Tuesday, 16 May 2017

An Interview With CRIMSONS ~ 02.05.17

Eclectic three-piece Crimsons may currently be Manchester based, but individually they hail from all across the country, with frontman Sam Cartwright originally being from Chorley, bassist Lucas Berry from Huddersfield and drummer Adam Kenny from Cumbria. The band have only been together in their current project since 2015, however all have played in other musical projects over the years. Their 2017 thus far has been incredibly productive, with the introduction of their very own club night 'Club Crimson' at Manchesters' Jimmys, as well as plenty of live performances... and things only look set to get bigger; with their debut EP 'Shy Talk' due out this month and a huge launch gig planned to celebrate it, I think it's safe to say that we'll be seeing plenty more of this intriguing trio over the course of the next few months.

I was able to talk to the band when they came to Leeds recently to headline the Lending Room...

How and when did you first come together as a band?
Adam: We met a long time ago, didn't we? A long, long time ago.
Sam: We did! Me and Adam go to uni together. We met in a pub. We were actually in another band together before Crimsons and Lucas came to one of our gigs, Dot To Dot Festival in Manchester. And then he slept with us all!
Lucas: I really saw something in all of them...

What are your earliest memories of music?
Lucas: I grew up listening to a lot of my dads music. He didn't used to live with me so he'd come and pick me up and we'd drive all the way to his listening to his CD's. There were a lot of 90's band, like The Charlatans and stuff. He got me into the Stones, I think. I can't remember much else... I'm quite old!
Adam: The first tune that I proper loved was 'Do You Believe In The Westworld?' by Theatre of Hate, and I used to do this little dance routine in a cowboy hat when I was about 6 or something like that! That was my first memory of music.
Lucas: That was only last year!
Adam: Oh yeah, I was on the lash!
Sam: My mum loves Earth, Wind & Fire so she always had that 70's soul kind of vibe and played a lot of stuff like that in the car. I didn't appreciate it until I got older, though... I used to hate it!

Your debut EP 'Shy Talk' is out this month. How does it feel being so close to it's release, and what can we expect from it?
Sam: I'm quite excited really, because it's been quite a long time in the making and we've put quite a bit of work into it. I just hope that everyone enjoys it as much as we do!
Lucas: There's something on there for everyone... lots of different vibes! I am quite impatient to get it out there because we've been hoarding it for so long, now.
Sam: We recorded it in February so we've had it sitting around for a few months.
Lucas: It's starting to get a bit rusty!
Sam: We're trying to age it like a fine wine!

Is there a primary songwriter in the band or is it more of a collaborative effort?
Lucas: Me.
Sam: No, it's definitely me! It's different with each track. With each song, someone will bring in a riff and we'll kind of build it around that. Each song is different... but I wrote them all. I'm joking! It's very much a collaboration with plenty of give and take.
Adam: Sounding a little bit bitter there, Sam!

Has anyone in the band got any strange talents or interesting hobbies outside of music?
Lucas: I'm a wonderful athlete. It's not really that strange, though.
Adam: He's great at the javelin, aren't you?
Lucas: Yeah, I'm good at shot put, javelin, lawnmowing... all of those kind of things! I'm quite good at football, too.
Sam: Competitive!
Lucas: Any excuse to wear a headband and my football uniform. My legs are immaculate.
Adam: I'm good at poker. I like poker. I downloaded one of those apps the other day, like a Texas Holdem kind of thing. You start off with 5k of random money and I tell you what, and this is no word of a lie, I got 90k! 90k in about two and a half hours! I'd been sitting there going 'No, that's a shit hand, I don't know what I'm doing,' but I can tell you that I made 90k out of it. It was great... it was fantastic!

You've got a busy festival season ahead; I've seen you announce Kendal Calling, Dot To Dot and Sound City in Liverpool so far... are there any other bands that you're looking forward to seeing while you're there?
Sam: Loads of these festivals, I wanted to go to anyway, before we got the email in asking us to play. So that's great! Lucas is excited for The Human League.
Adam: We're playing with Stereophonics at some point. I can give or take them, but I think they might be one of those bands where you think more of them when you see them live.
Lucas: I'm looking forward to seeing The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand at Truck Festival.
Adam: The Blinders, too. We've seen them before, but seeing them at a festival will go off!
Sam: Bloody Blinders... the bloody swines, getting me drunk!

