"I think I’m more into creating soundscape style riffs and melodies" - Stacey David Blades

Posted: March 21, 2024

Photo provided by: H. Mountain / Justafan Photos

A cathartic experience is one in which a person releases or discharges emotion that they had previously been holding back, avoiding, or "bottling up". The discharge can be physical, such as punching a pillow or throwing a vase, or verbal, such as exclaiming that you are angry.

When you flip the coin, you see another type of “angry person”. That is the artist who sings with passion and emotion. Especially earlier in their music career. Angry Artists can inspire themselves by channeling their emotions. Some find it a means of therapy. Eventually, it helps them to change their perspective. The artwork they then produce will turn into smiles, laughs, and cool results.

History has pointed to artists that were considered “Angry Artists”, such as the following:

8 Famous Artists Who Turned Heartbreak into Art

  • Frida Kahlo, Little Deer (1946)
  • Edvard Munch, Ashes (1894)
  • Marina Abramović & Ulay, The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk (1988)
  • Sophie Calle, Take Care of Yourself (2007)
  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (1991)
  • Francis Bacon, Triptych–In Memory of George Dyer (1971)

You may be familiar with some of these talented painters. Especially Frida Kahlo. It my opinion was one of most talented painters in history. However, there are others that are valued above the previous mentioned artists. Such as, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Edvard Munch all projected their own mental illnesses into their art, other artists simply demonstrate the idea of struggles or how the world around us impacts our minds.

Transitioning these emotions into any type of work of art, is comparable. Especially when you are drawing upon pure emotion to do it. Take for instance, musicians. Channeling their aggressive side to produce works of art. They focus on the talent you hear, versus what is seen on canvas.

Today, our guest was once considered an “cathartic”. Stacey David Blades is the architect behind the guitar in the band Crashing Wayward.

Stacey David Blades of “Crashing Wayward”

Crashing Wayward came together in the Spring of 2020, just when the world seemed to come to a halt. In that stillness, the band grew restless, feverishly writing emotionally fueled songs of hope, inclusion, and escape. The music on their debut album “LISTEN!” represents a cathartic release raw in approach yet refined in tone.

Lyrically poetic and musically illuminating, Crashing Wayward paints a landscape that stretches beyond alternative hard rock and explores the diverse influences of each of its band members, vocalist Peter Summit, guitarists Stacey David Blades and David Harris, bassist Carl Raether, and drummer Shon McKee.

The unrestrained passion which fuels the new single “Closer” provides a perfect introduction to what this band is all about. A hit waiting to happen on an album full of potential singles, “Closer” will be released in all digital/streaming formats on May 19th, accompanied by a powerful new music video directed by Mason Wright.

The band’s introductory single “Breathe,” released digitally by RFK Media in December 2022, achieved international recognition via Apple Music’s “Breaking Hard Rock” and “New in Rock” playlists, YouTube’s “Heavy Gauge” playlist, and a barrage of media interviews and radio play resulting in #1 status on radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.

Crashing Wayward’s live show is powerfully electric and engaging, inviting every audience to journey within a fully immersive experience reminiscent of their most iconic predecessors (comparisons include Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, U2, and Foo Fighters). Performances in demanding markets such as Nashville, Las Vegas, and Hollywood, headlining as well as opening for national acts, have proven this act is well-prepared for the next level. Respected public relations icon Mitch Schneider declares them “arena-ready,” while radio/TV personality Eddie Trunk says, “I’ve seen them live already and they deliver.”

“LISTEN!” by Crashing Wayward was produced by heavy hitter Mike Gillies, whose credits include a long tenure with Metallica as well as studio work with Motley Crue and The Cult. The album will be available worldwide June 9th on CD and all digital/streaming platforms, with the vinyl edition to follow later this summer. The CD packaging is a jewel case with a 12-page booklet including lyrics.

“Any time a new artist breaks into fresh territory like this, it tends to defy explanation,” adds RFK Media president Ron Keel. “Terms like modern alternative hard rock certainly apply, but we’re seeing – and hearing – a much bigger picture here. This is one of those rare acts with the potential to make musical history.”

Crashing Wayward genuinely pour their soul, blood, sweat, tears, and hearts into song and show. Equally primordial and intellectual, their music embodies the fundamental hypnotic quality of rock music and makes them the band to watch in 2023 and beyond.


Guitar Thrills: Hello Stacey. Thank you for chatting with me today. I admire your ability to perform at a high level. Your guitar playing, stellar and impressionable. What has contributed to your unique “set of skills”.

Guitar Thrills: I am interested in knowing more about the term “cathartic” how it applies to your ability as a guitarist?

Stacey: I think it’s just painting differently in terms of the guitar especially with this band.

