From now until the end of time (or until too many people die for us to continue) DGT&G will be interviewing rock ‘n’ roll artists — famous, not-famous, and the vast numbers in between — and asking each the same five questions. Over time, their answers will become a repository of the heart of why people make rock music. See the Heart of Rock tab above for the full list. Read on and enjoy…
Carlos Bates Cruz is the frontman for Stonebreed, a Hollywood-based hard rock band with a Southern kick. Carlos first sang in front of an audience when he was in junior high, and hasn’t really stopped since. Over the decades he has shared the bill with rock ‘n’ roll acts large and small, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Cinderella, Ratt, Adler’s Appetite, Steel Panther, and many, many more.
Editor’s Note: We had been playing interview tag for a few weeks with Carlos—between his day job as a business owner and his nighttime vocation as the frontman for Stonebreed, we’d had a hard time connecting. And then last night, out of the blue, the phone rang and it was Carlos, on his way from a radio interview to a barbeque at the house of his buddy Bobby Blotzer, the drummer from Ratt. We thank Carlos for taking time out from the Sunday Night Football party to talk to us!
DGT&G: Why do you play rock music?
Carlos Bates Cruz: I guess it’s just in my blood. I grew up listening to rock music in the backseat of my mom’s car. And then I saw KISS on the Midnight Special and Aerosmith released Get Your Wings, and I knew I was going to be a frontman for a rock band. I guess you could say I play rock music because of KISS and Aerosmith.
DGT&G: What else could you see yourself doing?
CBC: If I wasn’t in a rock band, probably producing. Doing videos for bands. Producing bands, managing bands. But definitely something in the music business. It’s a huge part of my life and what I do.
DGT&G: Do you have any regrets about taking this path, and why or why not?
CBC: I really have no regrets at all, to be honest with you. I would have to say, no regrets at all. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, to be honest with you. I tried the day job thing and I actually own my own company during the day, so I’ve done my own thing for a while, but you know, music is my passion. I’ve said it before, some guys like to hunt, some guys like to fish, some guys like to play golf—what does it for me is music. So I have no regrets whatsoever.
DGT&G: What’s your favorite part about making rock music and why?
CBC: I don’t know really. It’s a good question. My favorite part of making rock music is the performance level—that’s what I enjoy the most. When I’m on stage, that energy, the rush that I get from being on stage, the feedback I get from the audience—if you’ve never felt that, being a performer, that’s an unbelievable high, a rush, a feeling of euphoria—being on stage, and you have the whole place right there and everyone is paying attention to you, looking at you, focusing on you, your music, what you have to offer … so that’s what is right there, for me.
DGT&G: If you could create your dream rock band, who would be in it and why?
CBC: Oh wow. My ultimate dream band. Let me see, here. You know, honestly, my ultimate dream band, I already have it. It’s all the guys in my band right now. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the drummer, the bass player, and the two guitar players that I have. Other than that, I would say probably Zakk Wylde or Eddie Van Halen on guitar. I would say Michael Anthony on bass. Probably Joe Perry from Aerosmith on rhythm guitar. And probably Neil Peart from Rush, the ultimate drummer guy, on drums, or Bobby Blotzer from Ratt on drums. All the hard rock heroes growing up, I’d love to be in a band with any of them. Lynyrd Skynyrd. All that good stuff.