Crawe are based in West Yorkshire and have been plying there Doom trodden madness for just over a year now. With the recent release of their 3 track self financed demo, which I hasten to add, the band are giving away for free, 2008 see’s the year in which the underground sit up and take noticed of this new behemoth of UK Doom, so read on to see what their bass player Dean had to say when I fired a few questions over to him.
Lets start at the beginning by giving us a brief history of the band, why you started Crawe in the first place and your current members to date?
The band members are Stin – Vocals, Cov – guitar, Dean – Bass, Ben – Drums. Crawe basically started out when me and Cov decided to get together to write a few tunes for a project we had talked about doing for at least a year. Eventually at Christmas 2006 we managed to draft in Justin to do some vocals and February 2007 saw us recruiting Ben from Leeds in for the drums, due to a lack of interest in doom in Huddersfield.
Why the name Crawe, where does it come from and what is the meaning behind it?
After lengthy discussions on band names we finally all agreed on Crawe after Ben heard it drunk one night watching some 80’s movie. We later found out that this came from the term ‘A stick up ones Craw’ which means a birds bowels or something like that. We had no idea it meant something but fortunately enough it turned out to be something grim.
Your sound reflects the noise made by deviants such as Corrupted, Winter & Noothgrush, but who would you sight as major inspirations?
We try to take in a mixture of our influences and come out with something sort of original from that. Bands which have helped form this include – Corrupted, Dot[.], Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, Burning Witch and Upsidedown Cross.
Are lyrics important to the band, who writes them and what subjects/ themes do they cover?
Lyrics don’t really mean anything to the songs we do. Justin writes the lyrics and never reveals it with anyone. He could be singing about puppies and kittens for all I know.
Can you give us a run down of the equipment you use to help create your colossal sound?
Thanks to Cov breaking his Les Paul a day before our first gig he uses an Ibanez RG which was as far as his student loan could stretch, strung with 56-12 gauge strings. For guitar effects a Korg AX1500g processor is used, the fuzz setting being pretty much the only one used there. Guitar amplification is provided by a Peavey Centurion bass head played through a basic guitar cab. For bass I basically use a bass overdrive pedal played through a Hartke HT2500 head with a custom built bass cab.
What is a typical Crawe rehearsal like, how often do you get together and what process do you use when writing new material?
Lots of drinking and dropping cabs down the stairs. A typical process for writing new songs would involve me and Cov getting together with a few ideas and putting together a track. This helps to save time when we try it out in the practice rooms with drums due to all the fucking about we do.
You recently released a self financed 3 track demo, which, being the kind hearted souls you are, are giving it away for free, so can you tell us a little bit more about this, where and how it was recorded and what tracks it features?
Me and Cov feel the purpose of a demo is in the name. We wanted to use these tracks as a demonstration for what we sound like to get our name out there on the scene. Also due to the fact that it was recorded using a microphone plugged into a mini disk player in the middle of the room which sounds like its in a wheelie bin, we thought it would be slightly unfair to charge for it. The tracks featured are as follows:
1. Doomed to Fail
2. Gone to the Dogs
3. Frozen Northern Wastes
And do you know roughly how many copies you’ve handed out so far and what has the response been like?
About 92, we’re only doing a hundred to keep it limited as we are hopefully going to be doing a proper recording of these tracks in the near future. The response to this has been surprisingly good to us as we thought the poor quality of the recording would reflect badly on peoples opinions of the songs. Thankfully people have managed to see past this.
What about future recordings? Any releases in the pipeline you can mention?
As previously said we will hopefully be getting a decent recording on the demo tracks shortly. As well as these, we have additional material which we are intending to release on a CD-R split with The Afternoon Gentlemen based in Leeds. We also have other plans for releases, which can’t be discussed, next year.
What about gigs, how many have you played to date and have you found them easy to get both in your local area and ‘out of town’?
We’ve played one in the local area which didn’t go down to well due to the lack of a Doom/Sludge scene in our area. We’ve found finding gigs in general quite difficult which is why we decided to hand out free copies of our demo to people who are actually interested in an attempt to spread play to a crowd who are actually bothered about the type of music we play.
And do you have any up and coming gigs worth mentioning?
June 15th – Leeds, The Library Pub
July 3rd – Liverpool, Bar Korova w/ Dragged into Sunlight, The Bendal Interlude & Charger
July 4th – Grimdependence Day, Leeds, Fenton w/ The Magpyes, Dragged into Sunlight, Moloch & Volition
Apart from your role in Crawe, your also very active in the underground scene, be it going to gigs, supporting bands or being involved in online forums, so do you think this has helped spread the word of Crawe over the past 12 months?
Forums like D.F.F.D have been very supportive in the music we make, this has helped us make contacts and friends in the doom/sludge music scene and it’s good to be involved in a music scene where everyone is so open minded and friendly.
You also help organise the odd gig, your next being Grimdependence Day in Leeds, so can you elaborate as to how you got involve with this and what else you have planned?
90% of Grimdependance Day has been organised by our drummer Ben. The level of interest we got from bands demonstrates the fantastic showcase of groups this country has to offer and we’d like to thank all the guys who offered to play with us. This was very exciting and the prospect of planning future gigs like this seems very likely.
A complete fictional question, given the chance, what 3 bands you would kill your mother to go on tour with, both past and present?
Corrupted – They never fucking play.
Black Sabbath – Because their legends.
Iron Monkey – Because they and Johnny Morrow are not around any more.
What are your thoughts on the current ‘Doom’ scene from a Northern, National & International point of view?
The progression of the northern doom scene in the last 5 years has been amazing. The northern doom scene is probably even stronger than the south. Notably in Manchester with all the decent gigs Future Noise puts on and emerging bands based around Leeds.
When thinking Internationally it would be hard not to mention all the fantastic bands which have come out of Japan such as Corrupted, Dot[.], Coffins, Church Of Misery to name but a few.
Thanks Dean for the interview and please use this space for any final words…
First off thanks to the Sleeping Shaman for this interview.
Secondly, many thanks to the D.F.F.D forum without which we would have found it hard to spread the filth.
Anyone wanting to check us out, head over to www.myspace.com/crawedoom for current tracks and future updates.
Also thanks to Ste from Thee Claw for taking those pictures of us in Bradford.
Interviewed by: Lee Edwards