Wednesday, 7 September 2011

CROWS Interview

Ross Alec Sharp/Singer : He has a dinosaur eating a house tattooed on his thigh.
He also punched a zombie who scared him in a haunted house.
The haunted house was in Universal Studios Barcelona, and the poor zombie had to stay in character.
Sean Francis Mulholland/Guitarist : He can recall the headliners of Reading and Leeds Festival from the year 2000 to present.
Andrew James Dylag/Guitarist : Known to friends as Paddy because apparently he looks Irish.
The nickname even made it onto the registers at his school.
Daniel Hall/Bassist : Known as Selfish Dan, Danny Tourette and Shanty Dan.
He became known as Selfish Dan because he was really pissed at Reading and Leeds festival, when he saw an Oxfam lady and thought she was collecting rubbish.
So he threw a bag of rubbish at her and shouted “avvv that you slaaag!”.
Samuel Lloyd Toms/Drummer : The middle man…of the human centipede.
And his Grandad was born in a tree.

Why did you choose the name Crows?
D.H : That was us, that was before Sam and Paddy joined. I don’t know actually.
R.S : We were looking for a literal sounding name.
D.H : We didn’t want something like Blood Red Vagina Sunset or something.

The whole gang erupt into laughter.
S.T : Although, I do like that name.
P.D : That’s the name of the record.
R.S : The name was kind of tongue in cheek Gothic.
D.H : It was a sort of take the piss, Goth type thing. Because Northampton is…there is never any punk bands. There are just metal bands and bands who want to be like Bring Me The Horizon.
R.S : We thought that if we had a darker name, people might turn up. Then we found out that there’s like ten, fifteen different bands called Crows all over the world.
S.M : The funniest thing is that when we played Leicester, they put an ‘E’ in it. So…
D.H : So it was like The Smiths, someone’s last name, but Crowes.
P.D : When we tell people our band name, people at work especially, they are like ‘what’s your band called?’ and then you are like ‘Crows’ and they are like ‘what? C-Crows?’. And it’s like ‘Crows as in bwark! Flap flap, flap flap flap!’. They are like ‘what, crows as in, the bird?’ and you are like ‘yeah’ and they are like ‘that’s really weird!’.
D.H : Yeah, I’ve got that, like ‘it’s really weird’. What? Atomic Kitten is not weird, but Crows is?
R.S : Coldplay, Coldplay doesn’t even make any fucking sense.
D.H : Kaiser Chiefs! What does that mean?
S.T : Jesus Of Spazereth.
R.S : Kaiser Chiefs is a south African football team.
D.H : Even though they all come from Leeds and support Leeds. Is it Sheffield or Leeds? I can’t remember.
P.D : It’s Leeds.
S.T : That’s the longest answer for why you are called Crows.
D.H : I think that’s longer than our longest song.
R.S : It could have been anything.
D.H : I think it’s because me and Ross were talking about Alfred Hitchcock a lot. We couldn’t be called The Birds, so we were like: Crows. That’s why the EP has got the Alffred Hitchcock picture on the front.
P.D : It’s because we’ve all got hair like crow’s nests.
D.H : And beaks.
S.T : We regurgitate food. Ross feeds us all, foraged goods.
D.H : Daddy penguin! Or crow…
P.D : Daddy penguin! (Laughs)
D.H : Sean is Happy Feet.
P.D : Sean is a flamingo with them legs.
Why did you start the band?
S.M : It was either that or prison, so…
Crows once again burst into a session of loud laughter.
R.S : It was that or rehab.
: Two of us were in The Gutter Club. That was like, sort of like this, but punk-y.
S.M : Plus we wanted to do something different but then we found out that we weren’t talented enough. So we thought we’d…
R.S : Improve, improve on a formula. Add another guitarist and a drummer who could drum. And a bass player who could play.
S.T : You talking about me?
R.S : Yeah, a drummer who can drum.
S.T : I’ve never been told I can play before.
S.M : Ross started it, then he told me about it. It was like ‘Come over here! Let’s start a band!’ and I was like ‘ooh, that’s a good idea’.
R.S : What was it? New Years Eve 2009.
