Formed in the winter of 2014 against the bleak concrete backdrop of Lisburn city, Northern Ireland, The Crawling use a guttural vocal to combine melancholy with weight, churning out a heavy, Doom/Death ensemble.
January 2015 saw the debut single ‘Choking On Concrete,’ which put the band on the scene, followed in October 2015 by the critically acclaimed In ‘Light of Dark Days’ EP.
In April 2017 the bands debut album ‘Anatomy Of Loss‘ was released via Grindscene Records, accompanied by five music videos, receiving excellent reviews worldwide, and was streamed exclusively by Metal Hammer UK.
The Crawling have spread the misery drenched album through a strong live performance, with support from a loyal fan base; most notably appearing at Inferno Metal Festival (Norway), Bloodstock Open Air (UK), Seige of Limerick (IRE), Metal Days (SLO), Shellshockfest (Malta), Uprising (UK), Incinerationfest (UK), Mammothfest (UK) and Full Metal Mensa (GER).
2018 is the year for the sophomore release; ‘Wolves and the Hideous White’ featuring six brand new tracks, building on the sound of their debut. The album reflects upon the human desire to belong, the sacrifices made to be part of someone, disillusion from loss of self, and the final inability to escape.
Vocalist/guitarist Andy Clarke comments; “Wolves and the Hideous White is an evolution from the debut album, and transcended from misery into disgust. I have continued to explore human emotions, and as always, our music is inspired by what I see in the world that surrounds me. We live in an age where people have become detached from each other, but the inherent craving to be with someone is overwhelming. As a species we are programmed to search for a mate, and the majority will sacrifice anything to get it; including themselves.” “This album came together quite quickly, and was created with extremely focused efforts. The music, lyrics, and content reflects this with a more venomous edge than what came before.”
Watch the album trailer: https://tinyurl.com/WATHWtrailer
Rock and Load caught up with Guitarist/Vocalist Andy Clarke on the eve of their sophomore release…
R’NL: You formed in 2014, but how did the band actually get together …
It was all Stuarts idea in a way, I think he had a midlife crisis! ha, ha! I’ve known Stuart since I was 14 years old, and always kept contact in some shape or form over the years, so when he decided he wanted to play in a band again, after a 20-year hiatus, he got in touch over Facebook. The original plan was just a group of mates blasting out some early death metal covers for a bit of fun, which we did … but it kind of escalated. We did get together, played a few tunes and really enjoyed it. It sounded good, a solid foundation for doing the type of music I’ve always enjoyed the most – It got me thinking about trying it a bit more seriously, so we re-jigged some of the members, named it The Crawling and started.
R’NL: So describe The Crawling “sound”, what has influenced the way you write and produce your music
To my ears, it’s doomy slow death metal. I’m heavily influenced by the early Peaceville bands; Anathema, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and early Katatonia – stuff like that. I always loved the slower death metal bands, as it gave more “air” to hear what was going on, and it really brought the guttural vocal out; more than the faster death metal bands where everything becomes more of a wall of sound. That would be a foundation for The Crawling, but I also like a lot of black metal, which has wormed its way into our sound too. I also love a good chorus (probably from my love of glam rock, particularly Mötley Crüe), which is always a focus for me. I like music with a bit of hook, so I do incorporate that when it fits.
R’NL: In the world where everything seems to be done via Instagram and snapchat, how do you see the theme of Wolves and The Hideous White really getting to an audience these days.
Probably through that very medium! The social media thing is a very useful tool for getting things across i think. Images and video are consumed on a daily basis by people scrolling through their phones, and it’s something we try to utilise where we can. Short videos, photos, and imagery from the artwork can speak volumes when used correctly. Ultimately it is about the music, and to truly understand the concept and themes of “Wolves and the Hideous White” you have to listen to it. You can’t squeeze a listening experience into a 30-second Instagram video, and I wouldn’t want to, but I can create the interest that drives someone to check it out. I enjoy the social media aspect, it’s the new tape trading from the old days in a way; sharing links, posting about bands, youtube links, blogs, vlogs – it’s fantastic how much you can find out about a band nowadays. But, ultimately, it’s about the music; if you don’t commit to listen to the album, or come and see us live, you will never experience it properly.
