We caught up with rising band Crawlers to rundown their brand-new mixtape 'Loud Without Noise', recording process, dream collaborations and more.
Liverpudlian quartet Crawlers are back with a brand-new mixtape, ‘Loud Without Noise’ showcasing their genre-fluidity across a selection of six eclectic tunes. Consisting of frontwoman Holly Minto, lead guitarist Amy Woodall, bassist Liv Kettle and drummer Harry Breen, throughout this project the band unravel a concoction of tracks brimmed with punky angst and indie buoyancy.
Formed in 2018, the band unleashed the first glimpse into Crawlers mania, with hard-hitting single “So Tired” and since then have been working on their craft. Receiving praise for bringing a somewhat grunge energy with a hint of pop, electronica and more to their sound, Crawlers are a band hard to associate with just one genre. Bouncing back after the release of their successful self-titled EP, Crawlers new mixtape really does outline the best of the band. Honing in on topics like romantic relationships, gig safety and personal identity, throughout this project the band makes an unapologetic statement about many topics the industry is too afraid to touch upon.
We caught up with Amy and Harry about some of the themes and genres in ‘Loud Without Noise’, their recording process, dream collaborations and more. Dive in!
Hey, your debut mixtape is out this Friday, firstly congrats! Can you give me a quick intro to the project for fans who might not have come across Crawlers yet?
Amy Woodall: So Crawlers are a band from the northwest, we make alternative rock music. We’re just about to put out a new mixtape, there are a lot of different genres in it, but that’s the purpose of a mixtape!
Harry Breen: It’s the last opportunity where we can dabble in whatever genre we want before we have an album out, which will probably be a little bit more concise. But at the moment, we’re sort of doing whatever we want.
I see, it’s a collection of your best bits! Can you talk to me a bit about the meaning behind the title?
AW: Yeah, so it’s a lyric from the first single “I Can’t Drive”. It’s loud without noise, that concept comes up in a few of the other songs like “Hang Me Like Jesus”. It’s basically about drowning out your anxieties with music or the media.
HB: Yeah, the noise in question is the thoughts in your head, which you can drown out with music.
I like that, I think we can all relate to feeling like that from time to time. Last year you dropped your debut EP, how do you feel this new mixtape has evolved since then? Does it represent a continuation of the same themes, or more of a right turn?
AW: I think creatively, there are a lot of new sounds and new concepts. We had a lot more confidence to experiment more with this mixtape, any idea we had, or thought sounded good is in this project.
HB: Exactly, after the last song of the first EP, we realised we could do anything so now we’re just continuing that with this mixtape.
Yeah, I think you guys have a solid sound. What made you run with “I Can’t Drive” as the lead single?
AW: I think it was just natural, we had it written for a while and it felt like a good follow-up from “Come Over (Again)” because it could sit next to it on an album or whatnot – it felt like the right thing to do.
How long was this mixtape in the making?
AW: We recorded it all over two months ago. But some of the songs have been written for a few years now. “Hang Me Like Jesus” was actually written two, or three years ago. Whereas “I Don’t Want It” was written in a week, then we recorded it and two weeks later it was on Spotify.
HB: We’ve been sitting on the majority of them for a while now, so it’s about time that they started coming out. We spent a lot of time trying to get the mixes right, to the point where people started getting frustrated with us, but it ended up sounding good in the end.
Would you say you’re quite speedy with the production side?
AW: It just depends song by song really. Sometimes, we have a really clear vision and other times we don’t and we have to work a bit harder.
Yeah, that makes sense. Throughout the project you explore themes of sex, love and drugs and make a point of the importance of gaining autonomy over your body, sexuality and emotions. Why is it important to you to spread this message?
AW: I think a lot of our lyrics are really personal, and mostly our own experience. So you know, of course, we’re going to write music that is from our lives.
HB: I think with any kind of music or art, you have to dig down to your own personal feelings in order to provide something unique. You can obviously still have generic lyrics or generic conventions of the music, but if you want it to stand out, it has to come from deep down. Everyone has their own story to tell.
Amongst those themes, the mixtape goes through noticeable highs and lows, can you explore this a bit more? How would you describe your music? Do you feel like it fits into a specific genre?
AW: We always say our music is alternative rock because it’s kind of an umbrella term within itself. But yeah, I don’t think we’d ever label ourselves as specifically an indie band or rock band because that just isn’t true. We write what we like, and it tends to fall into the alternative rock umbrella.
