Since forming in 2014, Decent Criminal, a band from Santa Rosa, which is nowhere near LA, have been making themselves known with their ‘90s, grungy and pop-infused sound. With 2017’s album Bloom, the band made their breakthrough and continued their domination with their 2019 album Bliss. Since then, the band have been touring heavily, opening for names like The Flatliners, Agent Orange, and Lagwagon.
Flash forward to 2023, and the band have made a proper name for themselves and have many festivals lined up for this year. Now, they return with the album There’s More To It Than Climbing, which will be released May 19 via Diissed Records. In addition, they released singles” Driving” and “Soothe” to give us a taste of what to expect from their upcoming album. You can already preorder the album here for the EU and here for the U.S.
Q: For those that aren’t familiar with you, tell us about how you came together.
Hunter and I are brothers, so when this incarnation of the band started, it was just the two of us jamming to songs that felt like a new liberating style from what we’d done in the past.
What was the first instrument you owned? Do you still have it?
A $200 Ibanez guitar, and absolutely. Colored-in stickers from hours up in my room growing up.
What bands or artists have been your biggest influences?
Replacements, Beatles, Sublime.
You have a new album that is coming out called There’s More To It Than Climbing. What is the meaning behind the title?
The title was on the piece the artist gave me, Barry Callahan. To me, it most identifies with the band because we’ve made shit happen on our own with songs, pressing forward and relentlessly going for what makes us happiest.
How would you describe There’s More To It Than Climbing?
There’s More To It Than Climbing is the closest thing we’ve done to represent ourselves. There are bits of everything in it—Some parts are funny, hard, sad, liberating, and musically, most things we’re into are represented organically.
How was the writing process behind the album?
It was either solitary or worked out jamming together. The non-rock songs were written in our own spaces, mainly with a drum machine or just playing guitar alone. Soothe was a freestyle one day; I recorded everything, so we had a bit I loved then we hashed it together over a few weeks. Driving came out of a dream, and the rest of the songs were things that I’d had that held up for a couple of years. “Each Time I’m Away,” I played for the dudes in Berlin during an acoustic performance. They’d never heard it before that.
You’ve released two singles from the upcoming album. Tell us about “Driving” and “Soothe.”
Both are out of a liberating time in my life. One speaks more toward fear, while the other is all-out fuckin’ bring it.
Will you be making a music video for “Soothe”?
Yes, how’d you know? Most songs on the album will have video components. Without a label, there are no rules, so we’re just putting things out how we feel.
What’s the best advice you can give bands or artists trying to break into the music scene?
People are attracted to authenticity.
Photo courtesy of the Decent Criminal