DALI VAN GOGH on the previous edition of ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES,
CRAWL is another Canadian hard rock band that has come back with a fine
new release but the story here is one that spans decades and some
startling changes in the music industry. In the early nineties CRAWL
hit it big in Canada with the release of two albums 300 YARDS OF FACE
and FEED which featured singles STORM, DRY and NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD
BE. The first of these two singles ended up earning nominations for the
MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARD ( Canada's version of the MTV MUSIC AWARDS) for
BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE in 1994 and 1995 respectively. When
ROCKWIRED took notice of these guys, the band had reformed with bassist
SCOTT CLARK, guitarist STUART GREEN and drummer TOM GRONDIN taking over
the creative reins while new vocalist MICHAEL DAVID WOLF was front and
center on the 2014 EP release ANTICIPATE THE FALL. Now the band is back
with THE CROCKFORD FILES - a five song collection of the sort of
blistering rock n roll that we've come to expect from CRAWL as
evidenced by the tracks MINE and DEAD.
ROCKWIRED had the chance to get reacquainted with guitarist STUART
GREEN and spoke to him regarding the new EP. Here is how the interview
You guys are back with
this new EP THE CROCKFORD FILES. What inspired this set of songs?When
we spoke before a couple of years ago we had just reformed the band
and after the release of the EP ANTICPATING THE FALL we had
bunch of energy that we needed to get out of our collective systems.
On that last EP what you heard was a very visceral and more
aggressive approach to our sound. This time around the approach that
we took wasn't much different in terms of how we wrote the songs.
What changed this time around was that we were more
comfortable together as a band and our lead singer MIKE had some time
to adjust to the way that TOM, SCOTT and I play together. I
think this set of songs is more in keeping with the old style and
approach of CRAWL. We've always had a darker side to us even going
back to our earliest material. Even in the early nineties we tended
to steer a bit darker so that is kind of the approach we took
with this album. The songs are a bit slower and a bit heavier. The
other thing that changed this time around from the 2014 release is
that SCOTT and I started experimenting with different instruments. I
went out and bought a seven string guitar because you can never have
too many strings on a guitar and SCOTTY got a five string bass that
we ended up doing a lot of writing with in a whole different key
signature. Two of the sons - HEAVY RAIN and DEAD - are both written
in that lower key which gives them a darker and thicker sound. The
firs song on the EP is an old groove track that would go back to the
sound that we had going on in the mid nineties whereas DEAD and HEAVY
RAIN demonstrate a sound that we've never had before because we've
never experimented with that kind of sound before. The last couple of
songs on the album were originally on the FEED CD which came out in
1995 but I wasn't on those recordings and neither was MIKE so we
thought it would be fun to play around with those songs. It was fun
to see what could be done with these songs that were written by only
half the band members of CRAWL. So MIKE and I put our spin on it.
That is where SMOTHER MARY and BANGLADESH come from. That's
kind of an overview of the whole EP. It's a little bit of old and a
little bit of new. It shows the maturing of the band getting
more comfortable playing as unit again after being away for a few
What the hell do you
tune a seventh string?
It's a low B. It's your
seventh and lowest string.
I guess that would
make your sound darker.
It's lower and heavier
and the two songs on the EP really come across that way. With a lower
end sound like that, it can really influence the way that you write.
The more lower strings you put on a guitar the heavier the sound
Who all helped you
guys behind the recording console. Was it just you guys?
We tried out anew studio
this time. We went to a studio in the suburb of Toronto called
Scarborough and we recorded with a guy named SEAN GREGORY. He was
great. He's a drummer by trade and he really appreciates good, big,
thick drum sounds and he really appreciates capturing the sound of a
room and making sure that it echoes and booms the way that a room
should. SEAN was great in terms of the engineering side. The
production end of it was mostly us. SEAN had a few ideas that
he shared and some of them we incorporated and that is what
are hearing on this EP.
