Interview: Crocodiles

There’s no stopping the Crocodiles this summer as they snap back into the festival season taking themselves off to Mexico City and playing at the Plisskën Festival, Athens.

On top of all of this they’re planning on getting an album out, and say there’s much more to expect from their label Zoo Music.

Abi Gillibrand chats to the band.

Louder Than War: You’re playing Plisskën festival this summer, the line up looks great. Have you ever played Athens, Greece before?

We have not! We’re very much looking forward to it; we’ve heard such great things about Greece and can’t wait to see for ourselves.

It’s such a special festival to be part of, people from all around the world are playing there, how are you preparing for it?

Well, it will be the last show of our European tour so I think we’ll be nice and lubed up and ready to go!

You’re playing on the Saturday but will you be singing Sunday?

Ha, not sure – it’s not in the set right now but it’s a pretty easy song to play so if people really want to hear it we can probably figure it out.

You’ve also played Live at Leeds this year, along with the Dum Dum Girls. You seem to come as a pair, do they inspire you musically?

I’m married to Dee Dee so yes we are a pair in a lot of ways; but also both bands are close friends. And yes, of course they are very inspiring; great songs, great visual presentation, great musicians!

How is your record label Zoo Music going?

Good! We have a lot of cool stuff on the horizon; next up in an LP from me and Dee Dee’s band together, Haunted Hearts. That’s out in May. And a lot more planned for the future.

With your release of Neon Jesus through Zoo Music, would you say it’s important for bands to release their own music through their own Label?

Whenever younger bands ask my advice I always encourage them to try to take the DIY route. To be honest, we only started the label because none of the labels we sent Neon Jesus to returned our emails! But I’ve always respected labels like Dischord and Crass Records who I grew up on and who are artist run so I’m quite happy that the label is at a point now where people pay attention to what we release.

Record Store day created a lot of controversy; do you think it’s good for independent labels? What is your view of Record Store day?

I mean I’m a huge record collecting weirdo but I don’t really pay much attention to RSD. I guess it’s good because it brings people into independent shops and makes people aware of some smaller labels but I also think it’s kind of lame to make things ultra-rare and hard to get just for the sake of it.

You seem to be compared to Jesus and the Mary Chain a lot. What do you make of this? Do you think you sound alike?

I think it’s a lazy comparison. I Wanna Kill has some elements of JAMC but that is the only thing in our whole career that I really think resembles them at all and that was written almost six years ago. I think if you played any of our last three albums back to back with a JAMC album it would be pretty clear that we don’t sound very similar.

Who are your musical influences?

All sorts of stuff really; tons of ’60’s pop and even bubblegum; old punk records, a lot of our production ideas we steal from dub records, Motown – especially the bass lines!

What is your writing process?

We tend to write about 75% of the songs on our own and then present it to the others and we fill in the last 25% together but sometimes Charlie and I build a song from the ground up together. It’s very collaborative in general, Charlie usually comes to NYC for a month or two for writing and demo sessions and we get a lot of work done during that time.

Are you both still in London and New York? How does this affect your writing?

Yes, Charlie lives in London and I live in NYC. It hasn’t negatively affected the writing process too much – it means we can’t just get together the moment we have an idea but with email and home recording it’s very easy to send each other ideas and collaborate from afar.

Are you currently working on any new material?

Yes, we have our next album written and are going to Mexico City two days after we Plisskën to go record album #5!

Can you tell us a bit about it?

It’s very Crocodilian but with some new flavors!

What has been your highlight of 2014 so far?

I met Patti Smith, that was pretty cool.

Are there any plans for the rest of the year?

We record the record in June into July and then we tour the USA from late July through August and then in October I think we’re coming back to Europe!


Interview by Abi Gillibrand. You can read more from Abi on Louder Than War. She is also editor of Woodnote Magazine which you can read here.

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