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ROCKIN’ THE O.C: AN INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG BROOMBA OF FILMSPEED

interview by Michael McCarthy

I was sitting around bored one night, frustrated that I wasn’t finding anything that I was in the mood to listen to when I decided to check out some random albums being presented to me by publicists. It’s certainly not uncommon that I listen to things they send me, but I tend to find myself slipping into a habit of only checking out artists that seem like they’ll be similar to artists I’m already a big fan of. But the other night I decided to throw caution to the wind and check out some random music. Without looking at the screen, I clicked on press releases in my inbox and listened to the music presented in them. The first couple were not very good at all. Filmspeed was the third one. And I was immediately blown away by “Anywhere But Here,” the first song on their latest album, Hexadecimal. To my ears, it was like Cheap Trick at their catchiest, but as produced by Dave Grohl, making it sound like Foo Fighters at the same time. It’s a vibe that continued as the superb album went on, delivering huge, anthemic rock songs like “Just My Luck” and “Going For Broke.” Tunes I could easily imagine them performing in big arenas. Vocalist and guitarist Craig Broomba also seemed to be channeling Steven Tyler as he sounded on the very first Aerosmith album when his voice was less rough around the edges and had a cleaner sound. Meanwhile, the tight rhythm section delivered by Nick Stout (bass, guitar, backup vocals), and Oliver Dobrian (drums, backup vocals) reminded me of The Rolling Stones and Van Halen. Filmspeed clearly has that energetic, classic rock sound down pat, but they filter it through a modern rock lens that gives it a timeless quality. To my ears, there truly isn’t a bad song anywhere to be found on Hexadecimal. Listen as you pour over this interview and see if you don’t agree.

MM: You have the same California area code that I had when I lived out there. Whereabouts in California are you?

CB: I actually live down in Orange County. I’m in the Costa Mesa area. I’ve been out here for 12 years and I’ve lived everywhere. I’m used to the vagabond thing so you kind of move around a lot. Especially in Southern California, you find little different neighborhoods and [go] wherever rent is cheaper, right?

MM: Right. I lived in Glendale when I was out there.

CB: Oh, right on. I’ll travel to Burbank quite often to do some little side gigs and work with some artists and stuff. It’s great. I love So-Cal, man. There’s always something to do.

MM: By the way, how do you spell your last name? I saw Broomba on your Facebook page but your e-mails come from Broombaugh. Do you use the shorter spelling for music and the other is your born name?

CB: Right. Yeah. With the u-g-h it’s ten letters long. To be honest with you, it’s just too many letters. At least for the purposes of social media and interviews, I usually try to make it easier and cut off the u-g-h on it.

MM: So, what are your nicknames for each other in the band?

CB: [Laughs] I’ve known my bassist Nick for like sixteen years or something now. He moved out to California with me. Nicknames over the years? Most of them are curse words because we’re brother type people so we’ve called each other just about everything. Nothing has really stuck. And what’s strange is I had little nicknames for all the drummers that we’ve worked with. The first one, John Zink, I called him Johnny Z, naturally. Our second drummer James Mozina, I ended up calling him Doctor Moe. It’s just something that came about. Mozina. Moez. Moe. Doctor Moe. He once asked me, “Why do you keep calling me a doctor? What am I a doctor of?” Rhythm, dude! And then Oliver is two years in now and I haven’t found anything that works naturally. I’ve tried. I’ve tried to do different things and the closest – because his last name is Dobrian – I was going with was O.D. and I’m like, that’s not good. I don’t like that name at all. [Both laugh] That one’s not gonna stick because I don’t want it to.

MM: I was listening to your first podcast and you were talking about your stuff getting stolen. What’s the story there?

