Great, thanks for asking. Just about recovered from Christmas and New Year here in the frozen wasteland of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Can you talk to us more about your new single “Shock To The Heart”?
Yeah. It’s an upbeat, guitar-heavy rock song. I wrote and played everything.
Did any event inspire you to write this song? How was the recording and writing process?
I always used to write songs by sitting down with an acoustic guitar but that got very boring. You tend to play the same chords over and over and it becomes very repetitive. For the last couple of years I’ve been experimenting with different ways of writing, more often than not leaving the guitar to one side and writing around a drum beat, a bass riff or a keyboard sequence. I can’t play the piano properly and have no idea what chords I’m playing so it’s great for coming up with something different. This song started off from a melodic idea I came up with out walking which I fleshed out when I got home. Lyrically it’s probably the most personal song I’ve ever written. I’ve lived with generalized anxiety disorder since I was very young and have gone through periods in my life where I’ve suffered from crippling panic attacks. I had a particularly horrible bout of panic attacks in 2016 which totally upended my life for a couple of months. I started to think I was losing my mind. When I was working on this song the first words that came spewing out of my mouth were the first two lines “You should lock me up/keep me out of sight.” I didn’t sit down consciously to write about that experience but on a subconscious level I guess I needed to talk about it.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Why? I haven’t watched a music video since about 1994. Do people still watch music videos?
Why taking so long on releasing this material?
I’m not sure I know what you mean! I’m constantly putting stuff out.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are playing with other acts rather than working on your own material?
Depends who I’m working with. In the case of my ‘day job’ playing bass with The Jesus and Mary Chain I don’t have any creative input. My job is to play other people’s bass parts as best I can. So in some ways it’s a much easier job. In other ways it’s harder because it’s not my band so I feel more pressure to get it right. If that makes sense. When I’m performing with my own band there’s nobody to answer to but myself! If I’m working with someone like Consequence (from A Tribe Called Quest) I have more creative freedom. He’ll have an idea for bass line or guitar part and it’s up to me to interpret the idea and figure out how to play it. That’s always a lot of fun.
After 20 years in the scene – how would you say you have grown as an artist?
I’d like to think I’ve become a better songwriter and looking back at my earliest songs I think I have. I think I’ve become a little more daring than when I first started. I’m not as scared of making mistakes as was twenty years ago. Some of the best things I’ve done have come from making mistakes.
How has the 90s influenced your current music?
Er… it hasn’t. I’ve always been most inspired by the music of the 60s and then the 80s, during the time I was a teenager, when bands like Echo and The Bunnymen, The Cure and The Smiths were in the charts. Those are still bands I listen to often.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?
Yes. I’m planning to go into the studio soon with my band The Rels. I have about ten finished songs ready to record and another ten that need finishing. We’ll likely record it with Mitch Easter again as we did on our last record “Sunny Side Down.”
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I’m toying with the title “My Home Is A New Country.” The album probably won’t be out until the Fall.
Any plans to hit the road?
I just came off a 95 date tour with The Jesus and Mary Chain, including 7 shows with my own band supporting, so I’m still recovering from that one! But yes, at some point in the next few months The Rels will play some more shows. Most likely East Coast USA shows.
What else is happening next in Mark Crozer´s world?
Well I have a few months off which is great. So I can focus on finishing writing these songs. I’m working on an album of instrumental stuff too and I also have to finish writing a book about my rock n roll experiences. I’ve been working on it for three years now! So you can expect that in the near future. I hope.