Since bursting onto the indie scene in the early 2000s, The Cribs have gone on to become one of the most exciting and best loved acts in the UK and beyond.
Consisting of twins Gary and Ryan Jarman, their younger brother Ross - and for a few years the legendary Johnny Marr - the Wakefield favourites are set to embark on tour next month in support of latest LP, 'Night Network'.
We caught up with the band to chat about the album's creation process, how they're feeling ahead of being back on the road, and more!
Your tour kicks off in March – how does it feel to be preparing for life on the road again?
It's so exciting! With COVID and everything it's been weird because we're three brothers and the geography of where everybody lives has never been an issue before - but two of the guys live in America, so not only is it a case of playing live again, which is like something that we've all missed so much, but it's also getting a chance to hang out together and see everybody.
Your latest record ‘Night Network’ was released back in 2020. Tell us a bit about the process …
We did it in Dave Grohl’s Studio 666 in Los Angeles, and I think we finished making it in April or something. With COVID then happening, we were in two minds whether to put it out when we did, but as things panned out it became more apparent that people did still need music during that time. It made sense to do it then and I felt like it was a good thing to do - it probably still feels like a relatively new record because there’s stuff on the album that we haven't even played live yet.
I remember seeing you drive across the country and sign a bunch of the records in person – how did the idea come about for that?
Release week is usually the most hectic schedule with a new record. At the time there was nothing to do like go between radio sessions, take part in signings and in-stores, so that was the only thing we could think of. Eventually we were like ‘let's just get in the car, drive around then stand at the door and just sign records.’ It was good to help them out as well as killing two birds with one stone.
With the album still being relatively new on the live stage, will it make curating your setlists even more of a difficult task?
Well, we have interchangeable parts where one of us will say ‘let's do that tonight’ and having a back catalogue definitely helps. You get some people that come to multiple shows so I think it's really nice to be able to look in the back catalogue and try to surprise both ourselves and them as well. One of the best parts about being on tour is being in soundcheck and somebody saying ‘let's play that song from ‘The New Fellas’ - that can be kind of fun and interesting for us as well when we're on the road. It has become harder, especially balancing the new stuff with the old stuff, because you almost feel that there are some songs you've got to play.
You managed to play a few shows last summer, including a huge one at The Piece Hall in Halifax – what was it like to be back on stage?
I don't know if it was just the pent up energy, but we opened with ‘Running Into You’ from the new record and it went down so well. I couldn't believe it! I think it was a combination of things where people were just so ready for a gig again and it was a lot of people's first show live since 2020. It is always a nice surprise when we’re playing the new stuff and people are going for it.
You also launched the ‘Sonic Blew’ club and the reaction from fans seems to have been pretty positive … that must be reassuring as you prepare to be back on the road?
Yeah definitely! Again, it was that feeling of our hands being tied and not being able to be on the road and things. Gary had an idea to use some leftover stuff from recording 'Night Network' and when we've actually put it all together, we sat down and talked about how we could work on this and complete some of the songs. If we've got it in vault somewhere then it seems sensible to share it with people and it was great for The Cribs fans that tend to like their vinyl collections. We did a nice little box set for all them to go in at the end as a special limited edition sort of thing. It was just a nice thing to do whilst not being on the road and it was fun for the band to get involved with.
What else can we expect from The Cribs across the rest of 2022?
We've got a few festivals that we haven't announced yet and a couple more bits coming up well. We've also got to move our US tour as well which moved from January, so I think it's gonna be pretty extensive later on, but hopefully we can catch up with what we've been missing this last couple of years. That's the plan!
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