by Nikiforos Skoumas
– Columnist —
Australian glam metallers De La Cruz have just released their debut album on Frontiers Records. With a solid international fan base, numerous popular promo-videos on YouTube and a remarkable EP all preceding their debut album Street Level, it becomes obvious that De La Cruz were not singed by chance. Front-man Roxxi Catalano informs us on the band’s present, past and future.
Hardrock Haven: It has been a bit over a month since your debut album Street Level was released internationally, what has the market reaction been so far?
Roxxi Catalano: It’s been overwhelmingly positive so far, you’re always going to get ya bad reviews and negative feedback but that’s just how music is. It’s about 90% positive though which is pretty incredible considering. As far as sales are going, I’ve really got no idea, it’s too early to say, but personally I’m just stoked at the amount of people who support us and go out of their way to back us. We have the best fans, they’re all so fucking supportive and for that I’m grateful!
Hardrock Haven: It has been almost two years since your sensational EP became available online; how do you reflect on the songwriting, performance and production featured on the release?
Roxxi Catalano: Sensational! Thanks dude! (Laughs) it’s still a good album, sometimes I wish it had been done properly but that’s kind of the beauty of it, it was just an underground release that took off. The songs are still good, I like most of them. Who knows maybe one day we will use some material off the E.P on a future release. Personally I love that big 80’s production and a lot of fans did as well. Street Level has a far more polished production, which was what Casey intended. Next time, who knows…? I know it won’t let down those die-hard 80’s fans though that’s for sure. I love 80’s production!
Hardrock Haven: On your official webpage you are offering a downloadable version of your EP for free. What are the benefits of giving fans free content and will you keep making EPs/singles in between albums?
Roxxi Catalano: I think in this digital age it is imperative to give something before you ask for something. It’s like trying to get people to try a new flavor of drink or something, people want to know what they’re in for. Would I be doing this interview if we had tried to sell the E.P instead?? No fucking way! It got us out there and it got us noticed. When I get a free CD of a band, I am much more likely to either go to a show or buy an album or merchandise in future. The kids today have no attention span thanks to all this technology etc, they want it and they want it now, and hey if they buy it next time, then you’ve won. Yes, we will most definitely be doing an E.P release later in the year I imagine. I can’t wait, I’ve got so many songs buzzing around in my skull!
Hardrock Haven: Did you consider using some of the songs on the EP for your debut album?
Roxxi Catalano: Yeah naturally we considered it, and a re-recorded version of the song De La Cruz is on the Japanese release of Street Level as a bonus track. But I guess we just wanted to do something fresh, show we had a bit more. Rather then give the songs away for free then expect people to go out and buy a better recorded version of the exact same songs … I wouldn’t do it and I wouldn’t expect fans to. It’s our first album; we’ve only been around for less than two years so essentially we are still finding our feet.
Hardrock Haven: Before DeLaCruz was signed you already had two official promo videos collecting views on YouTube as well as a promo EP. How did you manage financially to create all that material without the support of a record label?
Roxxi Catalano: We did those videos for fun; we never really expected them to do so well to be honest. They cost us out of our own pocket but not too much, like I said they were for fun and there was nothing serious to them. They weren’t a calculated effort by us to look or be a certain way. Which was a good and bad thing, because suddenly it’s most people reference point for us and suddenly I’m like ‘shit if I knew it was going to get 70,000 fucking views I wouldn’t have done it like that!’ (laughs).
Hardrock Haven: De La Cruz have released a total of four promo videos so far, the first two taken from the EP (Back to the ‘80s and Lust Fame & Money), a video for the demo track “Rockin’ All Nite” plus the latest Cherry Bomb featured on the debut. How important is it for a young glam metal band to have this much audio-visual representation? And should we expect a second promo video from your debut album?
Roxxi Catalano: I think in today’s digital marketplace it is important, people don’t go to shows to see bands they don’t know anymore, etc. Youtube is a huge launch-pad for people today, the world is at your door! So i think that videos are important, i have gone on to become a fan of many bands simply on the strength of a video. I think it’s a good way to show who you are, to an extent though. It’s a two-edged sword as i mentioned in the last question. People can take a glimpse of a video and instantly write you off based upon it. Either way, they are a necessary evil today and a huge help to bands both big and aspiring. Yeah I imagine we will do another video, well we want to!! With Casey departing the band though we’ve got a bit to consider first though as musically he had a huge part in the songs. But yes, we have already discussed shooting one, and I can assure you what ever it is it will be a lot different from our previous ones.
Hardrock Haven: Street Level was issued by Frontiers Records, what is your relationship like with the label?
Roxxi Catalano: They’re good, they took us on board with a multi-album deal and gave us a chance and I guess it’s up to us to deliver. I know that we have a lot to offer them over the next few years but currently we are the new guys, we’ve got to bring the goods. That’s how it works in the business, got to scratch and claw your way up the blood-stained ladder, and it’s nothing pretty. I ain’t wearing a fucking Rolex put it that way (laughs).
Hardrock Haven: Are there any plans for European or American Tours in 2013?
Roxxi Catalano: Yes there are plans in the works, I’d be putting my money on the fact we will be in Europe before America though. We have some sweet contacts in Europe and for a variety of reasons it just makes logistical sense at this point. So many amazing countries and bands there, and obviously we are also on a Euro record label. The U.S.A. is most definitely in our plans though and something I can’t fucking wait to do. We all suffer from wanderlust, it’s all we’ve ever wanted, to tour the world and play rock music.
Hardrock Haven: Finally is there anything that we left out that you would want the fans to know?
Roxxi Catalano: Don’t stress about our line-up change, we aren’t going anywhere and I can assure you that we will still be churning out our DLC blend of ‘80s inspired hard rock for a long time yet. We’ve got some exciting plans and are stoked for you to be a part of them. Can’t fucking wait to meet you all out there on the road, stay rad! Cheers Hardrock Haven!
Official website: http://www.delacruzofficial.com/