Crawlers sell out the Mercury Lounge on US Debut Tour
I had the chance to sit down with UK-based band, Crawlers on the night of their first ever New York show (which was completely sold out btw!) [A - Amy, H - Holly, L - Liz, R- Harry]
1. How is tour going so far, and how is it different playing shows in the UK compared to the US?
Amy - We’ve actually had days off over here, which has been nice cause I mean - we’ve got to explore a lot more of the city (New York) than we would in the UK.
Holly - We went to a water park.
A- A lot of the time in the UK, it’s like drive - hotel, get to the venue, leave, hotel and don’t get me wrong, it’s great. but the fact that we were able to do a lot of sight-seeing was really refreshing and I think it’s allowed us to not feel so kind of over-stimulated and sort of over-anxious about things. Tours generally - the audiences are just like absolutely vibing. They’ve got so much energy and everyone’s so enthusiastic.
H - I think what’s nice about touring here as well is like we haven’t been here before, so we have no idea what to expect from the audience, no idea about the town, we’re getting a big culture indulge before we do a show, we’ve had a few days in new york as well which has been lovely. We’re big friends fans as well so we’ve done like a pure little ‘friends tour’. It’s been really nice, and I think the big shocker is hearing people from a completely different country that we’ve never even stepped into outside of anything - knowing our songs and singing along and *hearing* them in an American accent is crazy as well.
R - I’m not a fan of the long drives though. In the UK you could do every city in a week if you wanted to.
A - You’re not driving!
R - Being in a car for like 10 hours at a time it sucks.
H - You need a train.
R - Can you get trains from city to city ?
[ It varies from state to state and even town to town tbh…]
H - I’d be so useless in america, I’d be like…can you come pick me up??
2. How does it feel to have sold out the Mercury Lounge?
H - Iconic, legendary, fantastic. Loads of artists that we love have played here - like The 1975, Th Strokes, You know, The Strokes used to play here so much we’re such big fans of them and I think it’s just like someone said before it’s like a ‘right of passage’ and I feel like its such a nice place to start. We’re gonna have a big cramped room - and New York as well, is such an iconic place in the whole world. There’s people wanting to see our music and see us live and have an experience with us, which is insane.
L - I mean the nice thing as well is obviously, a lot of people are here to see us deliberately but there are people that - this is like the biggest thing as well that we’ve kind of noticed about gigging over here is that a lot of the times people will just come out because it’s like ‘oh there’s a show on, let’s go watch it!’ and then sort of leave as Crawlers’ fans having going in not knowing who we are. Whereas in the UK, it’s kind of it happens - but it’s not as common for people to just be like ‘i don’t know who these people are, but i’ll go watch them.’ It’s sort of a bit more of a personality trait thing over in the UK to just go and see anyone on a whim whereas over here, everyone’s just up for it - which is great.
[You never know, you might find your favorite band!]
H - It’s so nice though - it gives a bit more opportunity especially now because of Covid, the live scene is back and has given artists a new muscle.
3. Dream Festival/Tour Lineup?
A - Download.
H - We want to play AllyPally definitely.
L - There’s a lot of festivals like this year we are ticking off our bucket list like Leeds and Reading - back home is like a big one for us.
R - That’s like the ‘Gateway’ festival.
L - I think AllyPally back in London is like a milestone I’d want to hit cars that’s just iconic.
H - It’s an iconic venue, I think here - I’d love to play, it’s so typical but Coachella here. Mainly just to people watch though. honestly, because the festival etiquette is so madly different here and I’m like watching it, you know.
E - We’re playing Lollapalooza this year as well so we will actually be able to get the ‘American Festival Experience’.
A - It’s gonna be so different to the UK.
E - It’s gonna be a lot cleaner than our festivals.
A - It’s gonna be a lot cleaner.
L - Yeah. Everyone’s gonna be so well-behaved in comparison. Leeds and Reading is just feral people.
