By Adam Waldman
There’s a good chance that you don’t know who Crash Midnight is unless you’re from Boston (where the band began) or Las Vegas (the band’s adopted hometown), or if you’re an regular Hard Rock Daddy reader. Another time, another place, Crash Midnight would already be a household name.
Unless you’ve been unconscious over the past year, you have probably heard of Greta Van Fleet (at least their music). If I had a nickel for every time someone referenced “that Zeppelin band,” well, I’d have a shit-ton of nickels.
What does Greta Van Fleet have to do with Crash Midnight?
A lot more than you think once you learn about the side of the music business that you can only learn from experience. You see, Greta Van Fleet found the perfect blend of being “that Zeppelin band” and having support behind them. This is not to take away from the band at all. In fact, I find it mind-boggling that a band so young would hold Zeppelin in such high regard, and deliver a sound that feels like what would have been the natural progression of a legendary band whose career ended much too soon.
Crash Midnight’s latest single, “Diamond Boulevard,” begins with a heavy, Zeppelin-esque riff that hits you like a ton of bricks. Unlike Greta Van Fleet, who sound like the offspring of Led Zeppelin, Crash Midnight’s latest track sounds like the result of a gang bang that took place between the members of Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, and early Def Leppard (and you don’t know who the daddy is).
Did he really just use the term gang bang in the sensitive days of 2018? What does he think that this is, the decadent days of the ‘80s? Well, the guy (me) is talking to himself, so you shouldn’t be too surprised. But seriously, Crash Midnight takes you back to a time and place when rock and roll was a party, and they were the rock star hosts.
Will “Diamond Boulevard” be all over the radio like Greta Van Fleet? Highly unlikely, but that’s because radio these days is not all that it’s cracked up to be. I’ll let you in on a little secret…
Radio play does not necessarily translate into dollars, which is kind of the point if you want to make a living playing music. Yes, every little bit of exposure helps, but from a business standpoint, some bands are better off focusing on more creative ways to build an audience.
Today is not just the debut of “Diamond Boulevard.” It is also the debut of Crash The Boulevard, an event that promises to be a much more effective tool to help spread the word about one of the best unknown bands on the scene today.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Crash Midnight frontman Shaun Soho shared the inside scoop on both the song and the event. It’s a fascinating look at the music industry and an inspired bit of trailblazing marketing…
“Diamond is a song that we’ve had for a while. It’s been through a bunch of changes and some different producers who all sort of wanted to leave their stamp on the song, but we finally have it back to the way we originally envisioned this thing. The chorus just rips and we’re real happy with how it came out.
You know, I actually recently got a good reminder about just what this song is about. Someone who worked with the band ages ago poked their nose back in just to make sure we were aware of ‘what a big deal they think they are and how little they’ve grown up.’
When we were just starting our career, it was right as the bottom was falling out of the music industry, and all these mid-level guys were losing their jobs and their clout. These people started resorting to preying on younger bands with predatory contracts and some pretty empty promises on what they could actually deliver. We were naive and got pressured into some ‘take it or leave it’ contracts that really crippled the band for a while.
Imagine having multiple labels interested in signing you and having to turn shit down because you had a contract with outrageous monetary demands in it …with almost nothing required from them in exchange – and a complete inability to communicate with them outside snarky, cryptic quips or total radio silence.
So ‘Diamond Boulevard’ became a sort of rallying cry for us. A ‘FUCK YOU!’ to all those people – and there were a number of them – that tried to abuse the trust of a young band willing to do almost anything to break through.
I love that we’re releasing this song now, on our own steam, as we start our own night at Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas. We’ve gotten to a place where I’d almost say, we’re operating above the music industry at this point. We’ve got an explosive following here in Las Vegas, and we’ve teamed up with some great people in the music industry out here to really punch something different through that’s very non-traditional (as far as the music industry goes).
We’re calling the night ‘Crash The Boulevard’ and making it this tastemakers rock n’ roll scene night, featuring three breakout artists in the area that vary a little sonically, but all have this undeniable cool about them. Sort of going off what was happening at CBGB’s back in the day when Iggy, The Ramones, and Blondie all could feel like they fit despite having pretty different sounds.
We’ve also got this badass Rockstars & Cars pre-show at the LINQ VIP Valet before the concert starts. It’s sponsored by Celebrity Cars Las Vegas. We’ll have media, some legendary muscle cars, and all the bands rolling through to take pictures with fans. Then, of course, we’ve got the concert starting right afterwards, followed by an after-party that – I don’t want to give too many of the surprises away, but – we’re going to have special guest performances, all these souvenir giveaways, and it’ll be a chance for the fans to hang with a lot of bands from the scene, both ones that played that night and bands that we’ll be featuring in future nights.
It’s going to become something like a clubhouse for the Las Vegas rock n roll scene and a place where both the bands and fans can meet, hang, and build a relationship. It’s been great how quickly all the bands out here have jumped on board with this. It’s something that seems like it’s been long overdue, and with so much industry out in Vegas these day, from producers to agents, managers etc, it’s going to create a lot of opportunities for these young bands.”
Check out the video for “Diamond Boulevard” below, and help spread the word by sharing it with your rock and roll friends…