Swedish band Crazy Lixx released their sixth studio album, “Forever Wild”, through Frontiers Music on 17th May. I’d recorded an interview with lead singer Danny Rexon back in 2014 just ahead of the release of their fourth album, but was keen for another chat to discuss the excellent new album and find out more about what Crazy Lixx had been doing over the last five years. I spoke to Danny via Skype on 22nd May and you’ll find that interview, along with four tracks from the new album (and one from their re-issued debut album) on the Friday NI Rocks Show for 24th May; which is available on our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-danny-rexon-from-crazy-lixx-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-24th-may-2019/

 

 


 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

 

Playlist for the Show –

BLACK STAR RIDERS – Another State of Grace

TRUCKER DIABLO – Other Side of the City

EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE – Southern Way

TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION - Moonshine

CRAZY LIXX – Silent Thunder

Interview with DANNY REXON from Crazy Lixx Pt1 (10 min)

CRAZY LIXX – Break Out

Interview with DANNY REXON from Crazy Lixx Pt2 (9 min)

CRAZY LIXX – Eagle

Interview with DANNY REXON from Crazy Lixx Pt3 (10 min)

CRAZY LIXX – It’s You

CRAZY LIXX – Want It

MASS – Back to the Music

GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Fight for One More Day

JIM PETERIK & WORLD STAGE – The Hand I Was Dealt

KISS – Domino

CINDERELLA – The Last Mile

WARLOCK – Metal Tango

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON – Hear My Call

SOTO – HyperMania

MARK SLAUGHTER – The Real Thing

FIRELAND – Dragon Slayer

HELL FIRE – On The Loose

BLOODY HAMMERS – From Beyond The Grave

THE ANSWER - Preachin


The 2014 interview with Danny can be found here - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/1700-ni-rocks-interview-with-danny-rexon-from-crazy-lixx.html


Crazy Lixx Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/crazylixx/

 

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

 

NI ROCKS – Hi Danny, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI.

Last week Crazy Lixx released their new album “Forever Wild”, which we’ll talk about in more detail shortly. I just played the track “Silent Thunder” which the band released a video for recently. What can you tell us about that track?

DANNY – It was the first track that we wrote for the album actually and I think it kinda set the tone for the rest of the album. It’s quite an uplifting song with a major key chorus, which is not very typical for us.


NI ROCKS – There’s always been an 80’s vibe to the band’s music and “Forever Wild” is no exception, but “Silent Thunder” is probably one of the most distinctly 80’s sounding tracks. Was that intentional?

DANNY – Yeah, very much. We invented this, made-up action movie called ‘Silent Thunder’ and we set out to make an album that was supposed to be like a soundtrack for that made-up movie. “Silent Thunder” was the first song that we wrote for that. So it was very intentional and we always had this 80’s action movie in mind when we thought about what kind of songs we needed for the albums.


NI ROCKS -   You were involved again in the production of the new album. Who else did you work with for the recording and production?

DANNY – The production side is mostly me and we use our own studio, or several studios actually. For the mixing we had once again Chris Laney, who mixed the last album and a couple of albums back actually. So we’ve been working with him for some time. On the production side, we leave finished recordings for him to polish up the mixing. I also joined him in the final stages of the mixing and we did some of the final details together on site; where I travelled to him in Stockholm and we sat down together. We also had for the first time an external song writer on the album; which is a new thing for us. One of the songs, “Terminal Velocity” was co-written with a guy called Michael Palace, who is also on Frontiers Records. Then I’ve used, as usual, a bunch of backing vocal singers, both male and female. They’re from all over the world – we’ve a guy from Australia and a couple from the US and from Europe. Those were all done via sending files on the internet. The wonders of modern technology! We never actually met them; we didn’t do a studio job with them, but they’re on the album.


NI ROCKS – Is production something you’ve been involved in beyond Crazy Lixx; or something you’d like to get more involved in?