P.D : Is that when the band started? 2009?
R.S : At a dubstep night in the back of the Racehorse. I went travelling in February and I kept messaging Sean, like ‘don’t forget, when I get back, we’ll start a band’.
S.M : Then just before he came back, Dan saw me at the Roadmender and he was like ‘have you heard of this band that Ross is going to form?!’ and I was like ‘yeah’. Then he was like ‘you’re in it as well. Awww wicked!’.
D.H : I just joined myself.
S.M : We used to have Alex as our drummer, but he’s in Let It Die now.
D.H : He’s on the demo we have now.
S.M : Dan fancies him.
R.S : We used to play in bands when we were young and we thought ‘We’ll take over the world, it’ll be amazing!’. But then you just lose interest, your soul becomes black and your dreams are destroyed. So we are doing this band for fun.
How do you go about writing songs together?
P.D : Generally, Sean comes in with an idea. Or a few ideas: verse, chorus, whatever. Then we’ll write the bare bones of the song.
S.M : We should change our name to Bare Bones.
P.D : But bare as in ‘bear’, raaah! But yeah, we’ll keep playing it and playing it. If anybody else thinks of another part…we’re always expanding parts. If someone plays one little lick, one little riff different…like Sean will have a riff or Dan will have a riff. Neither of them work on their own, but when they are put together, it’s like the Megatron from Power Rangers. It comes together and fucking kicks arse.
D.H : Ross just writes lyrics and puts it to the song when we are finished. He doesn’t actually write to the song as we are going, to make it fit over the top. Which is quite weird I think.
R.S : I’ve got a hymn sheet.
D.H : Ross goes ‘I fancy, prostitution and death today…’
P.D : This one is about the devil in a dress!
S.T : Red vagina sunset.
R.S : There is no secret. It’s just riffs, riffs, riffs and screaming.
P.D : But we are not one of those bands where there is one person who writes everything. There are a lot of bands like that, where it’s one guy. Might as well be a studio band.
S.T : It’s pretty much a joint effort.
D.H : Sam has wrote a song, Shaun has wrote loads of songs, Paddy has wrote a song, I’ve got a couple of songs. So we all put stuff in.
R.S : I don’t think you’d be a band otherwise.
P.D : It’s not diplomatic, no, it has to be diplomatic. No one is a tyrannic-desspot, like ‘this is my song, this is the way it’s meant to be played.’
D.H : Apart from the one we call ‘Sam’s Song’. We still call it Sam’s song.
P.D : Even like, the middle section of that…
D.H : The bit I wrote.
P.D : What? The bit that goes ‘naNAnaNAnaNA’, the wicked bit that me and Shaun wrote. Oh yeah, ‘I wrote that bit!’. Fuck off Stalin. Fucking, Gaddafi has got nothing on you.
When Secret Admirer asked what other bands inspire the Crows sound, a long discussion as to who does and doesn’t ensued.
It emerges that bassist Daniel Hall’s mum was on talk show Kilroy, she featured on the episode “I Got Dumped For A Younger Model”.
Then a discussion as to who the best talk show host is sparks up.
Secret Admirer decides to go in with another question, about the music. Man.
Do you think there is a need for a band like yourselves, locally?
R.S : Erm…
D.W :
R.S : Alright then, ok.
D.W : Not in a big headed kind of way.
S.T : For sure.
D.W : It’s like tonight, we are playing with Blood Visions, and they aren’t particularly a metal band or a punk band. They are someone in between the indie/punk spectrum. And we can happily play with them or play with Pluto Gang. But at the same time we could go play The King Billy with a death metal band. We’re somewhere in the middle.
R.S : Paddy walked in and he was the first guitarist auditioning. And he was like ‘I want to be in a band that is hard enough for the boys, and soft enough for the girls’. And that has pretty much been our ethos.
S.T : It’s just party music really, isn’t it.
P.D : If you can get the boys head-banging and the girls swinging their hips about, then that tends to work really well. Not a fuckin’ epileptic hula hoop artist. You got these heavy bands, and it’s great. But you can only take so much of it.
