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