A lot of the bands
that come ROCKWIRED's way come from this current music environment we
have which is entirely digital and entirely independent and without
record labels. But CRAWL comes from a very different era. You guys
came from the early nineties when fifteen percent of an album went a
little further. So talk about the difference in how CRAWL survives as
a musical entity now as opposed to back in those halcyon days.
Back in the nineties we
had agents that had to be paid and we had record companies and
publishing companies knocking on our door and promising us the world.
That was how we came through the scene the first time around. When we
reformed a few years ago, the world had changed dramatically in terms
of how music gets out there. Online publications like your own have
allowed our music to get out to way more people. It was easy for us
to adapt to this new world. We are all sort of fortunate to come from
a place where we understood social media and we understood
digital media in general. It's an interesting place for us to be. I
don't think that we were caught too off guard by the changes. All
that really changed for us was how we went about promoting
ourselves. A lot of that is done independently now. You don't see a
lot of major label stuff anymore. You just see a lot of independent
bands making all of these incredible strides on their own. They know
how to use social media and not have to worrying paying their fifteen
percent back to a label. Back then, it was nice to have that support
that allowed you to record in a nice studio with DAVE GROHL producing
your album but the reality of now is that the technology has gotten
to the point where you can record at a fraction of the cost and still
have something sound good in the end that can be released on your
own. You can do all of it on your own if you've got a little bit of
And when you guys hit
the road who comes out to see you? Is it mostly the old fans or are
there new fans?
It's a mix. We play a lot
in Southern Ontario between Windsor and Toronto right up to Ottawa
and Montreal. When we play there a good number of people who come out
because they remember hearing the album 300 YARDS OF FACE twenty
years ago or seeing our videos on MUCH MUSIC. When we play in a town
like Windsor we get a lot of support from the very same crowds who
supported us back in the day which is great and some of them bring
their kids who are fans of the newer stuff. It all depends on
where we're playing. We opened for POP EVIL a few weeks ago and that
exposed to a whole group of people who had never heard of us at all.
They were quick to buy up the new CD and we got a lot of positive
feedback that way. Now they are going back discovering some the old
stuff that we did. We're happy to have fans no matter how they come
How is everyone else
in the band holding up since the last time I spoke with you?
It's been interesting.
Life is very different for us now. We've got guys in the band who
have kids and some of us have wives and girlfriends and live s and
careers. Things are going pretty well but music is our passion. It's
what we always want to do well at and we just want to keep our
creative juices flowing. I think everyone is really in a good place
in terms of what we're doing and how the material is coming together
but it's different for guys who are doing this in their forties as
opposed to guys who are doing this thing in their twenties.
From the EP, what
songs stand out for you the most. What songs have you the most
excited to get people to hear and why?
I don't wanna pick
favorites. It's like asking who your favorite child is. I think every
song has it's own unique place. My personal favorite is the track
DEAD. When we were working on that one I really like the way that it
came together. Like some of our better songs it came together
quickly. This song is in that low B tuning and it's in a 6/8 timing.
It's a little complex but it's got a great melodic hook. It's heavy
and it's a bit different and I thin it is a song that really
showcases the proficiency and the heaviness of the band.
Where will the road
take you with this album? Or where has it taken you?
We did a CD release in
Windsor and we played in Toronto with POP EVIL. We played a few shows
with PRONG back in May. We're really going to be pushing this thing
in the Fall and early Winter. We are going to be doing a lot more
live shows. This Summer has been busy for everyone in the band and
we've played as many shows as we could but we are now looking forward
to doing more. We always like to play with other bands that on the
scale of bands like PRONG or POP EVIL. Anytime that we can get in
front of bands like that we win new fans and that is one of
areas that we really try to focus on.
behind you in a sense what is next for you musically?
always trying to
come up with new material. At one of the last shows we played we
promised that we would have some new material so we're going to have
to get our act together and get some new songs written. We're one of
those bands that really just likes to write and perform. We don't
like doing it just for ourselves and the benefit of a studio. we
really want to get out there in front of people. We'll just keep
writing and perfecting out performance so that when we do play live
we kick maximum ass. That is really what we want to do at the end of