not the Ninja Turtles, but we also love pizza.
Tad / The Crossing: So we’re like The Ninja Turtles!
Jared / The Crossing: Yeah, I guess we’re like the Ninja Turtles.
[band loses it in laughter at this point]
Tad / The Crossing: Sorry Derek!
AW: Haha no! That was great! But I know you all have to go play a showcase so I’ll let you go! Hopefully you guys win over some new fans, and I wish you the best of luck! Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with us today!
Band / The Crossing: Thank you!