Those Damn Crows

In­flu­enced by grunge, arena rock and a bit of coun­try, they aim to leave a mark on the world.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Brid­gend rock­ers Those Damn Crows started out as school friends, lis­ten­ing to the likes of Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Foo Fight­ers, and jam­ming in the mu­sic room on their lunch break. As teenagers they be­gan play­ing gigs un­der the band name Shirker. Boosted by an in­spir­ing mu­sic teacher, it was a promis­ing start.

But soon the guys who would later be­come the Those Damn Crows went their sep­a­rate ways. Then about 10 years later a chance meet­ing got the ball rolling again.

“Some of the guys had joined a band called Miss Con­duct, and I was writ­ing and record­ing songs for a pub­lish­ing com­pany and their cat­a­logue,” says front­man Shane Green­hall. “I needed some drums done on a track I was do­ing, and I bumped into Ron­nie [Hux­ford] in our home town. He ended up play­ing me some demos that he and Shiner [gui­tarist Ian Thomas] had been work­ing on, and be­fore I knew it I was singing with them.

“Ev­ery­thing hap­pened so quickly, and it felt so right,” he says, grin­ning. “It was like we’d just turned six­teen again.”

In a stroke of luck, the band got the op­por­tu­nity to record their de­but al­bum at the leg­endary Rock­field Stu­dios in Wales.

“We knew some­body who could get us into Rock­field for cheaper than nor­mal,” Green­hall re­calls. “Kings­ley, the owner, was telling me all the sto­ries about ev­ery­one who’s been there, from Queen to Black Sab­bath. And then I was play­ing on the pi­ano that Fred­die Mer­cury ap­par­ently played on. We felt very blessed to be there.”

Mur­der And The Mo­tive is an al­bum that pulses with the in­flu­ence of 90s grunge that the band grew up with, but also in­cor­po­rates mam­moth, are­na­wor­thy an­thems – “Every sin­gle one of us in the band loves Aero­smith,” Green­hall says, and it shows – with a lit­tle bit of a coun­try twang which no doubt comes from his fa­ther, who was a coun­try singer-song­writer.

“It [coun­try] was around the house con­stantly,” Green­hall says. “My dad would never want me to just play the song, he would show me how to im­pro­vise or do a solo. I re­alise now that he was try­ing to make me ac­tu­ally think about mu­sic, think about what I would do rather than what Johnny Cash would have done.”

This abil­ity to re­ally think about the mu­sic is also key to Those Damn Crows’ live per­for­mances.

“When peo­ple come to see us live, they say it’s like a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal,” Green­hall says proudly. “That’s the way it should be.

I don’t like it when peo­ple go to a show and say: ‘That was just like the record.’ It should be an ex­pe­ri­ence, not just hear­ing the mu­sic.” As for Green­hall’s ul­ti­mate hope for Those Damn Crows…. “The dream for us is to get a song of ours im­mor­talised,” he says with­out hes­i­ta­tion. “We would love to leave a mu­si­cal mark on the world.” HMK

Mur­der and The Mo­tive is out now via Earache Records.

FOR FANS OF...“We grew up in the nineties, so bands like Nir­vana, Alice In Chains, Foo Fight­ers were in­flu­en­tial to us,” says Green­hall.“Wast­ing Light has a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing that we love in mu­sic: heavy, crunchy riffs, hard and not so hard rock songs with big sin­ga­long cho­ruses… Which hope­fully you’ll hear on our al­bum, too.” “Every sin­gle one ofus in the band loves Aero­smith.”

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