Calling their band Crushed Out, which is a 1920’s slang term for busting out of jail, Brooklyn-based guitarist Frank Hoier and drummer Moselle Spiller (also a former junior Olympic downhill skier) came together over a mutual love for honky tonk and surf music. Their debut album Want To Give was released back in November of last year, and the band have been touring incessantly ever since. Throwing out lean power chords ripped straight from the Black Sabbath rulebook and moving with a blues swagger that’d make Bo Diddley proud, Crushed Out play stripped down Rock N’ Roll with an obvious love–which borders on obsession at times–for their influences. The band was born out of Boom Chick, an earlier iteration of Crushed Out, that was formed in 2009. Spiller and Hoier met and within a few months were playing Brooklyn loft gigs together. The fact that Spiller had only learned to play the drums three months prior to their first performance was a topic of discussion that came up quite often in their early career. Taking some time before heading out on the road again, the duo sat down to talk about some of their favorite records with Beats Per Minute. Enjoy their picks in our latest installment of On Deck.
Bo is one of our biggest influences as a band. He is so joyous, bursting with energy and personality. His voice is very underrated, an excellent singer. He really delivers the melody all while whipping up a crazy good beat on his guitar. His guitar tone is totally his own, I’ve even read that he built his own effect boxes for tremolo. This album opens with one of our favorites of his “Ride On Josephine”, a song about a beautiful woman and her car. There is this excellent dialogue in the song of him speaking to Josephine. He says “Josephine, yo tank is leaking gaaaassss. You say what kind of car I’m drivin’?!? Well ahhhhhhhh. I drive a ’48 Cadillac with Thunderbird wings, tellin’ you baby it’s a runnin’ thing!” The way he says it makes me smile every time. The background singers, maracas and saxophone really make every recording sound so joyous. Moselle’s use of maracas is very Bo inspired.
Link Wray got me to LOVE the guitar again. He had a collapsed lung, which caused him to grow his gnarly overdriven guitar instrumentals out of his background in Country Western Swing bands. He deserves more credit for bringing the guitar out as a lead instrument. You have to be melodic, exciting and very creative to pull off a guitar instrumental. His riffs are so great, and he gets creative with the guitar and the amp. He is searching for primitive noises, but he also can really play, has a great touch with his playing. He pushes us to write our own instrumentals, such as “Nailgun” and “Sharkbite”. Because of my background writing solo acoustic songs, I am very inspired to write electric guitar instrumentals and focus on what can be said or imagined with just music and sound.
We had this tape in our van for an entire summer, just loving it so much it never left. From personal favorites like “Heartbeat”, “Maybe Baby” and “Think It Over”, we appreciate his songs so much. The drumming is very inspiring to us, we are always learning some of these drum parts and putting our own twist on them. We love to cover “Rave On” in our live set, it’s just one of those undeniable songs that is so direct. He sings these love songs with such heart, it’s good for ya soul to listen to him. We are always coming back to that Buddy tape. Also, just the sound of these recordings is so incredible. I think it’s my favorite sound in all of recorded music, just so bright, deep and warm. These guys knew how to use echo and reverb!
I know lots of VU fans think this album is ok, or not really VU because of a few different members. But aside from all that stuff, this album is so fantastic. It’s really strange, sloppy, and perfect. It’s like NYC’s weirdo response to sunny CA hippie rock. We love the vibe and versatility to this album. We like to try different genres with every song, and I think this album pushes us to try and do that more. “Rock & Roll”, “Lonesome Cowboy Bill”, “Oh Sweet Nothing”, every song has a life of it’s own and fits together so well. The vocal harmonies on this one really make it have a vibe all it’s own.
We love Black Sabbath, though this album has a different influence on us than just listening to it. Our song “Black & Purple” was written inspired by a story my mom would tell me about being a teenager in the 70’s. She was listening to Masters of Reality in her room, with the volume up too loud, probably feeling upset or rebellious. Her older brother burst into the room, grabbed the record right off the player and broke it. I was always fascinated with this story, and when I got the idea to write a song using it I asked her, “mom, what album was it that he broke?”. She replied, “I don’t know, the black and purple one”. I just loved this story for the strange little window it shows into a family, and how it shows the anger at the music and the changes in the youth happening in the 60’s/70’s.