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The Crawling | Interview

Rekindling the passions of old death metal is all the rage these days.

One of the best things about it is that bands are forming of guys who loved it the first time round – and who want another go.

The Crawling, a new band featuring members of Overoth, Honey For Christ and Severance aren’t quite as straight forward as that. But they’re certainly wearing their influences on their sleeve.

Guitarist Andy Clarke introduces the band, and allows Metalireland to exclusively premiere their first track – ‘Choking On Concrete’.


You’ve been very consistent over the years with Honey For Christ, ploughing away. What was the impetus to set up The Crawling?

Truth be told, The Crawling wasn’t anything to do with me; it was all Stuarts idea! I believe Stuart felt compelled to put a band together after witnessing The Obscene Machine play live, and simply contacted me to play guitar.

At the time HFC had come to a complete stand still due to the sad loss of our (then) drummer Willy Taylor, and after a year of inactivity i had kinda given up on the band idea, enjoying a more simple existence.

Stuart asked me to come onboard, explaining it was just a few aging metal heads that wanted to play for fun. I thought it sounded like a laugh, and signed up.

I was attracted to the ‘no commitment – just for fun’ tagline; of course that would change dramatically within a 12 month period. Stuart was also fixated on a more death metal sound, something i haven’t done since my teenage years, and I just thought – “aye, why not?” It was also a good enough reason to get another guitar!

Where have the band all come from, what are your backgrounds over the years?

Stuart has been involved in music for decades. He was orginally in death metal band Severence, which is odd looking back now as I idolized the band, following them about town and listening in at their rehearsals!

He then moved on to a few other bands, switching between bass, guitar, and vocals. This was followed by a few quiet years, then The Crawling came along.

Gary is a renowned drummer and well known in the Irish death metal scene, having served his time in Overoth, Vomitous, before moving on to the highly successful Zombified. He’s still drumming away for the zombies of course, but can make plenty of time for The Crawling thankfully.

My background is pretty much Honey For Christ, a heavy metal band with a range of influences that seemed to confuse most people! I have been writing, recording and touring reasonably consistently since 1998, it’s only been the last 3 years that things started to quiet down.

And your prime influences?

For me my biggest influence is always My Dying Bride, Anathema and Katatonia. I don’t mean to sound cliched, but I really prefer the earlier material. No matter what music ‘phase’ I’m going through, I always gravtiate towards “Turn Loose The Swans” and “Serenades.” They are fantastic pieces of music and really encapsulate what i love about music; emotion, heaviness, misery and a slow delivery.

Stuart is really into Morbid Angel, Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Marduk; which certainly have an influence on his playing and bass tones. Gary has been chatting a lot lately about Forgotten Tomb, Type O Negative, and Hooded Menace; I think that’s where he’s drawing his influences when writing with The Crawling.

There’s an emphasis on simplicity and weight in here. What’s your agenda musically?

Ultimately Stuart and I came to the conclusion that our common ground was slow and heavy, with a death metal vocal. That was the plan.

Our first few tracks were more of an Entombed / Bolt Thrower type affair, but after a bit i found myself slipping back into my usual writing style. To be honest, I’m incapable of writing something very delibertate; I run out of ideas.

I’ve found it more productive, to just play guitar and see what comes out, but i have focused on what i enjoy playing physically – hence the slow, simplistic, heavy approach with a few hooks in for good measure. I like the idea of just kicking back live enjoying the song; no more, no less.

You’ve already hit the ground running live, and you’ve a short tour coming up as well. What else is in the works?

Yeah, we’re doing quite well so far. I’m lucky in that i still have a lot of contacts from my HFC days, and all my old friends have been very supportive. We have a few ideas about the future, and next year in particular.

Our main priority is to focus on quality. On a personal level, everyone has commitments with family, work, all the usual stuff, so we are always going to be limited to what we can do. As a result we figured we’d just do what we can, when we can; but do it really well.

The first thing we are doing is putting out a single, “Choking On Concrete,” courtesy of Grind Scene Records. It will be an odd release, in that it will be available digitally from the usual outlets, but we will also be running a free (physical) CD campaign.

The details are still being finalized, but it’s quite exciting. After that it’s onto getting the album recorded. We already have the material; it just needs polished and put on tape.

We’re hoping to fit in whatever shows we can in between. As soon as the project began my old touring buddies were in contact about getting some shows together, so I’m hoping to take The Crawling across the water, but we’ll see.

