Recently I was able to catch up with the lead vocalist of the LA-based rock band, called Crossing I’s Dotting T’s. In this interview, we chatted about the direction the band took on their recent single “You,” which features the band Have Mercy, as well as the band’s core influences. We also discussed just how often people get the band’s name wrong as well as the band’s goals for the future.
Thank you so much for your time today! I understand that you guys recently released a single, called “You,” and it has a cameo from Have Mercy on there too as well. Can you tell me what went into the writing for that track?
Yeah, so that track was super special for me personally. Have Mercy was one of those bands that I was personally obsessed with when I was a little bit younger. And then I kind of found another newfound love for them again, and I was just watching so many AudioTree sessions and live sessions and live videos. I just loved their Earth Pushback album so much that I ended up following Brian <Swindle> on Instagram, and he called us back and we started talking. And he said he liked our music, and then I was shocked. And then I just asked him, “Hey, do you want to hop on the song?” It’s kind of a Have Mercy-ish type of song. And he was like, “Yeah, let me check it out.” And he liked it. But I actually just wrote that one…it was like a cliche breakup type of song. And I wrote that one, after I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. And I wrote it out at one AM, as it was when I got home from breaking up with her. And I just wrote the verse, and then I thought, I don’t know where to really take this. I’m not sure where to take it for the chorus. So I brought it over to our guitarist, Soren, he’s just amazing. Literally, there’s not much better in Orange County or even Los Angeles. So I brought it to him, and he was like, “Oh, this would sound good for it.” He put together chorus chords, and he put together that and then I put together the melody for the chorus, and then that’s kind of how it came apart. And Soren wrote the bridge to all the breakdown stuff. And I just asked Brian <of Have Mercy> over on Instagram, “Hey, can I send this over to you if you want to, I had a second verse already written. But you can completely change this if you want, and do whatever you want to do with it.” And so he changed it, and he did his own thing. He made a new melody off it and it was super special. I was super glad that we were able to get it done with him. He was the most professional and easy person to talk to. So we’re so stoked to have that relationship and have that song out.
Yeah, it’s awesome, and it sounds great. So kudos to you guys for putting that all together. So can you tell me how long you guys have been in the band together, and have there been any band membership changes?
I started this band after my cousin passed away due to cancer. It’s actually his anniversary today. I was at the beach with some family. He loves San Clemente in Orange County, this beach, so it’s where we spread his ashes. But it was the anniversary day, and he was the reason why I made this band. It was all for him. And I told him I was gonna make the band and he passed away. So he never got to hear anything.
I’m sorry to hear that…
So when we started, it was just me. And I released a few songs. We did a jam in the Van session in Los Angeles, on YouTube. And I just had kind of a ragtag bunch of musicians. I had my friend just play guitar and I kind of hired a bass player that I knew, and a drummer just to come on and play. And then after that, that’s when our bassist saw that video on YouTube kind of saw that we didn’t really look like a full band. We kind of just looked like hired guns, I guess. So. He was like, “Hey, are you guys looking for a bassist?” And that’s when he reached out, and hit me up and Soren, so we had them on, and we originally had a guy named Matt as our drummer. But he ended up leaving because he does a lot of different stuff around here. He’s made a living off of doing session kind of stuff. So basically, we’ve had the same bassist and guitarists all over. But our drummer has changed just like everybody. Our drummers change every time. We just got a new drummer last week. Her name is Melanie and she is amazing. She has drummed for Slash and ZZ Top, but she wanted to join us.
It seems with a lot of bands, the drummer is the one thing that always seems to be a revolving piece, right?
Yeah, so I see some touring posters behind you. Do you guys have any plans to tour relatively soon?
We don’t have anything set up right now. We’re doing an album release type thing with Ways Away. They’re a super group of Stick To Your Guns and just a bunch of different bands. Jessie Barnett, he’s the lead singer of Ways Away and we’re trying to set up one for that, but no tours. We have a tour that we’re going on in January or February, in Australia, actually, and our label is in Australia. And we were like, “Hey, we’d love to come over there and play some shows.” We knew a bunch of Aussie bands we could hook up with, similar kinds of bands. So that’s the only thing planned right now we’re just kind of doing a bunch of kinds of support shows for some touring bands coming in. We’re kind of taking it easy as we get ready to release this album and kind of just play that.