CB: Well, you know, over the years you try to get smarter about not being thievery prone. And so, it won’t be the last. It definitely wasn’t the first time. I had guitars stolen out of my car. That was about eight years ago. I got smarter and left things in my apartment then my apartment got broken into and they took a laptop I had a bunch of projects I was working on on there. So, then I got smarter about it so we had a band rehearsal space with security and cameras and all that stuff and it still didn’t matter. We got some camera footage. It was six to eight people with multiple vehicles. We were just one unit in the building. They came hard and they went fast and ripped cameras out of walls and cut through walls and stuff. It was insane. So, that’s a lot, right? The immediate reaction from everyone – all our friends and support and everyone – was just coming out of nowhere with money and stuff. I have a hard time accepting or asking for help with something. It was incredibly humbling and pretty much embarrassing. Like, wow, I don’t know how to thank anyone for those kind of moves. Except for, really, keep playing, I guess. I’ll turn my guitar up a little louder for ya.

MM: So, did they steal from other artists in the rehearsal space building then?

CB: Well, yeah, here’s the bummer. We practice after hours in like an office warehouse building. So, we’re doing the part-time rock star thing where we’re not able to pay too much for a dedicated space or whatever. They went through and they got cash boxes out of other businesses and stuff. They hit the whole building. So, probably five or six other businesses in that building had something stolen from them. It just so happens that ours ended up being seven or eight guitars.

MM: Did you notify the police at all?

CB: We did and they said the same thing that any law enforcement say. “Unless we have serial numbers and pictures of everything there’s not a whole lot we can do. But you can file a report. Go for it. Do you have insurance?” That’s what everyone kept asking.

MM: Yeah, yeah – I was about to ask that.

CB: I mean, we’re musicians. I barely have health insurance let alone guitar insurance. But, trust me, I’d love to. But now I have one for at least the one guitar that I cannot live without. If that goes missing, I’ll at least be covered on that.

L TO R: Nick, Craig, Oliver

MM: Were you in many bands prior to Filmspeed?

CB: Not too many. The first band was just started as a high school band. That was probably [when I was] 14, 15. It was weird. Also a trio. I started playing in bands as power trios. Brother sister duo, brother on drums, sister on bass, and we ran the gamut in the little local circuit, right? Then had a little friend group right around early college and then once I actually linked up with Nick, who’s my bassist ’til this day, things got really serious and we’ve had different members. We’ve been in this thing, wow, I guess I’ve been out here over twelve years now. The Filmspeed name is only recent as of 2010. We were a pop-punk band with a different drummer around like ’08. We did Warped Tour and SXSW under No One Goes Home. It was a three piece, really pop punky, bleached hair and all that jazz. We were playing for the My Space crowd and the sixteen-year-old girls who ‘d bring cookies that they made with their moms and drop them off at the show. All ages shows and stuff like that. We did that for a couple of years and got really burned out doing the DIY thing. Because it’s taxing. And we came back after a tour and found ourselves living in a camper in someone’s driveway. And the three of us that were in that group took a hiatus. I didn’t reconnect with Nick until maybe a couple years after that and then we started this Filmspeed thing and here we are now still chipping away.

MM: Ah. I read that you were founded in 2004 but the first album on Spotify is Heavy Decibels in 2014. Did you record anything in between that decade?

CB: Yeah, so all of that, me and Nick founded this under the No One Goes Home name in 2004. That’s where he and I start. But, yeah, that first, Heavy Decibels, there was a record right before that called Satellite Signals that we did in different parts with our original drummer. He did a lot of programming and recorded drums and we put a record together without living near each other. We had lived with each other for seven years and we were just tired of it. But we still wanted to put a record out and make new things. That’s the first time we actually called it Filmspeed. But then as far as a rock record that moves and shakes like a rock record, I’d say Heavy Decibels is our first release to really do that.

MM: When you were making Heavy Decibels what artists were you listening to or influenced by?

CB: Around then I’d actually kind of rediscovered a lot really older blues stuff like Lead Belly and, obviously, Robert Johnson, and I was really getting into that really stripped down [sound] where you can make so much out of so little. I was really obsessing over the minimalist end of things. I wanted to make a record that didn’t sound like a big Pro-Toolsy, over the top, shimmering thing. I wanted to make something dirty. Something that felt real and authentic. From what we had done in the past, pop-punk is so cheeky and playing it up and schticky. I wanted something a little more that you could sink your teeth into. Whether it was catchy or not, I didn’t care. I wanted to make something that just felt good to make.

MM: In addition to blues, there are some small moments on Heavy Decibels that almost remind me of prog rock. Is that an influence at all?

CB: Oh, that’s fair. That’s fair. I like that because a song like “Quite Like You,” which we did a video for. It was a dark horse, but we got in touch with a director who really liked that song. And it’s got a lot of different moves in it that were totally intentional. Some of those songs I really didn’t want to be one-dimensional. I wanted it to be really dynamic. All of the parts were related but they stood on their own so there’s always a different kind of thing for your ear to hug with the songs. I love all types. I love Rush. I love Tool. I love all of that style, but I don’t ever want to get that intricate with [the] mechanics of playing. I don’t ever look at music like math problems like some people do like Radiohead, right? I suck at math. I’m terrible at it. If you give me a math song versus a song that’s gonna get my toes tapping, I’ll take the latter all day.

MM: So, how does the songwriting process usually work in the band?

CB: Typically, most normally, I’ll come to the guys with something I feel 80% confident about. I have an 80/20 rule. If I get an idea to 80 percent and I’m like this is enough to waste these guys time on then I’ll bring it to the rehearsal. If it feels like it works with those guys, we’ll do it up. Most of the time, songs – at least for me – it’s either a piece of a melody or a piece of words. It’s a weird thing. Like it’ll just keep poking my brain. I’ll be interrupted doing things and I’ll just hear a loop with it and it won’t stop until I pay attention to it or extend it or do whatever it wants me to do. It’s that kind of process. I don’t sit down like, oh, I have to write ten songs with the word blue in it and just go. I’m always moved by something that I want to hear over and over again. So, I’ll make that thing live its life and then most of the time they kind of finish themselves.

MM: When you write, do you just do it on guitar or do you program any beats to kind of figure out how you want that to go?

CB: The good news is that I have a great drummer. [Laughs] The bad news is that I know that I will never do what a drummer can do. So, I’ll have a vibe, or a backbeat, or an idea of rhythm for a song like, this is how I hear it and this should be in double time. But then talented drummers always go, that’s great, but I’m about to do it a thousand times better. [Laughs] Thank goodness for you. So, I try to waste as little time on that as possible. I’ll find a backbeat that serves the purpose and then I’ll let him do his job.

MM: Who produced your albums?

CB: The last two were us. We did it all from the pre-production, tracking, mixing, editing and mastering, you name it. I’d like to get out of that habit but I really, really like making records. And, I don’t know, timing and scheduling, it always ends up happening that way for some reason. We actually just recorded a single with a producer and a guy in a studio and I think it’s probably due or August or September. We’re still trying to figure out the timeline on it. But it’s probably one of the first times that we’ve gone through that exercise and really liked the product. It’s actually weird for us to work with producers. It’s a chemistry thing. Not necessarily personality-wise, but in style. What they hear out of the band. There are so many competing vibes all the time. I really don’t like to write twelve of the same exact song even though my favorite band is AC/DC. [Laughs] I really try to make the last song sound nothing like the next song. It doesn’t sound like rock ‘n’ roll, but even if I just have to change the key or whatever, it’s at least satisfying to my artsy sensibilities. We’ve worked with a lot of producers in the past and all of them kind of leaned toward that Warped Tour and Alternative Press type sound. There’s a time and place for it. I just don’t think that’s the attitude of this project.

MM: Can you tell us what the single is called and who produced it?

CB: Yeah, I think so. [Laughs] Can I follow up with you if I’m not allowed to talk about it yet? [Both laugh] The only reason I say that is that Hexadecimal is released with these great kids out of Seal Beach, California called Awfully Good Records. They liked what we were doing. We were gonna do an EP with them and they said why not just make it a full-length? So, I said, great, we’ll do that. They helped us put it out and with marketing and stuff. And I think the contract is up in the top of August. I have to re-read paperwork and find out what their exclusivity stuff says. [Laughs] I’m not that lawyer-y. The new single is called “Bless My Soul” and it’s produced by this guy named Jason Hollis.

