Interview: Car Crash Hearts

Coming out with their first English song, ‘Just A Face’, which played continuously on Fly FM and hit #1 on the MET 10 on Hitz FM, Car Crash Hearts are a commanding force in the power pop local music scene. Formed in 2008, the band are known for their awesome energetic live performances and delivering it to the masses. This week, JUICE turned the spotlight onto the Malaysian band, who are a lil’ bit of punk, a lil’ bit of rock, and a whole lot of fun!

Hello Car Crash Hearts! How and where are you today?
Alda : Im gooooood, I’m sitting in my car now! (laughs) My “office”.
Collin : Friend’s place for a barbecue. PARTY!!!
Aliff : Hi. I’m home.

Apparently both your guitarist and singer were found by bassist Alda via facebook! How did that happen and how did you guys know each other before the band was formed?
Alda : One day I just decided to put up a status update saying that I’m looking to start a new band, and both Collin and Aliff and another drummer were the first and ONLY people to answer, its funny how we had the right persons straight away for the job. The rest didn’t know each other, basically I was the connecting person. Hehe, facebook rocks!

Where does your band name Car Crash Hearts mean? Have you guys had your hearts broken loads? Or have you just had a lot of road accidents?
Alda
: GAAAAHHH! I always have to answer this (laughs). Basically the name came from a Fall Out Boy song, and I thought it would be funny if they were singing about my band, the line went “So long live the car crash hearts..” Yup but it does bring a deeper meaning to us, we’re a very “vocal” bunch, we have a lot to say about life, love, politics and career. So we wear our hearts on our sleeves and just say or sing about what we feel strongly about.

As a Power Pop band, who are your main influences for the genre?
Alda
: Basically the usual power pop bands : Paramore, The Beatles, The Who, All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, and some Foo Fighters all play a part in our sound. Basically we’re going for that big rock anthemic chorus! Something you can shout on top of your lungs in your room or in a concert!

What music are you guys listening to at the moment?
Alda
: Believe it or not I’m really digging Bruno Mars.
Collin : I am ‘consuming’ Linkin Park’s latest album. It’s trippy man.
Aliff : 30 seconds to mars.

Who mainly writes the lyrics for your songs?
Alda
: I write the majority of the English songs and Collin the majority of the Malay ones, Aliff chips in as well.
Collin : I try to write Chinese but I fail..so bad…so so bad.

Prior to your song ‘Just A Face’, your band mainly made music in Malay. Why the change to English? Was it to appeal to a wider audience?
Alda
: The plan was to always do both English and Malay actually, we just chose to release the Malay track first.

Do you actually sometimes mute your guitarist Aliff during shows?
Alda
: HAHAHAHAHAHA
Collin : No way. I just hide his cables.
Aliff : -__-”

What is your #1 single ‘Just a Face in the Crowd’ inspired by? Anything to do with a girl that caught your attention?
Alda
: Ooh, actually no. The song in general is actually about being in the rat race and being stuck in a routine and wanting to break out, so it has a bit of social acceptance, lil’ bit of love, and a whole lot of motivational “YOU CAN DO IT!” stuff.

In the video for ‘Just A Face in the Crowd’, it shows a lot of girls auditioning to be what seems like groupies for your band. Do you guys all get a lot of female attention?
Alda
: Aliff and Kevin gets all the attention.
Collin : True that. I get the aunties.

Does your drummer Kevin have 2 different eye colours? It looks like he does in your video clip. That’s awesome!
Kevin
: Someone had leftover contacts, but only for one side. Till this day I haven’t the slightest idea why I put it on. Some things are just meant to be in pairs.

Now that you’ve released your debut EP Learning to Drive, what are your plans for the future? Do you plan to release another record anytime soon?
Collin
: We are in the process of writing new songs. In the meantime we are growing as a band, in terms of music and experience. Hopefully Car Crash Hearts will become its own label in the near future. You can expect a new album early next year, something new, something fresh, MAY THE ROCK GODS BLESS US!!

Do you think that as a Malaysian band it’s hard to be recognised on an international level?
Collin
: Got to get em’ moolahs. (money)
Kevin : Yes, but it’s not impossible.

What are some of the best/memorable gigs that you guys have played at? And why?
Alda
: Personally, it has to be Rockaway ’09. We were new, fresh, we opened the show, and the crowd somehow knew the songs and were very receptive. I’ll never forget that.
Collin : Rockaway ’09, the crowd was ecstatic. RTW09, it was raining and the crowd was still rocking out.
Aliff : Rentak Juara final! It was epic! I had to be carried back to stage.

Do you plan to do any tours in the coming future?
Collin
: Yes. And time will soon tell.
Aliff : It’s any bands/musicians dream to be touring. So yeah, we’re looking for the right opportunity and time to do so.

Are there any artists, local or international that you guys would like to jam or collaborate with?
Alda
: Awe from Wings for local, Hayley Wiliams from Paramore for international.
Collin : Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters and Noh from Hujan, Mooky from One Buck Short.
Aliff : M. Nasir would be awesome! And Incubus!

For each of you, which has been your favourite Car Crash Hearts track and why?
Alda
: I like ‘Sometimes I Wonder’ (laughs). I’m going to polish my own shoe here, I love it because I’m satisfied with how well produced it came out. Everything that I envisioned came our perfectly, but if Collin didn’t write such a lovely song, it wouldn’t be what it is. Good job Collin!
Collin : ‘Bangkit!’ Cause it makes me loud in my head. Listen to it and you will know why.
Aliff : ‘Bangkit!’ – the song and the message connects to me.

If you guys weren’t in Car Crash Hearts, what would you each be doing instead?
Alda
: I would be either a race car driver or a hotelier.
Collin : Gangster in the hood or a general in an army.
Aliff : Astronaut.

Lastly, can you guys change a tire?
Alda
: YUP, no problem!
Collin : With my eyes closed (laughs). Have you changed an airplane’s tire before? Me neither.
Aliff : Yeah!

This year has featured the release of their debut EP Learning to Drive. Find out more about the band on www.myspace.com/carcrashheartsonline or www.carcrashhearts.com.