Welcome to another interview! This time we’re talking to Croatia, a four piece who are all about making you shake your little tailfeathers. Here we chat to them about their latest single ‘Make Circles’ and their upcoming EP New Dreams which is set to be released sometime VERY soon! Thank you to the band for taking the time to do this, and thank YOU for reading. Much Love.
Hello there Croatia, how’s it going? It’s going great! We’re doing an interview with a cool UK blog, which we don’t get to do very often. We’re very excited to come over and play in the UK and Europe in the future so thank you for chatting with us. Our singer Justin is currently in New Zealand for a month exploring – he’s at a surf hostel and claims that everyone looks like they’re from “Bay Watch!”
First of all, could you provide some context as to how you started out in music? All four of us have been making music since our early teenage years. We’ve always loved playing, listening to music, and generally being part of the local Victoria/Canadian music scene. It’s very small and friendly in general. As we’ve all played in multiple bands since our teenage years, we’ve spent lots of time trying to improve as musicians and songwriters and better express our musical vision. CROATIA was formed about 3 years ago with the desire to made moody, energetic and danceable electronic rock music. We wanted to keep some rock/punk aestetic to the band, but also use all the cool electronic synths we were experimenting with in Ableton.
Our debut full length “I Wish I Could Be Holy” was released in August 2016, and we’ll be releasing our new EP (with a new singer Justin) in June 2018. The first single is “Make Circles” which came out last month!
You’ve just released a new single in ‘Make Circles’. What could you tell us about it? We were trying to write some unconventional pop music with rich synth tones and meaningful lyrical themes and I think we achieved what we were hoping for with this song. The main synth line was cut and pasted from an obscure sample so that’s why it sounds so dissonant and washed-out. Justin really fell in love with the darkness and groove of the instrumental and managed to find a cool vocal line and lyrics that fit well over the mood of the song and the whole thing came together very easily and quickly.
The speed that things came together brought us back to first starting out in music and that hasty excitement of wanting to release and share something that you’ve made asap. Lyrically, the song is about the cliches of falling in love and being intimate with other people and the strange or beautiful things this can lead to. Justin hasn’t given any personal stories of these situations, but we probably don’t want to know anyway!
The music video for it is very vibrant in colour and makes for quite the standout. What made you wish to create such a thing for ‘Make Circles’? The original concept for the video was a cliché 1970s motel scene with random hands picking up cigarettes from old vintage ashtrays. We loved the concept of a time-lapse of a cigarette burning. We were hoping to leave the viewer wondering what was happening in that motel room with all those people smoking the cigarettes. When we started shooting the cigarette scene, director Rob Willey was experimenting with some different lighting options. He eventually settled on blue and purple lights that created a really cool vibe that fit the song. We shone the lights on a white wall in Justin’s garage and shot lots of footage of us vibing to the song, and of our friends fooling around fun poses. Behind the lights, we were all drinking and partying – it was really fun! Rob pieced together all the clips and made something super cool.
How cool was it getting to work with Rob Willey as the director? Very cool!! Rob has done a lot of awesome work in Canada, including horror movies and great music videos. His most recent horror film “Dark Cove” is awesome – it’s set on the west coast of Canada and features some great Australian actors. He is a really chill and professional guy that was fun to work with. We’re really hoping we can work with him more in the future.
This is the first single to be released in anticipation of your upcoming EP Half Dreams. What can you tell us about the EP? The EP will feature 5 songs that show the full range of our style of electronic/rock sound. Make Circles is the psych track, but there will also be a pure pop song “Dating Pools”, a retro synth-wave song, a long electronic dance track and a rock song. We’re hoping to release music videos for each single, as a build up to our sophomore LP which will come out in 2019. The EP was recorded by our drummer Ben Erikson (www.benerikson.com) and Adam Sutherland at Infinity Studios in Victoria.
The EP also marks the first release as your new lineup following the addition of Justin. Has his inclusion brought about any changes to your sound? Justin is a very versatile singer who love writing for many styles of music, from R&B to electro dance. He’s very good at coming up with unique ideas and melodies, and his range is awesome. He’s just generally very excited about music and being creative, so he fits in well with us. We are all growing as musicians and songwriters, and Justin is growing as a vocalist, so we’re all excited to continue writing together and try to make music we’re proud of.
Do the bolstered numbers make for more creativity in the studio? Yes! Justin always has new ideas for the drums and synths especially, as he used to be a drummer. In our jam sessions, you’ll often see Justin on the electornic drum pad or the keyboards. We work well writing as a team – if one person is having a bad day, or bad hour, the other guys can keep the energy up until that person’s mood picks up. We have a lot of fun!
Will you be heading out on the road once the EP is released? Yes – we’re currently booking shows around Western Canada and summer festivals in the Pacific Northwest for 2018. We will probably wait to do bigger touring, like in Europe, until our next full length comes out. Maybe you’ll see us over in the UK in 2019/2020 -we’d love that.
Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? Thank you guys at Sounds Good Blog for taking the time to create your blog and putting the effort into finding music and talking to bands. Blogs and writers and taste-makers are a really important part of the music community and we’re very thankful you took the time to chat with us. Hopefully we can discover some cool UK bands by following your writing in the future. Keep in touch!