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Interview: Crow Eats Man

Crow Eats Man is a band on a mission.

With their latest single ‘Jaded’ released, the band joined us to talk about music.

Where did the band get their name from, and how did you all form together to make Crow Eats Man?

R.B.- For me, it all started after my brother’s friend gave me his drum kit before moving to college. After playing for a week, I knew Reku simply as a kid in my Latin class who played guitar, really well, and totally impulsively asked him if he wanted to start a band.

S.S.-The name came from our drummer. From what I remember, it came from a latin poem about equality under death. To a crow we are all just rotting flesh waiting to die, and there is no social power. It doesn’t matter who or what you think you are.

R.H.- Ricky randomly asked me to jam with him one day and then we found Nick, and we started playing. Nick had already been playing with Elliot and Sebastian wanted to join our band, so we all just kind of got together.  Everything went extremely randomly without having to go through that long and stressful process.

N.C.- Sebastian and Elliot who had been jamming for a bit asked me to come jam with them. After playing for a while together, I introduced them to Reku and Ricky who I had been also jamming with. Afterwards everyone got connected and from that practice on we dropped most of our old projects to work together on this new group.

Your lead single “Jaded”, has been gaining some serious momentum. How did you come about choosing this song as your single over the others?

S.S.- It was our most collaborated song, and we felt it was the song that would give the listener an idea of what they are in for.

R.H.- At every show we played, people seemed to like Jaded the most; and we liked Jaded a lot too.

R.B.-Jaded was the first song we really wrote as a band, and it’s really continued to resonate with us as we move forward as a band. The song is a little lighter and more accessible than what we usually jam out on, but it still has a lot of intensity and excitement, which we always try and have in our music. I also think it has a really defiant, and badass attitude that we think is really resonating with our fans.

N.C.- The writing process of jaded was the most integrated out of all our songs, and I think that really shows. It was the first song we wrote as a band to completion, and when we perform live, I feel that the audience can see our confidence in it when we play.

E.H.- Jaded is probably our most energetic and upbeat song. From my perspective, Jaded, is also the most accessible song due to its pretty standard structure and catchy vocals. We chose Jaded because it would be more familiar to first time listeners of Crow Eats Man, kind of like a gateway to our other music.

What does your songwriting process look like, and where does the band gain their inspiration from?

R.H.- We randomly make riffs, either by ourselves at home or when we are together, and just jamming out Each person kind of thinks of their own parts that would go well with the rest of the instruments, and we make sure that all five of us like it.  If even one of us is unsatisfied with something, in any sort of way, we always figure it out.

S.S.- Instrumentally, we usually just have a free jam and see what comes out, or one of us will have a small section of the song written and we all flesh the rest out.

R.B.- A lot of the riffs and song structures from the EP were initially conceived by Sebastian, but we’ve become a lot more collaborative over time. We all have really diverse tastes in music, and interests which I think impeded more collaborative songwriting at first, but over time we’ve kind of gotten on the same page.

We don’t really have any leader, nor are we really following any one person’s vision; we feel this strengthens our music and really contributes to a unique sound.

E.H.- We usually come up with a riff or idea individually, and, since we tend to have busy schedules (plus Ricky is in London), we send those ideas as recordings in our group chat. The rest of the band reacts to that idea, and then formulates their own concepts for a song. Later, we develop the idea further in person, sometimes the idea grows into a song, sometimes it goes into a different direction. Everyone contributes naturally, so sometimes songs don’t become something we like.

I am inspired by old-school metal and bands like Rage Against the Machine. When I hear an interesting and catchy riff I try to understand why that riff is so enjoyable. This allows me to use those understandings when writing for Crow Eats Man.

N.C.- Our songwriting process is all over the place to be honest. One of us will bring a cool riff into practice, and others will add their riffs and develop their parts to support the riff. Sometimes one of us will bring an entire song structure if we are feeling inspired. Because we slowly develop song over several practices based on what we feel, many songs don’t make the cut because they went in a different direction from what we had intended. A huge benefit of this process is that every member gets to incorporate their own musical taste into our songs.

My personal musical influences are Rush, RHCP, and Victor Wooten. However, when playing for the band, I tend to sway towards Stone Temple Pilots and other heavier bands.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

S.S.- I’d say it draws of lot of influence from 90’s grunge and 70’s classic rock. As well as some prog aspects.

R.H.- Metal/rock. Fun to listen to.  90s inspiration.

R.B.- It’s hard to say. I usually end up telling people that we’re a 90s-ish metal-band, but I don’t like having us be pigeonholed into that sort of genre, even if most of our influences are from that era.

E.H.- Thick, groovy riffs over a heavy, grunge backdrop.