DANNY – Well, I’ve just recently found this new calling and with this album, this is the first time that I’m quite happy with the result of doing it like this. I still don’t feel up to doing the entire production along with the mixing. At some point I like to turn it over to someone who can give it a new perspective. By the time I give it to Chris Laney I have heard the songs hundreds of times and it is nice to get a new set of ears to fix it up. And of course mastering is also done by someone else after that. But, I would definitely like to get into that more and if there was a cool project to work with, another band or something, then I would definitely be up for trying that. I have actually thought about some side projects of my own as well; aside from Crazy Lixx, but I won’t give you any details now, I want to keep it a secret still. But I’d definitely consider production jobs outside of Crazy Lixx.


NI ROCKS – I might be wrong, but as far as I’m aware, this will be the first time that the same band line-up has worked on two onsecutive studio albums? Has that helped in terms of song writing and recording?

DANNY – For each and every album release that we’ve done, as you say, we’ve had to make line up changes for different reasons; and also other things have changed, we’ve been forced to record in other studios and usually the gear is different and we’ve also had not the same team when it came to engineering and producing. This is the first time that we’ve had the same line-up and basically the same studios and all the people involved were more or less the same. So we had this bit of momentum going into this recording that we hadn’t felt before and I think that helped a lot because you didn’t have to start from square one. You could look at what we did with “Ruff Justice” and improve on certain things and that made it a whole lot easier. I think the result is a reflection of that; it shows that we’ve taken what we had and tried to make it even better than last time.


NI ROCKS – Yeah, it’s a fantastic album; I really love it. In terms of song-writing has the band developed a formula that you follow each time, or do tracks come together differently?

DANNY – Well, we usually start quite early when we have a deadline. Like now it was for the spring of 2019; that’s what we got basically from Frontiers. Then we start roughly eighteenth months before – we starting thinking about the concept of the album, looking at material we already have, because a lot of songs get left out of an album, but aren’t necessarily bad songs. We look at some old stuff we have, then we start to assemble these pieces. At the start of a process like that, most of the songs come quite organically I would say. You just let it take some time and when you have an idea you start to work around that. Sometimes you throw it all away and sometimes it gets built into something that is actually good enough for the album. But, at the end of the process you usually have....that’s been the case at least for these two albums....you usually have a couple of slots left that you want to fill with specific types of songs. By that time maybe the deadline is looming closer; so you have a sit down and maybe crunch those last songs. Oftentimes, I don’t think there is a difference in quality between those two ways of doing it, and I don’t think the listener can tell which songs were written in what way. Usually when you crunch these things it takes more intensive work and maybe you throw more stuff out the window before you actually get what you want. But that was the case with this album as well. Two or three of the songs were written during the recording of the other one (“Ruff Justice”). We don’t usually write all the songs and then record everything and then mix it. We try to mix the process together so that there is writing and recording going on all at once.


NI ROCKS – Was there track that took longer for you to get the way that you wanted it to be?

DANNY – When we recorded, one of the songs that took a while was “Eagle” and I think that was because the sound was just a bit different than what we usually did. Neither of the guitar players were used to this kind of playing because it’s a lot of single note stuff rather than the riff guitars that we would usually have in our songs. Also, it needed a lot of keyboards and effects to get that kind of feeling that I needed for the song. That was probably the one that took most of the time. And for me also, vocally, when I sang the ballad “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, that was quite a challenge for me to get the right expression in that, because you can sing a song from beginning to end, but you just don’t get that emotion that you want. So that one, I actually re-did quite a few times over a few days before I was happy with the results. So I would say those two.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play another track from “Forever Wild” now. Can you pick a track and tell us something about it?

DANNY – Well, maybe “Break Out” would be fitting as that was the second single that we released, back in February I think. It’s a very straight forward Crazy Lixx type anthem and it’s basically about you sometimes needing to break out of the routine of daily life and to try to do something different. I think that’s a good reminder for everyone to try that at times.


Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

 

NI ROCKS – I was looking at the tour dates on your website. At the moment it seems to be mainly festival dates in Europe. Are there plans for a wider tour to support the release of “Forever Wild”?

DANNY – We have some plans but there is nothing confirmed. We are actually a bit split between different options, but what we know right now is the festival season. I’m not sure if every date is actually up on the homepage; it’s not usually very up to date. I think we released the dates on our Facebook page, which is our ‘go-to’ channel on the internet. We have Belgium now this weekend to kick off the festival tour, then we have a bunch of dates throughout the summer. The next plan after that is that we are going to Japan at the end of September for two shows. That’ll be our first visit to Japan as well so we’re really looking forward to that of course. It’s the first time in Asia for me, so that’s really cool.  That’s the plan throughout the summer and September; afterwards we’ll see what we do. I can’t tell you anything for certain now and the reason is we really don’t know. The plans are not that far along yet – we have a couple of options and we’ll see what we can do with it.


NI ROCKS – I know there’s nothing confirmed, but any chance that we might see Craxy Lixx back in the UK sometime soon?

DANNY – If something good comes up we’d love to come. We were actually reaching out to a couple of festivals. I get the feeling that a lot of stuff in the UK is on hold, I would say. I thought it might have to do with the Brexit thing and complications with European bands playing there post Brexit, but I’m not sure that is the reason. I know that a couple of the festivals that we contacted were not doing it this year – Rockingham for example, which would be a good fit I think. So, I’m not sure how that will turn out. Of course if we get something good we’ll definitely check it out. We’ll see what happens.


NI ROCKS – Last year Frontiers re-released the band’s first three albums. Why was the decision taken at that time to re-release not just the first album “Loud Minority”, which had been released on a different label originally, but also “New Religion” and “Riot Avenue”?

DANNY – The first album was a bit complicated because it was on a different label, it was on the first label we had when we first got a record deal; so there were legal issues with re-releasing that. When we got the rights back we basically asked Frontiers if they would be interested and they wanted to do it like a package deal. The original plan was to have it re-issued on its tenth birthday, but the planning was a bit too tight so we had to wait. So it actually turned out to be almost a year later, because it was released originally in 2007. They wanted to do it as a package deal, with the vinyl release to get more interest; and also with the bonus material. The reason for the delay was basically the first album and the complications around that, but I’m glad we finally have it out. It was gone for quite a while. The first printing of the album was actually quite small – I think it was 5,000 albums or something like that. Then after that you basically couldn’t get the album anywhere and I saw it sold on e-Bay for a lot more than you’d buy a regular CD for. It wasn’t even available digitally, which meant that there were a lot of the songs that we had on that album that the fans just didn’t know about. I’m glad that they’re out now and it gives us more options to maybe pick a really old song for a live date sometime.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned that there were some additional bonus tracks on those albums. Did you have an input into which tracks were added to those releases or was that down to Frontiers?

DANNY – They basically said that they wanted some bonus material to make it worthwhile for people, who maybe already own the album, to buy the extended version. So I assembled basically what we had. There are still some rough demos left, but I think the quality of those is not very good, so I don’t imagine that they will be released. I gathered what we could for these albums and I think the first one is the one with most of the bonus material. That’s actually the first demo that we ever recorded, back in 2003 I think. There’s an acoustic version of one song and the single version of one of the songs. So there’s a lot of stuff on that one. It was up to us what we wanted to use and I looked through the old hard drives that I had and tried to come up with stuff that we had laying about.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play something from that first album “Loud Minority” later in the Show. Which track would you pick and why?

DANNY – I think I’d go for “Wanted” and from what I’m seeing on streaming services that seems to be the song that is most popular from that album; at least this time around. It was also our single release when we first released the album back in 2007, so I think it’s fitting. It’s a really nice song that’s very typical of our sound back then as well.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned that those first three albums were also released on vinyl last year. Are there plans for “Forever Wild” to be released on vinyl as well as I notice it doesn’t seem to be available at the minute?

