Interview: Crossing the Rubicon

Adding experimental elements like saxophone to metal is something that takes a special touch and some finesse to pull off. Luckily for Crossing the Rubicon, they’ve got a pretty unique approach that lends itself to impactful and meaningful songwriting. we talked to the guys in the band about their sound, their new record, and what’s in the works for the future.
Alejandro Licano (he)  – guitar.
Deven Jahnke (he) – guitar
Dave Woehrle (he) – bass

Josh Durke (he) – Saxophone

What are you most excited about with the new album?  
We are all very excited about the diversity and approach to the record. We all came from different genres and backgrounds musically and are very proud of how different this record is.
Deven: It plays so many different styles of music, and offers new genres and ideas in every tune.
Dave: I’m excited about creating music that blends different genres and styles.

Alejandro: Because this record is our first as a band, and it is such a departure from where the music was when it was just a solo project, it’s something I’m very proud of hearing. Our growth is solid and really has been a critical point for all of us. I’m super proud of the boys.

 How will the new record be different from previous works?  
Our latest record, Matter, is so vastly different from previous material. Not only is it something that came together with the collaboration of us as a band, but it is a literal leap from the last single and the album before it. Ascension, the first release, was a freshman effort that tried to infuse the same concepts we have been infusing over the years; jazz experimentation and progressive rock with moments of heavy, even brutal at times, metal.
Dave, our bassist, brings that sense of jazz out even more. He’s the jazz guy. (Laughs) He really did the grooves on this album justice. The new album explores these same languages but much more refined and characteristic. It’s much more dynamic. Also having Deven on guitar make a huge contribution to the synth and his leads alone is something that speaks a different voice from my guitar playing. But, the biggest moment in our evolution is Josh. The saxophonist is a virtuosic element that adds to our already-armed arsenal of soloists. His playing is just flat-out mesmerizing.

What was the writing and recording process like for this album?
We wrote individually for the most part. We came together to glue ideas the most we could. Writing was really all about getting the best of what we had at the time and coming together in a sort of alchemy to make it really pop. There were mistakes along the road. We wanted to be more collaborative, maybe we could have jammed it more, but the end results were a rich and vast piece.

We’re proud that this piece was an element of having our music mix well and gel properly. I doubt we have done it any other way. The theme of our album is that of a type of “Frankenstein,” a monster that got out of its creator’s control. In a sense, our own development as a band was that way. Our process for recording was all done on our own. We recorded everything between two studios.

Deven and Alejandro took that majority of the responsibility there, with Deven taking a bulk of programming and Alejandro directing arrangements for some songs. Much of the material was split between songs that were written individually. This was still super fun for us. Of course, finally, the album was mastered by award-winning 2018 producer of the year Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist).

 Is there anything else you’d like to announce about touring, other music in the works, etc.?
Currently, we do not have plans for any new music for some time. We are recruiting a drummer and auditioning at the moment. Our goals are to plays shows extensively locally and try to grow our fanbase here in as much of a traditional sense as possible.

Will we tour? Sure! Why not? We’re all in agreement that we want to play impactful and important shows, so there are probably some festivals and big shows in our future, but we have to put the legwork in. We are growing and getting a bigger and bigger fan base. People love our story so far.

How do you feel like your career has grown and changed over the years?
Every one of us have a career that is growing. Josh, our Saxophonist is making huge leaps while attending Leeds College of Music. He recently made the Bari Player chair for Leeds College of Music’s Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Dave is an excelling music teacher and keeps discovering his musical journey by partaking in a variety of bands, including some very jazzy ones.

Deven is developing his production skills such that he’s recently been growing the communities he is a part of. Alejandro is also moving along with his production degree at Berklee College of Music. All of the members have a fundamental vitality of continuing to grow in music, and they bring that back into the band.

What plans do you have for the future? Where would you like to be for five years?
We plan on releasing a new record in the coming years; we would like to say 2020, but who knows. We are focused on playing live shows. We all aspire to tour, grow and develop our sound more. Five years from now, we just hope to still be at this, writing and hopefully maturing into a sound of our own.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Please check out our newly released music video for Vesuvius! We have merch and so much new material in terms of video content coming your way.  We would love to thank all our fans for elevating this band to where we have come! You guys are awesome.

We are also very grateful to have had this interview!
For more info,  check out the band’s Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube, and Spotify.
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