And the good news is that these stirrings were but a mere precursor to two brilliant, all-new songs, Initiation and Protection, released last week. The former a dream-pop excursion through with eerie sonics – or as Shaun explains, “Just some different samples that I've collected over the years” – and an explosive chorus. The latter, meanwhile, is a bubbling Depeche Mode-like gem. Crosses’ hiatus is officially over, but who sent the first email to get things back up and running again?
“That's a good question,” says Chino, almost like he’s still figuring it out how it all unfurled without too much thought. “After the first release, I was living in Bend, Oregon for a while, and Shaun and his wife came up to visit. He had brought a couple of keyboards and some effects pedals and we were sitting in my studio and we just started messing with stuff.”
You don’t need a PHD in Chino Moreno Studio Practice Studies to figure out what happened next…
“He was only there for three or four days, and by the time he went home we had two or three neat ideas that we had made from out of nowhere,” he continues. “And, at that point, we kind of figured, ‘Maybe we'll work on another Crosses record,’ but we still didn't really have a definite idea of what we wanted to do, or when and how we were going to do it. We just took it back to the original days of it being something for fun to do in our free time.”
They had remained good friends over the years, but the absence of this unique musical partnership had been felt.
“I've missed Crosses quite a bit,” explains Shaun. “Sometimes somebody would bring up something [about the band] or I'd see a post or even [footage of] us playing live and I’d just be like, ‘Damn, man, I miss it.’ It's just really inspiring when both of us get in the room. Let's say it's been like three months or something? We'll just immediately start making music and it's always like, ‘Man, wait, we have these other songs we’ve got to finish!’ but then we're going, ‘But this new one’s really, really good – let's mess around with this.’”
For a while now they’ve been tucked away in a studio surprising each other with ideas both musical and visual in nature. Quite uniquely for a band, Crosses have cast Thais Molon as a recurring protagonist in their music videos, including the new visuals for Initiation and Protection. She seems to be something of a muse for Crosses?
“I kind of think so,” says Chino. “The more the art and the videos come out, I think people will catch on that, ‘Wow, this is the same girl.’ She can transform [appearance] and has all these different vibes – she’s just super cool to work with.”