Before a show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, Kristian Hallbert, lead singer of melodic hardcore band Crime in Stereo, sat in the green room to give his thoughts on traveling, his Long Island hometown and the future of his band.
How’s it like being in California?
California is always the best. We have a lot of friends here, and it’s always a good time.
So why are you only going to be playing your first record tonight?
Well, when we put out this record on our west coast label, it always felt very received here. So it only made sense, like a lot of our friends got in contact with us being like, ‘Yo, I can’t afford to fly out, I’m bummed out,’ so we were like ‘Hey, regardless of how many people show up, lets do a “Troubled Stateside” show here. And we stuck to that. And that’s where we are now.
How would you describe Crime in Stereo?
Honest, untainted, Sillycrazycool.
So tell me a little bit about the formation of Crime in Stereo.
Me, Alex, and this guy Mike, who’s no longer in the band, were in a van upstate doing a ‘zine for the guy who’s no longer in our band, and we were sitting in the van, talking about how we hated all the music going on in Long Island and wanted to start a band, and we were all friends with our drummer. So we got home, and we all got together that way, and we’ve been a band ever since.
What has been your favorite moment on the tour? Any embarrassing moments?
There’s always embarrassing stories. We just had a show in San Francisco with some of our friends who used to be in a band called Lifelong Tragedy, who have since broken up. But our first West Coast tour ever was with them and Set Your Goals. It was their first show and tour ever. That was years ago, but we’ve remained friends ever since. In San Francisco we had (Lifelong Tragedy members’) bands play, and it was just a really good vibe. Really old friends, we had a great time, it was our show. It was definitely a highlight of this tour.
Is San Francisco one of your favorite places?
Where has been your favorite travel spot?
Australia. It’s very exotic, totally different vibe from anywhere I’ve ever been before. People were super cool. The sights were beautiful. The shows were awesome. It was a very embracing country.
Do you and the band have any rituals before you perform?
It depends. Sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes we’ll jump around in a circle, sometimes we’ll just make fun of each other. It really depends on the night. I wouldn’t say a ritual. We’re just very, well you do this long enough you’re used to it. It’s not like anything different, it’s just another day. For myself, I would have to say I have to mentally prepare myself before I go on stage, but rituals, not so much.
How do you keep sane on tour?
You don’t. You have to kind of live sort of crazy to be able to handle it. So no, you don’t keep sane at all.
What do you have to have on tour with you?
A towel, pillow, and two blankets. Anything else, don’t need it.
What do you miss most from home?
My bed. Just my island. I love where I come from. Getting to see the world has made me love where I come from. I used to, before I had the chance to see other places, be like, “Oh I’m going to get out of here and never come back.” Now that’s not the case. I am the product of where I came from to the fullest, and I will die there. I love it there.
If you didn’t sing, what do you think you would be doing?
Anything, and everything. Not seeing the world, I’ll tell you that much. And I’ve been doing that for some time now.
So what’s next?
This, I mean we will be touring for the rest of the year, and then once we slow down a little bit, put out another record. It’s a repeat process.
If you could tell your fans anything, what would you say?
Um, thank you. Thank you for making this not just a hobby. You know, thank you for giving us the opportunity to see the world, and the ability to put out records that people give a shit about. I’ve been in music for a long time, not just in the band. I know how hard it is to get as far as we’ve gotten. So I would basically say thank you for the ride.
How long do you think you will be making music?
As long as people care. As long as we are relevant to what is going on in the world. As long as you want to hear it, we’ll keep making it.
Crime in Stereo will finish its tour in America next week and then leave for Europe. To learn more about Crime in Stereo, visit crimeinstereo.com. Their newest record, “I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone,” is available in stores and at b9store.com.
Carly Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.