A nice little one for the Viceland.com Blog. These guys were really nice in real life.
Men Need Men?
The Cribs are three brothers from Wakefield who have been playing their punky indie for a good while now and with each record they seem to get a little more popular but have never had the breakout success of bands like their mates the Kaiser Chiefs. This is a shame because their melodic hooks are a total joy and they have played our parties before and the shows always end in beer soaked, bloody carnage. Ryan impaled himself on a Pint Glass at the NME award last year but he’s over talking about that so we left it. They have a new record out next month that they did in America with Alex from Franz Ferdinand and just did a club tour where there were as many kids queuing outside the venues as there were inside.
So how was recording the new album with Alex Kapranos? Was it like being locked in the studio with your dad? Isn’t he like 56 or something?
Gary: Nah man, fuck that, he’s cool as fuck.
Ryan: Trust me, he gets crazy. He once ate a squid tentacle and puked on us.
That is pretty crazy. What was it like playing stadiums with Franz in America? Must have been pretty different to coming up in Wakey?
Gary: Wakefield was totally dire, dead boring, there was one bar and it was known that you could get in when you were 14. That was the only place to go. You just had to be a member; you could go in any time of day, in your school uniform, whatever, as long as you were a member that was that.
Ryan: We used to play in peoples houses, squats, there were sort of diy-promoters that would put on non-profit gigs and bring bands into the area but until The Cribs and Ladyfest and a night called Strangeways in 2002 it was total ghost town man.
What about Leeds? That was just down the way…
Ryan: Leeds was down the road but it was dominated by horrible promoters and shit indeed bands who were only worried about being technically good and having expensive amps and getting signed. We just did our own thing like playing in living rooms and kitchens, we aren’t trying to sound indier than thou or nowt but that’s how we came up and with the way things are now bands just don’t have that.
Anyone in particular you talking abut here?
Gary: Look man, we aren’t gonna name names and start slagging other bands off but it all just seems so fucking disposable. Bands are getting signed to majors before they’ve even put a single out and it’s just like some production-line, quick-fix culture. None of these bands that are out at the moment have any scope for longevity.
Ross (while Gary and Ryan have been happily riling against the world over their beers Ross has been quietly sipping Coke and avoiding eye-contact and generally seeming like a lovely fellow but suddenly pipes up with this): All those bands just seem fucking pointless to me mate.
Ryan: People now are starting bands as vanity projects just to get signed to a major. If you go from Myspace to a major you are basically signing up to get money shoved up your arse, get exploited for all your worth and then get dropped. That’s what they seem to want though, get exploited to get famous rather wanting to build something creative that will last. The whole culture of indie celebrity makes me sick, being a punk should mean you hate celebrity. We were approached pre-first record by majors but we knew we wanted to just build it in a grass-roots way. We are about to release our third record and all that time we’ve just been growing a fanbase organically. We are a punk-rock band at heart and that spirit just doesn’t seem to be around at the moment.
But you just did stadiums in the US and licensed a song to an advert in Canada. That doesn’t seem so punk…
Gary: First up we knew fuck all about that ad and whatever money our US label made on that sure aint in my back pocket. It was for some company called Telus. Maybe ‘Telus’ should of ‘told us’ about it. Ha ha.
That was a really bad joke.
Gary: Sorry. But anyway, that company used Belle & Sebastian and Daft Punk in their other ads so we are selling our souls in good company!
Ryan: I think Bill Hicks said if you do an ad you are off the artistic roll call so that’s a shame but in terms of the whole venue thing we’ve actually just come off a tour doing 200 capacity clubs. Getting back to how we started.
How was that?
Gray: We were a bit naïve. There were too many kids. Tonnes outside. Venues too full. The Water Rats show in London was insane (footage below).
Have Cribs ever been asked to do Cribs?
Ryan: Nah mate, who wants to see my place in Wakefield?