Interview: Hayley and the Crushers Talk New Album and Upcoming Tour

Hayley and the Crushers are a self-described “poolside glitter punk” band originally from California who recently moved their home base of operations to Detroit. The band, helmed by husband-and-wife-duo Hayley Crusher Cain and Dr. Cain ESQ, the group is putting out their third album, Modern Adult Kicks, on September 13, and the band recently released their fourth and final single off the album, “Taboo.” 

“I mean, I think anybody who knows our music knows that we’re really fun,” says Hayley Crusher Cain. “And that’s always been our overarching tone. But the new album is fun but a little bit darker, more of an adult or wicked kind of fun. And I felt like that song [Taboo] portrayed that. And when I say wicked, I mean literally a PG-13 version of our band, because we’re not cool and we’re not edgy. But it was sort of an edgier vibe. Because the new album, it’s called Modern Adult Kicks and it’s kind of like a more grown-up version of our band. And so I thought it was the right final single to go into having the album be out there in the world.” 

The band’s new album, while still maintaining the band’s sense of fun, show’s a bit of a more mature and dark side to the band “I think that 2020 dragged everybody kicking and screaming into some sort of growth and change, and for us it was no different. As a band we were met with a lot of challenges, and as individual people we were all met with challenges. So, it certainly wasn’t something we tried to go for. It was more like the challenges we were faced with during 2020.” 

The new record also finds the band changing labels, as well. “And luckily, in 2021, we were signed to Kitten Robot Records in LA. And they really helped elevate our sound, as well. I think those two things combined made the album feel more adult, more grown-up. But I think the Crusher mentality of growing up is more like growing up doesn’t mean you have to grow jaded, doesn’t mean you have to grow bitter…I think, listening to the songs, if you read between the lines of the lyrics you can gather that there’s a bit of heartbreak, longing, isolation, dealing with addiction, codependency. I think that’s why it’s more adult.” 

The band also enjoyed the talents of a new producer, who is a bit of a punk legend. “Well, our last album was recorded in a warehouse in Oakland by a really cool dude named Bart Thurber, and that was awesome so I’m not trying to say ‘We got this new, wonderful producer and everything changed.’ But it was the right step up for us to start working with Paul Roessler, who is the producer over at Kitten Robot Studios and Kitten Robot Records. He’s from the early LA pioneering punk band The Screamers. He’s worked with a lot of amazing punk bands. His sister, Kira, was in Black Flag, she’s also on the label. There’s sort of a punk rock mentality that permeates the label, but it’s also a group of really creative people who are, for lack of a better word, gifted. And Paul Roessler is an extremely gifted producer. So, working with him, he was able to really underscore the things that we do well as a band. 

“For instance, he helped me with some of my singing techniques. He allowed me the room to grow into a better vocalist. It sounds stupid, but I guess I had issues breathing between words that I didn’t even know I was doing. And he’s been around the block enough to know how to address that in a really good way, in a very gentle way. And so I feel like he was able to pull things out of me, in particular, but also everyone in the band just through being sensitive and having this long view of music industry and also being a punk rocker, having that mentality. So I hate to say ‘We stepped up to a brand-new label and everything was great and shiny.’ But I think the album is shinier and more produced. We wanted a partnership, and that’s what we got from Kitten Robot Records.” 

The band is heading out on tour soon to promote Modern Adult Kicks. “Well, we just moved across country from California to Detroit like four months ago, my bass player/husband Dr. Cain Esq and I. And the first thing we did when we moved cross country was go on a two-week tour, which we did in the spring. And that was really cool, we got to touch base with a lot of bands, venues, and communities we actually hadn’t been able to talk to and be around since 2020. So, our last mid-west tour was in 2019. So, we’re doing another tour. It’s starting on September 23rd through early October, and then we’re playing some LA dates, like SoCal dates for November. And the plan is just to go to all of these awesome venues that we’ve missed so much again, and also bring in another element which is our lead guitar player who’s coming in with us. He’s going to bring another layer to the music… We’re actually on tour with Soraia, they’re from Philadelphia. They’re a female-fronted sort of classic…just like a rock band…It’s a very female-centered tour.” 

You can pre-order Modern Adult Kicks through the Kitten Robot Records website. Also, make sure to follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates. 

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