Interview: Crushed Beaks

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Nakon što smo toliko pisali o njima na našem blogu od samog početka, Soundavenue je konačno uradio i intervju sa jednim od najperspektivnijih novih indie bendova – Crushed Beaks.

“Tropes EP” was in NME’s Top 15 EPs of 2013, how much does that mean, to get such recognition for your work? Can you tell me something about working on “Tropes EP” (I think I’m one of the biggest fans of that EP, no kidding), what was it like, who writes the songs, since there are two of you, do you write them together? If someone asked you like “What is this EP about”, let’s say, what would your answer be?
Matt: We worked really hard on the EP so it was great that all that effort was recognised. Each track had already gone through around three stages of demo versions so we knew more or less exactly what we wanted it to sound like.I usually come up with a few ideas for a song, maybe a verse, a chorus or a riff or something. Then I’ll make a really basic demo of that. Then we work on the arrangement and structure together in our grotty studio, adding Alex’s drums totally transforms the songs. We try and keep song structures tight and flowing. I think simple equals better most of the time in that respect.
I don’t force it when I’m writing lyrics, they kind of gradually come into focus a few lines at a time. I usually come up with the melody first, that’s the most important thing to me. At the time we were writing these songs I was a bit obsessed with the idea of how you can never be fully aware of what’s happening inside someone else’s head. You can never know what people are thinking, all the fucking weird anomalous thoughts that pass through peoples head’s all the time, that kind of thing. Things can seem like they are one way with people, but they might be thinking in completely the opposite direction. People are mysterious.
When you “google” Crushed Beaks, you can find: dream-punk, indie, indie-punk, post-punk etc. but how would you describe your music, what is it like, what were the main influences on your music (if there were some)? How would you describe indie scene in UK right now?
Matt: We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what genre we fit into or whatever, I don’t really care. We just do what we do and whatever comes out is what comes out. I write music that I want to listen to so I listen to my own demos quite a lot. I always listen to them with a bit of imagination though, thinking ‘how can I make this sound better? What would make me like this more?’ Alex is into really fucking intense techno which probably has some influence on his drumming. We’re not really part of any scene, we have a lot of friends in other bands but in a disparate way. They’re all spread out stylistically and geographically.

What are the perks, and what are the flaws of being a duo?
Matt: The obvious perks are probably the logistical things like getting together to practice and having less gear to cart about. Things can happen really quickly when we’re working on new stuff too because I don’t have to think about teaching anyone else the chords or other parts. The limitation on what we can play live is good and bad. There’s no superfluous parts floating around so the songs have to be good without loads of stuff going on. 

Can you tell me something about your new album: when is it coming out (first/second half of the year), is it going to be like your EP, or something different? Will you go on tour after it’s released maybe? As a matter of fact, how much do gigs mean for you, what is it like to perform in front of a crowd? Can you maybe tell me some anecdote (if you have any) from your gigs?
Matt: We’re going to Rome to record it very soon, so we’re really excited about that. We’re really happy with the new material so now it’s a question of translating the sound we have in our heads into reality. It will be interesting to work in a different city, somewhere outside the ordinary places we go.
Our live show is a lot more visceral and energetic than our recordings. Things aren’t so exact as they are on record, but I like that, it’s raw. When you’re making a recording, you’re trying to create something definitive that will bear repeated listening. Playing live puts you right in the moment, so you just fucking go for it and try and take the audience with you. I wouldn’t say I prefer one over the other. They are two completely different things as far as I’m concerned.
We called for a volunteer to come up on stage at one of our shows, then gave this guy some triple salted liquorice, which is about the most brutal form of confectionary out there. It’s an acquired taste, so full credit to this dude for not spitting it out straight away. I don’t think we even told him what it was. He chewed it on stage for a bit in front of everyone- the first time you try this stuff is a pretty emotional experience- then we carried on. It was bizarro.
Last, but not the least: Top 5 lists are Soundavenue’s signature sign, and everytime someone has to choose top 5 for some topic. This time, can Crushed Beaks tell me their Top 5 places/venues where they’d like to play, which would mean a ‘dream come true’ to you?
Matt: I wanted to play at the Astoria, 285 Kent and ATP but all 3 are no more. My dreams have all been crushed. Apart from that, I don’t really know, I want to play everywhere. 

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