INTERVIEW: Johnny Cruz – Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ are taking the world by storm with their refreshing take on the vintage glam rock sound, reaching high placements in the charts of their home country of Finland. The four piece are due to release their latest album Bad Blood Rising on November 10th via M-Theory Audio. Currently in the midst of a full scale tour which is soon to hit the UK we caught up with guitarist Johnny Cruz to learn a bit more about the band which are making big waves in such a short space of time.

How do you feel the band has progressed since your self-titled album?

Johnny: I think songwriting wise we’ve grown a lot. I was more confident, taking lot of risks while making the new album and not just doing the same thing again and again. We also played about 200 shows after our last album, so yeah we’re getting pretty good at playing live [laughs]!

What can the fans expect from your new album Bad Blood Rising?

Johnny: Lots of new elements, lots of diversity between the songs on the album. Of course crazy ass guitar shredding and big choruses, but also a few ballads.

Was there anything you approached differently throughout the writing process?

Johnny: Yeah, this time round we finished the songs together in our rehearsal place from the demos I had sent over.

You have already released the tracks Young Blood Rising and River Phoenix, how has the response been so far?

Johnny: It’s been very good, but I really wanna hear what people think about the rest of the album because those two songs don’t give the whole perspective of how the record sounds.

You broke into the Top 40 in the Finnish charts with your debut album Screaming For Adrenaline, that must have been a pretty big moment for the band?

Johnny: Yeah, the second album went number three so yeah that was big deal!

How was it playing at the legendary Download Festival last year?

Johnny: One of the best memories of 2016! Even though we had an early slot, there were an insane amount of people there. We also got to see BLACK SABBATH, which was great!

You have had your music feature in TV commercials as well as appearing in the US TV show Breaking Band, how did those opportunities present themselves?

Johnny: We even performed on a Mercedes-Benz commercial [laughs]! I don’t remember how that thing came about, I think they were looking for a rock band from Finland cause they were filming the commercial in Lapland.

Last year you released a cover of ONE DIRECTION’s Drag Me Down which was a pretty ballsy move! Where did that decision come from?

Johnny: From the record label. Now you understand why we changed the label after that [laughs]!

You have a lengthy UK tour coming up in December, what can the fans expect to see at one of your shows?

Johnny: A real rock show and a kickass band, I’m so excited to get back there and tour our asses off!

Are there any particular places you would really like to tour but haven’t had the opportunity yet?

Johnny: South America and Australia, those are the two places we have not visited yet.

What is the next step for SANTA CRUZ?

Johnny: Get the album out and tour, tour, tour, tour, then go to the studio and do another one, pretty simple!

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Distorted Sound?

Johnny: Come to see our show! You will not regret that, and then let’s get beers after the show!

Bad Blood Rising is set for release on November 10th via M-Theory Audio.

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