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INTERVIEW: TAZ (Tapani Fagerström) of Santa Cruz – March 2015

| 6 March 2015 | Reply

Guys form bands to emulate their idols and share the influence of their predecessors.  The young guys from Finland that formed Santa Cruz are no different.  These rockers came together combining a love of melodic rock and heavier stuff mixed up with pop and thrash.  The resulting sound is the heavier self-titled debut, dropping next week here in the U.S.  About a week out from the release date we pinned down drummer Taz to discuss the album, the upcoming tour, and Guns N Roses… 


Toddstar: Taz, thank you so much for taking time out for us. We really appreciate it.

Taz: Hey, not a problem.

Toddstar: Well, let’s talk about it, man. Next week you guys are releasing your second album, the self titled Santa Cruz.

Taz: Yeah, that’s right.

Toddstar: What can you tell us about this album that somebody listening to it might not pick up their first or second time through the disk? What might a fan not catch?

Taz: Well, it’s kind of more a metal album than the last one or like modern rock and metal album, more heavier songs on this one.

Toddstar: I’d agree with that. I mean from the first song, “Bonafide Hero,” you guys are coming out screaming and swinging, man. You guys shifted your focus from more melodic to a heavier sound. Is there a reason for the shift in your music? I mean you guys went a little heavier this time. Is there a reason for that?

Taz: No, it just came naturally, because we all love heavy metal, rock and roll, and all that kind of stuff. We take influences from many kinds of music so it just came this way this time.

Toddstar: Okay. Looking at the track listing, I’ve got my favorites. Are there any that you listen to still after recording it? I’m sure you listened to this a million times. Are there any that you’re going back and saying, “Yes, that is a great rock song?” Are there any favorites in your head?

Taz: Well, I think maybe “Let Them Burn” from the new album. That would be a killer live song I think.

Toddstar: I agree with that. I also like the rhythm and melody in “6(66) Feet Under.”

Taz: Yeah, that’s cool too, yeah. A really good tune.

Toddstar: I think a lot of these songs will go over well live.

Taz: Yeah.

Toddstar: As you guys are rehearsing, are you guys looking to take this out on a big tour soon?

Taz: Yeah, we have rehearsed all the songs and next week we’re going to Europe and we will play these songs live, our first time for some of the songs.


Toddstar: Which songs do you know for sure you guys are going to play?

Taz: Well, I think we’re going to play, well, of course “Bonafide Heroes.” I think “6(66) Feet Under,” that kind of stuff.

Toddstar: Listening to your first album, I mean I really enjoy “Screaming For Adrenaline.” Are there any songs from that album that you think will always be a part of the Santa Cruz set when you guys play live?

Taz: Yeah, definitely “Aiming High.” That’s the song from the first album. I think it’s the best live song from the first album.

Toddstar: Okay, okay. Let’s talk about you for a second, Taz. Looking back on your life, who made you want to sit behind a drum set and do this for a living? Who influenced you?

Taz: Who influenced me? Well, when I started to play drums it was probably Lars Ulrich to play drums because I loved Metallica when I was a kid.

Toddstar: Okay. Were your parents supportive of that as you were growing up?

Taz: Yeah, really supportive. My father plays the guitar and plays in a band so that came naturally. Music was always part of my childhood.

Toddstar: Well, you come from a Metallica influence. How is that you guys have songs that aren’t quite as heavy as Metallica? Some of your stuff is all to more melodic. What are other influences do you have that contribute to that?

Taz: Well, I have influences from rock, from pop, from death metal. I use to listen to a lot of thrash metal. We take influences everywhere.

Toddstar: Okay. Of all the bands that are out there, are there any bands that you would just love to tour with today?

Taz: Well, living bands or dead bands?

Toddstar: Living.

Taz: Living, okay. Wait a second. That’s a hard question actually. Well, I would say… well, that’s a really hard question. Well, maybe Avenged Sevenfold now a days.

Toddstar: Avenged Sevenfold? That’s a good choice. You said you guys were playing Europe, and you plan to come over to the US?

Taz: Yeah. We’re coming to US in May with Amaranthe.


Toddstar: Oh, you’re coming with Amaranthe? That will be a great tour.

Taz: Yeah, hope so.

Toddstar: When you’re thinking about going on tours, especially coming state side, because you’ll be gone for awhile and you can’t just rely on things on home, what are a couple things that you think about and you realize that you need to pack and bring with you?

Taz: To tour? A couple things? Well, I’ll bring my camera. Of course my drums, my snare drum and cymbals and that kind of stuff. But from home, I don’t know. Just enough clothes and shampoo.

Toddstar: Okay. Are there any other up and coming bands that you really listen to other than like you mentioned you like Avenged Sevenfold. Are there any other younger bands that you really like?

Taz: Well, yeah. I really love the new Bring Me The Horizon album and the latest one which came out two years ago or what.

Toddstar: You are into the heavier metal.

Taz: Yeah, love it. Well, of course rock and roll like that kind of stuff, but there is also not so many new good rock and roll albums out now.

Toddstar: When you guys were putting this album together, was it hard to figure out what songs you were going to use? I mean did you guys write a lot more than you wound up using on the album?

Taz: No, it was kind of easy. Everything came naturally for us all.

Toddstar: Is it really everybody sitting down and writing the songs together or…

Taz: Yeah, well, Johnny makes most of all the demos first and then Archie makes the lyrics and then we all take it out the songs together in the end, but mostly Johnny makes the song and Archie makes the lyrics for the songs.

Toddstar: Okay, but they let you go on and do whatever you want to do on the drums or whatever Middy wants to do on bass?

Taz: Yeah, yeah sometimes and sometimes Johnny makes some drum parts and bass parts too, but we can do whatever we want if everybody is happy with that.

Toddstar: If you could go back in time and be a member of any band in the history of time, what would it be?

Taz: Well, I would say Guns and Roses I think.

Toddstar: You’d take Steven’s place?


Taz: Yeah.

Toddstar: If you’re a Guns N Roses fan, are you more of an Appetite For Destruction guy or Use Your Illusion guy?

Taz: Well, it’s 50/50 situation. I really love Steven Adler’s style and still love the Appetite sound. It’s 50/50. Maybe more Appetite style.

Toddstar: That’s my true love of the Guns and Roses stuff is the old Appetite for Destruction. I love that one myself. With this album, you guys made your sound heavier. Are you guys making the older songs a little heaver when you play them live now or you kind of staying true to what that sound was compared to the new album?

Taz: Well, we’ll take what we think are the best songs from both albums so there will be heavier songs and then not so heavy songs. We will make a good combo.

Toddstar: Okay, yeah, because even off the new album, I love “My Remedy” which is not a very heavy song at all.

Taz: Yeah, we don’t have to play too heavy shit.

Toddstar: Yeah, you need to mix it up. Well, listen, Taz, I appreciate you taking the time out for us.

Taz: Hey, no problem.

Toddstar: I can’t wait to possibly get to see you live when you hit the States here in May and we wish you well in Europe and we wish you well on the Amaranthe tour.

Taz: Hey, thank you very much.

Toddstar: Thanks, Taz, we’ll talk to you soon.

Taz: Hey, thank you, see you soon.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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