The Shindig Interview: Crash Blossom The Shindig Interview: Crash Blossom
Fresh off their show last weekend at Nomads to commemorate the release of their stellar new EP “Harmonies” as well as a slew of... The Shindig Interview: Crash Blossom

Fresh off their show last weekend at Nomads to commemorate the release of their stellar new EP “Harmonies” as well as a slew of other recent shows, Fayetteville’s Crash Blossom is gearing up for a full, busy summer schedule. They haven’t been together long, but things are moving quickly for them. The band has already played a ton of shows, covering most major venues in NWA, and this new EP isn’t just something they threw together on a bootleg Pro Tools setup in an apartment. They recorded it at what Shindigmusic collectively considers to be one of if not the finest studio in the region, East Hall Recording. They’ve also already gotten some radio play from no less a “best in Arkansas” music authority than Shoog Radio. And they have a lot more stuff in the works. Not too shabby.

If you like “space rock” but are a little more into the “space” part than the “rock” part, you’ll probably like Crash Blossom. Consisting of Jacob Arnold on drums, Austin Wilkins on bass, Marshall Allen Bolen on synthesizers, and both Phillip Cannon and Will Playford singing lead vocals and playing guitar, the band performs ethereal pop that transcends typical rock band conventions while still giving you lots of hooks to sing along with. They’re light and airy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t lay it down when they want to because they’re also tight and scary good. Drummer Jacob Arnold is an absolute beast behind the kit, and it’s a testament to his skill how restrained he can be at times in this band. He provides a stout heartbeat for the songs while not overshadowing the intense atmosphere of synths and singing created by the rest of the group.

Crash Blossom has a couple of upcoming NWA shows on the books and a whole lot more in the works. You can check them out playing solo at Black Apple Crossing on Friday, August 3 and at Smoke & Barrel on Friday, August 10 supporting new releases from locals White Mansion and The Inner Party. In the meantime, they were kind enough to collectively discuss their fledgling career with us via e-mail.

You’ve only been a band for a couple of months. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came together and your respective
backgrounds?

Will and Marshall met through the university, and quickly started collaborating on their individual projects. They both have extensive backgrounds playing in bands throughout Little Rock and Florida, respectively. Phillip and Austin met in swing dance classes and became quick friends. The two started weekly jam sessions and were later introduced to Will and Marshall. The four continued weekly jam sessions while looking for a drummer. Eventually, they met Jacob Arnold, an accomplished local drummer, who agreed to check out the weekly jams. After Jacob joined, he issued an ultimatum, “either we start playing shows or I’m out!”

You recorded your debut EP “Harmonies” at the venerable NWA studio East Hall Recording. What was that process like?

Awesome! Working with Chris Moore and Logan West was a lot of fun. Chris has a plethora of instruments at his disposal, making it easy to find a certain tone in a song. It was a very relaxed and professional atmosphere.

You’ve gigged fairly heavily recently, and you have several more dates already booked for later this summer. What can someone reading this expect from a Crash Blossom show and why should they come see you?

Fans can expect an energetic voyage across musical genres. Crash Blossom is all about the fun and the art. Our music and live show are constantly evolving, so no show is ever the same. Expect a memorable, fun-filled experience!

As previously stated, you’re a pretty new band. What are your goals for yourselves as a band and what are you trying to accomplish musically? Do you anticipate touring in support of “Harmonies” or any future releases?

If you told us a year ago that we would be playing venues likes George’s or Crystal Bridges, as well as releasing an EP, we wouldn’t have believed it. Things are moving fast and we keep moving faster to keep up.  The new music is flowing out of us like a volcano. The future for us involves more studio recordings and more shows. Our dream is to make Crash Blossom interplanetary and to create full length space rock operas.

Tell us about your album cover. Who created it, why did you choose it, and how do you feel it represents your music and your band?

Phillip Cannon is an art factory powerhouse. His art transcends mediums and constantly provides inspiration for the rest of the band. The album cover is centered around one of his many paintings. It represents the beauty of expression and the depth our collective creative coalescence.

American society in 2018 is so polarized that it’s almost impossible to do anything that isn’t at least tangentially political, yet no overt politics seem to be at play in your music. You guys care to weigh in on any current events?

Politics is an inescapable aspect of society.  We by no means avoid the topic, but it just hasn’t had a place so far in our music.  We are hopeful that society can make it on the Kardashev scale without falling to pieces.

A lot of your live experience has been in the NWA DIY scene and now you’re starting to branch out to more traditional venues. How has that transition been for you and what do you like about each respective scene?

We are very lucky to have such a diverse and accommodating music scene in NWA. The DIY venues are a great way to get into the scene where it’s all about the music. The traditional venues are just the logical step forward to progress and become more professional. We want to share our music with anyone and everyone, doesn’t matter where. DIY venues, house shows, main stage at an established venue, or a live-streamed show from Mars (hit us up Elon), it makes little difference. We are going to keep doing what we love and sharing that with anyone and everyone.

If you could play a gig with any two bands in the world, who would you choose? What local bands would you most like to play with?

Narrowing down two bands between the five of us would be really tough. We don’t tend to have much full band consensus on our musical influences. So far, we have had the pleasure of playing with some of Fayetteville’s awesome local bands like Foggy Bobcat, Elephantom,
Terra Nova Kings, Moonsong, Drawing Blanks, and Ankle Pop.

Dave Morris

Dave Morris is the Features Editor of Shindigmusic. He has written for the Arkansas Times, the Fayetteville Flyer, the Idle Class, and Fayettesound. His academic writing is featured in the book “First Amendment Studies in Arkansas”. He holds an M.A. in Rhetoric from the University of Arkansas and is a recipient of the Richard S. Arnold Prize in First Amendment Studies. He also attended Marquette University Law School. He currently performs with post-punk band The Inner Party when he is not dealing with his foolish cats or engaging in a shameful array of other geeky pursuits.