Boomer of Crooked X is a ‘Good Looking Guy Under All That Hair’
What were you doing at 14? Touring the world? Didn’t think so. A record deal? Thought not. You probably didn’t have a rock band either. As Crooked X, singer-guitarist Forrest French, guitarist-singer Jesse Cooper, bassist Josh McDowell and drummer Boomer Simpson, have done all of the above. The Oklahoma boys, now 15, even have their songs in ‘Rock Band,’ while most of their peers are excited to just play the video game.
The band was discovered on CBS Early Show when it submitted a video for a talent show bit called ‘Living Room… Live.’ While Crooked X came in second, heavyweight managers Spencer Proffer (Tina Turner, Quiet Riot) and Doc McGhee (KISS, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi) took notice and started working with them. Their debut EP, ‘Till We Bleed,’ came out in the fall of 2008 and the self-titled full-length in late January.
You’ve played for 35,000 people opening for KISS in Sweden and on the side stage on Disturbed’s recent Music As A Weapon Tour in the U.S. How do you adjust your set?
I think it’s pretty easy to play in front of bigger crowds because when you play in front of smaller crowds where it’s just like a hundred people in the crowd, it’s more personal. You get a little more nervous playing in front of a smaller crowd.
Which of the smaller acts that you’ve played with are you most excited about?
Black Stone Cherry is starting to get a lot bigger. That’s been one of our favorite bands that we’ve played with so far.
What are your favorite metal videos of all time?
I don’t look up a lot of metal videos. I look up drum videos. One day, I typed in ‘drum solos’ on YouTube and went through all the pages of all the drum solos. It was pretty sweet.
Most concert-goers are like, ‘Oh, no, the drum solo!’ Which is the most undeniably brilliant drum solo people should see?
I always enjoy it when they have the tilting riser and all that stuff. We saw Motley Crue in concert at the Ford Center. He [Tommy Lee] has the full strap, and gets lifted up into the air and he played on different drum sets.
What would you be worried about if you were playing upside down?
Just falling. I’m not a big fan of heights. If you drop a stick, you’re pretty much screwed.
Do you have a favorite drummer?
Joey Jordison, the drummer for Slipknot. He did that too with the tilting riser. I think he’s amazing. Puts on a good show too.
What is one of your dreams as a drummer the bigger your band gets?
I just got a double bass kit not too long ago. I’m enjoying that. But I don’t know. I just try to put on the best show I can.
Do you still practice?
Oh yeah. Always. I’ve got this whole electronic drum set that I’ve got set up in my room right now and every chance I get, I go up there and jam on it.
Have you seen any wicked female drummers?
Kid Rock’s drummer [Stefanie Eulinberg].
Are you into different styles? Are you a closet jazz drummer?
Oh yeah, another thing about Joey Jordinson is he used to be a jazz drummer. I think jazz drummers are the best drummers to be honest with you. They do so much more stuff.
Do you listen to jazz or ever try and play it?
No, I can’t say I do. But I like raving to techno music.
Do you have any hobbies?
Me and my cousin were just riding dirt bikes earlier. I just got a new dirt bike when I got back from the Disturbed tour. I just try not to kill myself, that’s all. We’ve got four or five acres out on our property.
What’s Coweta, Oklahoma like?
It’s about 30 minute drive from Tulsa. Not too far away. A town of 7000 people. There’s a lot of cattle and a lot of fields. Our next-door neighbors have cows and stuff. I haven’t had a chance to go cow tipping yet. I’ve never done that, but I want to though. It would be pretty fun [laughs].
Guess you’re not a vegetarian?
No, I’m not.
You were all “failed football” players. What team do you route for now?
We all played football. We all sucked at playing football so we thought we’d do something else and be musicians. My name’s Boomer so I gotta go with OU (Oklahoma University).
When you’re on the road, do you time your set so you don’t miss watching a game, as some bands do?
No, I don’t really get into football THAT much, but I enjoy watching it.
What are you doing this summer?
I’m not really sure what we’re going to be doing. There’s no tour I’ve been told about yet. Usually, we know a week before it happens.”
Do you want to be on tour?
Oh yeah. Definitely. We just got off the Disturbed tour and that was amazing. I always enjoy getting away from the house.
Are you guys in school or home schooled?
Home schooled. Yeah, after this interview I have to go do work.
How can you be so disciplined when you’re on the road and the other bands want to hang out?
I’ll take one day to do one class but seven days of that class and I’ll switch it up like that so I can have some time off.
What was the best part of the Music As A Weapon tour?
I don’t know. I would go to sleep, wake up in a different town, play the show, go back to sleep and repeat that.
Did you meet anyone cool, a fellow musician perhaps with whom you had an amazing conversation?
Ted Nugent gave us all some words of advice, but I don’t know if it’s really appropriate though.
Hmm, like what?
Nah, it’s okay (laughs).
Do you have a favorite TV show?
I’m a huge Family Guy fan. Hilarious. I love it.
Are you on MySpace a lot?
I get on MySpace whenever I can, probably a couple of times a week and update all my stuff on there. I just recently cut all my hair off. I haven’t got any new pictures up yet. I need to go ahead and put those up there.
Will you go and see how the girls are commenting?
I have to.
Would you grow it if they don’t like it?
I don’t know. I’m liking it. I’m a good looking guy under all that hair.
If you do say so yourself.