MM: That’s cool. I’m looking forward to that. Now, I read the definition of Hexadecimal on Google and it said, “relating to or using a system of numerical notation that has 16 rather than 10 at its base.” So, how does that relate to your album?

CB: That’s a deep dive. I like this one. The three members of this band, we all have really core fascinations with time in general. How it passes. How it’s perceived. Why we don’t have enough of it. Ever. And so the Hexadecimal record was done with Oliver on half of it and the other half is with the prior drummer. We had about 11 songs recorded with Doctor Moe and we were gonna do that EP thing but the label said let’s make it a full-length so we split with Doctor Moe, got Oliver in, made another 12 songs, and took those 24-ish and cramped it down. So, then after we had all of these different songs from all of these different times and a whole bunch of different stories. So much happened in that amount of time [between] these songs being written and all put together. It only made sense to name it something kind of obscure and relating to time. So, with the Hexadecimal system, they use one where everything’s metric. So, instead of 60 minutes in the hour, it’s a hundred. Instead of 12 hours in the day – it’s just this weird thing. It’s like, how did we come up with this measurement? Like who are we? We just conform. Everyone’s agreeing. “It’s 2 o’clock.” “Yup, it’s 2 o’clock right now.” So, we’re fascinated with that and we liked how it played against the record.

MM: Vinyl has been making a big comeback during recent years. Is either of your albums on vinyl?

CB: Not yet. [Laughs] We don’t have that big of a budget yet. I can’t wait for those factories to be… I don’t know if they’re gonna get that competitive. There’s a boom, right? But there’s so much that goes into making those things and supply and demand and the cost. I don’t want to have to charge people 40 bucks for vinyl because that’s what our breaking even point is.

MM: That’s true. There are so many records that come out now that cost 40 bucks. They press them on that 180-gram vinyl, which for all I can tell is just heavier. I don’t really feel like it gives you better sound. But when they do that, they spread the album out over two records instead of just one. So, then you’ve got your 40 dollar album.

CB: Evidently, Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity is like a four-panel record. I’m like, this was done on Pro-Tools in the late ’90s. This was never meant for vinyl, so why is it four panels? One is fine! [Both laugh]

MM: I was happy to see Butch Walker on the list of artists you like. He’s my favorite artist on the planet.

CB: Oh, fantastic! Dude, we could dive in for hours on this. He’s one of my heroes, man.

MM: I’m dying to interview him, but it hasn’t worked out yet.

CB: Yeah, well, he’s a busy guy. He makes a lot of records.

MM: I was gonna say I wish he was still working with Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco because the one album he did for each of them I think are their best by far.

CB: That’s pretty fair, man. His pop sensibility and his ability to turn a hook into an earworm is really unparalleled. At least in the modern background. They’re contemporaries now and people are comparing him to Todd Rundgren and I can see that end of it, but I see that end of it as his storytelling, solo writing work. When he’s on the clock, he’s just pumping out pop hits. It’s great.

MM: What would you say are your three favorite albums by him or Marvelous 3?

CB: Christ. Um. Wow. Ready, Sex, Go changed my thought process on what big, loud, fast and anthemic is. That record was so giant. So huge-sounding. Even though they had a live guitarist, for a three-piece to make that kind of noise – I mean, Hey! Album is good, but it’s a little subdued. It has a lot more ballady moments. Like “Vampires in Love.” You really have to get into the vibe of the lyrical content. There’s something to be said for that. But there’s few things better than how gigantic “Cigarette Lighter Love Song,” “Radio Tokyo,” even the opening track, “Little Head,” are. I was sixteen years old and I saw them in downtown Detroit at Saint Andrew’s Hall on the Ready, Sex, Go tour. Mind you, it was a flop. There were maybe 200 people tops. I was front row center with dyed blue hair and my quirky work shirt because I thought it was cool. It blew my mind, man. It was so loud and energetic and angsty but happy in all the right ways. That’s number one for me.

