Anglo-CanadianAlternative Types WE THE CROOKED Exclusively Share Their Influences & Inspiration with Rock ‘N’ Load

Anglo-Canadian alternative types WE THE CROOKED (  ) deliver a superb cover version of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, out on Friday. The rising rockers pull from a range of influences and with that in mind, we asked J.C Sandoval (lead vocals, guitar), Russ Shipman (bassist), and Neelesh Vasistha (lead guitar) from the band to exclusively elaborate on their key influences:

Drain You – Nirvana:

J.C: “Both guitarists in our band realized that we have been profoundly influenced by Nirvana and our love for Kurt’s guitar riffs. His cryptic lyrical style has also seeped into our music. The subconscious imagery in this song definitely influenced some of our stranger lyrics, like ‘Watch Me Burn’”.

Goliath – The Mars Volta:

J.C: “This is a heavy groove-based rock song with an experimental attitude. It’s an influence that reminds us to get weird and chaotic — intentionally. Listening to the mass amounts of creative energy from these guys inspires us to think outside the traditional rock n’ roll box.”

Bridge Burning – Foo Fighters:

Neelesh: “Foo Fighters are a primary influence for us. This song exemplifies why. It’s not just a banger on first listen, but breaks down into a beautifully complex, almost orchestral arrangement. Actually, the whole album is an advancement in alternative rock. They made something new out of familiar ingredients. That’s the dream.”

Just – Radiohead:

Neelesh: “This song showcases a different way to approach lead rock guitar, beyond pentatonic musings. Johnny Greenwood is an absolute legend here. Serrated octave lines, bell-like tones in the verse, intense and chromaticy guitar outro — we’ve borrowed these elements in our own palette. Oh, and the video is class, too.”

Smooth Sailing – QOTSA:

Russ: “I like the weird, swaying guitar trade-offs over a solid bass/drums bounce.”

Ænema – Tool:

Russ: “This is an influence of mine: A driving ostinato on bass painted over by alternately ghostly and crushing guitar, and rhythmic vocals.”






Acclaimed Canadian alt-rockers WE THE CROOKED detail stunning cover version of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, which arrives everywhere on Friday 14th January 2022.

The roots of WE THE CROOKED were initially put down at the start of 2017 under the moniker, The Crooked. Much like the band’s engrossing sound, the makeup of the group is also intriguing. Although the four piece now reside in Toronto, Canada, J.C Sandoval (lead vocals, guitar) originally hails from Costa Rica, Anthony Dell’Orso (drums) comes from Italy, Russ Shipman (bassist) originates from Switzerland, and Neelesh Vasistha (lead guitar) was born in the UK. Throughout their early years, the alternative quartet toured relentlessly throughout Canada, and in doing so, built a strong fanbase. The band set loose two EPs, The Shoebox Sessions and First Place Silver, where notable playlist features ensued, as well as support shows with the likes of Danko Jones, Pop Evil and Royal Tusk.

In 2019, The Crooked triumphantly completed their first European tour, playing shows throughout Germany and Norway. This included appearances at international festivals: Fete de la Musique and Rockstream. The high-flying alt-rockers ended the year with a series of successful tours in their homeland. Like many, the band were forced to cancel a planned, second European tour in spring 2020. With a renewed focus on their recording output, the industrious crew spent the year recording and releasing The Crooked Covers series. Following a brief hiatus at the start of the year to consider their post-pandemic future, the band regrouped under a new name: WE THE CROOKED.

The release of the group’s recent single, Villain, signalled an emphatic return for the unstoppable alt-rockers. WE THE CROOKED now storm ahead with an enthralling new single. Vocalist and guitarist, J.C Sandoval remarks: “It was a pleasure to cover the legendary Stevie Wonder. Pastime Paradise is an ever-relevant warning on the dangers of ‘over nostalgia’ and takes on a new dimension today — in the light of AR and VR technology. Both can trap us in a future ‘paradise’.”

WE THE CROOKED now aim to continue expanding their footprint in the UK and Germany, ahead of a festival tour in 2022.

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