Having spent the last year or so building up their reputation for bright and upbeat indie-rock jams, Newcastle-based outfit Crux now return with their latest belter 'Slaving Away'.
Looking to inject a heavy dose of fun back into the scene, 'Slaving Away' makes for an instantly memorable return for the four-piece. Filled with catchy hooks, insatiable melodies, and a singalong chorus to boot, expect to be humming this one hours after you first hear it.
So with the single out and about, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
I was lucky enough to see AC/DC on their Black Ice tour in 2008. I was 12 at the time and I was absolutely mesmerised watching Angus Young play the guitar. 3 months later, I got my first guitar, a Gibson SG replica and I’ve never looked back. My teenage years would’ve been a lot more angsty without the escape of playing the guitar.
I also love the piano, the different tones you can get from playing different notes, or how softly or hard you play the piano can really reflect completely contrasting moods. For instance the first few notes of Moonlight Sonata or Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 instantly change your state of mind. And it’s something I don’t think any other instrument can do.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Even when I first started writing songs, my lyrics always seemed to reflect on societal and political observations, and the endless issues that the world are currently facing whether it’s Mark Zuckerberg ending democracy as we know it, the ice caps melting, or the global pandemic, these horrific issues serve a constant feed of inspiration for me. I’m unsure how anyone can have writer’s block in these times. This and a cocktail mixture of personal experiences, and the inspiration of other music creates our sound.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
We all absolutely adored Muse and classic rock as teenagers. Hallam and I’s obsession with Muse was maybe a bit extreme, we were bordering on being fan boys. Playing Muse b-sides at practice is one of our favourite pass-times.
What inspires you to make music?
Probably some narcissistic ego defence that defines its self worth on the rare compliments we get and a delusional determination to prove any doubters wrong. Any sane person would’ve packed in by now.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I’ve just recently discovered The Lathums, I love their new single ‘I See Your Ghost’. I’ve also recently returned to listening to Pink Floyd’s album ‘Wish You Were Here’, the lyrics, the synth, the guitar solos, the gospel choir, just come together to make absolute auditory bliss. I’ve also currently got a bit of Stendhal Syndrome (Thanks for the fancy words IDLES) for Across the Universe by The Beatles, and I love the Fiona Apple cover too. I’m still yet to decide if I prefer the cover to the original, which I’m sure will be blasphemy for any hardcore Beatles fans.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Our first two singles aren’t really about specific people, but we’ve written many other songs that we play live that are about people in our life. We probably don’t write enough about people in our lives though; especially considering the wonderful friends and family we’ve got.
What has been the funniest moment in your career so far?
At our first few gigs we thought it would be good to break silences between songs by telling jokes. Our bassist Hallam would always tell the following joke which still makes me chuckle.
‘What’s the difference between a frog and a turd?’
‘One Hops and the other plops.’
These jokes would usually be met with looks of awkward astonishment from people who paid to see us, and utter contempt from other bands we were playing with. And this particular joke always provoked the most confused response. I look back and think it’s hilarious now.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
The fan boy within us still lives and breathes: Muse.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I like to think I would’ve been a footballer if it wasn’t for my dodgy ankles and knees - I write this with a fractured ankle and torn ankle ligaments. Also, I’m nowhere near good enough, but I like to think alternatively, probably similarly to music. Had I not somehow been a footballer then we’d probably all just continue the 9-5 office jobs we’ve currently got and live a nice average life, which nowadays is something to be grateful for.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as musicians?
Jim Lowe who produced our new single ‘Slaving Away’ advised us never to lose our identity in our music, otherwise we wouldn’t have the determination and drive in the recording and marketing process. I think this advise is invaluable, what is music without soul? Without the creator stamping their identity on the song? The answer probably lies somewhere in the charts.
Crux's new single 'Slaving Away' is out now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.