Number two. Man, that’s a tough one. Because all of his records have their little moments. I Liked it Better When You Had No Heart – no, Sycamore Meadows over that one. Sycamore Meadows over I Liked it Better When You Had No Heart. I think he got more honest on that record and it was still a good balance between honest and earworms. Nowadays he’s just doing storyteller stuff and it’s good to hear him do it. But his latest work, he stopped playing guitar a while ago. He stopped playing guitar when The Let’s Go Out Tonight’s record came out. That’s probably number three. I love that record, too. It’s so different and dark and jangly. Great songs. I love that record, too. So, it’s hard! Different days give me different reasons to put on a different record to match it.

MM: I really like Letters and Sycamore Meadows and Stay Gold. Those would be my three favorites.

CB: Yeah, yeah. They’ve got such good virtues, all of them. “Stay Gold,” I think that if he had a greatest hits come out that song is probably in the first eight tracks for sure.

MM: If you were gonna cover a song by Butch Walker or Marvelous 3, which would you do?

CB: Crap. Considering our band’s make-up, I don’t know how we could do it any different or better. If I had one, I’d probably do a deep dive, to be honest. I’d probably do “Stateline,” the secret track on Letters. And I would make it giant. Or like Floyd’s “Waiting on the Train.” I would do that. Huge, right? Take one of those really sheepish songs and show the production it didn’t have at the time.

MM: I’ve been a fan of Butch since he was in the band Southgang because I was really into hair bands, growing up in the ’80s and stuff. It was funny, I bought Marvelous 3’s Hey! Album along with probably 10 other CDs from a store that raised money for Aids. But they had used CDs really cheap and I’d bought like 10 of them that day and one of them was Hey! Album. And I got it home and I listened to it and I’m loving it and I keep looking at the band member’s names because they sound familiar, but I can’t place what I would know them from. And then finally, days later, I was like, I think it’s actually Southgang without the singer. And, sure enough, it actually was.

CB: I love it! I love it! Southgang, I was too young for it to hit for me, but with Hey! Album I heard “Freak of the Week” for the first time. I saw them on Leno and then Letterman. I’ve always been obsessed with late-night music performances. Always. That’s when the bands are extra primed and they’re doing all the right moves for the cameras. And Butch Walker on stage – he’s a legend, right? To be a three-piece on Leno, taking picks and bouncing them off guitars to each other. You don’t see that on TV anymore. But that’s when it hooked me. But then I did a deep dive backward because I heard “Bite the Bullet” and all of these things. And then I heard Flood’s Funk Revival. I dug hard. I went onto eBay to get the old shit. I wanted to collect as much of this guy’s catalog as I could.

MM: You did a cover of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice.” How did that come about?

CB: We were talking with this dude. We were talking with this music attorney and he said, “Look guys, it’s covers right now. Everything is covers. You know what hasn’t been done in a while? Foreigner. No one does Foreigner.” And he looked at me and he was like, “You sound like Lou Gramm.” “Sonofabitch! No, I don’t. I appreciate it, but no.” He goes, “You guys should do Foreigner.” So, we took his advice and did it. He requested that we do “Jukebox Hero” and I actually looked into it and there’s a Tom Cruise Rock of Ages movie version of it. There’s a Glee Cast version of it. So, I was like, nah. Nah. No one is gonna settle on our version if these ones already exist. So, we did “Cold As Ice” because I love that song. It’s a groovy ass song.

MM: Have you seen Foreigner during the past decade? They have a vocalist named Kelly Hansen who used to be in the heavy metal band Hurricane. And Jeff Pilson, the bass player from Donkey, is their bass player.

CB: Ah, that makes perfect sense. You know Mick Jones is not gonna play around. He’s gonna find some pros to do the job. I think I saw them in like 2013 or ’14. There was this Taste of Newport thing and they had this big ass stage set up. I turn around and fucking Foreigner is playing. So, I immediately went to the front of the stage. Dude, he can belt, man. He can sing his ass off. He’s so good.

MM: What inspired your 2016 single, “Werewolves”?

