Featured Artist – Crusades

2 05 2012

FAST AND FURIOUS. AND AMAZING. AND JAW-DROPPING. AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER ADJECTIVES THAT I CAN’T FIT IN.

It came to my attention while paroozing through this blog that I have not really held up my end of the bargain. I haven’t covered many alt-rock/alt-metal bands. Which, although many seem to think this is a total post-rock love-in, is supposed to also focus on the many bands who are playing offshoot genre styles of rock and metal music. Which is another side of my musical personality. I’m taking one or two liberties by saying this next band is a complete fit for the alt-rock/metal frame but I love them so much since their surprise burst into the Glasgow music scene. Say hello to the Glasgow quartet of musical madmen, Crusades. I stumbled across them after seeing a few people attached to my bands label, Overlook Records, posting about this “amazing” track (Best description goes to Finn LeMarinel of TiK who labelled it a “Dinosaur”) named “Pseudo Andro”. I pretty much knew I had to check it out as the folk at my label are really clued in to what’s going on with bands around Glasgow. Jesus, I’ve never been so taken aback by a track in my life. Crusades basically just start by relentlessly attacking your senses with heavy riffs and continue the assault throughout their tracks without any respite. It’s truly amazing. The furious energy of the tracks that I have heard so far really is something to behold. These fellas own brand of “post-hardcore” music is mixed in with a sort of Dillinger-ish energy, something which you will see if like myself you choose to catch them live”, mixed in with full-on screamed vocals that simply add to the fast paced nature of their music. This is a band on the rise. Try to keep up.

As I mentioned, my love affair with Crusades began the second I put on their first released track “Pseudo Andro”. It simply burst into life with a brutal tapped guitar passage (which is one of the best hooks i’ve heard in a good long while), blasted drum beats, some pretty smooth bass lines and, to my delight, some reverbed out guitar play behind it. This track is basically the equivalent of a music knock-out. It catches you totally unawares and MAKES you sit up and pay attention. So good is it that it’s been receiving some very reputable airplay from the likes of Ally McCrae (twice in one night as well if i’m not mistaken). And so the sharing commenced. The one thing I have taken from Pseudo is how accessible it is to many people. The amount of times I have seen it being shared or plugged across my Facebook feed is unbelievable. Hardcore, in my opinion, isn’t the most accessible of music itself but what Crusades have done is take it and warp it with their various influences and make it something that is so easy to enjoy and get into. I can’t commend them enough for that.

Crusades – Pseudo Andro – Check out Pseudo Andro for yourself. Total beast of a track. And just a taste of things to come.

Me being in a privileged position (I can’t mention why though) I got a sneaky wee listen to the other track Crusades have recorded and I must say, if you think Pseudo Andro is anything to go by you haven’t heard anything yet. Guitarist and vocalist Steven Murray gave me a little insight into the upcoming works by Crusades so I gave them a good solid listening to (sounds dirty but I don’t care). The two tracks “Harlequin” and “Landlocked Abysmal” pick up where Pseudo left off. “Harlequin” picks up just as Pseudo did. I love the fact that Crusades basically harness the aesthetic of grabbing the listener by the bollocks and them leading them, by the bollocks, through their sound. It’s cool as. Harlequin is just what you’re looking for, if what you are looking for is a track to barrage your earholes with beautiful and brutal music.

– See what I mean about the energy these boys put into their music and performance?

“Landlocked Abysmal” is a more chilled out, lounge music type track. GOTCHA!! It’s not. When listening to this track something struck me. These guys in Crusades really know how to write a hook that sticks with you. It’s one thing to write a hook into your music but one that sticks with the listener is something else. If these guys keep this up their upcoming EP release is going to be a monster. OH, just quickly. Landlocked Abysmal has one of the craziest and amazing drum sections in it. I can’t get enough of it.

Just quickly before I go on to the interview. Crusades maiden release, which is to be entitled “Golden Throats”, looks set to rip off a few faces and make lots of children cry. You can check out the bands teaser trailer here (it contains a segment of the track “Harlequin” also) :-

INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN MURRAY – GUITARIST/VOCALIST/CRUSHER OF PUNY HUMANS AT CRUSADES

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Hey guys. Before I get to grilling you with several questions introduce us all to Crusades. Who makes up your band, how long have you been going for and give me some background on the band.

