DOWNLOAD 2016: Santa Cruz

Don't call us sleaze rock say Santa Cruz as they chatted to the New Rock Times backstage at the Download Festival.

In recent years a range of bands have emerged from Sweden with the tag of being part of the Swedish sleaze scene. Bands like Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx, Gemini Five and Babylon Bombs have been the driving force for the new term.

But Santa Cruz mainman Archie Cruz says it is a tag they want to distance themselves from.

“Why are so many rock bands coming out of Sweden? The winter is so fucking cold and long there is no other shit to do other than play guitar and music, he laughs, “because everyone wants to get out.”

“To me the Swedish bands like Crashdiet and Crazy Lixx all sound a bit like Motley Crue, we were more like Guns N' Roses or at least we try to be.

“Swedish bands created this 'Swedish Sleaze' genre but I've never been a fan of that. We are just rock n' roll with a metal twist – don't mention the word sleaze. I hate genres anyway, why do you need to label yourself?

“Black Sabbath could be described as anything from doom metal to heavy metal – just call them Black Sabbath.”

Santa Cruz opened the Encore Stage on Saturday at the festival to far more of a frenzied reaction and response than even they expected.

““All our favourite bands have played here at Monsters of Rock and Download on these premises,” he beamed.

“That was amazing. While I was standing up there I had this picture in my mind of Guns N' Roses playing Paradise City – it felt kinda similar.

“It is a thrill every time. It is fucking awesome. We didn't expect anything so early in the morning so to see so mamy people pumped up for our music was great. We thought we'd be playing to some festival staff cleaning up the mess from yesterday.”