The Crash Kings are one of the more unique bands to enter the modern rock fray. They are a three piece band with a heavy rock sound and a ton of melody. They also have no guitarist. That’s right; the Crash Kings are literally crashing the party on modern rock radio with a heavy sound that has no guitars, in the mix. When asked how the band decided they were going to do their thing sans guitars, lead vocalist/keyboard player Tony Beliveau articulates confidently, “every band’s goal should be to stand out no matter what. If you can’t stand out and do something different or sound different then you are just a cover band and if that’s the case, I wish you well. I guess when we get asked the question why no guitars, my main response is; why not? We have our bassist playing through a couple different amps and that gives us a heavy sound. On stage I play a keyboard that at times sounds like a guitar…it all seems to work out fine.” The bassist that Tony refers to is actually his brother Mike Beliveau. The two have been playing together since they were in grade school, thanks in part, to their father who was also a musician. “We have been playing since we were little. Our dad played piano and I always told my brother after he picked up the bass, that we would form a band when he got into high school. We went to school together, lived together, learned music from our father together so it was inevitable that we would be in a band together.” Tony and Mike seem to make it look easy with regards to being in a band and being family (non family member Jason Morris plays drums). When asked to explain what is the best thing and the toughest thing about being in a band with his brother, Tony laughs and states, “the coolest thing about being in a band with Mike is that it makes this whole experience easy. We have known each other all our lives…we have similar ideas and we are able to move through things quicker, because we have known each other all our lives. I guess the downside is that the typical friction that is inherent with siblings sometimes rears its head in the band.”
The “Kings” have had their share of good luck this past year. They have been getting steady airplay on the radio, they will be hitting the South by Southwest festival this month but the band’s biggest break may have taken place while Tony was a waiter! While waiting tables Tony got a chance to meet songwriter/hit maker Linda Perry. “It’s true” exclaims Tony, “I met her while waiting tables, one thing led to another and before you know it she was listening to our songs and signing us to her label”. Upon getting signed and putting out their first disc the band got a chance to go on tour, opening for Chris Cornell. When asked what is was like to hit the road with the rock veteran, Tony pauses and then exclaims, “It was a real trip! He is really an amazing guy…he was very supportive and I feel like us getting a chance to tour with someone like him gave me the opportunity to learn from someone, who has been in the business for a while. It was almost like being with a mentor.”
The Crash Kings have been “mentored” by some of the best in the business. They have gotten a chance to tour with the aforementioned Cornell as well as Linda Perry and Stone Temple pilots. They may be getting a bit of help in the business aspect of their careers, but the boys need no mentoring when it comes to songwriting. Each song on their debut disc paints a vivid picture and tells a unique story. Asked to explain what influences his lyrics, Tony simply states, “I moved from Williamsburg New York to LA. I ended up in LA right as the “hipster” revolution was in full swing…HA! I write about what I see and what’s happening around me, whether it’s Williamsburg or LA. My biggest influence when it comes to music came about in the 90’s. I was around in the 80’s but I did not get into the music or the fashion! In fact, I kind of enjoy poking fun at the decade, that’s why I wrote the song “1985”. It’s about a girl I know who is way into 80’s fashion and this retro thing going on…I mean really why go back to the 80’s? Let’s do something that has to do with right now. Meanwhile the song “Raincoat” is a typical break up song… I try and use descriptive imagery and colors to deal with feelings…my writing just reflects what’s going on around me.”
What’s going on right now for The Crash Kings is the idea of saying goodbye as they gear up for yet another tour. Tony asserts, “We are heading out on the road with Jet and then we hit South by Southwest. After that we take a break in April then hit some radio festivals in the summer.” The future seems bright for the Crash Kings. If the King’s can keep up with their hectic touring schedule and keep writing thoughtful songs, pretty soon they’ll be known for more than just being the band that rocks so hard, without any guitars.