Crashdiets's Martin Sweet Dishes Out The Sugar...

US Tour? How did that leak?

Like the proverbial good son, Crashdiet’s guitarist Martin Sweet has been visiting his parents (“They’re big fans; they always keep up with what I’m doing…”) in the lead-up to the band’s up-coming tour. They’ll be taking in Scandinavia, Brazil, Argentina and Europe, as well as visiting the US around March/April; a leg of the tour that Martin says hasn’t been announced yet. Whallop! That’s an exclusive, right there (unless of course it’s already leaked on the interweb…).

So the new album The Savage Playground breaks this month; what can we look forward to? “You can expect a longer album than before; we’ve put 13 songs on there…and maybe the Australian version will have a bonus track? Maybe, maybe not! The album’s approximately an hour long – and the critics hate that – but we don’t care; we did it for the fans.” And with each album placing higher than its predecessor on the Swedish albums charts (2010’s Generation Wild hit #3), are the band hoping for a number one album this time around? “Yeah, definitely. We’re working hard for it. A number one would be pretty cool.”

The video for the first single Cocaine Cowboys has a rather unusual twist - I won’t spoil the surprise, go check it out for yourselves – and Martin laughs as he recollects the making of it: “Yeah, we made the whole video not to be taken too seriously. It’s a serious matter that we’re singing about but it’s impossible to make a video without it being cheesy and we kind of made it like a comedy. But we had a blast doing it and we laughed the whole time.” Was it real coke being flung about the place? “Yeah! Of course…but now we’re so broke, you can’t imagine…” Is the song about getting away from the rock and roll lifestyle rather than celebrating it? “It depends on what you call the rock and roll lifestyle. If you think that cocaine is a big part of that (Who, me? Never!), I wouldn’t agree. Cocaine is something that ruins rock and roll lifestyles. I think that the song is about keeping away from the cocaine dealers and it’s also inspired by the documentary of the same name; it’s an amazing documentary and the words seem to fit so well.” So when it comes to partying on tour, does Crashdiet go hard? Martin responds with a simple and definitive “Yes.” before telling me “It’s hard to explain but we don’t try to party hard, it’s just something that happens when we’re on tour. It just happens – it’s very hard to stay sober on a tour.”

So you’ve already told me about Europe, South America and the US but is there somewhere that you haven’t toured that you’d like to? “Japan – and I’d love to play more places in Asia…it’s pretty big!” Crashdiet played Sydney and Melbourne in 2011; how was that? Martin is very enthusiastic: “We thought it was fantastic. I thought it was nice and clean.” He laughs at how strange this seems before adding “We hung around for quite a few days in Sydney and checked out Hyde Park and the zoo – we even had the time to learn to surf; we had a blast! It was only two gigs so next time we’ll probably try and squeeze more gigs in there.” They opted for the rather unusual support act of a burlesque performer – saucy!

So what attracted you to glam metal? “I think there’s so much fun in this genre, like the visuals, even though some of the songs can be angry, a lot of them are great fun party tunes; music to drink beer to! What first attracted me was the current scene, when I was younger, it was quite boring visually, and the songs were kind of boring too so I looked to the eighties;  it was so much better – that’s all I can say!” Is there a lot of work involved getting your hair and make-up spot on? He admits “It’s something we always have to plan and it can be a hassle sometimes when we play in shitty venues but I think we can pretty much get ready in half an hour if we have to - though I would prefer an hour…” This is followed by much laughter from Martin. And do you get about the place dressed up as you do on stage? “Yeah…well not at home, obviously! I’m always naked at home…but when I go out and hit the clubs, I’m definitely ‘sleazed up’…”

When I ask for his view on parody acts like Steel Panther, Martin gives it some thought before responding “That’s a hard one because I don’t like the fact that they’re making fun of the music that I love and think is the coolest ever, but I can see why people like them; they’re quite funny. But I hate the fact that they’re kind of making fun of us because we’re quite serious.” Again he starts laughing so I surmise he’s not that bothered.

Is it true that the band were signed to Universal after boozing it up outside a Stockholm bottle-shop - Universal liked the look of you glammed up fellows? “I hope it’s true! Those days are a bit hazy…we hung around that place a lot back in those days…”

Eric Young (drums) admits to liking Lady Gaga but what are your guilty secret listening pleasures? “The whole band adores Lady Gaga – she’s like a female Alice Cooper! Nothing that I’m ashamed of; I kind of like the new Bruno Mars album.” Martin also tells me that he’d love to collaborate with Desmond Child (who penned Livin’ On A Prayer) “I would just want to try and see what happens if I wrote a song with him. I mean, he’s had like 20 number one hits....”

Getting back to Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars; do you have any trouble reconciling that ‘commercial’ pop sound with glam metal, or is it something you can draw on and be inspired by? “Definitely be inspired by! If you break it down, we’re just writing the best songs that we can and packaging it in eighties glam so I think our song-writing is quite modern if you compare it to the eighties bands.”

The band writes up to 40 songs per album, culling the weaker tracks till they’ve got an album so I’m curious to know what happens to the songs that don’t make the grade.Martin can’t give me an answer – he doesn’t know himself: “We’re trying to figure that out! We want to do something with them but we can’t just give them all away but we don’t want to sell them either so I don’t know really…but some of the older demos kind of show up again when we start recording a new album – there are two songs on the new album that we did during the Generation Wild sessions but we didn’t finalise those songs [at the time] and now we nailed them and we put them on the new album.” He likes my idea of sticking them up on the net and letting fans finish them so maybe fans will see this happening in the near future.

And finally, with the long tours, what do you do to prepare? “We do a lot of preparation. We mainly try to get in shape and rehearse a lot so we’re physically prepared to break down our bodies for the rest of the year. If you’re not prepared for it then you’re gonna lose your mind! So we really work out a lot and rehearse a lot and spend a lot of time with our girlfriends!”

Just as a closing comment for this article, Martin tells me that while their girlfriends sometimes come along for a week or two, a lot of time is spent alone.

 Just something for you stalker fans to consider.