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and what would you do?
Lucas: Yesterday. Or maybe the 20's so I could see what was happening there. You could wear a suit everyday and no one would look at you like you were weird.
Sam: I think the 60's, for me. I know it's probably quite a cliché but there was so much happening and so many of my favourite bands are from then.
Adam: I'd probably go back to 10,000 BC or something like that. I'd be a God. I'd turn up with my silk shirt and everyone else would be in their bloody leopard print or whatever... all in crotch wear! I'd be carried around... they'd have me on a chair and chant about me and stuff. They'd sacrifice lambs and do other demonic stuff for me, and it'd be fantastic. A really great experience. I just know I'd be a God in cavemen times... it would be great, I think. You know how they do all of those things on the walls? Paintings on the cave walls and stuff. I tell you what, there'd be pictures of my face in every cave, and then it'd come to 10,000 years later and there'll be loads of archaeologists going 'What's this?' and it'd be my face! Then, when I come back to normal times, they'll think that I am the resurrection of Christ or something.
Sam: He's had that story ready for about 3 years thinking to himself 'If anyone ever asks me about time travel, I've got it sorted!'
Adam: I've got it in the bag!

You curate your very own club night, aptly named 'Club Crimson', over in Manchester... for someone unfamiliar with what goes on there, what can we expect? What made you decide to start it?
Sam: I suppose we just kind of wanted our own creative space. We wanted to put on bands that we love, DJ sets... we wanted our own little vibe!
Lucas: Just a bit of a change up, really. We always go to the same club nights so it's nice to have something a little bit different where you can have poetry, get your face painted, see a band and then have DJ's on afterwards.

The forthcoming general election and who should be in charge of our country is at the forefront of the media at the moment... if that role fell to Crimsons, what changes would you make?
Sam: Go on, Adam...
Adam: Where do I start? To be honest, I don't actually know! I was just thinking imagine me in fucking charge of this country. That's why I was laughing! I'd make a lot of changes though... and bloody stern ones at that!
Sam: I'd make silk shirts compulsary as school uniform.
Adam: To be honest, on a serious note, I'd probably say why the fuck is everyone starting at 9 o'clock in the morning? Why not have it just that little bit later? Just an hour later! It's proven to make people a bit more productive... Sweden did it! I think it was Sweden, or some Scandinavian country out there. It proved productive! Siestas too... I don't care if it's not bloody hot. Everyone else has it. They do! They have it in Spain. I want a siesta! 12 till 1.
Sam: He's troublesome. I think he'd be an awful dictator.
Adam: No... you would be, though. You'd go mad with power.
Sam: I'd be horrible. I'd be a horrible dictator... I'd throw everyone in prison.
Lucas: I'd want free eyeliner on the NHS. That's my first policy.

What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you, and have you recovered from it?
Sam: I was on a plane once and we were going along, and then all of a sudden we started diving towards the ground. I think it was like an air pocket, so we went down and then we came back up. I was only about 6! I've seen Death... I've stared him in the face!
Lucas: And then you wrote some dark music 10 years later.
Adam: It still troubles him now... it still hurts him.
Sam: I wake up screaming in a cold sweat. 

Tell me something about Crimsons that no one else knows...
Lucas: We're not from Manchester.
Sam: Everyone shoves us in the Manchester scene but I'm from Chorley, Lucas is from Huddersfield and Adam's from Cumbria. None of us are actually from Manchester! It's where we're all living and studying. It's a bit of a boring fact.
Adam: We are boring people, to be fair.
Lucas: I can't think of anything else that no one else knows.
Sam: No dark secrets...
Adam: You're in that cult, aren't you?
Lucas: But everyone knows that!
Sam: It's common knowledge!

Finally, what are the hopes, dreams and plans for the future?
Lucas: Make something beautiful, and then die before it turns ugly.

Crimsons' debut EP 'Shy Talk' is available from the 18th of May. In the meantime, listen to their work so far below:

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