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Interview with Crispin Earl

Crispin Earl
The Veer Union
THE VEER UNION Crispin Earl talks to RockEyez

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 2009

Crispin Earl: Hey Brian itís Crispin from THE VEER UNION how ya doing today?

Brian Rademacher: Not bad how about you?

Crispin Earl: Pretty good I canít thank you enough for the kind words on your review. That was pretty cool man thanks.

Brian Rademacher: Iím glad you got to read it before the interview. My wife listens to the CD and sheís a Christian and listens to a lot of Christian style music beside the norm and she loves THE VEER UNION CD. There were quite a lot of things that were bugging me before the interview with posts I read on YouTube that were racially motivated and for me being in a biracial marriage and adopting my wifeís daughter before the marriage kind of got to me which I wrote about in my review of your CD "Against The Grain."

Crispin Earl: Thatís very cool, Iím adopted too and thatís very cool people like you out there that have a heart.

Brian Rademacher: Letís go back to your youth and things at home. When you were living at home as a child did you have anything on you walls in your bedroom like posters or anything else?

Crispin Earl: Thatís a really good question. I originally started out as a drummer in schoolÖ that was my first instrument. So I had a lot of Modern Drummer magazines. I would say the poster on my wall would have been LIVING COLOUR although LED ZEPPELIN is really the band that got me started into rock music in general. They are my band!

Brian Rademacher: So how were you in school?

Crispin Earl: I did well surprisingly. I graduated in the top thirty percent of my class, but you know what? I tell you straight up, Iím not going to lieÖ the only reason my GPA went up is because I took so many music classes. If there was a music class that could be taken, I was taking it! I knew by the time I was ten years old that this is what I wanted to doÖ play music! I had the high school band come to my elementary school and the drummer was just unbelievable and right from that moment, I knew thatís what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then I kept on growing and I picked up guitar and sang in the choir.

Brian Rademacher: Did you play any sports?

Crispin Earl: For the most part my family was big into gymnastics, so I took gymnastics for a lot of years. That was actually one of my first jobsÖ teaching gymnastics.

Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever bought?

Crispin Earl: Yeah I do. I think it was "In Through The Out Door" by LED ZEPPELIN that was the first tape, My first CD was Lenny Kravitz "Mama Said."

Brian Rademacher: How about the first concert you attended

Crispin Earl: That was PEARL JAM on the "Ten" record, that was my first and was very cool and inspiring.

Brian Rademacher: So you were in a band called JUNE. You had a video for the song "Sometimes" that made the top rotation on a station in Canada and when I was listening to the tracksÖ you mentioned one of your influences was ALICE IN CHAINS. That music of JUNE is basically what you still play now but a little heavier and melodic, do you see it that way?

Crispin Earl: Iím proud of what I did in JUNE in the days I played with them and for me, I would say RADIOHEAD was my biggest influence. There is an independent band called SELF that was a huge influence on me. I was listening to a lot of different stuffÖ that was my experimental stage. I feel the music was pretty melodic back then and itís just I think I was going so far as to be excremental in that band. I really wasnít focusing on my roots which was rock. I started another band after that called EVERYTHING AFTER and thatís when I really said I want to make a rock record. Thatís when I wanted to write a really great rock record and I think a lot of that is how "Against The Grain" has come about. A lot of the stuff I started writing after JUNE is on this record now as well as a lot of new stuff. I really love ALICE IN CHAINS and still love them. I love the idea of them having the duel vocal thing and lots of harmonies and thatís always had a big influence on me. Iíll also say that Chris Cornell is one of my biggest influences because lyrically he is genius.

Brian Rademacher: I mean, I listened to JUNE in 1999 and EVERYTHING AFTER and I can hear the progression in your music as time went on up until "Against The Grain" which I feel is the best youíve done.

Crispin Earl: Wow you done your research! Iím very, very impressed (laughing)Ö your cool man!

Brian Rademacher: I recently watched video of you guys playing high schools during their lunch hours. How has that be going?

Crispin Earl: Itís very cool. Itís something we started doing before we got signed to Universal/Motown. Basically we hooked up with DeAvon Burnes of the You Can Be Anything Foundation and he said he was basically trying to keep music alive in schools. A lot of schools are losing their music programs. I was like, "If it wasnít for my music program, I wouldnít be doing what Iím doing now!" It seemed fitting for us and we toured for two years putting shows together in schools and doing a full off show and literally it was for many of the students the first show they had ever seen! It was very cool and we got to inspire a lot of people and it was for a good cause and we will continue to do that in the future.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have a song on the new album that you like to sing the most?

Crispin Earl: When we are doing a rock show, our single "Season" is my favorite song and probably the most nostalgic song for me would be "What Have We Done" which is the ending track because of the way it came about. We were in the studio recording the major label debut. Everything is like a family in a band you have your ups and downs and our drummer was having a bad day so I went into the other room and started playing acoustic guitar and literally wrote that song on the spot and the producer was in the other room and said, "What are you working on? Thatís really good!" and we recorded it and Iím very proud of that song. That would be my favorite to sing, plus itís off the beaten path compared to the rest of the record.

Brian Rademacher: How did you keep your relationship with Eric Schraeder so long without battling since he was your neighbor where you lived in Canada?

Crispin Earl: The biggest thing, is we lived in a small town and when you live in a small town you basically consider your friends as part of your family if you respect them enough. No matter whatÖ even in business you have to have the mutual respect for someone else. You will have your fights and if you can get past those fights and if you have respect for one another, you can always get past those fights.

Brian Rademacher: You went out with HINDER. I had done an interview with Blower and I hear they do some pretty wild things on their tour bus. Blower told me that he stands there and they shoot paint balls at his balls (laughing) can you tell me any wild stories on your bus?

Crispin Earl: Yeah thatís Blower for sure! Oh man, you know what ÖI donít let anyone shoot paint balls at my balls or anything like that! If you talk to any of the guys in HINDER, we were the new band and we got a small bus and there was so much partying going on our bus that those guys came on our bus! We had more chicks on our bus then any of theirs.

Brian Rademacher: Hey man it was great to talk with you and congratulations on the new CD. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?

Crispin Earl: Yeah check our MySpace! We are always on there. We will be on tour for the rest of the yearÖ maybe take one week off for Christmas. Our record is in stores now and it was really great to talk with you and the people at RockEyez! Later man!

Crispin lived Port Alberni on Vancouver Island

June 1999 video


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