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You Need to Hear This

We Got Tattooed and Talked Space Cows With Crows

"I’ve got a porcelain ornament of a cow with a spaceman helmet on at my house."

All photos by William Coutts

There’s a melancholic heart that is beating strong in the modern indie rock climate. Like the alt. scene of the past, bands are adopting darkness and macabre into their image, as if for no other reason than to distance themselves from the nauseating sparkle of EDM and R'n'B. Crows’ brooding new siren song, "Silver Tongues", evokes that gloomy celebration of all things Cave and Curtis. Paired with their transfixing stage presence and their infatuation with loud volumes, their gigs are sonically and visually exhilarating.


Unless they’re, say, Diamanda Galas or Gaahl from Gorgoroth, it’s rare that the musicians are half as sombre and troubled as their music suggests. When I arrived at a warehouse in Tottenham to find Crows shooting fireworks from the roof and giving each other homemade tattoos, I had no choice but to partake in all of the above in order to truly understand the band and the music.

Noisey: Alright Crows! Tell me about your music…

James Cox: Errrm…

Steve Goddard: It’s pretty dark, psych-influenced garage rock stuff I suppose.

Who are your influences?

James: As a singer I’ve always been into country music and Elvis.

Jith Amarasinghe: I grew up listening to hardcore and heavy bands. We all came from different musical backgrounds but we came together to create one particular sound. I really like live performances that really hit you in the chest and you feel them in your gut. I’m drawn to things that are very loud and big-sounding!

What kind of things do you write about in your lyrics?

James: I have quite minimal lyrics and I often repeat the lines. I like repetition in music in general. It can be about anything, somebody that I know, or it can be me just saying what’s happening in my head.

What else influences you? Movies?

Steve: Tarantino.

Jith: Old Hammer Horror stuff and Nosferatu shit. Anything that might have a very sparse narrative but looks intense.

Steve: David Lynch.

Steve: Our music and videos are a product of our generation. Everyone in our generation takes pieces of past stuff, so in our music there’s some 60s psych influence, some 70s punk and 80s post-punk stuff. It’s an amalgamation of all of this and that’s the same with our visual stuff; taking bits and pieces and making something that is our own. Artwork-wise we’ve always had this plan to work with Elliot Lane.


James: Sadly nowadays if something doesn’t look good people don’t give it a chance.

Your music is pretty gloomy, are you depressed people? :(

James: No man, we’re chilled!

Jith: I think it’s just more fun performing that way. Because the music is gloomy and dark it’s much more fun to play and makes more of an impact. It means you can make it a really visual thing.

What is Crows' touring life like? Is it all about Grey Goose and groupies?

James: I wish, we just drink as much beer as there is!

Steve: Onstage we just try and be as loud as possible. It’s intense.

James: I like to spit and get properly into it, get all my anger out and then afterwards I just chill.

Your single "Silver Tongues" used to be called "Space Cow." What the hell is a space cow?

Steve: It’s just a cow from space! We had a lot of working titles; "Walking The Space Cow", "Hammer Of The Gods" and "Tubular".

Lawrence Rushworth: I’ve got a porcelain ornament of a cow with a spaceman helmet on at my house. I wouldn’t know what songs we were playing if we didn’t write the ridiculous working titles on our set lists.

James: We wrote "Silver Tongues" when we were super gone that’s why it’s so slow and repetitive.

What’s your favourite music to get messed up to?

Steve: "Lick The Chalice" is pretty good, by a guy called Guinney Pepper. He makes the noise of a bong with his mouth. We went to Amsterdam recently and our mate was playing all this 90s shoegaze/noise kind of stuff and we were totally wasted. It’s funny for people to see that even though we get hammered a lot we’re still productive. We still go out and do stuff, play gigs and make music.


You’re a lot like George Michael in that respect, he still manages to get out and do stuff…

Jith: We don’t crash as many cars.

You all dressed in drag for Halloween, is this something you do often?

Jith: It’s not the first time. Last year for Halloween I went as Rocky Horror, so I had a corset and suspenders and a long brown coat so I could walk around the party and flash everybody.

Steve: He looks like Halle Berry when he does it. You even had an Instagram account as a woman didn’t you?

Jith: I had to delete it because my mum saw the pictures and she was like “What the hell is this?”

If you could share a stage with anyone, who would it be?

Jith: Slayer. We’d headline with Slayer supporting.

James: Shellac.

Steve: The Cramps would be fun.

James, people might recognise you from your modelling career. Do the two worlds collide at all?

James: I’m retired.

Steve: He’s too old and fat and he got dropped!

You constantly gig, you even did four London dates in a row over Halloween, what motivates you to work so hard?

James: I just wanna play sick gigs.

Jith: I’d happily go on tour for like six months at a time and not make any money out of it.

James: We just want to play great shows and put out music and not have a future that involves working in a pub!

So what’s next for Crows?

Steve: We’ve got an album written. We’re holding on to it for the minute but we might just release it ourselves. We’ve self-released our singles so far from our indie, family-run label called Dolphinarium.


Jith: Nobody decides what we release apart from us. We put out music when we want!

I hear that. DIY and space cows forever. Cheers boys!

Buy their single "Silver Tongues" from iTunes here.

Follow Jak on Twitter: @JAK_TH

All photos by William Coutts