36 Crazyfists

by Chris Fox
December 2008

36 Crazyfists from Kenai, Alaska - photo by Brian Lee

36 Crazyfists from Kenai, Alaska
photo by Brian Lee

The Alaskan-based heavy metal thrashers, 36 CRAZYFISTS, have taken a unique approach to their music and their performance. As Brock Lindow (vocals) explains, they have a very raw attitude, and admittedly are often too close to their music to fully understand what they are creating. Avoiding the negativity and anger that often surrounds the musical term “metal” and, rather, creating a positive ideal with a heavy sound. Their surprising rise to the heavy metal circuit is not that shocking, explains Lindow, “metal is the number one resource up there, nobody looks to Alaska as a musical hotbed, but that is what makes it the best place.” Lindow credits a lot of their inspirational drive to the small but thriving music scene in our nation’s largest state. Lindow compared the passion and energy of Alaskans to metal fans in Texas, and says, “Texas has got nothing on Alaska, the people are what make the music and the scene.”

Lyrically Lindow tries to take the positive side of heavy metal and find optimism in the negatives of life. As he elaborates, metal becomes about love, respect and unity.  He discovered the importance of fans and their interpretations of the music after meeting a military family that seemed to draw a lot of inspiration and hope from the music. Drawing from influences as heavy as Slayer and Metallica to as unexpected as the Police and Chris Cornell, Lindow speaks fondly of the crazy mosh pits on songs like “All My Light” and the heavy crowds that the band draws.  The fans have become everything to 36 CRAZYFISTS, “without our fans this whole thing would be absolutely no fun…” Lindow explains, “nothing is better than sex, but when the fans sing back, there is nothing closer.”

Lindow and the band take a very simplistic philosophy to their music.  “At the end of the day, it is still just music,” and he explains that interpretation is what music is all about. It is this philosophy that removes all rules from Lindow’s writing and allows him to explore paintings of his life as well as lives of others. As a group, they have begun to discover and better understand the cause and effect of everything. This has created a new development in Lindow’s lyrics and given the band a sound that continues to change and relate to their fans. He points out, “Alaskans take care of their own, much like heavy metalists and the fans of the culture. It isn’t anybody’s place to make judgments about beauty, and”, as Lindow declares, “they won’t.” Whether it is their music, the next crushing metal album, or the worst pop sensation, the philosophy remains that interpretation is everything. They play to make music, and in traditional metal fashion they could care less about what the masses dictate.

The new album, “The Tides And Its Takers” delves into new territory for the band, “as every album should,” according to Lindow. He admits that they find themselves so close to the music that it is hard to define how the albums have changed, and rather explains each song as a development for the band. The only difference Lindow could define was the development of “Tides And Its Takers” as an entire album rather than just a bunch of songs. Their time on the road and working together has made them into better songwriters and helped create an album rather than bunches of hit and miss songs. In the end, Lindow explains, “the new record is all about interpretation as with all music and the differences are meaningless if you listen to the music. This album, same as past albums, is heard best live, and that is why the band has been touring intensely for the last year.”

Friendships with fans, seeing the world, and meeting other bands are what drive 36 CRAZYFISTS to continue their intense touring. Lindow reminisced on a tour with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE where the band found themselves competing for the best Sharpie beard. “After hours of entertainment and countless bars of soap,” Lindow claims that, “moments like this are what make touring fun and worth every moment of turmoil.” As the band continues to tour they plan to take time off for the holidays and then hit the road again. Heading overseas and all over the nation they always manage to make it back to their home turf in Anchorage, Alaska. They are working on filming and hope to soon release a DVD amongst their busy touring schedule. Lindow says, “It doesn’t matter what happens, the best thing is just being able to see the world because of this little band.”

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CD: The Tide And Its Takers Record Label: Roadrunner
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