New Newcastle Music! Crystal Cove To Launch EP This Friday
Newcastle indie four-piece Crystal Cove are launching their self-titled EP at the Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle this Friday night. I was lucky enough to sit down with bassist Aidan ahead of the launch to chat about music, recording and gigging around the state & in Newcastle.
How long have Crystal Cove been playing together?
I’ve been in the band for just over 2 years now. Before I joined Sean (singer/guitarist) and Matt (guitarist) were an acoustic duo and had been performing around Newcastle for a few months. Rory (drummer) and I joined around October 2008 to complete the ‘full’ band.
What made you decide you wanted to be a musician?
I can’t really say I was always heavily into music growing up, but around the time I was 15-16 my parents bought me a bass guitar for my birthday and I taught myself how to play with the help of a few good friends. We used to play covers of songs by the likes of Grinspoon, The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party, before realising we all had a passion for creating our own music. It was around this time I knew I wanted to be making music, because even in its most early and raw stages I could feel and see the effect it had on people.
How would you describe your music?
The music that Crystal Cove is writing at the moment would have to be a cross between Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, and I’m being pretty ambitious when I say that. It’s mainly to do with the style of the dual vocals between Sean and myself, and more recently our song writing has taken a heavier and raw edge compared to our previous material. We’ve dulled back the instrumentation and structure, and are focusing more on the energy and feel of the songs.
Are there any bands that have had a massive influence on you as a musician or on the band as a whole?
I mentioned TBS and Brand New before so of course they are up there, but for me at the moment I’d say bands like Death Cab for Cutie, the Strokes, Joy Division etc. But then again it changes weekly!
Is this Crystal Cove’s first EP?
Yes, however Sean and Matt released an acoustic EP in 2008 titled ‘seaoffaces|cityofhearts’. It may see the light of day again.
How long have you been working on your EP?
We started recording the EP early last year, but the songs are almost 18 months – 2 years old. So it’s been a long process and a massive learning curve for us, not only as a band, but as four friends trying to keep ourselves and each other sane. There have been a few distractions (good and bad), but nonetheless we are proud of what we have done and if nothing comes of it we can at least have this CD to remind us of everything involved in the process.
What is your favourite song on the EP?
My favourite song is the opening track ‘This Ain’t LA X’. The title is from mine and Rory’s favourite TV show Lost and is just a fun and energetic song to play live. It’s probably the most different sounding song genre-wise on the EP.
Are you excited to hear the reaction from your fans?
I think we’re most excited to get it out there and move onto our next project. We’ve focused so much on the recording of this EP over the last 12 months and it has taken its toll on us. So a good reaction would make it all feel worthwhile, but at the end of the day we’re proud of what we’ve produced and if the only reaction we receive is to have a few more people at shows, singing some lyrics I think we’ve done our job.
Did you enjoy the recording process? Were there any bumps along the way?
It was a million emotions all wrapped up into a tiny little room for three days at a time over the course of several months. We had some really great times recording and some really bad ones too. I don’t want to go into details, but feeling homesick, missing girlfriends, organising time off work to then be messed around by the producer, barely sleeping, not showering for days, re-writing songs, recording songs, re-recording songs etc. What we’re taking from it is a massive education & understanding of the entire process and that through experiencing what we have, we still want to do it all. It’s the little things that make all the bulls**t worthwhile.
What is your most memorable live show to date and why?
I’d have to say supporting Gyroscope last year at the Bar on the Hill at Newcastle Uni would have to be one of my favourites, with close runners up being supporting Ben Jorgensen (Armor For Sleep), Lydia (USA), Ivoryline (USA), After the Fall & the Mission in Motion. Also, there has been some all ages shows at The Loft where there’s a couple hundred kids packed into the place and the atmosphere is killer.
Who has been your favourite band to play alongside?
We used to play with a band from Taree called The Great Escape and they were amazing to play with (mainly for the partying afterwards) but overall I’d have to say Gyroscope again. They were really lovely guys, came and hung with us after their set and even started pouring us gin and tonics.
What song do you enjoy performing live the most?
My favourite song to play at the moment is a song we’ve recently written called ‘Full Hearts’. It has this really upbeat feel yet it’s still raw & catchy.
Do you have a favourite venue that you love to play in the Newcastle area?
The Cambridge is always fun to play because of the stage size, but as I said before the Loft is great (when it’s packed out) and also the Great Northern, it has a really good vibe & atmosphere.
What can fans expect from a Crystal Cove performance?
Energy, passion, emotion, lame jokes, and poor bass playing.
Where can fans get their hands on your new EP?
It will only be available at shows for the moment, but will be online very soon!
When: Friday, 8 April from 9pm
Where: Boiler Bar, Great Northern Hotel
Special guests: The Initiation
EPs will be on sale for $10.