The traditional rhythm, blues, and jazz foundation that first defined the backbone of rock and roll in the 1960s is no longer. The requisite horn section, signature to Big Bands of decades past, now exists only as the backdrop for a harder, Latin-tinged funk/rock combination. Selectric Records latest signing, super-charged youth group phenomenon Cross Culture, is one of several up-and-coming bands to embrace this evolving sound, as showcased on its debut label project, Proof Positive.
Self-described as eclectic and energetic, deep and intricate, its difficult to pinpoint the source of Cross Cultures musical influences. Our versatile sound goes hand in hand with the bands name, comments guitarist and bassist Justin David. We cross traditional cultural boundaries by mixing hard, melodic rock with jazz, gospel and funk.
The history of Cross Culture dates back to 1998. Justin and drummer Chris Wright both attended highschool together in Columbus, Ohio, where they co-founded the band Color. With seven members in its original line-up, Color was heavily influenced by the ska movement. By 2002, the group had established a signature riff-laden funk/rock style and downsized to its three current members, Justin, Chris and guitarist Dan Harrass. The band additionally updated its name to Cross Culture.
Cross Culture has a similar meaning to our former name Color, David says. Our band consists of an African American, a Hispanic American, and me [Caucasian]. With all the changes in our physical line-up as well as in our music, we felt a name change was also appropriate.
Musically, Cross Culture admits that its probably not reinventing the wheel. We dont claim to be exclusive in our sound, says David. We simply bring all that we are and all that we like musically to the table in hopes that music lovers of all backgrounds will walk away with something relevant. Humble though it sounds, the concept works well for Cross Culture. The band freely draws from many well-loved musical sources to create music that offers something for everyone, especially on its national debut release, Proof Positive. Produced by Grammy-winning duo John and Dino Elefante, Proof Positive kicks off in signature Cross Culture fashion with the jammin, seize-the-moment anthem This Moment in Time. The album maintains unwavering momentum from one danceable track to the next. Among Cross Cultures most musically diverse cuts is Wave, an effective amalgamation of surf rock, Latin horns and rap. The hybrid style of Wave successfully relates its universal message about perseverance amidst lifes ups and downs Cross Culture makes its beliefs honest and transparent in its music. One of These Days is a prime example. Justin explains, I went through a bit of a depressed stage, and my character suffered because of it. I felt like I was set up to be a failure. This song talks about our aspirations to grow and to become better individuals than anyone said we could be. We want to convey the message that theres something bigger and more meaningful than the status quo. Aware that being a band on stage is something bigger, the members of Cross Culture draw on personal experiences to set their purpose as a group. We strive to be an example to others individually and as a band. We are driven by our personal faith experiences, and that comes out in everything we have to offer in our music.