When does the new record officially come out?
We don’t know yet. We’re still literally delivering it. I’m just kind of back and forth with it. There’s still like one little thing that needs to be corrected, so it’s not ready. It’ll probably be three or four months though when I get the press release and all that stuff.
Gotcha. So can you tell me a little bit about what you guys are influenced by?
Yeah, a lot of 90s bands. Like Smashing Pumpkins and a lot of bands that are so popular today, but they just changed their sound. Like Basement, Citizen, Title Fight, all those bands are kind of the older kind of not hardcore, but just more aggressive type music what we were going for. But those are the kinds of bands that were huge that we did a lot of stuff similar to them. Like Taking Back Sunday’s double melody vocals and bridges and stuff. A lot of that kind of stuff was our bassist’s influence. He really loves metalcore, screamo, and emo type stuff. So we added a lot more screams and stuff. I don’t scream, I can’t scream, but he’s really good at screaming so we have a few songs on the album that have that. Our choruses are kind of like post hardcore, or even hardcore.
Cool. So can you explain if you have a dream producer or someone you’d love to collaborate with in the future?
Alex Estrada is our producer. He did our EP and he did our album too. And he works with Troy Smith. So he’s been our producer full-time and we love him. He knows exactly what we’re looking for. Because we’re kind of more raw, with not as much intense production. Whenever I make a song, we’ll make sure we can immediately just play it the next day, you know what I mean? I try to not be super intense songs and have there be backing tracks. I don’t like backing tracks too much, honestly. We try to make songs that we can just be raw, noisy and aggressive right off the bat. But Will Yip is somebody that…He’s the only producer we would absolutely love to work with. All of his songs just sound unreal.
Sweet! So how often do people get your band’s name wrong? <Laughter>
<Laughter> Every day! Unless it’s bands that are like friends with us, and we played with them a few times. We just played a show on my birthday on August 9, and both the bands that were that opened before us, they got the name wrong. In an article it will still be like, “the most confusing band name,” or something like that…
Yeah, as long as you get it the first couple of times and you see it in front of you. But you can have kind of a running joke with you guys, I’m sure!
And obviously I say it all the time, but everybody gets it wrong. <Laughter>
Yeah, that’s funny. After the record comes out, what will you imagine the rest of the year is gonna look like for your band?
I don’t know, we’re really going to kind of take it easy. We don’t know when it’s gonna be released. So I just assume that once we deliver, it’s going to be a PR cycle with labels, and be probably three to four months, I assume. And then once it releases, I’m going to be setting up some type of West Coast tour again. We did one with Fencer, that went all the way to Portland, and then came back down to San Francisco. We sold out Portland the time we went there, and it was a super fun show. So after we release the album, we’ll be doing those kinds of things. And then what we’re because we’re trying to hook up with some of these booking agencies that can help us get some good shows out near the East Coast or something. That’s what our kind of music seems to resonate best with. The East Coast people.
That’s where I live. Yeah, I think it may translate well to a lot of the venues we have around here. But the last question I have for you is what would be the ultimate goal for this band? What does your barometer of success look like to you?
So when I originally made this band, I just wanted to get on AudioTree. I really made this band originally just for my cousin, who passed away. It was in COVID, during lockdown, and I just started making some songs, and then it kind of picked up a little bit and then I was like, alright, well, maybe I should kind of get a little bit serious about it…I’m really stoked about these songs. They sound phenomenal. They sound like exactly what I want them to sound like, in my opinion.
Cool. Any last words for your fans?
Yeah, just find us on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, whatever it is, or go to Bandcamp and buy a shirt. We just like making music and trying to relate to people. That’s kind of our plan.
Great. Well, let me know when the record comes out!
Take care, and have a good one.