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