Bombs Over Broadway is
your new album. The music on the album I described as Glam from the streets. What do you
think of the recording yourself?
I think you gave a pretty valid description of the album. We're happy with the recording.
I think at times the production could have been a little more energetic, maybe louder
cymbals or a more defined bass tone, but overall we're very happy with it. Duane helped us
immensely with our songwriting, and without his help the songs would not have been as
complete as they were.
You're a guitarist. In what way do you
think Duane contributed to the recording of your guitarplaying? Did he give some ideas how
to play certain parts or to rearrange things? What have you learned throughout the
Duane really encouraged me to be able to
add all kinds of different guitar work and atmospheric parts to the album, whereas before
I thought of things only in terms of "here's the rhythm part, and here's the lead
part." There ended up being much more on the album that most people probably wouldn't
even notice, but there's a lot of stuff on there that kind of adds to the overall effect.
Before recording the album, what did you
think of working with Duane the moment it was settled he was doing the thing? He worked
with a lot of people you might look up to like Motley Crüe and Alice Cooper. So, what
went on in your mind?
I was actually a little tentative about it,
because Duane had worked with a lot of old dudes and I didn't want the record to sound
dated. I was worried that he would be real set in his ways. But as it turned out he's
worked on all kinds of stuff lately so those fears were kind of unfounded. I don't really
look up to Motley Crüe or Poison that much...they're sort of cheesy, but the scoop is
definitely the man, although his heyday was certainly the seventies.
On the new album you combine a garage rock
sound with Glam rock type of stuff. You once played in a hardcore band called Speedy
Delivery. What made you make this move?
I grew up listening to all kinds of music,
and hardcore was just the first band I started, because it's relatively easy to do, and a
good scene exists for it. When Speedy Delivery broke up, I had been talking to John and
Jeff about playing with them, and they were thinking about changing their style around a
bit. It was all very natural, not a radical departure at all.
What kind of bands are maybe influential to
your song ideas? Do you pick up things from records you've listened to or maybe just
guitarplaying that inspired you to get certain tones?
Personally, there are certain bands that I
like a whole lot, but they're not necessarily the bands I get most guitar ideas from. You
just hear things from all different kinds of bands, and sometimes you say, "let's go
for a sound sort of like this" and 9 times out of 10 it ends up turning into
something different or unique.
Squad Five-0 exists for quite some years
now. The band was started by the twin brothers John and Jeff Fortson. You joined much
later. All songs on Bombs Over Broadway are made by the band, so the inlay says. But how
is the influence of the twin brothers on the band and the songwriting? Do they dominate or
do you have an equal share?
Jeff writes all the lyrics to the songs,
and most of the structures and chord changes. John and I will write riffs here and there
and then give them to Jeff to put lyrics to. John writes all the bass parts and I write
all the guitar leads and overdubs...that's about how it goes down.
In a biography of the band I read that the
members live in different states of the US. How is it to be a band in those circumstances
as it comes to songwriting and rehearsing?
Well, for the last album we wrote it by
taking a week in Seattle to get together while we had days off on tour, then we took a
week in Savannah to work on songs, and another week in Atlanta. That's all the time we had
to be all together to work on it. I hope for the next album we'll have more time to
arrange the songs and write together, that will definitely be something we do. As far as
rehearsing, we just practice for a week before we go on tour together in Georgia, usually
it's not too intense, because when we're touring we're playing songs we already know.
Some bands call themselves a ministry to
reach out to people with the Christian message. All members of Squad Five-0 are as far as
I know Christian. What do you think of music ministry in general? Do you think it's
important and is it influential?
I think it's important and can be
influential, but we have to be careful that we're not just preaching to the converted so
to speak. Know who your audience is and how you can best reach them. Although our lyrics
aren't usually about God directly, they're about issues that Christians all face, and that
most kids deal with too. We usually say something about our faith at shows, but only as
much as we feel lead to.
You say it can be influential. Have you
personally ever been influenced by what a band said on stage or on an album? What kind of
influence do you see?
I've been most effected when bands speak
about social issues. Bands like Crashdog and Strongarm have always been inspiring to hear
speak. I think some writers have a gift for making spiritual issues translate into words.
Anyone can say how they feel, but sometimes a band will get me fired up spiritually. But
sometimes a band can be saying things that are true, but it doesn't effect me the same
way. It'll kind of be like, "yeah, I agree, that's great" but it doesn't really
move you. Hopefully kids that listen to us and come to our shows see the reality of our
love for God, and how serious we take it. It's not something that we package to sell to
them, or things we say so they feel good about buying our records. It's a faith that can
save them if they accept it, not a fad or a trend.
As I'm from Europe I wonder about your
touring plans and especially whether you're heading to Europe or not. Can you tell about
We were going to try to go to Europe last
summer, but it didn't work out. It's something we would love to do, and it might be able
to happen next year, although we don't have any concrete plans for it.
And what awaits the fans in the US?
This fall we're doing a co-headlining tour
with Living Sacrifice, and Ace Troubleshooter is opening. The tour dates are at
Last question. If the band still exists ten
years from now, what song from Bombs Over Broadway will you still be playing and what
songs will appear on a best-off compilation then?
Good question. I would like to think Bombs
Over Broadway, Don't Look Back, We Rule The Night, and maybe Tramps On The Run.