Visceral examinations: getting deep into Crejuvent with founder Freddy Spera

There are no pretensions with Crejuvent, a British project roaring out from with the Liverpool metal scene, just the “simple goal, to write some badass metal music.” Using his multi-flavoured and textured sounds as evidence, Federico ‘Freddy’ Spera is certainly on course and living up to his aim in fine style; so with thanks to our friend Andrew at Stencil PR it was about time we found out more. Throwing questions at Freddy we explored his latest project, his creative brain, his brand new EP and plenty more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Heyo – no problem, thanks for giving me something entertaining to do to break my monotonous work routine!

Can you first introduce Crejuvent and give us some background to how it all started?

My name is Freddy and I’m the brains behind the one man project Crejuvent. It all began from when I first started writing songs, and eventually I decided to release some of them on my own, having a band would just hold me back (dun dun DUUUUUN).

As for what brought me all together, you can thank a series of extremely unfortunate evolutionary chains that catalysed my parents banging and resulted in the fleshy sponge of a man that sits here before you.

Have you been involved in other projects before? If so how has that impacted on what you are doing now, maybe in thought or direction?

Oh yeah, I’ve been playing in bands for years and years. It definitely inspired the way I’m doing a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, as I’ve had the chance to see which things work for me and which don’t. I’ve studied music at university and I’m sort of now starting to apply what I learned there business wise to my various projects in some form, and this is no exception. The main advantage in running a project like this on your own is that I don’t have to answer to anybody so I can do whatever I want. I like to take risks, so I can do that with Crejuvent and see what works and what doesn’t. Whatever does end up working I’ll probably do again with my other projects at some point.

What inspired the band name?

Adolescent hormones…

Was there any specific idea behind the creation of Crejuvent and what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I suppose initially I was more into doing a specific thing, I really wanted to sound ‘trvlly brootal’ and be ‘the most metal thing ever’. Now however it’s more like ‘eh, I’ll write whatever I think sounds good’ and the rest of the world can eat a dick. It ends up sounding a lot more genuine and the release I get from not having to confine myself to any genre rules is fantastic.

Do the same things emotionally still drive the project or have they evolved over time?

Well, I’m angrier and more existentially confused now than I ever was, so yeah I suppose it’s still driven by the same train of thought. I’m more motivated and invested in it now that I have something to release, that’s for sure.

How would you say your sound has evolved over that time too?

I’d say it used to sound like a bottle of WKD: it was sweet, naive, and only teenagers liked it. Now it has aged and matured like fine wine: it’s classier, more refined, and you’ll probably end up crying in the corner when you’re done with it.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of column A and a bit of column B…I enjoy pushing myself and constantly try new things, and the way I write songs with Crejuvent is a bit more constructed and mediated. But I can’t write very well if I’m not naturally motivated and inspired. Especially with this upcoming Time EP, I really didn’t want to force a fart out and end up shitting everywhere, so I took my time in writing the songs and made sure that it the actual actualisation of the songs was organic and fresh. But the actual song writing process is a bit more thought out and can be somewhat methodical at times.

Tell us about that songwriting process?

Generally speaking, the songs will be driven by a main riff or melodic motif. I’ll usually dick around with my guitar and when I accidentally play a riff that I think sounds fantastic, I’ll record it and write a song around it, coming up with parts as I go along, and eventually it turns into a whole song. That’s GENERALLY how I write songs for Crejuvent, but every song is different in some way.

Presumably you embrace a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Sort of…Having studied music at university, I was introduced to an awful lot of songwriters and musicians obviously, and if there’s one thing I learned is that everybody has a different way of writing and coming up with ideas. I’ve heard of every way imaginable to write songs, but ultimately it all boils down to whatever comes naturally to you. That’s what I strive for when approaching ideas; it’s finding a way to develop and process these musical ideas in the more comfortable way for me and can represent whatever it is I have to say. I remember watching Devin Townsend once do a live stream showing how he puts songs together and creates demos; he’s got tons of videos online showing his process. I’ve written a few songs here or there following a similar process to his as some sort of song writing exercise, but nothing I would use for Crejuvent.

Where do the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs more often come from?

Whatever it is that’s bothering me the most at the time. It’ll usually be driven by some sort of complex state of confusion that I’m experiencing, some internal crisis. I enjoy singing about the things that I can’t talk about, things that I need to process internally before continuing with my day. This could be a state of depression, an awareness issue, or farts, or anything in between.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Crejuvent’s debut Time EP will be coming out on the 1st of July! It’s ultimately a culmination of everything that’s right in the world. I started writing the songs that ended up on it a while back, probably sometime around 2015. The whole writing process was very on and off, hence why it took so long. Every song is a bit different and was written with a slightly different approach. There’s no reoccurring theme or whatever, but the themes are generally quite bleak. I took care of every aspect of the release myself, from artwork to production. Recording started around late September and I finished mixing and mastering everything around March this year. That’s pretty much it!

