CROSSS Close Out Shed Island 2
Since the release of LO via Telephone Explosion Records in May of this year, CROSSS have been quite busy playing their haunting brand of heavy psych across a marathon of summer tour dates. Most recently CROSSS, based out of Toronto, ON, have found themselves onto the Atlantic Canadian summer festival circuit, appearing at Shifty Bits Circus in Fredericton, SappyFest in Sackville, and now tonight closing out the final hoorah for the second instalment of Shed Island in St. John’s. CROSSS will then ease their way into the Fall accompanying Built To Spill on a US tour in September.
In anticipation of tonight’s dual-show closing celebrations, which sees CROSSS ending an evening at The Ship with Unreal Thought (Halifax, NS) and St. John’s locals MAANS, and Bleu, we caught up with Andy March (guitar/vocals) for some words on the importance of the Atlantic Canadian small fest circuit, ongoing live developments, and the anxieties of the songwriting process.
CROSSS have recently incorporated keyboards into the live lineup. Is this a consistent addition, or was it just for specific summer tour dates?
We have worked synth into the live show in a few different ways, as the lineup changes around, now we have Ami Spears doing what she is able to. Hopefully she sticks around!
What do you think the presence of keys adds to the live experience of CROSSS?
It just makes it heavier, Ami is a drone head, and that gives us a ground to work off of.
Being a band that seems to tour quite extensively, will Shed Island mark Newfoundland off as one of the last Provinces you’ve yet to play?
I guess so! PEI is still on the list, and we’ve never been to the North.
CROSSS have hit all the small and charming festivals in Atlantic Canada this summer including Shifty Bits Circus, SappyFest, and now the youngest of the batch, Shed Island. What do you feel is the importance of these small labor of love festivals to typically untoured, or off-the-beaten-path regions like Atlantic Canada?
We come to Atlantic Canada all the time, so I know very well how hard it is to make an East Coast canadian tour work well. These fests definitely help to create a canada-wide community, which is really important both for people here and those who travel to be here.
And what do you feel is the importance of playing these specific festivals as they crop up?
It’s important for us to accept all invitations, we like this ethos, and we’re thrilled to be asked to take part on the east coast this summer. The band has old ties to Halifax, I grew up there, so it made sense to come here for the month.
Since the release of LO in May, CROSSS have been on a pretty heavy touring schedule. Have you gotten around to experimenting with any post-LO material, or has the sole concentration been working out the record live?
We took a few weeks off in Halifax this month to experiment with new material, to collaborate creatively, and to imagine where this project should go next. It’s a pretty exciting time for us in this way.
Looking at your dates it seems the heavy summer touring eases up a bit after Shed Island, with a few staggered live shows on schedule for late August and September. What’s next for CROSSS after you have some time to unwind from tour?
We have about 3 weeks in Ontario/Quebec with just weekend shows, where I’m going to try to revive this old school bus I own, on the off days, then we head out with Built To Spill across the US for most of September. After that we’ll be touring to Vancouver for Vancouver Psych Fest, then making our way back east for Halifax Pop Explosion in mid October. Those October dates just haven’t been booked/announced yet.
After all that it’ll be time to start writing and recording again, which I honestly am not excited for, I like performing. Working on compositions, recording, mixing, and mastering sometimes takes over my life/mind and I get in a dark bubble for months at a time. It’s got to be done though.