INTERVIEW with Dennis Butabi Borg

INTERVIEW WITH DENNIS BUTABI BORG intervista di Daniele Pietrini

MELODY LANE had a great interview with Dennis Butabi Borg, bassist of the band CRUZH, a band that's an absolute 'rising star' in the new AOR/MELODIC ROCK international scene. Dennis told us about his love for Rachel Bolan and Duff McKagan, about the roots of his band and CRUZH's future plans.
Interview not to be missed!

MELODY LANE: Can you tell us where does the name CRUZH come from? Who's the founder of the band and where are you from?
Butabi: When we started out we had a couple of suggestions for our band name. We wanted a one-word name which would also look good on shirts, album covers and so on. We first called ourselves CRUSH actually, which is a word game as it’s both ‘crush’ as in “havin a crush on someone”, but it’s also “hey, we’re here to crush you”. Turned out that CRUSH was taken by another band who was kinda pissed and threatened to sue us if we didn’t change, which is why we adapted the ‘Z’ and got an even cooler band name!

MELODY LANE: Which (bands) are/have been your main musical inspirations?
Butabi: It depends on who you’re asking in the band, coz our inspirations are very broad. My biggest inspirations as bass player are Rachel Bolan from Skid Row and Duff McKagan from G’n’R but the band and person that has influenced me the most both as song writer and performer is definitely Paul Stanley and KISS.

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is the same from the beginning or have you had changes. The members in tour will be the same that played in the studio?
Butabi: The band started out as a three-piece project only focusing on studio work.Back then it was me, A.J. on the guitars and Tony on keys and vocals. Same guys released our debut album in 2016. However, after the release we decided to expand the troops with our longtime friend and associate Matt Silver on the drums. Phil Lindstrand has been joining in on vocals for our live sets during 2017. If you stay tuned we will soon have some information regarding the line-up and Cruzh 2.0.

MELODY LANE: List 3 songs, from the CRUZH discography, that can define the sound of the band … 3 songs that can help our readers to know CRUZH at the best.
Butabi: Tough question, but I’ll chose three songs quite different from each other but who still have the sound of Cruzh in their veins.

Hard To Get – the uplifting party track we most often start our live sets with. All about the good times.

First Cruzh – our first single, a little slower but a really sweet summer anthem.

Aim For The Head – a darker track, and a big time crowd favourite.

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?Butabi: I’d say there are a whole lot of main composers. All members write and also improve the other guys’ material. The most common thing is that one member comes up with an idea and presents a 70% finished track and then the other dudes get their hands on it. It’s quite seldom that the songs come alive during jamming sessions, however, “First Cruzh” was kinda born that way.

MELODY LANE: … After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your first album? Would you change anything?
Butabi: There’s some minor things I would like to change regarding the tracks, but I wouldn’t want to have it undone. Our debut album has it’s sweet place in our history but it also gives me a clear vision regarding which musical way I wanna send the next album.

MELODY LANE: Will you tour in Europe in the next future? Will you play here in Italy in the next months?
Butabi: As of right now we have two official, announced shows. Hard Rock Hell AOR (Wales) in March and Melodic Rock Fest Scandinavia (Sweden) in May, however, we are in negotiations with a lot of promoters from various European countries at the moment so there are more TBA. No Italy though, unfortunately.

MELODY LANE: In 2017, you played at the FRONTIERS ROCK FESTIVAL, sharing the stage with such great bands as KEE MARCELLO, L.A.GUNS and TNT...What can you tell us about that experience? How did the audience reacted to your performance? Will you be in the next FRONTIERS ROCK FESTIVAL line-up?
Butabi: Despite the fact that all of us are experienced live musicians, FRF was actually the live debut of CRUZH as a band. The experience was just great from the start, we had a great time meeting up with all the fans and the treatment was insanely good. We we’re first out on the last day of the festival and the amount of people in front of the stage at this early hour was really surpising, and the fans were wild. Of course we also had a great time with our fellow musicians and it’s funny that you mention Kee’s band coz they visited our hometown last weekend which obviously led to a wet reunion hehe. We won’t play FRF in 2018, but our aim is definitely to come back again.

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual scene, you’d like to tour with?... And why these bands?
Butabi: I would like to tour with a lot of bands, however many people I’ve met so far have become my good friends so my answers are based on the fact that these bands are extremely fun to hang with plus that their musical style fits our style.
- VEGA. We’ve played, partied and raised hell together before. It’s a match made in heaven, or hell depending on what you prefer.

- Kee Marcello Band. Extremely friendly and cool dudes, plus I think that CRUZH would definitely appeal to their already established fan crowd.

- Midnite City….. not sure if I’m allowed a third pick, but these guys are also great, we have two upcoming shows with them and I know it’s gonna be crazy times!

MELODY LANE: What has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future?
Butabi: The great response of our debut album is awesome and our trip to Rockingham in October was just amazing. A-class event, awesome people running it and the best crowd we’ve ever had. For the future, I’m looking forward to an even better album released next year and some hot n’ wild live action.

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
Butabi: We’re in the middle of really interesting times right now, a lot of things are happening and we can’t wait to give you all the news. Follow us on Facebook, that’s where the news come out first. The material for our second album is hysterically great, you will recognize the CRUZH sound but the development from the debut is just kick-ass cool! Hope to see you soon at a live stage close to you.