R’NL: How is the Metal scene over there in Ireland can a band really make it.? what do they have to do to get themselves heard and seen
The metal scene is very strong in Ireland. On a national level I’d say we’re getting more touring bands than ever before; probably symptomatic of the current climate, but either way Ireland is now very much on the map when years ago we’d have been skipped over. On a local level, it’s pretty damn solid as well. There are a ton of very talented musicians and bands playing around the major cities at the moment, and a few bands are doing particularly well – branching out onto the European festival circuit, and the odd one heading over to the USA for shows. It’s an exciting time to be in an Irish band right now! Absolutely a band can make it, but it does depend on your definition I guess. The obvious example is Primordial, a global headliner for many festivals over the years; but I appreciate they experienced a different climate when they broke through, but they have done superbly at maintaining their position. I appreciate you mean “can a band make it” right now, but many are still making waves. Dead Label, for example, is doing exceptionally well, touring with Gojira, Fear Factory, and playing alongside the big acts in Ireland. Not to mention a cracking performance on the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock this year. In terms of making a living, or even a good living from metal music, plenty of bands do it, and at the end of the day, if the music is THAT good, I can’t see any reason why it can’t be a band from Ireland.
To be heard and seen is a challenge, but it can be done. My personal view is that you need a combination of really good fucking music, combined with a strong work ethic, and the ability to create quality content for the online world we live in. Obviously, there isn’t a formula, but it’s how i approach the industry with The Crawling. Of course, we are nowhere near Primordial level, but we have managed to accomplish certain things and progressed with time.
R’NL: The Album is released on Grindscene.. why did you go with them as your label. it seems as though they are really supporting the underground scene.
The relationship with Grindscene is always going to be there as my brother Peter owns it. We have had various “offers” for label support, but when we go with Grindscene it gives us a massive amount of control and maximum income. Peter has the label well established now, signing the likes of ENT, Desecration, Basement Torture Killings, Foetal Juice, early Cerebral Bore and the likes. That has secured a strong distribution network and got the name out. I also help him out a fair bit, so I can keep a close eye on our earnings! lol, Pete has always been into the underground scene, and ultimately that is what the label is for. I think he sees it as a way for upcoming bands to get on a label, get a barcode, get a catalogue number on your CD, be taken seriously as a band, and make the music available through the “proper” channels such as Amazon, Spotify, iTunes etc. That kind of exposure is critical in this day and age, and GSR is a fantastic resource for bands that are trying to make a go of it.
R’NL: Our friends at Enso seem keen to support you. again, what was it about Enso that attracted you?
I’m thrilled to hear it! I’d noted a few bands doing some cool shows in the UK, and ENSO was the common denominator so I started there. We’ve never worked with a management company before, so I wasn’t really sure where to start. I rang Rachael from ENSO, had a chat; we got on well and realised we were on the same page regarding what the band could put in, what we expect to get out of it, and what was realistic/feasible. It’s that open and honest dialect that makes it work. I’m also obsessive about communication. I hate when you can’t get in contact with someone, in this day and age there is little excuse, and ENSO are always very good at replying to messages which appealed to me.
R’NL: Reality check .. where do you see the future lies for The Crawling .. what is on the horizon?
I gave up on reality years ago. I appreciate “making it” is not only difficult, but may be impossible in the ever-changing landscape, but if I didn’t have a dream or goal of achieving something I wouldn’t play and work as hard as I do. I’m not sure what will come out of our efforts, but my plan is to get this album out as far as I can and see where it takes us. We will definitely shoot some videos, get some new merch, and play some shows, and I strive to put everything I have into this to make them as great as I can. I’m hoping to get some more fests for 2019, and maybe creep up the bill a bit, but we’ll see. We’ll be about for a while yet I can assure you of that.
R’NL: Finally. If you could change the metal scene of today. what would you do, is it still relevant?
Ach, I don’t think I’d bother changing anything. I mean, I wish there were fewer bands fighting for the same space, so I could become famous! ha, ha! But you need that fight to drive creativity, weed out the weak, and really separate good bands from potentially great bands, you know? I think even the mainstream bands have adopted the same strategy of late – everyone is working that bit harder to secure their spot. I’ve enjoyed metal for 30 years, it’s constantly changing, evolving, growing and I’ve enjoyed it all. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. Thank you for chatting with me – keep it metal!