R.S : On those bills, we are almost like an intermission.
D.W : When you play shows like that, you get the bands who are really like ‘we are metal!’ and look at you and go ‘poofs!’.
P.D : Hang on, I don’t think that they look at the rest of us and think that.
S.M : You get all the metal fans in the corner going ‘This ain’t metal’.
Do you feel like you are rebelling against purist music fans?
D.W : It’s more about fun than anything else.
R.S : We don’t take ourselves seriously. Don’t take us the wrong way though, we take what we do seriously. But we’ll never take ourselves seriously.
What’s the best gig you have ever played, so far?
D.W : The first gig we played here, which was our third show…that was really good because it was rammed and we didn’t know why people would come. Everyone just seemed to really like it. Up until that point we hadn’t really played to a crowd with more than ten people.
S.M : We played a gig in Kettering, and at first I was like ‘eugh! Kettering’ but then loads of this kids turned up and went mental.
D.W : It was the first time we had kids crowd surfing and stage diving.
R.S : I will always, always turn around and play to sixteen year old kids, because they go for it.
S.M : Kids are there to have fun, and we are there to have fun so it kinda works. Like a big hug.
P.D : There is nothing worse than playing a gig and there are people just looking at you. At least someone nod your head in time! Just tap your foot.
R.S : Shake your finger.
D.W : Or those people who stand there and watch your fret work.
P.D : And they go ‘awwh that’s not a so and so scale.’ Fuck off and do one. All that widdly guitar music, it’s not the be all or end all.
Are there any bands that you like playing shows with?
S.M : Well the two that are on tonight (Blood Visions, Das Pluto Gang)
S.T : Yeah, Blood Visions man.
D.W : We’ve been to see them all the time.
R.S : We like playing with The Atrocity Exhibit, they are a Northampton grind-core band.
D.W : They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but what they do is awesome.
R.S : And 72% Morrissey.
D.W : The Computers blew me away when we played with them. We released that there is other people doing what we wanna do. And getting somewhere.
Have you got any plans in terms of recording or releasing your music?
P.D : We are finishing an EP off on Sunday. We’ve made the bed, we’ve put the mattress on…
R.S : The pillows are there.
P.D : Yeah, the pillows are there. We just need to put the duvet on and iron the sheets.
D.W : In English, we need to the vocals and a guitar solo.
S.M : Chocolate mints on the pillows.
D.W : For some am-bee-once!
R.S : There is a sexy song on there.
S.M : I think they all are to be honest.
R.S : We recorded it a month ago, but stupid me. I listen to punk rock and do sports. So I tore my knee up. So I couldn’t actually stand up when we were recording. Otherwise the vocals would have been done.
D.W : But it’ll be free for a while on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.
Are you going to self-release it?
R.S : Yep! Self-release it, stick it in a box and take it to gigs. And then if you don’t have the money, you can go online and download it for free. I’ll be honest, I think it’s going to remain free. I’d like it to be always free online. It’s cool though, we are going to have a black sleeve, like a record sleeve, a little sticker with the song titles and a couple of websites.
D.W : You can get CDRs that look like old 7”s. And they are really cool because on one side, it’s got the vinyl and the other side is just a burnable CD.
R.S : We’re going to try and make it a little bit more eye catching than just a CD with our name on it.
P.D : From Tesco!
R.S : Yeah, from Tesco with a picture of the band looking all hard.
S.M : We don’t have to try to do that anyway.
Thanks guys.
S.M : Shall we have a round of applause?

Photography By Jack Parker

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