DANNY – No it’s not and the answer that we have from Frontiers is that there wasn’t any time to do it now for the release of the CD and I think they’ll wait and see if it does well enough sales wise before they put it out. For us it was quite important to have the album out before the summer. It takes a lot of time to get vinyl because there are so few printers in Europe. You have to wait like six months – it’s crazy – just to get a printing of an album in fairly large numbers. For us that wasn’t an option as we wanted the album out before the summer to be able to book the summer festivals of course and also because I feel that the album could work well as a summer soundtrack for a lot of our fans. I think it has that feeling to it – I really wanted it to be out before summer. So we skipped the vinyl and I think we’ll just have to wait and see if the album does well and then if there’s interest in a vinyl I’m sure they’ll put it out eventually. But as of now, there’s no definite plans.


NI ROCKS – Are you a vinyl collector yourself?

DANNY – I tried for a short while when I was younger but never got into it really and always preferred CDs, but now I don’t own very many CDs anymore. I’m quite happy with the digital format and I actually ripped a lot of my CDs back in the day so I have big collection of songs that way. The physical products are long gone and I’m not even sure where they went! You move a couple of times and suddenly you don’t have them anymore. So I’ve never been a vinyl collector myself, but I have the three ones that we released. I have them here in my room, but that is all the vinyl that I have.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play another track from the new album now. Again, I’ll let you pick a track and tell us something about it?

DANNY – I mentioned “Eagle” previously so maybe that would be a good fit. This is a song that breaks away from our typical sound and from what I gather since the release of the album it has grown into something of a fan favourite.

NI ROCKS – We’ll play that one and it is actually probably one of my favourite tracks on the album and my wife’s favourite track as well. So I’m glad that you picked that one.

DANNY – Awesome!

 

 

NI ROCKS – We recorded an interview with you almost five years ago, back in October 2014, just ahead of the release of the band’s fourth album. It’s hard to believe it was that long ago! How would you compare that album “Crazy Lixx” to the new album “Forever Wild”?

DANNY – That was quite a hard time for us. A couple of months after the release of the album it was pretty clear to us that our two guitarists were leaving. We didn’t announce it until later, but to us in the band it was pretty obvious. We released the album, but then we didn’t do the proper work for it; we didn’t promote it very well and we didn’t tour with it very well. We had a couple of shows, even if they were big, we had stand-in guitarists and at one show I even played the guitar because one of the guitarists wasn’t available at that time. For me, the self-titled album I associate too much with that that kind of not-so-pleasant situation within the band. So I’m having a bit of trouble really enjoying the songs from that, but I do know that a lot of the songs are popular with the fans, especially “Hell Raising Women” which has become something of an anthem. I think we’ve played it at every single show since that album was released. For me this new album represents a lot more hope, striving forward, whereas the self-titled album was, for me personally, feels like the last of that era with Andy and Edd. I having trouble looking at it totally objectively I think. I put in too much of my own personal feelings towards it and at times I think I’m a bit unfair towards that album; but I do think it is one of our better albums in the discography when you just look at the songs.


NI ROCKS – Your next release after the self-titled album was the live album “Sound of the Live Minority” which was actually recorded in 2015 with the old line-up. Was a live album always something you had wanted to do?

DANNY – Well it was kind of a bucket-list thing to do definitely. It’s the same with the vinyls! You have this stuff, the places you want to visit with the band and some things you want to do. When we started the band I never imagined that vinyl would be an option – it was the CD era and vinyl was dead and gone; so I’m so happy that we got to do that as well. The live album wasn’t very planned. We sometimes record our live performances and oftentimes we don’t use it. We actually recorded one of the shows on the last tour but a lot of the sound wasn’t good enough. We actually released one of the tracks because there was video recorded as well. So one of the tracks is on our YouTube channel; where we play “Killer” live. We sometimes do that and this recording actually turned out quite nice, so we decided to give it a go and asked Frontiers if they were interested. So they put out this live album, which was a first for us. Hopefully not the last one; I would like to make some more. Financially it’s not as good as putting out a real studio album of course. I think there were times back in the 80’s and 90’s when these things were more popular; or in the 70’s even. Their popularity has gone down definitely, but it was fun.