[More talk about how most teens act at festivals in both places…]
H - Also, it’s dead funny when we got announced for Lolla, I dont know if it’s just because we’re from Northern England but we’re like - ‘Ugh. This LaLa Pal Ooza’ and everyone else is like ‘Lollapalooza’. Ever since then, we’ve just called it ‘Lollapalooza.’
[Discussion ensues about how Lollapalooza should be pronounced]
4. A lot of up and coming uk artists have been included on the Heartstopper soundtrack recently - if one of your songs could be featured in any tv show/film, what would it be?
H - I think firstly, like Heartstopper we’re just so into and I went to an all girls school and obviously I’m queer so like watching that as an adult I was like ‘god, I needed this when I was 15, you know?’ It’s really good and something like that to speak to people would be great. I think Sex Education as well would be a really good one. Just because we talk about those kind of taboo subjects that they speak about in that show. Also, the soundtrack is banging.
L - I don’t know, I suppose for me, I would probably have to go for Heartstopper as well cause like the queer envy was real watching that. But i’m like, what a I like completely obsessed with it. While we were over here, Holly came up to me and I think we were in a CVS, and they’d found me like two of the graphic novels and I was like ‘OH MY GOD’ like near crying. Just a little bit obsessed so probably Heartstopper.
A - Very good soundtrack as well.
H - The soundtrack is so good.
L - Our friend Babyqueen is literally like the first song on there.
H - She’s so good as well.
L - So it would be amazing if we were all on there.
H - Alice Oseman. this is @ you baby.
5. If you could box another band, who would it be?
H - Just to see who’s better?
E - Would all four of us be in there as well?
A - Ooooh….One Direction
H - I would do it just to be like ‘Heyyy’
A - Yeah, One Direction - I love One Direction.
6. What was the writing process like on F*ck Me (I Didn’t Know How To Say)?
H - So when we first wrote this it was when me and Live first moved in together in a flat so it was the first I kind of had my own space, to write which was a bit different compared to where we were before. At this point I had been quite used to writing songs on acoustic guitars. So I had listened to Leith Ross’ song ‘Never Have Sex’, and it really inspired me - it’s such a good song.
At that point I was like, well obviously they’re doing it in such a positive light on it, that I’d say my opinion I’ve never been ‘kissed to be kissed’ and it kind of provoked this whole thought thing about of like s*xual trauma but also how it affects you, and how you know - that deems AFAB people in society and stuff so I wrote it from that perspective. And how I feel about myself because of my sexual experiences. I brought it to the band and it was like a really slow off beat kind of song.
Literally exactly the same but very off-beat and Amy went ‘No, we’re gonna make it into a fringe song.’ And Amy whams her guitar on it, and we added a little bit of a breakdown section which I think it was nice to feel that build a little bit more because like Obviously we’d done an acoustic song before but it was very much a slow build up with this it was very much like loads of fun with textures - and we have a lot of hip-hop music that we like like Lauryn Hill and Kendrick. And we’d not really played with that style of rhythm, which in the studio we really pulled that part with the bass and drums. The drums on the track are just phenomenal in my opinion - Harry smashed it and our producer Pete is almost a fifth member at this point on all of the songs that we’ve done really. help bring it to light and show the vulnerability about what I’m singing about.
7. How has the release reception been? Did you expect people to relate so much?
R - Better than most - maybe better than all ?
H - Better than most. I’v never been nervous to release a song before. I think obviously we were really nervous releasing ‘Come Over’ because it was so new, but with this song it was probably the most vulnerable I’d felt doing a song. Lyric wise, about what I was putting on the table. When I played it to my mum, she was like ‘There are going to be so many people who are gonna relate to this song. And it’s a very scary position but hearing people’s stories, they’ve messaged us and dm’d us reaching out about these things has been absolutely magic and I think it’s a next-step in how we very much want to genre-bend throughout our career. I think it’s a good first. We’re placing our foot down with it really.
