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Wednesday May 1, 2019

Photo: Dylan Weller

It’s always exciting to see artists from your local scene get out there and do big things like gearing up to tour Europe and opening for national acts at a notable music festival in your city.


I got the chance to chat with frontman and guitarist, J.C. Sandoval of Toronto-based alt-rock band The Crooked about all that and then some! Here is the interview:


How did you all meet?

I’ve known our drummer Dell Orso through the Toronto music scene for many years now and then the both of us met our bassist Russ in a similar fashion. We may or may not have met our lead guitarist Neelesh through the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist.


[laughs] What are the highlights of the band’s career so far?

We’ve done many things in a short time, but getting asked to play the main stage at Norway’s Rockstream Festival this summer is it for us right now. We’re beyond excited for this show when we tour Europe this summer. We’ll announce dates soon.

That’s amazing! Congratulations! That sounds like an amazing opportunity! Favorite thing about playing your style of alternative rock?

From the start, we’ve always tried to be unconventional within rock music. For example, we fused calypso rhythms with heavy guitar riffs on our song Tarot Cards. Lately, we enjoy adding subtle dissonance to our songs. We’re essentially tricking the audience into liking something “ugly” by rewarding them later with something pretty or familiar.

What is your favorite song you guys play live?

At the moment it’s an unreleased song called Villain. It’s getting a really good reaction from the crowd. We’re planning on recording it this month, and releasing it in the fall as a single.

The Crooked
live music
Photo: Dylan Weller

I see you guys are playing a showcase at CMW on May 11. How do you prepare for events like that? Is the prep any different than that of regular shows around the city?

Nothing prepares you for a big show like hitting the road. We’ve almost completed the Uncivil Service Tour. We have one more show in Barrie on May 9, and then play with Danko Jones at Horseshoe Tavern for CMW the following Saturday.

If you were to form a dream tour with artists -dead or alive- who would be on it with you?

We would love to form a tour where we open for ourselves in disguises and play extremely bizarre music. That “band” would then amass a large cult following, which would demote The Crooked to openers for the next tour. This is the kind of stuff we think about.

[laughs] I would be interested in seeing this happen! If there was one message you would like to spread to your fans, what would it be?

We think the world right now could use less conformity and a lot more of the peculiar. Open your ears, open your mind and open your heart.

Amen! Thank you so much for your time, J.C and I look forward to seeing what’s next for the band!

For upcoming tour dates, announcements and new music, get social! Follow The Crooked on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

the horseshoe tavern
Photo: Kristen Sonntag