“Loud, fast, snotty rock and roll” is how members of Crime Line describe their sound. Their debut EP released in January includes six punchy, punky songs all under 4 minutes that grab hold and don’t let go – rock for rock’s sake. The group is made up of local artists and musicians prevalent in the Norfolk music scene for years – Steve Marsh, Jared Fritzinger, Andy Harris, Charles Glover, and Raymond Braza.
This Saturday, May 15th, they’re rocking out for a good cause. They’ll be playing at Marsh’s restaurant LeGrand Kitchen with 3 other bands – Raise Hell Over the Summer, Hobots, and Danet Jackson. All proceeds for the event are going to Punk Rock Saves Lives, a non-profit focused on community music events to promote unity, nurturing, and positivity.
We got a chance to catch up with guitarist Steve Marsh and lead singer Ray Braza via email…
Popscure: Tell us a little bit about how Crime Line started.
Steve: Crime Line started when singer and guitarist of Norfolk Nightmares Charles wanted to just solely play guitar instead of singing too. We got together with Jared to mess around with some music and clicked and started shopping around for a dedicated frontman.
P: What led the band to get Ray as the lead singer?
Ray: Steve mentioned how their band needed a frontman while we were at LeGrand and so I came to the next band practice. About a month later we played our first show at Smartmouth!
Q: Was this your first musical project? If so, what got you interested in it?
R: Yeahhh! Aside from the garage noise Eric Laginess and I drunkenly made one hazy night, this is my first ever musical project. It’s pretty amazing to see the whole process from beginning to end of a song. I dig it! It’s the creative outlet for me. Ha!
P: What made you all want to go from Norfolk Nightmares to Crime Line? What are some different things you’re channeling in this project?
S: The transition from Norfolk Nightmares to Crime Line is great! I always love the aspect
of a dedicated frontman singer and Ray fits the mold perfectly.. all of us in the band are really stoked about him and the project as a whole!
P: What made you think of the name?
S: We like making references to our area.. Great Dismal Swamis and Norfolk Nightmares… there’s lyrics in one of the song I wrote “see your ass on crime line” thought the name was cool. [You] can tack on the 1-888-Rock-U-Up and it’s golden.
P: What are your songs about?
S: Songs are usually about seedy personal experiences or love and heartbreak. But also skateboarding, drugs, or partying.
P: Do the lyrics or the instruments come first – or do they come separately then see what happens at rehearsal?
S: Usually music comes first but Ray might have lyrics or subject matter already in mind. Me and him might work on the structure of the song before going into work [at LeGrand where Ray is a chef], so it’s more productive when the band gets together for practice.
P: Steve, you absolutely shred. How long have you been playing & what got you into guitar in the first place?
S: I’ve messed with guitar since middle school. Stopped for a very long time. When I was early 20s I wanted to pick it back up and play like Johnny Thunders from the NY Dolls… so I taught myself Chuck Berry licks and all that and over the years kinda developed my own guitar identity.
P: Tell us a bit about the organization Punk Rock Saves Lives and why you chose it?
S: Charles chose Punk Rock Saves Lives. Hoyt and him have been best friends since high school and he believed that’s what Hoyt would be most stoked on.
P: Tell us a little more about Hoyt, the drummer from Spells the show is dedicated to.
S: Hoyt March was a dear friend to a lot of people. I met him years ago when he was playing drums in the Larchmont Trash. We hit it off and bonded over hot dogs, agriculture, and skateboarding (he was a farmer/florist). He started growing me produce and we became closer friends. Loved his name so much I named my son the same. He was the most generous person and would go ridiculously out of his way to help you. We lost him last year due to suicide and are still heartbroken about it.
P: What can people expect at the show Saturday night?
S: Saturday will be fun as long as everyone’s respectful. I believe we all need a little fun to blow off steam from the last miserable year and some.. seeing live music and congregating with humans will hopefully help a lot of peoples mental health and well being.