When most bands are asked how they first get together, they'll usually give a simple answer, something like “From the classified ads” or “We went to school together,” or even “We grew up together.”
Ask the genre-bending Valley band Cross Platform how they hooked up, and you have to take notes to keep it all straight, which is to be expected from a band of diverse influences.
“Cross Platform had a strange creation,” says vocalist Blaze Rock. “I was introduced to (drummer) Dirty Red a few years ago. (Bassist) Maximum Bob and Dirty Red go way back, and Maximum Bob introduced (vocalist) J-Luv to Dirty Red. Dirty Red introduced J-Luv to me. This was 2003, I believe.
“Fast forward a bit — Dirty and I had just released the debut ‘Cross Platform’ and began talking about doing live performances to spread the word,” Blaze Rock continues. “The first person I thought about being involved was J-Luv. He was also one of the only collaborators on the first album (on the live instrument tracks). Dirty brought in Maximum Bob for bass and for his extra-smooth savvy. We worried about finding a guitarist, but through one of the engineers who worked on the debut, Lusic70, we met Rob, and the rest is history.
“Cross Platform is all about connections.”
The band's new disc, “Conflict,” will appeal to fans of a wide variety of music, from hip-hop to hard rock to electronica.
“We see all walks of life enjoying our music,” says Dirty Love. “We have just as many hip-hop fans as rock fans, but it seems that the rock fans appreciate us a little more. It's always a surprise to us when someone we would least expect comes up to tell us how much they like our music. I think it has a universal appeal in that it's solid groove rhythms and riffs coupled with good vocalists.”
While bands such as Limp Bizkit and Crazy Town came off as generic rap rock, Cross Platform proves on “Conflict” that the “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter” genre mixing can be pulled off with panache, especially the dual vocals of Blaze Rock and J-Luv ripping over the heavy music. The band has grown musically and emotionally since the debut disc.
“First and foremost, the feeling is more full,” explains Blaze Rock. “From the lyrics to the instruments, the subject matter and the feeling — I believe this project is more emotional in every way. We also progressed into not only finding what we were meant to be, but trying to not be what everyone would like us to be.
“And that torment shows in the music as well as the title of the album.”
>> Cross Platform perform 9 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Hollywood Alley, 2610 W. Baseline Road, Mesa. $7. (480) 820-7117.