Four Dead Crows
THEY were described as a cross between The Black Keys…
and Royal Blood by Classic Rock. The Gloucestershire-based boys tell me about their latest single, That’s What You Get, and how it differs from previous numbers like Destitute Blues and No Great Shakes. I wanted to know more about their formation and how Four Dead Crows got their name; why the 1960s inspire their music – and whether they have a plan of attack for 2018.
The guys each select a song that means a lot to them; the albums that inspire their music; why this week has been especially busy – and what live gigs they have approaching.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. Good, thanks!
We`ve just been practicing hard for some upcoming gigs – and we’re getting new material together. We’re playing the 100 Club (in London) on 20th October which we`re super excited about. To be playing on a stage where some of our biggest influences have played is awesome.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Well. Classic Rock recently described us as the Black Keys-meets-Royal Blood - which is awesome and really flattering.
For us, that’s the best introduction!
That’s What You Get is your new single. Can you tell me about its origins and story?
Well. The idea for the main riff came from a Doors song that Danny changed around. He showed us at practice and we really liked it - and just jammed it for hours. Danny had some lyrics he`d written previously that suited the theme of the song. So, we actually finished the song pretty quickly; which is unusual for us as a band as, when we usually start a song, we never end up finishing it!
The single follows Destitute Blues. Would you say you made big changes since then – or have you felt the need to radically alter your music?
No, not really. Our music is quite big in terms of the spectrum: at one end, we have songs like Destitute Blues - which is more on the slower, softer side - then, on the other; we have heavy stuff like Broken Bones or No Great Shakes.
We are currently experimenting more with synths and organs but we`ve never really limited our sound or felt we need to alter it - as we have such a large area we can fit into.
Will we see an E.P. this or next year? What do you chaps have in mind?
We’re currently touring and promoting our latest record and we have another single - which is coming out at the end of the year. We`ve got a few ideas we`d like to record so, maybe, next year we will get back into the studio...
As a band, we’d love to record an album.
Can you tell me how Four Dead Crows got together? How did you all find one another?
Paul and Rob were in a covers band covering Red Hot Chili Peppers and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs for a while and, when that fell through, Paul contacted Dan (our bassist) - who he knew through friends at college - and we jammed for a bit. We put an advertisement out for a singer online and Danny responded.
He came to a few practices and everything clicked from the go.
I wanted to ask about the band’s name. Is there a particular inspiration behind it?
Well. A lot of people believe that seeing a dead crow is some sort of harbinger of death, but It can also symbolise the end of bad things and the beginning of all things new and good. We felt this reflected where we all were, personally, at the time - and suited the theme of the band.
Gloucestershire is where you are based. Is there a strong music scene there?
Gloucestershire has a great local music scene with some really great venues.
Places like the Guildhall where they hold the Underground Festival - which supports up-and-coming acts.
Also…Café Rene. They organise the annual Blues festival.
There are so many cool places to check out great live music. We have some really great local bands that all look after and support each other.
It seems the 1960s and good-old-fashioned Rock/Blues is vital to your sound? Who are the artists you all grew up to? What is it about the decade/genres that speak to you all?
Yeah. It’s had a profound effect on how we approach playing. I think it’s a time when music was being revolutionised; new sounds were being made and the yard-stick was constantly being shifted. We try to adopt this ethos within the band. We don’t want to take the easy option on writing: we are always pushing ourselves, musically, to do something different.
It’s the reason we`re all influenced by bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors; The Beatles: bands who weren’t afraid to try something that little different.
IN THIS PHOTO: Creeper
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
What tour dates do you have coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We’re Playing the 100 Club (in London) on the 20th October; The Firefly (in Worcester) on 26th October - and the Cleeve Sports and Arts Centre on 5th November.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Paul’s would be Origin of Symmetry – Muse
It’s such a massive, grandiose-sounding album. It feels like an event listening to it in its entirety.
Rob: Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
Every song on that album is a masterpiece; all of the songs are crafted so well.
Danny: Tom Waits - Mule Variations
The beats and the opening riff to Big in Japan is fu*king great. Come on Up to the House is a masterpiece.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
As a band; we`ve been to gigs where some younger bands are perhaps too shy to speak to the other bands on the same bill. The best advice we can give is to speak to the other bands. That way, you can organise gigs with each other; promote one another's releases etc.
Also; get out and gig. Gig as much as you can!
Christmas is not too far away. Do you all have plans already or will you be busy working?
I don’t think any of us have even though about Christmas just yet. I’d imagine it will be spent celebrating with family, though! We are going out for Hallowe’en dressed as The Rocky Horror Show with Rob (our bearded drummer) in drag - so there is that to look forward to…I guess...
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Paul: New Kind of Kick – The Cramps
Danny: Big in Japan – Tom Waits
Rob: Blossoms – At Most a Kiss
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