N.C.- The only way I personally I can describe it is Hard Rock. Somewhere between Classic Metal and Modern Metal, I feel that calling it Metal gives most people the wrong interpretation.

At this point, do you have any intention on making a music video for any of your albums songs?

All- We have been considering it for some time now, but it would have to wait until Ricky is back in the states.

Social media is an important part of promoting music these days, how do you all feel about using social media to reach listeners?

All- In 2018, Social Media has got to be the best way to reach an audience. We are working on expanding our social media presence at the moment, because it is much more efficient than trying to promote via non-internet mediums. The fact that our album is available online makes us more accessible.

Can you tell us a bit about the EP itself? Is there a common theme running through it, or is it just a collection of your current best songs?

R.B.- The material from the EP is pretty much all of the content that we’ve decided to keep since the band’s inception until the EP’s release. We never had any intention of having a theme for the EP, but I feel as we improve at songwriting and begin to really find a voice as a band, that we’ll reach a point where we can create thematically cohesive albums, as well as create more artful music in general.

S.S.- There is definitely a theme here, but it expresses itself in different ways. Lyrically I feel the EP has a lot to do with combating personal problems and looking into oneself to fight them.

E.H.- Currently, the EP is more like a medley of all the themes and feelings that our band expresses. From energetic and “hype” Jaded to melancholic and ambient Before Sunday.

N.C.- The EP is really just a mash of what we all like. The initial riffs of each song were composed by different band members, and you can hear that not only in the styles of each song, but in the tuning as well. Sebastian thought of the initial riff for “Deependit in drop C”, which contrasts the riff I thought of for “Before Sunday” which is in standard E.

If the band could go on tour with someone, alive or dead, who would you choose to be on that tour with you?

E.H.- Plini

S.S.- I’d want to tour with Rage Against The Machine. I feel I could learn a lot from them musically and intellectually.

N.C.- If he was still around I’d pick Frank Zappa. Other than him I’d probably have to pick Periphery, I’m really into Prog.

R.B.- It’d be pretty awesome to tour with Alice in Chains, with either Layne or DuVall. It’d also be amazing if we got to tour with the original lineup of RATM, though it’d still be incredibly humbling to do it with the Prophets of Rage.

R.H.- I don’t know.

Shout-out time to the companies who helped you create your heavy sound. What brands of music gear are you all using?

R.B.- To tell you the truth, I don’t know too much about drum gear, but I must say that I personally use Paiste cymbals. I got turned on to them very early on when I knew literally nothing about cymbals through googling “what cymbals does Danny Carey use,” as well as “what cymbals does Brad Wilk use,” and I’ve stuck with them since.

R.H.- I honestly don’t pay attention to gear brands at all, and I really should start to.  I use a Fender amp and Ibanez and Fender guitars.  Stratocasters, I believe.  I also use the Crayon pedal that the band gave to me on my birthday.

S.S.- I’m using Carvin and ESP for my guitars. The acapulco gold from Earthquaker was on every track I played guitar on. Axe FX II

E.H.- ON ALBUM: PRS SE Custom 24 tuned to E standard. Homemade Franken Strat tuned to Drop C. Axe FX II

LIVE: PRS SE Custom 24 tuned to E standard. Ibanez RG450 tuned to Drop C. Orange Micro Dark (12AX7 swapped to 12AU7). ADA Vintage 2×12. MXR Flanger and Carbon Copy Delay.

N.C.- ON ALBUM: Fender Squier Tele Bass for the E standard songs. For Drop C I use an old Jazz bass from the 80’s which I have taken apart and redid the electronics because my friend was throwing it out. Axe FX II

LIVE: Ibanez ATK 305 from the 90s. It has all the versatility I could ever ask for with an EQ in the preamp and coil tap. My amp is a Peavy T-Max 500 rack mount from the 90s (see a theme?), and it just as heavy as our sound. I actually built my cabinet based off some Bill Fitzmaurice plans I got online and it handles the B on my five-string like a champ.

Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have anything you would like to share with your listeners? A full-length album, perhaps?

R.H.- I just want us to be out in the public and the people to be listening and headbanging to our songs.  I definitely want to share with them our interactive performances at the shows.

R.B.- To our listeners, stay tuned. New content is on its way and it’s gonna be on a whole other level than the EP. We’ll also be back to play more shows in the Bay Area this summer, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure to check our social media pages for any further updates.

E.H.- We have a full-length album in the works! We are currently writing new material– it’s gonna be heavy.

N.C.- We are currently working on a new album! Catch us in the Bay Area this summer.

S.S.- We will be recording a second EP. Also, thank you all for the support it means a lot to us.

Anytime, glad to have you guys on!

Jack F. Williams


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