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CRISIS – Bite The Bullet
Dave Reynolds
Metal Forces, Issue 11 (1985)

Crisis (l-r): Dane Thomson, Jeff Cross and Bret Desmond

It’s not often I get thrown in at the deep end and have to do an interview with a band I know little or nothing about. In the case of Crisis, all I knew about them was due to their Armed To The Teeth six-track mini-album released on Bullet Records last year.

At the beginning of March, the trio of Dane Thomson (vocals / bass), Jeff Cross (guitar) and Bret Desmond (drums) were in London and, Metal Forces being on top of the underground metal scene in terms of band coverage, it was only natural for someone here to get together with the guys for an interview – another exclusive?

Actually, I wasn’t that impressed with the Armed To The Teeth record, it being a little too raw and under-produced for my liking. But the six tracks displayed a good deal of enthusiasm and much reliance on Ted Nugent, Raven and Anvil influences. They obviously enjoyed themselves.

First, a quick resume of the band Jeff (trying to make himself heard over a blistering attack of Autograph on the sonic deck of Shades record store – thanks Dave!)? Well, we formed in 1980. We had various lead singers and we were doing quite well with one lead singer before he managed to wreck his car and kill himself. So, Dane took over the vocals and we decided to stay a three-piece. We produced our first demo, and Bullet picked it up and decided to release it, much to our amazement – it was rough!”

What about the Ted Nugent, Raven and Anvil influences? These are acknowledged. All three are fans of these bands, but what’s the scene like, in Salt Lake City? Those of a religious nature should know that this is the Mormon capital of the world. Jeff: “There’s more of a heavy metal scene than you might expect.” Dane: “There’s a lot of bands, but it’s mostly copy bands. There’s good talent but there’s nobody trying to push out an album or anything.” Bret: “There are about six or so bands who have released an album or single, but they’re just sold locally.”

Jeff: “Mostly, these bands release something then they split-up. You go out and buy the album and then you hear ’em say ‘we’re through’.”

Dane: “I wish we had some place back home like the Marquee y’know. You usually have to put on shows yourselves, fork out all the money, but we’ve done it several times very successfully.”

Jeff: “Local radio brought in Exciter and we supported them. We get the major bands coming through Salt Lake; Judas Priest and Iron Maiden come through every year and they can sell 15,000 seats or more, so there is a market there.”

So who are your favourites, apart from the aforementioned. Who did Crisis grow up listening to? Jeff: “Three very different forms. A real mixture.”

Bret: “I go for the Osmonds!”

Laughter all round!

Jeff: “The Rolling Stones, Kiss… and I really admire Rory Gallagher’s chunky rhythm and solo sound.”

Bret: “I play my drums after Neil Peart and John Bonham.”

Dane: “I was brought up listening to Crosby, Stills And Nash, along with Bread. Then I got into Black Sabbath, then I went into Priest. Now I really like David Coverdale and Whitesnake a lot. They warmed up for Quiet Riot when we saw ’em!”

Bret was lucky enough to have seen Angel, albeit the white ones last tour sans the white clothing. Some people are just sickening!!

Anyway, following on from Armed To The Teeth Crisis are due to release their new album, tentatively titled Metal Meltdown. An advance tape was given to me and I’ve constantly played it ever since. It’s a massive improvement on the debut release which after all, as stated earlier, was a demo reviewed by Bernard Doe in Metal Forces issue #5. Naturally that got slagged in Kerrang!, near enough. Just out of interest, I asked the band’s views on that review? Dane: “Well we couldn’t bitch, but when they hit the religion… they really seem to think we all have halos over our heads.”

Bret: “I’ve talked to many of the bands who’ve gone through Salt Lake on tours and they really can’t believe how wild the audiences are there.”

Jeff: “Ozzy does really well there. The heavy metal scene is strong; the stadium sells out 15,000 seats, no problem.”

Look out for Metal Meltdown. It’s out soon and, to borrow a phrase from Avenger’s Greg Reiter, Jeff’s axe is packed on tunes like ‘Kick It Out’, ‘Pay The Price’ and ‘Scene Of The Crime’.

One thing I forgot to ask the band, is a question I’m sure that’s on everybody’s mind. Who is the buxom wench on the cover of Armed To The Teeth? I think we should be told!

Interview taken from Metal Forces, Issue 11 (1985)

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