Local Band Proves Big Dreams Do Come True
By Jon Minners
It is a long and bumpy road to the top and no one knows that better than one local rock band that has finally seen years of hard work pay off. With a record contract and several albums about to be released containing their music, 2006 looks to be the year for Morris Parks own Crashbox.
The musical quartet has been hitting the local rock scene for close to a decade, first as the band Pinwheel before changing their name to Crashbox in hopes to finally landing the elusive record deal they had been flirting on and off with since their inception. Finally, everything has fallen into place.
It has been a long journey to get to where we are today, said Sal Scoca, the Belmont and Arthur Avenue native who now lives in Morris Park and does the lead singing for the band. We shopped around and major labels made offers, but nothing that would be appealing to us; more for those who are 18, 19 or 20 and can just pack up and go, not making a dime off their music and just live the life, Scoca continued. We ended up going the indie route.
Crashbox consists of Scoca, fellow songwriter Chris Petro; drummer Pete Santagada; newest bass guitarist and Allerton Avenues own Angelo Fariello, along with original band member Vic Pena, working hard behind the scenes. The group ended up working with a movie company that distributes Japanese Anime; coincidentally named Crash Media. The company is about to release Shiden, a new version of Speed Racer and Olympus Guardians. Crashbox worked on both movie soundtracks, which will be released in the early part of 2006. Crash Media, which is expanding into other areas of entertainment, ended up helping the band as it searched for the right distribution company that would suit Crashboxs needs.
You really have to figure out what the circle is, explains Scoca. You do not need to chase down the major label to work with the major label. SONY offered us nothing as far as promotion. We would only make money based on record sales and touring, but without the promotion, it would be hard to make money. An indie label works with the band to promote the CD, using the backing of a major record distribution company, so if we sell a million CDs, we are making money right off the bat.
Scoca says that if the band signed directly with SONY, BMG or Island, the band would have more than likely made a CD that would not be promoted if it did not fit the cookie-cutter sound often heard on the radio today. Without the right promotion, the label may have shelved the band and no one would hear from them. However, Crashbox has signed with Koch International and Core Records, an indie label that is a division of Universal Music Group.
The label will work with the band to promote them in the United States and overseas. In fact, their third CD, recorded at Prime Time Studios is the first to hit major record stores like Best Buy and FYE, and will hit the streets on March 15, 2006. It is a dream come true for the band that Scoca believes leans toward a different school of music blending Billy Joel and Elvis Costello with Bon Jovi and Aerosmith.
I never had one doubt, claims Scoca, who says the band never took a break out of frustration in its entire decade run. Listen to the music out there, he continued. It is so bad; so inconsistent that you realize if you are persistent, you will finally hit it and get noticed.
The CD contains old favorites like Radio and Saturday that have been reworked and new songs like Scocas very personal favorite Life of the Party and Drown, which the lead singer and songwriter feels is very Z100-friendly. The band has finally made it, a fact Scoca realized when he discovered he could illegally download his own music. A friend of mine has this program and I plugged in Crashbox and I saw Radio and Drown; even stuff from Pinwheel was there, Scoca laughed.
Now, that the band has finally made a splash, everything will just get easier, according to Scoca. The next CD after this is going to be better, he promises. Once you get past all the dealing with record labels, it frees up mind space and you can focus on your music. It is easier to do what you intended on doing and the inspiration flows; the creativity is there more than even before. I think the future only gets better from here.
The future includes a number of gigs in New York, with the last one taking place on February 28, before the band starts performing in other venues across the country, with possible opportunities to open up for mainstream acts in the talks for 2006. The band is also lining up a video and is looking to get exposure on all the major radio and television stations next year. It appears that the sky is the limit for this small town band gone big, but the group has not forgotten their humble beginnings.
How long has it been since a group from this area has been acknowledged, questions Scoca. It feels good to represent our community and we hope that all the residents in Morris Park and the surrounding areas support us by buying a CD.
Success has certainly not gone to the bands head; well, not completely, as Scoca dreams of what life will be like next year, jokingly offering a very optimistic outlook for the bands future. I want to be adopted by Hugh Heffner, he says. I want to live with him and Heidi. This time next year, I want to be sitting under a waterfall, doing an interview from the Playboy Mansion.
For more information on Crashbox, including music samples, merchandise and tour dates, go to http://www.myspace.com/crashbox or www.crashboxnyc.com.