NI ROCKS – That was my next question, would you like to do another one; and obviously the answer is yes, but it would depend on the situation?

DANNY – I’d say so yeah.


NI ROCKS –  Your previous album “Ruff Justice” included some tracks that appeared on “Friday The 13th : The Game”. How did that link develop and is it something that you’d be keen to do more of?

DANNY – Well for us it turned out very well and I can see our growing fanbase in the US. That is definitely something that I’ve seen the effect of. And also, if I look at the statistics for our viewers on YouTube or our listeners on Spotify, I can see that the age has actually gone down. Where our typical listener previously was basically me – male, about mid 30’s – that has now gone down; as has the European! It’s turned into an American 25 to 27 year old male instead and I think the game has actually influenced that a lot. It has found a new fanbase due to those songs. And that’s something that I’m happy about because I think the genre needs rejuvenation – both the band and the fanbase. At some point bands go, either members die or they just they become too old to keep doing it, so I’m very happy about how that went. We would love to do something similar for games or a series or films. It’s definitely one of the best promotion channels that you can get, but you need a lot of luck to get into that – it’s a very saturated market as well.


NI ROCKS – We’ve talked about plans for the rest of the year and the festivals and Japan. How soon do thoughts turn to album number seven?

DANNY – Well that depends! If you ask our record company they would probably want us to do one as quickly as possible. We’re usually about two years between albums, though we have taken longer in the past between some albums; usually because of line-up changes. From “Ruff Justice” to this one was almost exactly two years in between and I think that’s probably the likely time, especially as we take quite a while to produce an album, from the start of writing. There’s also the fact that none of us are doing this as a full time career still. If this album goes well and we can sit back and relax more and engage ourselves into doing it, I think we could have an album out earlier. I would love to have an album out in 2020, but I don’t think that it’s realistic to think that, as it looks now. I would say two years from now.


NI ROCKS – There seems to be a fairly wide consensus, myself included, that “Forever Wild” is the band’s best album to date. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the Whitesnake album released a few weeks ago it might be album of the year so-far! Does that make writing for the next one more difficult?

DANNY – Well, in a way, of course. As a band you always try and top your previous album. For us, our second album “New Religion” has been the high point that most people are looking at as our best album. That’s the one that we have to compete with all the time. I’ve heard now from several people that they think we’ve managed that this time and that is something that I’m very happy about. For me, it’s hard to compare those because it’s two totally different eras. And of course a new album is always more fresh and you have to look at it from a certain distance. I definitely think that there will be pressure on the next album. I also think that is something that the band needs. When you look at really big bands that break it, they don’t have any real incentive to do something better. They just do an album because it’s good for the tour or something. Look at bands like Iron Maiden for example. One of my favourite bands but they basically haven’t done anything relevant, when it comes to albums in a decade or more probably. I wouldn’t want to fall into that category. Hopefully we will attempt to make a better album next time and that will be our goal for the albums to come. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation where you just put out stuff for the sake of it.


NI ROCKS – It’s a fantastic album. Up there with the Whitesnake one as far as I’m concerned. That’s all the questions that I have for you. We’ll finish with another track from the new album. Again, I’ll let you decide which one and tell us something about it.

DANNY – Well, summer is hopefully coming, not that you can see it in Sweden right now. I think “It’s You” is a perfect summer song to look forward to those warm summer days and festivals ahead.


NI ROCKS - That’s great. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Good luck with the new album.

 

DANNY – Thank you very much.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 September 2019 22:39)