Unkaputtbare Crash Test Dummies

Gibt es die Indie Folk-Rock Kanadier mit den kryptischen Lyrics und der unverwechselbaren Stimme von Brad Roberts tatsächlich immer noch? Scheinbar liegt die Antwort im Namen, denn Dummies sind von Haus aus unkaputtbar [Franz Morak] – einfach nicht umzubringen. Ein möglicher Umkehrschluss würde dann zu dem Ergebnis führen, dass sie nie lebendig waren. Mmm. Die Wahrheit wird man am 2. Juni im Grazer Orpheum endlich hören und sehen können, da die Tour der Band Corona-bedingt um zwei Jahre verschoben werden musste. Doch jetzt ist es so weit.

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, das One-Hit-Wonder Crash Test Dummies

Das Interview

Brad Roberts, backstage Orpheum Graz, © Gerald Ganglbauer
backstage

Gerald Ganglbauer
Back in the Nineties, Crash Test Dummies were a really hot band. I lived in Sydney at the time and bought your debut album, The Ghosts That Haunt Me in 1991 still as a Music Cassette. With your second album, God Shuffled His Feet I evolved to CDs and Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm was played nonstop by all the country’s radio stations. However, with the third album, A Worm’s Life, five years into the band’s history, you suddenly dropped off the Australian charts. What happened back then?

Brad Roberts
Our first record came out in Canada and did extremely well, but it was not big in America.

Gerald Ganglbauer
It got noticed also in Australia, maybe because of the Commonwealth.

Brad Roberts
Maybe.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Yeah.

Brad Roberts
We did tour in Australia on our first record and we didn’t get very big turnouts. But with our second record we got big in America and then we got big in Europe and Australia and everywhere … we became international … and then after that the third record you just referred to, A Worm’s Life, th­at didn’t really sell much at all. And you know, I don’t know exactly why but I can tell you that. When our second record did well, it did well for one reason. Clive Davis, the record company president of our label, Arista Records, decided that he was gonna make that record number one. Because the radio played it, in Atlanta, and they got phone calls in Atlanta, Georgia at the radio stations, and everybody was asking who’s that band, what’s that guys voice all about, and they were buying records, this is all just in Atlanta, Georgia. And our record company president said oh this could go, this could be big, so he put us into number one priority. And the record company worked us until that song got all the way up the Billboard charts nearly to number one, we got to number two, Clive Davis was very angry. [laughs out loud] It was not number one. But it was huge and when we put out our next record, A Worm’s Life, we were on the same label as Whitney Houston and Kenny G. for example. Those are artists that sell so many records and it’s a no brainer, and so we just got why they did not make us a priority they decided to put their budget for their records in to Kenny G. and Whitney Houston, the more safe bets.

Signiert 30 Jahre später

Gerald Ganglbauer
To be honest, after Superman’s Song on the first, the second album contained all the hits, but the third one was slow, quiet and pretty match the same. My favorite song on God Shuffled His Feet was actually I Think I’ll Disappear Now, which became the most used break up song in my life [laughs] … and move out sideways … you know that it was a perfect record, the second one …

Brad Roberts
Thank you.

Gerald Ganglbauer
… but of course you can’t make it bigger and bigger and bigger. The creativity ends sometime somewhere and if they force you to make one record after the other, it drains you out a little bit, doesn’t it?

Brad Roberts
Yeah, yeah.

Gerald Ganglbauer
How about now, do you have any plans to do another record?

Brad Roberts
Yes, I’m writing one right now. For the first time in a long time, yeah, I wrote. I’ve been … yes, the short answer is yes. I’m a … It’s gonna take a while I’ve only got two songs written towards it so far. I like to write a lot of songs to choose from. I don’t know if we’ll do a whole record or release a couple of singles or what, because people just put their music differently nowadays, don’t they?

Gerald Ganglbauer
I have a proposal … hum … have you ever done duets?

Brad Roberts
Oh, I’ve never done duets. Well, I would think about it, yeah, why do you ask this.

Gerald Ganglbauer
I’ve got Parkinson’s disease.

Brad Roberts
You do? I’m so sorry.

Gerald Ganglbauer
I have to cope. You’ve had your share of back pain for your story too.

Brad Roberts
Yeah.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Anyway, we need the public on our side. Not just empathy from the people, but also more budget for research into it and to assist researchers to find a cure, we want attention, basically. And what better attention can you get as with a sound recording of different artists, like what we did on our first album [hands over the CD Parkinsong Duets] Every duet is performed by a person with Parkinson’s “damaged” voice in harmony with the clear voice of a well-known singer. You can hear the differences which makes you feel good and you’ll understand.

Brad Roberts
So this is duets between established Rockstars and unknown people with Parkinson’s disease. Is this you [on the cover]?

Gerald Ganglbauer
Yeah.

Brad Roberts
I was going to say this guy looks like you. So you did one of the tracks. I’d like to hear it.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Anytime, as long as you consider singing a duet with me [laughs] do we have time, when are you on?

Brad Roberts
Eight fifty so ten to nine.

Gerald Ganglbauer
It’s a quarter to eight. We got time to continue our conversation.

Brad Roberts
At eight our opening act is on.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Okay and I look forward to seeing you all reunited on stage.

Brad Roberts
Yeah, except for Ben Darvill, the harmonica player. He quit, a long time ago.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Looks like it’s been really good to get the band back together.

Brad Roberts
Yes.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Your brother Dan on bass is one of the original members.

Brad Roberts
Yeah.

Gerald Ganglbauer
But everybody has a different story and separate history in those five years or even ten years the band had a break … family and raising kids …

Brad Roberts
Yes, my brother has kids. Our drummer, Michel Dorge has kids too. I chose not to. I did not want to have children.

Gerald Ganglbauer
Same here.

Stage

Brad Roberts
Yeah. So I have you know what I have I don’t have Parkinson’s disease but I have what’s called an involuntary movement disorder. I cannot sit still unless I’m medicated.

[Ten minutes of a private conversation followed, and were recorded but not transcribed]

Brad Roberts, backstage Orpheum Graz, © 2022 Gerald Ganglbauer

The Show

Die Band

„God Shuffled His Feet“, die Tournee zum 25 Jahre Jubiläum der Band, brachte die Originalbesetzung der Crash Test Dummies wieder zusammen und mit zweijähriger Pandemieverspätung auch nach Graz. Die Fans dankten es ihnen mit viel Applaus.

aus: http://www.crashtestdummies.com/
Aktuelle Besetzung
Gesang, GitarreBrad Roberts
Keyboard, Gesang, AkkordeonEllen Reid (1988–2012, seit 2017)
Bass, BegleitgesangDan Roberts (1988–2004, 2010, seit 2017)
SchlagzeugMichel Dorge (1991–2002, 2010, seit 2017)
Ehemalige Mitglieder
Gitarre, Mandoline, Harmonika, PercussionBenjamin Darvill (1988–2000)

Man darf auf das neue Album gespannt sein. Es wird allerdings noch dauern, da erst zwei Songs fertig sind. Im Gespräch ging hervor, dass es ein Konzeptalbum über die Entstehung des Universums wird, also eine Art Genesis wie in der Bibel. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.

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