The Cribs Interview: "24-7 Rockstar Shit is the record I'm most proud of overall."
After a long time away, The Cribs are finally back in Aus', touring their excellent latest album.
When we look back on the mid-2000s era of the "The" bands, UK brothers The Cribs (Ryan, Gary and Ross Jarman) sat very comfortably alongside the explosion of great indie-rock music from that time. Bands like The Strokes, The Hives and The Vines really ruled the roost over that time, and while some have gone on to bigger and better things, and others faded into obscurity, The Cribs have remained constant.
Through a fiercely DIY approach to recording and touring while the rest of the UK indie scene was sucking the commercial music teet as dry as it could, The Cribs quietly (with ripping live shows and incredibly consistent album releases) went about their business. The business of making great records, putting on excellent shows, and rewarding a strong and loyal fanbase that saw them become mainstage favourites at the likes of Glastonbury and Reading.
Their fanbase down under, while obviously not as large as in their homeland, is equally loyal, and are currently being rewards with The Cribs' first run of Australian dates in almost five years. It kicked off last weekend, before hitting Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne over the next couple of weeks, and Pilerats' resident Cribs fanboy Andii Williams had a chat with Ryan Jarman just before they jumped on the plane to find out what we can expect.
The Cribs' Ryan Jarman on the family all living separately:
Especially me and Gary growing up together as twins, we spent every day together. After we moved out from our parents me and Gary got houses really close to each other, and we’d still hang out every day and write songs. And when we started going on the road, the first couple of years we were together all the time. Then he moved to America and I did worry how that was going to affect getting together to practice and stuff. But we’ve had a few albums since he moved there really and it’s worked fine. I think if we all still lived together in the same place we might have run out of stuff to write songs about. I think because we’ve gone off in our own directions it gives us more stuff and experiences that are different, which helps so much with the creative.
On arena versus club shows:
We’re not the kind of band who travels with a massive crew and needs special lighting and stuff like that. We’ve always been like this, very stripped back, it’s our ethos. So if we need to play smaller venues it’s no issue. We’ve done that shit so many times, I kind of enjoy doing clubs and stuff. It’s easy to get used to big venues, but it’s so nice to do small club shows, everyone’s so in your face, it’s great... It’s part of the fun of it for me. I feel like if you do more intimate shows it totally changes the rapport with the crowd. We feel more comfortable playing deeper cuts that are more obscure songs in smaller venues. Often they can be the most fun shows.
On how 24-7 Rockstar Shit rates in their back catalogue:
I think throughout our entire career I still loved the first record, even after another six records or whatever I still always really loved the first record. I think part of the reason for that is it’s just us playing live and it was recorded very simply and very quickly. I think that this record, done in much the same way, it’s the one for me that has the most in common with the first record. I actually feel like it’s probably the record that represents us the best as far as our ethos and attitude goes.
It literally is just us playing live in [producer, Steve] Albini’s studio. There was no overdubs, nothing done afterwards, it was just us playing live. The fact that in the UK especially it was labeled as “lo-fi” and focused on that and I think that the fact it went into the top 10 in the UK charts, it was beating all these records that must have cost a million dollars to produce, it became the record I’m most proud of overall. It was recorded so quickly, but the success it had compared to that and how quickly it was released it’s almost the record I’m most proud of. I still really like this record, I don’t ever listen to my own music ever, but I can imagine listening to it now and getting a kick out of it. I’m not going to, but I could do that.
On working with Steve Albini:
He’s great, the way he works is the exact way I like to work. Very quick, there’s not a lot of sitting and waiting around. I enjoy making records but I can’t deal with sitting around in a studio not doing anything. It sucks all the energy out of the room. Sometimes you sit around a studio for days and days while people edit stuff and that to me is such a waste of time. And people edit all the humanity out of records.
So it was really quick, he’s a great guy, he’s a good vibe in the studio, really funny, a really similar sense of humour to us. You get up at 10am, go into the studio, start working when you get in, and you’re done at 7 at night. It’s great, it’s exactly the way I want to work and the good thing about working with Steve Albini is we went in there knowing what sound he was famous for, and that’s the sound we wanted.
On coming back to Australia after five years:
I can’t believe it’s been five years. I’m really looking forward to getting back to see what it’s like. Every time we’ve come before I’ve enjoyed the shows. The crowds were good, the vibe in the audience is great… A lot of the time on tour, especially the UK or America you sometimes get some cynical audiences, but in Australia the people are really enthusiastic, I really enjoy Australian crowds.
Tue 1 May – Badlands Bar, Perth w/ Axe Girl [TICKETS]
Thu 2 May – The Lansdowne, Sydney w/ Horror My Friend (SOLD OUT)
Fri 4 May – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide SA w/ Sincerely, Grizzly [TICKETS]
Sat 5 May – Yah Yah’s, Melbourne w/ Horror My Friend (SOLD OUT)
Sun 6 May – Cherry Rock Festival @ Cherry Bar, Melbourne [TICKETS]
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