On a day off of their run of shows with Suicidal Tendencies last summer, Oxnard/Ventura, California-based hardcore punk band Stop Breathing went into the studio with long time friend Joe Clements (Fury 66) at The Compound in Santa Cruz. The result was the effort they just released, their second 7″ The Santa Cruz EP, which dropped via Rotten To The Core Records. In a masterful feat of speed and determination, hey recorded and mixed all five songs in just six hours.
The Santa Cruz EP is an extension of their self titled debut LP that came out last year on No Idea Records, the EP offers four brand new songs, as well as a cover of Void’s classic “Who Are You”.
Ghettoblaster caught up with Stop Breathing vocalist John Crerar as the band were in the midst of working on a new LP that they will be recording this fall to discuss the EP. This is what he said about it…
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent 7-inch?
Most of the songs were written at the very end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. We recorded them last summer.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
None of the songs were too troublesome. “Artificial Memory” was the most difficult for me being the singer, trying to write vocals over the crazy guitar riffs, but I’m pretty happy with the final product.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
The dudes in Stop Breathing really know how to play their instruments; those fuckers are seriously good at what they do. Me just being the singer (and not playing an instrument), I can say this and not feel bad or full of myself. That being said, most of these songs, our drummer Justin and guitarist Ben would nerd out jamming trying to outdo one another with crazy shit. Once they would get a song together, they would send it to us. We’d all get together, jam it out, maybe re-arange some of the riffs or how many times we play this or that. I’d write vocals over it, and bam theres a song. I’m sure some of the songs might sound a lot different than what Justin and Ben initially came up with, but none really stick out being that much different than what the whole band came up with.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
We recorded on a day off of a run of shows we played with Suicidal Tendencies. Our buddy Josh Hayes (Glass & Ashes/no///sé) was selling merch for us and helped with some of the gang vocals.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
My good friend Joe Clements recorded us at his studio The Compound. We recorded and mixed the whole 7″ in six hours. We pretty much produced the songs ourselves so he didn’t change anything, he did however make the songs sound great!
Is there an overarching concept behind the effort that ties the record together?
For me it’s like a time capsule to last summer. Our LP just came out and we were playing a lot of shows and were extremely busy. So in the middle of the craziness we decided to take a day and record the new songs we had plus our cover of Void’s “Who Are You,” a song we were playing at every show. We had some artwork done by Brian Walsby (that was meant for a skateboard that never got made) of us playing on a beach so it was easy to use the art and name it The Santa Cruz EP, since we were recording in Santa Cruz. So the art and the title tie it all together.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yeah we’ve been playing these songs since before we recorded them, and it seems like people are diggin’ “Can’t Be Stopped” and “Nightstick Nightmare”.
(Download the Void cover for free at stopbreathing.bandcamp.com you can order the physical 7″ from Rotten To The Core at rtcrecords.com or download it at stopbreathing.bandcamp.com.)