THE CRAWLING has a horror feel to their name. Musically the name makes me think of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride around the early 90s. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl
Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-The Crawling are a 3 piece death/doom metal band from Northern Ireland, UK. I (Andy) play guitar and sing, Gary is on drums, and Stuart abuses the bass and does some singing too. We formed in 2014, released a single Jan 2015 via Grindscne Records, and have just released our new 3 track EP entitled, “In Light of Dark Days.” Our music leans heavily on the more miserable side of life, accomplished through heavy riffs, detuned guitars and guttural vocals.
I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-I started playing a long, long time ago, so I’m not sure I totally remember how I discovered I could sing, or play! I wanted a guitar from a pretty young age, and once I’d got it make some heavy metal noises I started a band almost immediately, playing guitar and singing straight off. So, I think it just comes down to many years of practice; I certainly wasn’t very good at it for a long time!
When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun?
-The Crawling is still in its infancy, so we have had to work hard to get shows to begin with, but we had a lot of support from other local bands which has really helped us. It’s only been in the last few months we’re getting paid for shows and selling merch, which has been a hell of a revelation! For me it’s about the fun; we only do this to have a good time. I enjoy writing and making music, if I’m getting any sort of income that’s just a bonus. Any money we make goes straight back into the band anyway, and then some…
When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-Having playing in bands for over 20 years I can understand your question. I invested a ton of time, money, and effort in previous bands that faded away over a 10 year period. There have certainly been points in my life when I reflect and think, fuck, if I’d have put that much time into this or that, it may have actually led to better things, i could have been a doctor for fuck sake; but then I look at what I did achieve, and all the tremendous fun I had and think, no way – that was time well spent! Despite the The Crawling being influenced by negativity and misery; I do tend to look at music in a positive way.
No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-It’s quite cool to think that way, and you are right – no matter what happens The Crawling will leave certain things behind forever; moreso in this digital age. I’m not sure I want people to treat the ‘legacy’ in any particular way, perhaps just appreciate that a lot of love, emotion, time and effort went into it, and not to be overly judgemental; just take a listen and see what happens.
Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-I think the digital age has taken something away from the mystery of heavy metal as a whole. I remember as a kid visiting the local record shop and trawling through CDs, tapes and vinyl looking for a new release from a band, as without the massive media coverage available nowadays, we were never really sure what was due to come out anyway! I loved discovering new bands, often based purely on how cool the cover art was; I think that has become lost a bit with the digital age.
How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
-For me the image of the band is a huge part of it, but unlike black metal for instance, I don’t think the doom scene has a very distinct image; aside from maybe the more gothic-shirt type folks. I always thought the long haired, black leather jackets was just the ultimate metal look; and I’ve looked that way all my life!
It’s very hard to separate yourself from anyone else these days, especially in the metal market, so I think we’ll just continue looking the way we always do – in black!
Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-The general concept of the lyrics for The Crawling is misery, loss, rejection, solitude, inability to cope; either from personal experience, or things I have seen first hand. Sometimes they are stories, others are more reflective accounts, but the core value is the same theme. It’s a little depressive I suppose, but there is a wealth of inspiration out there, and despite my best efforts to remain optimistic about life, there are always moments when the world comes crashing down on myself, or others. I am always intrigued by how some people react to bad things, compared to others, or live their life in general.
Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-I consider myself a live artist. I love playing live, and I think metal music is best enjoyed in that environment. As a fan, there is nothing more awesome than watching your favourite band blast out your favourite tunes, and become absorbed into the atmosphere with hundreds, or even thousands, of other people; all there for the same reason. Emotions can run high in a live environment, it’s when music is at its strongest.
I enjoy studio time as well, and I find myself in front of a computer monitor more and more, but it’s a technological tool that allows me to write music a lot more easily than I used to. I like both, but live is where it’s at.
How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
-At the moment, not very. I mean, we play live as much as we can with one off shows, but we haven’t toured for more than 3 days in one go. We are still getting ourselves established in the metal scene, so playing large tours would be a bit pointless probably. I would love to go on a huge tour with The Crawling, but we would need to wait until the album comes out next year.
The short tours we have done to date have been immense fun. We haven’t quite starte throwing TVs out hotel windows etc, but we have enjoyed plenty of beer, met some cool people and shared the stage with some pretty iconic bands. Long may it continue!
What does the future hold?
-At this very moment in time we are still very focused on our new EP, “In Light of Dark Days” and promoting it as best we can. We have Sure Shot Worx promotions on our side now, which has proved to be very worthwhile asset. The next few months will involve more gigs, refining the live show further, and having a good time!
We are also writing the album. Six songs have been completed, but we need a handful more before we can start recording. I’d also like to get a video of some sort together, and develop our you tube channel. There are endless avenues for bands now in this digital age, and it’s fantastic to explore and develop what’s available to us. Ultimately, we are just going to keep playing some misery fuelled slow death metal, and see what happens.
Thanks for the interview; for more info and music visit www.thecrawlingband.co.uk