Tell Me About Strung Out's Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues

Jason Cruz talks about making a record before it's written.

SW: What was the genesis of this tour, on which you're playing 1996's Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and 1998's Twisted by Design in their entirety?

Cruz: Everybody needs a gimmick these days, and we're going to write a new record in the next few months, but we needed to do a tour and get out on the road. If we do this, hopefully we can lay off some of these songs and play some of the ones that we never play.

Do you remember the writing and recording of Wasteland Blues?

I remember we went to Razor's Edge Studio in San Francisco . . . and I started doing vocals. [Label head Fat Mike] just goes, "OK, I don't know what you've got, but I'm just going to press play and you can sing and show me what you've got for every song." And I didn't have everything figured out at that time. I was just making shit up as I went along. I had words but no melodies. I was just going up to the microphone and making something up.

Is that how you had done your first album too?

That's how I did the first three records.

Was that from inexperience, or was it just your process?

It was fun that way. To me, when you do demos, you can put in a good performance, and then when you go back to do the record, sometimes you can't get that same performance. The spontaneity of the idea is often the best one. And sometimes I still like doing that.

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