'The New Sounds On The Street'
The Bronx has a rich musical history of R’n’B, hip-hop and early ‘50s doo-wop. Crashbox singer/songwriter/guitarist Sal Scoca grew up on the same street, Belmont Avenue, that Dion came from. In fact, he has this vivid memory from when he was seven of watching Dion himself actually harmonizing on the street corner. “I was mesmerized,” remembers Scoca. “It’s what made me want to be a singer.”
The first band was called Pinwheel with best-friend drummer Pete Santagada and bassist Vic Pena. Their 2000 Dear Blue debut sold almost 5,000 copies at gigs and got some New York radio airplay over WLIR 92.7 FM and Z100. Gigs at New York’s Kenny’s Castaways, Acme Underground, Hard Rock Café and the numerous charity events that the band continues to play cemented their chops.
The 2001 Rock Hard follow-up saw the name change to Crashbox after guitarist Chris Petro joined. Here’s where the new quartet really gelled including one memorable Manhattan evening which had Crashbox taking eight encores; performing such across-the-board covers as “Destroyer” by The Kinks, “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes and “Living On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi.
Ultimately, though, Crashbox is about Power Pop, taking the essence of beloved musical heroes like Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello, and reinvigorating that joy, reinventing that original spark, to create a totally individualistic upbeat rockin’ trip. “We’re like a deeper Goo Goo Dolls,” says Scoca, who wants to do the same for the Bronx what The Ramones did for Forest Hills.
With the recent addition of bassist Angelo Fariello replacing Pena, Crashbox is primed and ready. The fanatical fan following is there. They have a team behind them—industry veterans Roger Probert and Mike Pascuzzi—who truly believe.
And now the band has put it all together. The self-titled Crashbox debut is the first release of Core Records, a new independent label distributed by Koch Entertainment. It proves there will always be a place for solid song-driven pop-rock with smarts, solid chops and muscular riffing.
Chatting recently with singer/songwriter/guitarist Sal Scoca, and noting that their press has them labeled as "... four skinny Italian kids from the Bronx," I first wondered if that sounded about right or were they missing any other important elements out?! "It's close. It's more like "four stunningly handsome, skinny italian kids from the bronx who can and will kick YOUR ass!"
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Powerpop with equal amounts of hard rock crunch and singer/songwriter flair!"
Self-titling an album is either a very daring move or a lazy one ... which is it in your case?! "It was considered daring when Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, and Van Halen did it, so we'd love to say "Daring" but the more we think about it, it might be construed as "lazy". We were going to call it "Barrio fino en directo" but Daddy Yankee beat us to it! The Truth is that it's hard to try and "name" a collection of songs you spent years writing! We just may end up self-titling all of our albums!"
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Crashbox at their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "We would have to say "Saturday". It's basically one of the many songs on the album that came from a personal experience; You can't beat the sincerity and honesty you get from the trials of life. When song-lyrics are about more than making out with your girlfriend, the music suddenly becomes more than just four chords and a cool drum beat!'
Whatever happened to the band PinWheel ... especially as they had won the Independent Music Award for Best Hard Rock Band back in 2001?! "Pinwheel was too ambitious for it's own good. The music world wouldn't have been able to handle it. The problem with Pinwheel was that it's musical direction was a bit too vast! Crashbox basically took the finest pieces of Pinwheel and turn it into a fine - tuned Rockin' machine!'
If I had a signed copy of 'Dear Blue' and put it on Ebay upon its sale would I at least have enough money to make a one of my mortgage payments?! "We tried already! Lets put it this way; unless your mortgage payment is equal to the price of a slice of pizza and a can of coke, then the answer is no!"
Where did your new band name originate and what else could it so easily have been called? "The band name was a mix of two names we had. One was "Crash Gods"and the second was "Smash Box". So we put them together and got "Crashbox"."
Just for fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Saturday' - OK, what does an average Saturday night out on the town consist of for you? "Some of us prefer a nice dinner and a few drinks, some post- dinner sex, and then going to bed. And for some of us, the typical Saturday night consists of scantily dressed girls, tequila shots, and a whole lotta singles...and then going to bed...two hundred dollars poorer, drunk, and smelling like a dime- store hooker!"
'This Girl' - What girl? If you could be with any girl for just one night and nobody would know about it, who would it be and why?! "This question had us in debate for hours! Chris preferred Jenifer Love
Hewitt because "she's adorable". Sal preferred Carmen Electra 'cause "she's as hot as hell and I could break records with her!" Angelo preffered Jenna Jameson because "she's the ultimate chick to bang!" And lastly, Pete prefeRred his high-school Gym teacher because "she looks like she'd be up for anything!"
'Prom Queen' - Have you ever been standing next to a Prom Queen as the Prom King?! "We wouldn't say "standing" near her! A few of us did occasionally wake up next to a Prom queen...or at least a runner- up! Proms are over-rated and weak."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "'Little Red Corvette' by Prince. Prince ruled the 80's; he was a great singer,song- writer, guitarist...and he slept with all the hot chicks from the 80's!!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Love 'em! Their the coolest little dudes in the animal kingdom! Did you know that when penguins have sex, they slap each other on the ass and sing?!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Crashbox's new CD, just answer this easy question: Crashbox contributed a song to the Bronx Music, Volume #1 compilation ... what was the name of that song?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before August 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CRASHBOX SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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