Freddy Cricien needs little introduction here but I will do my best to explain the reason behind his importance to this interview series. As a direct descendant of Agnostic Front as a younger kid in the glory days of the hardcore scene to his teenage start in what would soon be one of the most important hardcore bands of the modern era, his life has always had some intimate interaction with the core. Madball to this day is one of the few bands that will play the small crowded diy shows and do well on a European festival in front of tens of thousands. They are the quintessential kings of hardcore as we speak and here is his words and thoughts in our last few interviews of part one.
There seems to be a void in sincerity and concentration in Hardcore if you ask me.
I’d like to hear what you’d like to see kids focus on?
I'd like to see kids focus on doing homework... Not to sound like a "teacher" or anything...haha But, some of these new generation kids are not well schooled on real deal HC. Old and new.
Where is there too much focus these days?
There's too much focus on who looks cool on the dance floor. Watch the show and participate! Like kids do everywhere else in the world.
Do you ever wake up and want something else?
Is there anything else you’d like your life to touch upon?
Of course there is, many things. And, I will touch upon them. Whether it is musically, personally. I'm not a limited/one dimensional individual in general.
Could you do this for the rest of your life?
I'd like to stay involved in "music" in one form or another... For as long as I can. If I live to a ripe old age, I doubt I'll be jumping around like I do with Madball... Then again who knows... Ha
Being in one of the most influential bands in hardcore leaves you in a precarious position that you’re not on the floor with everyone the way it used to be when you were younger. Do you miss just being a kid on the floor? Is there a band that brings you back to those youthful moments?
First off, Thanks for the props. But, what do you mean? I was on the floor with everybody last time I played the church... Haha. The bands that bring me to those youthful moments are AF and Cro Mags.
When you think of your extended discography which song are you most proud of lyrically? What song WON’T you play and why?
Lyrically... I haven't written it yet. We won't play Step To You... Not feeling that one really.
Despite rumors and allegations you’ve managed to keep your face clean and the kids love and respect Madball in a way that few of the rougher bands have ever been received. What would you see would cause Madball to win over the younger less “street” hardcore crowd over many of your rougher infamous peers?
Not sure really? I mean regardless of how people perceive us, we've always been and continue to be sincere or "real" with our music and in our personal lives. If that’s being a "tough guy" than so be it. Of course we've grown, matured, learned from mistakes,etc,etc... But in respect to MB, it's still as aggressive as always. Ok, maybe we're a Lil more positive and it's rubbed off! Ha. Or maybe, people stopped being so over sensitive. Maybe, people finally realized that they are involved in an aggressive, energetic, subculture that was born in the streets? That's not necessarily negative either. It's what you make and take from it. I'm not condoning unnecessary violence or anything like that. I'm saying loosen up and expand your minds.
As time moves on certain customs of our culture are dying out. Which custom would you like to see get a rebirth in 09? If only for aesthetics, what do you miss most of all when you walk up to a show to when the first note of the first band hits?
I think I'm going to bring back the custom of punching who ever is in front of me in the face... When the first chord hits of course. Just kidding, I've actually never done that. I guess honestly speaking; it used to be that when your favorite band hit the stage... You would just go nuts. Don't get me wrong, that still happens at a lot of shows! But especially in the states, there is a "cool" factor that needs to go. People waiting for the next guy to do a dance move to react,etc,etc. Have fun!
I want you to name 5 bands that mean nothing to anyone the way they mean to you and why.
Is this a trick question? Ok well, how about this...
Agnostic Front-for obvious reasons-my mentors.
Madball- for obvious reasons- This is by no means egotistical. It just applies to the question. This band will never mean for others what it means for me.
Bob Marley and the Wailers- for me it wasn't about weed or Jah. It was about the message. I learned to appreciate the power of lyrics with Bob Marley as well as many others!
Public Enemy- I actually studied it takes a nation of millions to hold us back... I had no choice. I had a broken arm that summer so I was bed ridden for a bit... Freedom of expression is a beautiful thing!
Johnny Cash- because I think he's singing about me sometimes... Haha. So does everyone else right...probably? This guy is the epitome of swagger.
Benny Morre-it's nostalgic and I think of my Family living (still today) oppressed on the Island of Cuba. Some people can probably relate though...
At the end of the day when you’re sitting on your porch with your lemonade and your grandkids are asking about your life, what do you share with them about your time in hardcore?
I tell them as much as I can remember. My memory is bad now... Imagine then... Haha. Seriously, I’d tell them they wouldn't be there if not for HC and their Grandma. You see, my life doesn't revolve around this subculture of ours... But, it definitely saved my life... Along with my wife.
I need the roster of the super hardcore band. Give them a name and tell me what they would sound like.
Roger on vocals, Vinnie on guitar, Matt Henderson on guitar, Craig Setari on Bass, Will Shepler on drums! Oh wait... That's Agnostic Front.., I had to do it man
What is the most fundamentally important aspect of hardcore that you see drifting away? How do we fix it?
The most fundamental thing we are losing is Unity. We fix it by not putting up walls, being elitist, and not being judgmental.
And now the counter to that, what is the latest element to hardcore that you find to be an insult to all you love and dear and when does it end?
Bad haircuts. It ends when I bust out the clippers... Haha. Thanks Joe.