Can you give a closer insight to those themes?

Well, generally speaking I struggle to properly articulate my thoughts verbally. I often word vomit everywhere, I stutter sometimes, and I usually can’t quite find the right ways to say what it is I think and feel. So when it when I wrote the Time EP, it was very important to me that I manage to correctly articulate my thoughts into the music. I had to feel completely uninhibited from everything and try my best to feel some sort of detachment to myself to feel like I could properly purge my thoughts into the EP. As a result, the main themes sort of revolve around the feeling of helplessness throughout day to day life. The opener, Fuck This Shit, is probably the one song I wrote with the most direct lyrics, I was just feeling pissed off and churned that bad boy out in like 10 minutes. Code Orange is a bit of a story, it’s about a man who’s forced into some sort of rehab against his will – the lyrics vaguely reflect the theme from A Clockwork Orange, it’s about how to be human and to be free consists of the freedom to screw up your life…sort of. Malicious Clouds is a bit of an anomaly, I just sort of pulled the lyrics out of my ass – the words felt right to sing so I sung them. I guess you could claim it’s about a dark cloud of depression lording over oneself and those around, I dunno. Time is feeling helpless against the never-ending and tyrannical construct that is time. Word Vomit is a bit more personal, it’s about my unwillingness to be open towards myself and others, and the vulnerabilities that come with it.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I usually write the songs as demos, I’ll record bits as I write them until it looks like a full song, then I write and record all the other parts until I have a complete demo. Then I properly re-record everything from scratch and those will end up being the final masters. I’ll add or remove things here or there during the actual recording process, but for the most part I head in with a demo so I know EXACTLY what I need to do. Not only does it come out sounding better in my opinion, but it saves time (and LOADS of money) in the studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, your favourite aspect of being a musician?

I absolutely love playing live; it’s the best thing ever. It’s quite fun for this project as well because I get on stage on my own, playing bass and singing to backing tracks. With nobody to fuck with me on stage I can just do whatever the hell I want, be it chug beers on stage, fart in microphones, whatever! I hate going to shows and seeing the band just stand there like a bunch of lemons. Especially in this genre, I mean its metal, ya’ll are supposed to go nuts and shit! Unless it’s something super proggy or technical that you need to play meticulously, you have no excuse. When I go on stage, I know that I need to entertain the audience, so I like to give them something to write home about.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new artists?

I thoroughly believe that where there’s a will there’s a way. But you REALLY gotta have an awful lot of will. A lot of musicians keep bitching about how things are different and it’s harder to make a living and all that crap, but if you REALLY want to do it then you’ll find a way. And if you can’t do it, it just means you didn’t want it badly enough AND THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! It’s definitely not easy to make it nowadays, you have to sacrifice an awful lot to get even remotely close and you gotta put in so many hours it is ridiculous, and that’s simply not for everybody. With that said, if you don’t try then you’ll never make it.

The opportunities are out there, but they are few and far between. You gotta have the right team of people working together towards the same goal for a band to get anywhere, you need to put yourself out there and meet people, you even have to kiss some asses along the way unfortunately. It’s tough, but you have to make the opportunities come to you, otherwise it’s basically impossible. New bands should also keep in mind what it means to make in impact and have success. Things are different now than they were, just because you’re making a big impact in your region, nationally, or even worldwide, you’re probably still not going to make a living off this stuff. So you have to consider what ‘making it’ means to you.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

When I get asked this I always refer to the fact that before music was being recorded and sold as records, it was being sold as music sheets. People would go out and buy the scores so they could actually play the music themselves. Then records came along and the music sheet industry tried to fight it with no success, and records were the way people absorbed music. This is no different. I think people just need to re-evaluate how people take in music and adapt accordingly, why they already are. The entire industry is struggling because of the internet but the internet is not going anywhere, so maybe it’s time for the industry to adapt (which it already is!). The bands that struggle are probably the same ones who complain that ‘music isn’t what it used to be’ or whatever, bands whose mentality is still stuck in the 80s. I like to think that stems from a lack of knowledge, but a lot of them are just stubborn. I started Crejuvent during this whole internet and social media thing, and whilst I don’t have a perfect command of it I try my best to adapt, to change my PR campaigns accordingly, to do what I can to make it work for me…Which isn’t too hard to do because I don’t really have anything else to compare it to.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Yeah man thanks for featuring me! If anybody is insane enough to have read this whole thing and make it this far down then I applaud you and award you with my gratitude. And you should also know that Crejuvent’s debut TIME EP is COMING OUT ON THE 1ST OF JULY SO BUY IT FOR YOUR GIRLFRIENDS OR WHATEVER!!! Keep an eye out on Crejuvent’s Facebook page for new releases and videos and all that jazz!

Check Crejuvent out further @ https://www.facebook.com/Crejuvent/   and go buy the Time EP @ https://crejuvent.bandcamp.com/album/time-ep

Pete RingMaster 21/07/2017

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