by Sarah A. Peterson
Kings River Life caught up with Fresno rock band The Crxssing (including lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Tad Kent, bassist/backup vocalist Damon Paraguas, and drummer/backup vocalist Jesus Acevedo) to talk all things music, ahead of the release of their full-length album True North later this year.
KRL: How long have you been making music?
Tad Kent: I was a drummer first. I tried guitar at an early age, found out I was terrible, and quit. So around the age of 11, I would go to my uncle’s house during the summer, and he let me smash and thrash on his drum kit for hours at a time. After a few days, I found that I actually had a knack for it. Years later, I found out I could sing (sort of randomly), and I thought to myself, “Well, this is sort of silly; I need to learn to play guitar, or piano, or something.” So I learned both, and I’ve been songwriting since I was 17.
KRL: What particular genre of music do you play?
Tad Kent: The Crxssing is sort of an emotive brand of radio rock. I’ve always been into folk, and movie soundtracks, and really emotional music, stuff that really hooks you and makes you wonder why you feel what you’re feeling. So when I was signed to a pop-rock band, it was a challenge to incorporate what I needed the music to be for me into what people wanted to hear.
KRL: Who are The Crxssing’s biggest musical influences?
Tad Kent: For songwriting, and for me personally, I would definitely say people like Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Coldplay, and Frightened Rabbit; they capture emotion in such a raw way, but they can make it so accessible. As far as The Crxssing goes and how the songs actually sound, I would say bands like the All-American Rejects, Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, a little bit of the Fray, and some 30 Seconds to Mars.
KRL: What music did you listen to growing up?
Tad Kent: Growing up? Hmm. That’s a tough one. I was one of those kids who only listened to Christian music growing up, so the selection wasn’t very broad… I would have to say that Jars of Clay was what I was into the most—I really think they shaped what it meant for me to experience music.
KRL: Did you always want to be a musician?
Tad Kent: I always wanted to be in front of people, since I was a kid. I really enjoyed making people laugh. But did I think I was going to be a singer or a rock musician? Hell no.
KRL: What is your songwriting process?
Tad Kent: Songs kind of dawn on me; they just sort of happen. It’s hard to explain, but one time I woke up with the melody, song structure, and even the key for a song, totally mapped out. It was 3:14 a.m. I woke up, sang it in one take, and then fell back asleep. The next day, I almost forgot I wrote it. That song ended up being “Atlas.”
KRL: Where have you played locally?
Tad Kent: We play out of town more, just got back from a West Coast tour. But as far as locally, we’ve played the Tower quite a bit, in places like Audie’s Olympic, also downtown in Fulton 55 and Peeve’s Public House. We’ve also played at events like ArtHop and Summer Sweat.
KRL: What’s the best part of making and performing music?
Tad Kent: When someone sings your lyrics back to you, and when someone makes an emotional connection because of something you created.
Check out more local band & musician profiles in KRL’s music section.