Crossed Keys are the kind of band that write songs that get stuck in your head for days. I dare you to listen to "Times Of Grace" (track 1 off their new 12" Saviors which you can purchase here...) and not want to jump through your fucking living room ceiling and high 5 yourself (or upstairs neighbour) because it's just that good. Oh yeah, they are kind of a punk rock supergroup, which is a dumb term, but when members of your band have done time in Kid Dynamite, Ink & Dagger, Good Riddance, Halo Of Snakes and more what else do you call it? If you like Samiam, Grey Area, Lifetime and bands of that nature, check them out.
1. If you had to introduce an extraterrestrial to music with five records, what do you choose?
Man, could you imagine? Here’s what they would get:
- Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 by Aphex Twin (just in case they harbor notions of terrestrial conquest and enslavement of the indigenous beings, this double lp will chill them out.)
- The Gospel Of The Blues by Sister Rosetta Tharpe (because to introduce them to music is to introduce them to the language of struggle, but they must be made aware of the sound of hope in the face of struggle.)
- The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest (because they should be made aware of what it was like when hip hop was good & why wack emcees are especially offensive to good taste.)
- Master Killer by Merauder (this way, we’ll know if they’re posers right from the rip.)
- Drive This 7” Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart by Ink & Dagger (because they should know that if they’re planning on enslaving the world that they might want to skip Philadelphia because we will fucking SUCK THEIR BLOOD UNTIL THEY ARE EITHER DEAD OR ONE OF US.)
2. The mighty Dave Wagenshutz (Kid Dynamite, Good Riddance) has come on board, and the song i've heard sounds, to me, anyway, a lot more urgent than "I'm Just Happy You're Here". Was the newer material and album "Saviors" written before he joined and just a natural progression, or has his input changed the dynamic a little bit?
Oddly enough, this is my second band experience with Dave as he played a stretch of shows with Halo Of Snakes before Warren Anderson of The Boils joined us. SAVIORS is my first experience writing with Dave. For better or for worse, all five of us contributed to the writing of the songs, so of course Dave’s fingerprints are all over everything & when he’s your drummer, you won’t sound like any other band out there simply because he’s the best in the game. As far as dynamics go, Crossed Keys is a band of friends first and Dave has been friends with all of us for a great many years. Adding him to the lineup was as natural as hanging out with an old friend.
3. Are there any bands, past or present you wish got more attention?
Torches To Rome are one of my most favorite hardcore bands and the music of Sarah Kirsch always moved me the most as a kid growing up listening to hardcore punk. I wish that she got to live long enough to see how much her huge musical catalogue means to people in 2019, but sadly she passed away in 2012.
Presently though, Philly has a lot of incredible bands that deserve more attention like Second Letter, Sunstroke, Goddamnit, Hold Down The Ocean and Brackish.
4. How important is the vinyl format to the punk/hardcore scene? I haven't bought a cd in years, and i'm always stoked when a new record comes with a download code as i don't use Spotify (there's a longevity to vinyl that digital just doesn't have). Have you noticed vinyl having a positive impact on your band or the scene in general?
Yo, vinyl rulz, okay? Bigger pictures for us elder statesmen! *balls up fist, shakes fist at cloud*. It’s nice not to need reading glasses...
But excitement over collecting vinyl is great for a band and it’s part of the whole artistic experience.
5. Whats the next 12 months got in store for Crossed Keys?
Your guess is as good as mine. For now, we’re writing more songs & enjoying the ride. We’ll playing some more shows around the east coast of the US and making our way around to hug each and every person that picks up a copy of SAVIORS.