Crackpot Theory is a one man band, Daniel Ashcroft writes and records all the music himself, and plays all the instruments. Crackpot Theory has been around since 2008 and in that time he has released 3 albums in 2008 and 3 albums in 2009. He is currently working on releasing his 8th album. Daniel answered these questions for muzic.net.nz:
What can we expect to see from you over the next year?
Definitely live shows, even though it's just me singing to backing tracks it's nothing like karaoke haha. The new album entitled 'Desperation' should be released in November, or maybe October :), so what was origionally going to be a quiet year for this project has turned out to be my most productive as far as getting myself out there and stuff.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
A very wise drummer by the name of Sam Sheppard told me this, "Don't practice, just play! Practice sounds like a chore".
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands, and why?
Of course im a huge fan of 8 Foot Sativa, Gary Smith is one of my favourite guitarists of all time, he just writes the catchiest metal riffs I have ever heard, definitely a huge influence for me when playing guitar.
What will your next release be?
Very glad you asked. The up coming release will be entitled 'Desperation'. The best way to describe the sound of it would be a cross between Iwrestledabearonce's debut album and Rammstein's later albums with a hint of Saosin and of course all with the Crackpot vibe :)
How do you come up with your lyrics?
I always come up with a title first, once you come up with a clever title the lyrics usually start off being based on the title and then further developed into something usually that doesn't have anything to do with the title haha.
Who would you most like to support live?
8 Foot Sativa for sure, Rammstein, Cradle of Filth, I would say Megadeth but I don't think alot of their fans would be too happy about having to sit through me.
How do you believe you fit into the NZ music industry?
I don't much, I would love to be known as one of the most prestiege musicians New Zealand has ever seen, but you know I would just like to be known by anyone.
What can you never leave home without?
My hankerchief, had a pretty constant runny nose since I was about 12, it's a pain in the ass.
How do you describe your music?
Well it varies with every release, but I always try to suprise the listener, without being to out of the square with my ideas I still try to be over the top with whatever ideas I come up with. My newer stuff, mostly the brand new material, has alot of humor in it and these sort of random things that happen I guess similar to that of the jokes and clips used in Family Guy.
What is your favourite NZ venue?
The Royal, in Palmerston north.
What is the best part of being a musician?
Meeting people, the feeling of being this kinda larger than life figure when you are on stage, having people sing lyrics to you that you wrote, most importantly having a creative way of expressing youself and your individuality and sharing it.
What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?
What is in your CD collection at home?
Alot haha, I got my black metal (Immortal, Bathory), Hair/glam metal (Def Lepard, Poison, Warrant, Van Halen), Death metal (8 Foot Sativa, Impaled, Suffocation), Alt/rock (Janes Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins), you get the idea.
What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?
Can't say I have one to be honest.
What is your favourite place in NZ to be?
I love Christchurch, Kaikoura becuase I love whales and sea animals so yeah haha.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I was ten years old and my older sister used to record music videos on tape from the TV, I had no interest in music whatsoever but I happend to be in the lounge one day when she was watching it. This music video came on that she wanted me to see, it was 'Otherside' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it pretty much changed my life from that moment onwards haha.
How did you come up with the name Crackpot Theory?
Well my Dad is a tad crazy, and he comes up with these weird ideas and solutions for things, and when he tells of ideas that he has for a business or something, I would always say to him 'You and your crackpot theories' , it kinda just hit me because I guess thats what my music is, weird ideas that people dont usually understand or they don't think the idea of it is good because its not normal.
What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?
I would say my first live show doing the hole Crackpot thing, it was actually a couple of months ago, was the first time I was on stage I felt I was really letting myself go and sharing who I am with people without it being compromised by other band members.
How do you keep in contact with your fans?
Facebook and MySpace. I like to hang and talk with people who enjoy my music, some of my best friends are people that I have meet through them being fans of Crackpot.
What rumour would you like to start about yourself?
There were sex tapes, I did pierce my own nipple, my tea cup does not have bourbon in it!
Crackpot Theory is just one guy, Daniel Ashcroft AKA 'The crackpot therapist'.
Been in a handfull of bands such as Emilies Illusion (bassist/vocalist), Fallen World (guitarist/vocalist), Scarkiss (drummer/bv) and Syntax Error (drummer/bv). But my main creative outlet has always been my solo project, it's also been my longest running project (since 2008). I have a recording studio in my bedroom, I write all the songs, record them, mix/master and all that hoo hah.
I have independantly released 6 albums (3 in 2008, 3 in 2009), I am currently working on 7, hoping to release at JB-HIFI and also Marbecks, it will also be my debut as an artist on the $lave collective, a local label as it were. My sound changes dramatically with every record, covering everything from nu-metal to death metal to thrash to black and even acoustic and alternative rock. My current sound and what to expect on the new album 9which will be entitled 'desperation' will be what i belive a cross between Rammstein, Iwrestledabearonce and Saosin. My live shows consist of just me singing/screaming/rapping behind backing tracks, but please dont think it's anything like karaoke, it's quite an entertaining and interesting visual preformance. Always looking for shows anywhere and everywhere, so don't be hesitant to get in touch, it's not as gay as it sounds!