HB: No matter what style or genre we do, it’s always going to have that Crawlers thread running through it, which you can’t escape. We like to dabble in everything, whilst still sounding like us.
Do you mind when people label your music via genre?
AW: Only when they get it wrong. We’ve been called a folk band before… but that was because they had only listened to the first 30 seconds of “Come Over (Again)” and nothing else. I know people’s music tastes are different and that everyone has different opinions, I know our music can often fall under alternative rock, but definitely not folk music.
AW: I know, they gave a very strong opinion about why they didn’t like it, despite having only listened to the first 30 seconds. After the track blew up a couple of weeks later, they asked ‘can we do an interview?’ And we said no!
I’m glad you rejected that interview! How do you find the collaborative process of working on new full-length projects? What do you each bring to the writing process?
AW: Well, we all like different music, so everything that’s in our mixtape has our own spin on things. Which is quite unique, because a lot of musicians that work together are into the same music. Whereas we have some things that we all like, and some we don’t. For example, Liv is really into metal, but I would never ever listen to that. She brings some great things to the table so I don’t mind.
HB: Sometimes Holly will come to the band with just an acoustic version of a song, and then one of us will hear its potential and take the lead creatively. It just depends on each song, as someone has their own different vision.
One of the main things about Crawlers is that you’re determined to create a safe space for misrepresented groups. Can you explore why this is important to you and how you wish to use your platform to help spread the message of the importance of safe spaces?
HB: It’s always been an important thing, literally from our first day, we’ve always made sure that people knew our gigs are safe spaces. Especially when most of the people that come to our shows are around 14 years old, it could well be their first ever gig and we don’t want them to have a bad impression of what a gig entails. We want them to feel like they’re welcome, and that not all gigs are raucous, sweaty, or heavy. We’ve got a proper community going on and we just want to incite that message that you can always come to our gigs, and you will be safe, and you will be comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about anything. We don’t want people to think that they can’t enjoy a live show.
Yeah definitely. And in May you supported MCR, that must’ve been incredible. Are you fans of the band?
HB: I mean, I am a fan of the band but nowhere near as much as Holly and Liv. When we managed to get that support slot they were in tears of excitement. It was nuts the fact that they were playing in Warrington of all places as well. Because Amy and Liv are far more into them, we spoke to our promoter and begged them to get us on that support slot.
What do you think your childhood selves would make of getting that gig?
HB: That’s such a tricky question, because it’s one of those things where I don’t really think about it, but when someone does ask me about it, I think if I was able to see that I was supporting MCR that would be a literal dream come true.
Are there any other artists/bands, in particular, you’re eager to collaborate with / support?
HB: As Amy said earlier, we all listen to such different music, so we’d more than likely end up supporting people like Lady Gaga, Queens of the Stone Age, and Metallica. People would just think ‘why are these guys supporting the maddest concoction of musicians?’ I think we’ve always said, if a Blink 182 support slot came about, the girls would more than likely say ‘yeah, let’s do it, we’ll do it because Harry loves Blink.’ Or if a Metallica support slot came along, we’d all say something like, ‘okay, yeah, we have to support him because Liv loves Metallica.’ I feel there’s nothing off-limits when it comes to supporting our favourite acts.
This November sees you embark on a nationwide UK tour, including a live date at Scala, which venue are you most looking forward to playing and why?
HB: I think it’s definitely going to be the O2 in Liverpool because it’s the biggest show we’ve ever done. It’s going to be 1,200 only Crawlers fans, the idea that 1,200 people are coming to just see us is going to blow our heads up.
Have you played at this venue before?
HB: No, it’s our first time, and it’s sold out now as well, so there’s no going back.
What artists are Crawlers listening to right now?
HB: For me it’s a lot of Modern Baseball and Queens of the Stone Age, which is a very weird concoction of bands. But you know, if you asked me this next week, it would probably be something completely different. That’s what we’re all like really.
Lastly, what’s next for Crawlers?
HB: So we’ve got this mixtape coming out, and once that’s done, the next year I guess we’ll just be prepping for the album songwriting. We want to make sure that our debut album blows up and that everyone knows us. That’s what we’re aiming for. We want to spend a lot of time in the new year songwriting and recording to make sure it’s perfect within the first few months. Then we just want to do everything that’s necessary to make sure it reaches the right people and the right ears.