“The Soulless” by Crack The Foundation

Local hard-rock outfit Crack The Foundation are releasing their debut album this Friday, July 20th, at The Rockhouse with special guests Catcher and Lunge. The current line-up consists of Doug Littlejohn (bass), Dave Saunders (guitar), Matt Martin (drums), Robert Peyton (guitar) and Chris Newell (vocals). I recently spoke to Doug Littlejohn about the new record and the group’s plans for the near future.

How did the writing process go for the album?
The majority of the songs appearing on the album were written between March and November 2011 with the exception of “Conviction” which was written prior to the release of last year’s The Spoils of War demo. All of our songs are typically written during jam sessions so that we all have some say in the direction our music is headed. Also, we always perform our songs live, to get a sense of how they’re being accepted, before considering putting in the time and money it takes to complete a proper recording.

Where and with whom was the album recorded?
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Rob Rose at Car Crash Studios in C.B.S. Rob did a fantastic job capturing the live feel that we wanted in our recordings. We tried not to get too nailed down by the metronome and let the flow of each song wave a little bit the same as if we were performing it on stage. This was a definite conscious effort on our part to separate our album from a lot of the looped records that are bouncing around out there these days.

How long did it take to get the album from conception to completion?
First when we started recording we were only planning to do a 7 track EP, which we originally had completed before Christmas, but found that one of the songs wasn’t turning out the way we had anticipated. We then made the decision to record three songs to replace the one we had scrapped since we were going to have to go through all the trouble of setting up each instrument again. So, “Fallout” hit the cutting room floor and “The Killing Fields”, “Black Moon” and an acoustic rendition of “The Soulless” made it onto the album. With 8 original tracks laid down and an acoustic alternate to attach as a hidden bonus track; we had finally completed the album in May of this year.

Were any songs carried over from last year’s Spoils of War demo?
The only track we decided to carry forward was the title track “Spoils of War”. By comparison, the track still maintains the raw sound we look for on stage but it now has a much more professional feel that I couldn’t possibly have achieved on last year’s effort considering the resources at our disposal. Chris’s vocals have improved dramatically in the year since he first joined the band and it is easy to spot for anyone who has heard last year’s recording.

Who would you cite as band influences?
I think a lot of different influences affect our band as each of us possess our own individual styles and tastes. From the brutal vocals of Pantera and the solid beats of Iron Maiden to the grimy guitars of Pearl Jam and the steady bass of Megadeth, our influences cover a wide spectrum of hard rock and heavy metal.

Any other big shows or tours planned for the summer?
The only thing currently booked for the summer is our CD Release Party at The RockHouse on Friday, July 20th. We will be debuting the album and making it available for sale for the first time in addition to premiering our first music video for the track “Judgement”. The video comes as the result of recording all of our studio and live performances from November 2011 to April 2012 and and sifting through 100 plus hours of footage. It’s a clear and honest reminder of all the hard work we’ve put into making this record over the past 8 months. With another baby on the way, it feels like time for a break but I think we’re just getting started. My wife is very supportive when it comes to doing work for the band so I think we’ll be looking at doing some dates out of town before the summer is over.

Check out Crack The Foundation this Friday, July 20th at The Rockhouse with Catcher and Lunge.