We chat all the time about what we would like to achieve, what would be fun; so it’s hard to tell what else might appear through 2015. Keep an eye on the interweb stuff for updates.

Interview by Earl Grey ::: 01/01/15

The Crawling Facebook

  1. I’m not getting a lot out of that. The chuggy metalcore riff isn’t very doomy. The main bit is alright but the whole song lacks any real atmosphere and the lyrics seem a bit juvenile. Where’s the mood? Sorry chaps, it ain’t my bag of badgers.

  2. Typical metal ireland response. Pull yer head outa yer hole an just enjoy it!!

  3. On another note… upa belfast metal!!!

  4. Eoin McLove Says:

    I think that the above response illustrates the problem with a lot of metal in this country, and is reflected in the song posted above. The kind of switched-off approach to creativity that stifles a lot of bands here. Ah sure, any oul’ riff will do… I just expect bands to sound a bit more engaged with their work, sound like they care, like they mean it. I was looking forward to hearing these lads as there was talk of classic doom/death in relation to them but that song is about as far from classic doom/death as you can get. From the redundant lyrics to the super polished production and then the riffs that are just kind of there- they don’t exactly raise the hairs on my neck. Anyway, I’, obviously just trolling and being oh so ‘Metalireland’- in other words actually having an opinion.

  5. I personally like the track, unfortunately not everyones influences in music relate to what they play in different bands. To your reference of “super polished production” what problem is there with a good, clean sounding track? Why wouldnt they want their music to soumd perfect? I know from experience that a track being better quality is more likely to catch someones attention.. in my eyes it shows enthusiasm and drive!! I mean why wouldnt you put alot of time and effort into making something sound good? Just because all these “old school metallers” want to here the same old bootlegged, crappy sounding recordings??
    To sum it up, i like the “Chuggy metalcore riff” its kinda nice to have something with a bit of a groove to it, the vocals are perfect for the type of music they chose to play and in regards to the lyrics being juvenile i disagree 100%… there is a hell of a lot of talent in this group and i can honestly see it going somewhere!!
    Keep it up lads, i love it and hopefully ill get out to see yis soon!!

  6. Eoin McLove Says:

    My problem is that the production doesn’t really enhance the mood at all. I don’t think it needs to be raw- just look at Mourning Beloveth or Graveyard Dirt, both have big full productions that work really well. The music here is technically well recorded but sounds a bit ordinary none the less. It’s kind of characterless. Anyway, I’m not trying to shit all over their work I was just disappointed by what I heard as it didn’t really add up to what they were saying in the interview. All the best to them, it just ain’t for me.

  7. Really liking this, love the crunchy sound and the riffs are epic. Can’t wait to hear them live

  8. Not what I was expecting at all and I’m not too impressed with that track I have to say. The verse/chorus sections are good and show promise for sure, the rest of the song just kind of plods along.

    Production is nice and clean but I have to agree with McLove, I think if there was a little bit more focus on some kind of atmosphere it would work better.

  9. Apart from the metalcore riff, the song is very enjoyable. Not exactly what I was expecting based on the interview but no real harm in that.

  10. I wasn’t fussed on the track when they supported Abaddon Incarnate, but after a couple of listens to this recorded version I like it. Especially the mid-paced bits. The vocals are good and the tune has lodged in my head after three listens.

  11. alsvartr666 Says:

    I’m actually enjoying the track. The ‘metalcore’ style riff initially threw me off, but it’s definitely a grower. I like the tonal progression and I really think that it does something different from the current batch of local death metal bands.

  12. the simplicity of the intro/chorus sucked me in straight away. Wasn’t what I was expecting at all – great feel.

    I love a sound that ‘pops off the record’ and it needs that needs a clean crisp recording and production.

    It’ll be too easy to slate these references/genres, but they’ll make the point: I was blown away by my first ever listen to Helmet or Pantera and they were the first albums that got me into even thinking about the importance of production. And that’s why I can truly understand & hear Wolfgang Gartner’s superior production 🙂

    So for me, this ‘pops’ and certainly is my sack of squirrels.

  13. …oh and meant to say whilst it may have some great tracks, I think we all know that when we all unwrapped our gatefold vinyl copy of “…justice”

    …it didn’t ‘pop’.

  14. What gatefold copy of and justice???

  15. Bent Metal Says:

    Didn’t everyone have one?? 🙂
    My point being that even on double vinyl, and 33rpm it still didn’t cut it sonically….

  16. hang on ‘and Justice’ doesn’t cut it sonically??? When was this announced, I didn’t get the memo………..

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