Crusades consists of Steven and Mark on guitar and vocals, Paul on bass and Matt on drums. We met through a GumTree ad Mark put up. It was just by luck really. After being disillusioned from previous projects and searching in vain for the right band it was just luck that me and Matt looked on Facebook and found Mark and Paul. We all came from heavier rooted music. With me playing in No Kilter, Mark and Paul in First Step to Failure and Pay the Price and Matt in Insurgent and Jackie Onassis, although this band is were we really found are feet!

I have quite a difficult time categorising your band. What genre would you say you guys would fall into? Was it always your vision to start writing such fast paced and heavy hitting music?

I would say we are firmly in the post hardcore camp with tangents of math rock and hardcore. We just want to right heavy music with big ballsy riffs and hooks that you can’t get out of your head. The fact is we all like intense bands and that’s pretty much what we what to replicate but obviously with our unmistakable twist. We all started out to write music that’s makes people want to move and I feel we have finally found the band for that.

Were you surprised by the response “Psuedo Andro” got after you put it up on SoundCloud and your Facebook player? It seems to have received some high praise and plays from folk such as Ally McCrea. Are you happy with how the track has done?

Definitely. Frankly we’re amazed by how well it had done. I mean we have only been a live band for a month and the response is utterly flattering! We know it’s a good song because we spent so long writing it and would never release a song were not happy with but with the backing of Ally McCrae and Jim Gellatly as well as regional pod casts and certain Glaswegian dignitaries it was very much confirmed. So yes were very happy and we can’t wait to show everyone more!

When can we expect your EP “Golden Throats” to be released? The teaser on YouTube has got me very impatient for it’s release. Sounds excellent so far.

We’re going to record a final track in July and the EP should be ready for release in August to coincide with our Scottish and full UK tour.

What has been your biggest/best/most well received gig since you have been together as a band?

Our most well received show so far has probably been our first show in Bloc. We have so far only played 4 shows so it’s difficult to judge. We’re still building a reputation and our set list but we have so much coming up that everyone will have the chance to judge for themselves.

I noticed that you boys are going to be playing at Liverpool SoundCity soon. How did the opportunity to play this come about? Also, what’s the plans for the upcoming English dates later on in summer? Is this all finalised or is there still some organising to be done?

We received an e-mail from “Now Friends” in England who heard Pseudo Andro and wanted to see us live. They sorted us a show which just happened to be in the Sound City fest.
As far as tour goes we have a Scottish tour that’s been confirmed between August 1st- August 5th and an English tour between August 31st- September 9th. All dates can be found on our Facebook.

Any other plans your not telling us about for 2012?

For the rest of 2012 we will be releasing our EP with a very reputable Glasgow indie and just writing more tunes, playing as many shows as possible and utilising our DIY ethic as much as possible to get out name out there.

Are there any up and coming bands that you have played with/seen live that you believe we should be keeping our eyes upon? Are there any bands you are looking forward to sharing a stage with?

Well Glasgow is full of amazing bands at the moment. We’re very much looking forward to the Overlook show in June, we will be playing with Saló, Vasa, The Darien Venture, Trapped in Kansas and Bellow Below. Also were loving Fat Janitor and an awesome band called Bear Arms Glasgow’s music scene is thriving at the moment!!

Finally. This one’s for you Steven. You vs. Greg Puciato. Who would win that fight?

As much as I adore Dillinger I personally don’t think he could keep up with my deadlifts…..bring it on fool!

Go catch Crusades as soon as possible. These guys will blow you away. Their energy on stage is amazing and there presence is even more so. Steven Murray is the only person I have seen so far that said “Move closer” to the fans and they all did. Probably because he could have killed us all with one punch. Oh. And if you still don’t believe me about the energy these guys possess on stage. Have a swatch at this.

This is Crusades other guitarist Mark during their first show in Bloc. He got so into it he burst his hand. How pretty.

Get all your Crusades needs here – Crusades – FB Page

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m spent. I’ll see you next time.

John


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