CB: Actually, that was work with a producer. That’s Max Moon on production. He worked with Johnny Lang and I think he worked on a Fiona Apple record – he was the engineer. We hooked up with him through friends and management friends and stuff like that. We gave him six different demos. And he said, “I like that one. Let’s move forward with that one.” And we just let him do his thing. It’s really an odd song for us up against what we’re doing now. I wouldn’t say futuristic, but it’s darker and angstier, and a little grittier, almost a metal-y type guitar thing. We just wanted to see how it would turn out. We don’t play it live anymore. [Laughs] It just doesn’t fit in the set. But it was a good, little exercise. He’s a blast to work with so I would work with him again, but I would be picky on what I propose.

MM: I saw you’re on an official Spotify playlist called Rock in’ Vibes. How did you come to be included on that?

CB: That’s one of those things where you e-mail and you cross your fingers. They said, “We like this track and we’re gonna throw it on this one. And that’s it. [Laughs] Yeah, I hope to keep that conversation going. And hopefully, we can get the new single placed on some better ones and hopefully more.

RANDOM QUESTIONS:

MM: If you had to go into the studio today and record a cover, what song would you do and why?

CB: OK, instantly, right now, I would do “Better Now” by Post Malone. Because it is the hokiest pop song that is wrapped up in trap hip-hop production for the masses. The older folks are turned off because of the tonality, so it’s so current, and so pigeonholed to exactly what that sounds like right now. I would turn that into a rock song. I would give it way more dynamic. Those trap songs have no dynamic to them. They stay in this one pocket the whole time with those droning high hats. Man, I’d put some guitar swank in there. I’d give it a lot more soul. Mumble-rap loses its soul because it’s just kind of monotone. There’s a time and place for it but if you’re super cross-faded at a party you really can’t sing along to anything anyway so that’s a perfect song. But I would say that because I think it’s a great pop song and blow it up.

MM: Do you have anything people might find unusual or surprising on your contract rider?

CB: [Laughs] Man, me, personally – I can’t answer for those dudes – what would they find most awkward? I like if I go to a show and they have just gallons of green tea. I have a real sick addiction to green tea. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I don’t drink coffee. But green tea, I think my blood might be 60 percent green tea. [Both laugh]

MM: What would you ask for if you were famous and could ask for anything?

CB: Anything? A sloth. I would just have a sloth backstage just to hang out with. They would be eating veggies. I’d be sweating after a show, and I’m still amped, and I walk backstage and see a sloth, and I would be like, that’s where I need to be and just chill.

CHEERS — “One for the Road” Episode 25 — Air Date 05/20/1993 — Pictured: (Top, l-r) Ted Danson as Sam Malone, Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli, Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd, Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, (Front, l-r) John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin, Tom Berenger as Don Santry, Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe, Shelley Long as Diane Chambers, George Wendt as Norm Peterson — Photo by: Paul Drinkwater

MM: Are you currently binge-watching anything?

CB: No, I’m not currently binge-watching anything but I am using the platform to go back into things and currently, depending on the evening, I’m either flip-flopping between Cheers and Golden Girls. And before anyone my age laughs at me, I’ve gotta tell you, go back and watch those shows. The writing on those shows – it doesn’t matter what year it is – it’s still great material. So funny. And all the actors are so perfect for what they do. You’re not even watching a show. There’s no production to it. You’re watching Sam Malone try to manage his life.

MM: I liked both of those. I saw all of the Golden Girls episodes when they originally aired, actually. I think it was on Thursday nights.

CB: Golden Girls are the best.

MM: Name three movies you can watch again and again.

CB: Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey. Probably Empire Strikes Back and, oh man, probably Spinal Tap. Obviously. I don’t know if that counts because that’s a given, but that would probably be number one. I’ve seen that movie too many times.

MM: What do you do to cheer yourself up when you’re depressed?

CB: Music, man. That’s number one. It’s not even a job for me. It’s therapy. It’s exactly what I do with my free time, with my spare time, with my happy time, and with my sad time. I also like riding bikes, but it doesn’t nearly compare. It’s not even close to the same. I can only ride a bike for 30 minutes at a time. I could sit down with a guitar and waste 36 hours straight.

MM: What’s the worst day job you’ve ever had?