A - Definitely.
8. As u know, TikTok has a crazy amount of influence on the music industry, ‘Come Over’ having hit 30 mil streams - what are your thoughts on TikTok's influence on the music industry?
H - Yeah, what the heck? It’s the best and worst thing to happen to the industry.
A - It’s changed our career.
R - It’s changed mostly a lot of people’s careers you know a lot of new eyes. There are loads of new artists and it’s given a lot more power back to people who might not be signed to a label.
H - It’s so true, and I think it’s like a new resource, I actually wrote my dissertation on this for Uni - like all about how TikTok’s affected the industry and I think i compared it to MySpace. Obviously Myspace from around 2003, was a huge influence on the industry and had music. People would subconsciously introduce music - like that’s how the Arctic Monkeys were first found and signed. But also, artists would use the site. Like a lot of Emo bands would do that and TikTok’s kind of taken on that similar format. Some artists would be pushed on by their fans and other artists are kind of promoting their music. i think what’s really important about the comparison is like who’s gonna make the impact on the world on the longevity outside of TikTok?
We’re very fortunate to have the most amazing audiences that still want to come to our shows and have a listen from TikTok and want to get to know us more, and also want to like come to our gigs. Like we have a sold out show which is absolutely amazing. It was the same with MySpace like So many artists were so big on there but when it fell, a lot of them did too - but some of them who had already pioneered their career further than the site - and I think TikTok is just like that. Using it to your advantage.
A - There will be apps like TikTok in the future as well just because everything goes through peaks. The people who survived MySpace like Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, built their career not only on Myspace and that’s what we’re doing as well.
L - I think it’s definitely like helped a lot of artists as well with their marketing so we found out that on Instagram we would get quite a lot of hate comments from reels and things like that because it just wasn’t targeting our audience. We were wondering why everyone was being so nasty on this site whereas with TikTok they’re like lovely. We realised that it was literally just because the algorithm on TikTok is *so specific* so you will always land on the right pages and you will find the right people who will connect with our music and that’s how we’ve landed where we are. Because we’ve literally found who we were looking for and so many more people past that.
H - We’re just so thankful for the people who initially first started using ‘Come Over’ - We were fortunate enough that a lot of trans creators and influencers were using the song as kind of regaining themselves in the most magical way and from that, that gave a lot of people a voice and from that, a lot of people saw that. And you know that’s because our fandom go ‘These queer people are gonna love Crawlers.’ And they were right and it’s been amazing seeing how it’s really blown up and people recognize us from that song - and that part because especially its like that part of the song is about something so horrible - you know that Liv’s had to go through and when we were writing it, it was like ‘well this is brutal.’
L - It’s horrible.
H - for these people to kind of reclaim a lot with that lyrics that’s cause so much hurt, it’s amazing.
L - It really was kind of like mind-blowing to see obviously having lived through the context of that verse - and seeing how people have used it to kind of help express their own pain and like Holl said, sort of claim their self-worth back and kind of having that space to kind of vent about how they felt and you know helped them feel like calling people out and things like that. It really was like ‘Oh my god.’ Like how positivity has come out of so much negativity. It really was incredible.
H - We talk about everyday just how amazing people have been.
9. Are there any underrated artists you're listening to at the moment or someone people should listen to ?
A - I’m really into self-esteem at the minute, she’s an artist from Sheffield in the UK and she’s like got a bit of an audience in England but in America not so much. But she’s incredible and her lyrics are so different to what people usually sing about. A lot of it is women’s experiences when they’re in their mid to late 20s maybe even 30s - she’s just like sick, yeah.
L - Danger Dog.
A - That’s our friend.
L - He’s a midwest emo artist on SoundCloud.
A - Yeah. He’s cool.
E - For America, The Chats. Cause they’re big in the UK and Australia but no one’s really heard of them out here. They’re just a really small garage punk trio. Nothing fancy but they are sick.
H - The Lathoms.