Artist Interviews

Artist Interview: Crux

Hello, Crux. In your own words, how would you describe your sound and style?
We often describe our sound as alternative rock, but that’s quite an umbrella term. Though, we’ve recently been described as prog rock mixed with punk which I think accurately describes our sound. Our bassist, Hallam, cynically thinks this is the sound we’ve developed as we’re not technical enough to write actual prog rock!

October 2021 saw you release your debut EP: “Death at the Cash Machine”. What is the story behind the EP and, generally, what themes does it deal with?
The EP has been years in the making. It started with the release of Bigg Market way back in 2019 – this was a real turning point for us as we’d never really been comfortable in the recording studio beforehand and we were really pleased with Kyle Martin’s work at The Garage Studios on the track. The single had local success, featuring on a documentary about the street, as well as receiving radio play. The track also helped us get in touch with acclaimed producers, Jim Lowe and Max Heyes. So, in the October and November of 2019, we recorded Slaving Away and Living in Dystopia in London. These singles were due to be released at the start of 2020, then covid happened… 

Resultantly we didn’t release the tracks until October 2020 and February 2021. As soon as the recording studios started opening again, we got in touch with Andy Bell at Blast Studios and recorded the remaining three tracks, Incel, Radgie Gadgie, and Agent Orange (+erased), and we finished recording in April 2021.

Despite the fragmented timeline between all of the songs, they encapsulate our varied sound and themes. Our lyrics usually comment on social issues, and the EP looks at the death of collectivism and the rise of individualism, and the pressures this puts on people. One pressure we really dissected in the likes of Bigg Market, Incel, and Radgie Gadgie is toxic masculinity, one of humanity’s worst diseases. 

You’ve managed to remain active, despite local, national & international circumstances. What has it been like playing gigs through the year and what gigs do you have in the diary for 2022? 

We’ve been very lucky to play quite a few gigs from July to the end of this year. They’ve been really exhilarating – I think so many people were cooped up for so long that as soon as people were back in their local venues, there was just a massive release of energy, so they’ve almost been cathartic as everyone just goes mental. We have noticed as soon as cases go up again, gigs are less well attended, which is no surprise!

We’ve got a few gigs scheduled in for 2022 so far, we’ll be playing the NE Volume Music Bar on January 21st, The Globe on February 25th, and Teeside Student Union on March 11th.

Crux (Photo Credit: Chris Ord)

Have you had much of a chance to look ahead to the new year? If so, what plans do you have and what would you like to achieve in the upcoming year?
We’ve just received confirmation that our EP vinyls will finally be shipped to us in April 2022, so we’re thinking of hosting a vinyl release party then, and potentially releasing Radgie Gadgie as a single to help gain some momentum.

We’re also rehearsing four new songs at practice at the minute, and we’re really excited with how they’re sounding. It’s likely we’ll get these recorded this year and released.

We’re hoping to play a few festivals in the summer also, as long as they don’t all get cancelled again!

What advice do you have specifically for other north east artists? And what advice do you have for artists in general?
The things I’d do to go on a time machine back to 2014 when we were first starting to give myself a lecture on the do’s and don’ts. I’m still learning though, that’s one bit of advice, no one in the music industry knows exactly what’s going on, it’s a bit of a free-for-all (good old free market capitalism), so you’ve just constantly got to be on your toes and learn from every experience.

The main things I’d recommend for local artists and artists in general would be to make sure you get a really good recording of your track, and make sure you’re very prepared for a release. Beware of sharks too because there’s plenty of them, but in the same sentiment, never burn bridges. Connections are one of the most efficient ways to make headway in the industry.

Lastly, what artists are on your radar that you would recommend others listen to & see live?
I recently saw Lanterns on the Lake and black midi live; both were unbelievable experiences and I couldn’t speak highly enough of them. We also played with Goodsprings in December and they put on an unbelievable live show, Sam’s a cracking front man, and it’s brilliant to see how much they’ve progressed as a band over lockdown. We’re also playing with Alex James at Teeside Student union in March, and we’ve always been a fan of his, we’d definitely recommend anyone giving his music a listen!

Follow Crux on socials: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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