CB: Oh, man. Oh, God. There’s so many. Worst. Worst one?

MM: You can talk about more than one if you want to.

CB: Oh, no, it’s funny. I think just viscerally-speaking, I used to have to clean the meat room. That means supermarkets have ground beef at the deli counter and they have spare ribs at the deli counter and they have choice cut steak. All that is processed right behind there. Behind that wall that you can’t see. There’s a meat saw and there’s a big grinder and there are meat prep tables. I would come in after the butchers and clean the machines. Clean the whole place. Degreaser, all of that. Summertime, I’ll tell ya, when that meat – you push it out and whatever doesn’t go in the drain kind of goes on the loading docks area. On a hot day, man. Old meat, just roasting in the sun. That is nasty.

MM: How long did you have that job?

CB: I was also in produce at the grocery store, too. Nick and I worked at the same place at that time. For, I don’t know, like a year and a half. Yeah. [Both laugh]

MM: We’ve lost a lot of great artists during recent years. Prince, Tom Petty, David Bowie, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell and many others. Was there one particular artist’s death that hit you the hardest?

CB: God, man. Bowie hit me hard. Bowie hit me hard. I was surprised at how hard it hit me. I didn’t realize how hard it would. And then when it did, I was like, shit, I’m very affected right now and that sucks. Then Prince, man. Then Prince. I thought Bowie’s was bad and then Prince. I went on a kick for about three or four days straight, the whole catalog of Prince. I saw him on the 21 Night Stand tour. He came to The Forum in L.A. Here’s what he did on that thing. He did 21 dates. He would do four shows a week in a specific area. So, he did L.A., he did New York, he did Minneapolis, obviously. And he would do 21 dates there and tickets were like 21 dollars. I went five or six times to the L.A. dates and I bought tickets for friends and I took people with me. I was like, let’s just go. You know anything about this guy? Not at all? Really? Let’s fucking go. There’s really is no comparison. There’s none.

MM: Those were the ones that hit me the hardest, too, but I find myself thinking about Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell a lot because it just seems so bizarre to me that they would both commit suicide.

CB: Fucking insane, right? That’s just crazy to me. One of the tracks that came on the radio the other day was [Linkin Park’s] “Across The Great Divide” and it’s just one of those moments where I clicked over and I heard his voice just killing that bridge and I went yup, no, it reminded me again that we lost another powerful ass voice. I don’t understand. I hope that I never understand what that’s like. That you’re in such a dark place that you just can’t do it anymore. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than what’s happening [in life]. Ever. So, that blows my mind so completely. So sad.

MM: If someone was giving you a million dollars to give to charity and it all had to go to one charity or cause, which would you give it to?

CB: Susan G. Komen. My mom, she went through like a five year battle with breast cancer. What we know about cancer is so, so small. So small. And I don’t think we can throw enough money at that. I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to get a full grasp on how to fix cancer. It’s the worst. It’s the absolute worst. We beat polio, but we’re still just so behind on that. It’s ridiculous.

MM: I was shocked the other night when there was a commercial on TV about this drug you can take that keeps you from getting HIV. I was just like, wow, it took them a long time to come up with that. First, they came up with these drug cocktails that keep people alive and healthy aside from the fact that they carry HIV. Now there are apparently pills that can just prevent it. It blows my mind. If they could do that, I think that they could find a cure for cancer, but I don’t know if I’ll see it in my lifetime.

CB: You know, that’s a crazy step in technology. Now we’re having preventatives for HIV medication. That means we’re just a couple steps away from immunization. You get a shot like getting the flu shot.

Special thanks to Craig for taking the time to chat with us and to Alex Duminica for connecting us!

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Written by

Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

2 Comments to “ROCKIN’ THE O.C: AN INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG BROOMBA OF FILMSPEED”

  1. Everloved says:

    These blokes have the passion and the fury. Give them another year or two and they’ll be unstoppable. Especially if they make another album as spot on as the new one. Bloody good songs. I like how you describe the sound.

  2. Jodi says:

    Incredible band. Thanks for the introduction.

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