During the Indie heyday that was 2008, England saw the rise of bands such as the Arctic Monkeys, The Cribs, The Charlatans and The Courteeners. At the very same time, straight out of Sheffield came The Crookes; rising to prominence in 2011 with their debut album Chasing After Ghosts. Recently, CUB had the honour of catching their phenomenal set at Camden Crawl and interviewing the band about their newest output, the daring, riveting Soapbox.
Q: Music is a way to communicate. ‘Soapbox’ has some deeply intimate lines, yet its name would suggest a more political nature – do you see the album as a personal or public project?
A: I think all songs have to be born from the personal, but once they get put out there – on the Soapbox – then they belong to whoever listens to it. My hope is that people find their own meaning in the lyrics, whatever that meaning is.
Q: There are subtle literary references throughout your discography. When recording, do these inform the sounds you create or are your lyrics a more collaborative process?
A: Sometimes the lyrics inform certain aspects of the music. For example, in Echolalia the structure of the song was based around the idea of repetition. Similarly, on Howl we used an E-bow to mimic the idea in a sense. We recorded Holy Innocents in the church so I suppose that was an example of a subtle literary reference being brought out in the way we recorded the song. We certainly think about the way the tone of the song, musically, reflects the tone of the lyrics.
Q: You recorded this album in a tiny church in Northern Italy, what was the reasoning for that?
A: It was wonderful and Romantic to get away from the world. It fit in with the religious imagery on the album, and also with the idea of the outsider.
Q: You’re going on a full tour of America in July, and you’ve played a few shows there before. How do the shows compare to those in the UK? Are the Bright Young Things just as bright over there?
A: I think wherever we go we can definitely trace the similarities between the fans. An archetypal Crookes fan is usually sensitive. articulate and restless.
Q: You have worked with Matt Peel for your last few records. What makes him distinctive as a producer and how instrumental has he been in developing the sound of The Crookes?
A: We truly can’t praise Matt enough. He pushes us to the limit but brings out the best in us. He has been massively instrumental over the years. He’s also a wonderful friend.
Q: Your sound has matured and developed since 2008 when The Crookes first formed. How do you see the band evolving in the years to come?
A: I have no idea. We can only hope it will be for the better!