Guitar Thrills: What role does it play in your abilities now? Especially since you have developed into an amazing talent.

Stacey: My writing has really developed strongly over the last 5 years. Instead of focusing on becoming a stronger or faster guitarist, I’ve put that time and focus into my writing.

Guitar Thrills: I mentioned some of the top artists who produced works of art on canvas. Do you see yourself in any of those artists?

Stacey: Well, I’m not to schooled in the world of Art hahaaa so I guess I couldn’t really comment on that but I look at CW as a very different sound and like a different art landscape. It has so many different styles! 

Guitar Thrills: Tell me about the band that you play your role in Crashing Wayward?  It is an interesting name. When and who came up with the name?

Stacey: I had carried over the previous band name I had and since I was the only one left in that band, (we played 2 shows before the pandemic under that moniker) Pete suggested we change the name. He couldn’t have been righter. After a few suggestions “Crashing Wayward” spurted out of my mouth.” He was like that’s it! 

Guitar Thrills: You have a dark sound to your music. There is a similar voice quality that reminds me of the Cure. Have you contributed to the lyrics or the results of the way a song turns out?

Stacey: No, I just write music. Pete writes all the lyrics and vocal melodies. He has an amazing craft and such a talented singer! Mike Gillies our producer had a lot of input and molded the songs and production on our album. Very talented engineer and producer who has worked for Metallica, Our Lady Peace, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, and The Cult. 

Guitar Thrills: What really distinguishes you from other guitarists in the music industry?

Stacey: I like to do different things on the guitar and I’m always changing like a chameleon. I’m such a different player than I was 12 years ago. I think I’m more into creating soundscape style riffs and melodies and I like playing in lots of modes and writing in modes to which I have started doing for the next album.

Guitar Thrills: When did you start to develop your talent as a guitarist? Playing guitar successfully doesn’t normally happen at the time. One usually is a primary talent.

Stacey: Well, I started on piano when I was 9 for 2 years straight with heavy lessons and recitals. When I started taking guitar lessons at age 11 by the time I turned 12 I got really good, and it was from all the piano training for sure! I’m always trying to learn though and I also teach! Guitar is such a blessing and my life!

Guitar Thrills: What is your favorite song from Crashing Wayward and why?

Stacey: Oh, that’s a tough one. I think Tilly. I love writing in E major/C#minor. It’s a beautiful key and sounds so good. Not to mention that song has very special meaning. Pete and I wrote that for my friend Tracey who lost her 25-year daughter to suicide. There are so many great songs on listen though it’s quite hard to pick just one. I love them all.

Guitar Thrills:  Are you working on anything in the studio presently?

Stacey: Yes, we just finished a very cool version of Circles by
Post Malone… has a very U2 vibe to it. We also have an unreleased track called “In Bed with my Head” that didn’t make ‘Listen” and we just finished recording a new song we wrote last year called “Bullet for a Heart’ we are going to release that as a single along with an animated video for it. It’s going to be so badass! 

Guitar Thrills: Do you believe in collaborating with other artists? If so, who have you worked with, and who would you like to work with on an album or single?

Stacey: Yes, I would love to so get a hold of me hahaha! I like all styles of music so I’m open to anything. I have done lots of sessions over the years but would love to write with other artists.

Guitar Thrills: We mentioned briefly that you have a gift as guitar player. We hope to get into that a little more on the next interview. However, who are some of your favorite guitarists of all time?

Stacey: Okay ya! Alex Lifeson, Neal Schon, Neil Geraldo, Kim Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhodes, EVH and Steve Lukather 

Guitar Thrills: Many the artists we speak to have their guitar of choice. Some of the brands are obvious. However, we have discovered, that some of the best “choice” brands are used for special occasions. Do you have a specific brand that you use for live performances, versus what is used in the studio?

Stacey: Well for years I endorsed Crate amps. I still use my Blue voodoo 120’ amps. They are fantastic tube heads and it’s a shame they went out of business. I just got an endorsement with Blackstar amps so I’m eager to start with them. In the studio I’ve been using digital amp plug ins with Protools. As far as guitars go it’s a mix of Gibson Les pauls and custom-made Telecasters.

Guitar Thrills: If you could send a message to your listeners that would be understood by all ears, what would the message be?

Stacey: A huge thank you and spread music and share it! The industry has changed so much it’s up to all of us to do word of mouth like we used to back in the day. We are hoping to be over in the UK this year. I have such fond memories of being there 11 times over the course of my career! Amazing people, food, fans, and music. Can’t wait to see you all!!!

Guitar Thrills: It was excellent to speak to you today. As mentioned, we look forward to speaking to you again soon. Thank you.

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