Crushed Out: Music and marriage

by Jared Curtis

Thanks in large part to the rise of The White Stripes and The Black Keys during the garage rock revival of the early 2000s, duo acts have been popping up all over the place during the past decade. But just because you have a guitar player and drummer, it doesn’t make you a band. You need substance, style and the ability to bring it all together with some rocking tunes — which is exactly how Franklin Hoier (guitar/vocals) and Moselle Spiller (drums/vocals) of Crushed Out has separated themselves from the others.

“The touring duo is made for these times. There is a reason you see lots of duos these days and the very unromantic answer is that bands cannot afford extra members. We dream about having standup bass, two saxophones, backup singers, etc, but it’s just not an option to us,” Hoier said. “Although it would be nice to have a full stage of musicians, I really enjoy the dynamic of the duo. It’s challenging in that it feels like we are playing at each other. That’s a truly exciting knife-edge to ride.”

The band began their career as Boom Chick, but soon after had to change their name.

“We changed our name to Crushed Out because of a legal situation where someone else obtained a copyright of the name. It was truly crushing at the time, however we dig the new name much, much more,” Hoier said. “The new name fit more with the surf guitar sounds we were inspired by, so I think the name pushed us to explore those sounds and inspirations.”

The duo decided on the new name Crushed Out, which had multiple meanings in the beginning, but has grown and expanded to various thoughts and feelings over time.

“The name Crushed Out has many meanings to us — 80s slang for being totally in love, 20s slang for breaking free of a bad situation quickly — and it sounds like ocean waves rolling over sand,” Hoier said. “It’s a surf-y freedom and love vibe that has come to mean staying open hearted and finding love in everything.”

Finding love in everything is easy to do when you have someone to walk side-by-side with through the ups and downs of being in band. Luckily, Franklin and Moselle have found that as the duo just recently celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary.

“We’re lucky that we get along very well and love each other’s company. If not music we’d do another creative project together, that’s the lovey dove-y answer but it’s true,” Hoier said. “We spend most of our time together, so it’s easier for us to tour together. We rarely get tired of being around each other and if we do, 20 minutes later we are over it.”

The band’s most recent album, Teeth, came out in 2014 to high praise from critics. Hoier said the pair has been writing and performing new tunes, and are ready to get them out to fans.

“You always want to differentiate yourself with your music. My personal philosophy is that if you are truly yourself and do your thing to the fullest you have the best chance of being original,” Hoier said. “We are mixing and mastering a new record as we speak! I’m very excited as I learned so much making Teeth myself, that this next record is another step up for us.”

Along with a rocking sound, Crushed Out has a strong visual presence both in their live show and online, an element that unfortunately fewer acts pay attention to these days.

“Strong visuals are indeed very important and Moselle does all our graphics, website and videos. It shows the inspiration and passion behind the project as a whole,” Hoier said. “Branding is so far embedded in our culture and life that there is no question that many people need the branding to feel safe to enjoy the music. Our visuals come from an inspired place as opposed to a branding or selling angle. In short we do what we dig, not just what we think will sell.”

The pair is looking forward to their return to the Pacific Northwest, and their upcoming show in Bellingham.

“Shows in Bellingham are always fun in that it feels like you are playing somewhere that isn’t over saturated with live music. There is a wild and grateful feeling that we love so much,” Hoier said. “Everyone should come to the show, so together we can shake off the worries, dance to some rock ‘n’ roll and be free and wild for a while.”

LIVE SHOW: See Crushed Out at The Shakedown on Saturday, Oct. 17, with Feral Foster. Tickets are $6. For more about the band, visit www.crushedoutmusic.com. 

Published in the October 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine