Emerging Artists #26 – Crushed Beaks

October 16, 2011 by  

“Fucking noisy, fucking messy and fucking loud!” It’s a sentence that should get even the most disheartened music fan excited and that’s exactly how Crushed Beaks described their debut show. OK, so that might sound like a pull quote destined for the NME, but judging by their one and only fully formed track to be aired so far, Sun Dogs, any nagging thoughts of delusions of grandeur are dispelled as soon as the swelling guitar and incessant beat kicks in…

How did you get together, where you from and why did you decide to make music together?
Matt: I know Alex from school and we both went to Goldsmiths but kind of lost contact with each other until our final year when we ended up going to the pub with a mutual friend. I had some songs that I’d recorded (badly) in my bedroom that had somehow got posted on some blogs and stuff so I thought about making it into a live thing. I don’t think Alex was that into what he heard but I managed to persuade him to come and play the drums at a rehearsal. It ended up going really well…

What’s behind the band’s sound and how did you come to it?

Alex: It sounds different to how it used to. The more we have written and the more we have played shows the more ‘minimal’ the set up has got: less cymbals, less pedals. We have tried to strip it down as much as possible but still keep it thick and noisy.
Matt: I’d been in a few bands before that had had four or five other members so it was really refreshing to strip all that right back to just drums, voice and guitar (I only use one pedal at the moment). I think the two way dynamic is pretty important to us at the moment. 

What equipment are you using for recording, and is there any particular reason behind the choice?

Matt: It basically came down to whatever we could lay our hands on. For the session in the church where we did the drums, a bunch of people had said they’d lend us some stuff and then let us down at the last minute. My friend Nic (from Torches) has loads of stuff that he kindly agreed to lend us for the day, which pretty much saved our skins. Everything else was done in my shed on my laptop with my housemate’s audio interface and one of Nic’s condenser mics. 

Where was the band’s first show and what was it like?

Matt: My mate Fred (or his twin brother Ralph, can’t remember which) asked us to play with their old band Kurtz at St.Moritz, which is a basement venue in Soho. It was a Friday night and was a decent club night so we actually had a pretty good audience. We got a really good response from people, which was really nice. I think that early response gave us a lot more confidence to carry on playing live.

Alex: It was fucking noisy, fucking messy and fucking loud! Went down so well though and we have kept the contact with the people who got us the show.

Sun Dogs by Crushed Beaks

What’s been your favourite gig you’ve played?

Matt: Me and some friends put on a show in our downstairs neighbours back garden in the summer called Awesome Saturday Day. We hung a huge blue and orange banner (made by these guys) out of our front window to advertise it for a week. Our neighbour built us a stage and we had a giant eagle in the trees with a strobe light for an eye, it was fucking rad. 

Alex: Mine was a gig we played in an underground venue in Deptford with our buddies La Shark. It was a fantasy themed night and there was a lot of dragons in fetish clothing.

What bands/artists are you into at the moment?

Matt: I went to End of the Road Festival in September and saw loads of amazing artists: Drum Eyes, HEALTH, Wooden Shjips, The Fall, White Denim, Daniel Lefkowitz & Herman Dune, amongst others. I saw Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti recently – they were fucking brilliant! His new album is really good too. Also, R. Stevie Moore is a total legend.

Alex: Perhaps not what you would expect but I am listening to a lot of hard drum and bass and gabba: Current Value, Mindustries, The Outside Agency, Donny Bryan Fury, Matt Green. As a drummer I’m drawn to heavy and fast pounding drums and I think this is something that is reflected in our live shows.

What can people expect when they come to your live shows? 

Matt: The sound guy at our last show said we were ‘irresponsibly loud’. Not that we’re proud of that or anything…

If you could get one band to reform who would it be?

Matt: It would have been good to see Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, but I guess that’s not going to happen anytime soon.  

Alex:   Anal Cunt…it’s been too long already.

Do you have any confirmed plans for an album yet and if so what can we
expect?

Matt: We don’t have any plans for an album just yet, but there’s already some stuff in the can for an EP.

What’s up next for the band?

Matt: We have our debut single ‘Close-Ups/Sun Dogs’ coming out on 21st November on Too Pure Records and there’s loads of shows lined up until Christmas. We’re also thinking about plans for a tour in March/April next year…

Demos by Crushed Beaks


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