Crow Interview: the Band Not the Movie

Modesto, Californian's Crow caught up with me to discuss this new formation of rock n' roll. Blending the combination of Alice in Chains meets Pantera; Crow have built a solid ground for what they want out of this project. But this isn’t the only project that has been created; Wooden Jesus was formed using some of the same members of Crow so by doing this a whole another reality has been built.
1. So you have to tell me does the name Crow have any reference to the film of the same name? Have you seen any of those films?

Andrew :  I’ve always been a huge fan of Black Sabbath, Pantera, COC, DOWN, Metallica, Sepultura, Alice, GnR, Zep, Floyd, Skynyrd etc.,  these are all the bands I grew up listening to and are heavily influenced by and initially wanted to form a band in that same vein musically.  I was writing these riffs and songs and knew I needed a name for the project so I decided to call it Stoned Crow and then eventually just Crow. Then I started playing with Zach and we would jam on Crow and material that would later become Wooden Jesus with him on drums. Then Wooden Jesus formed and we just kept working on Crow whenever we could until now. So to answer your question, no., and no.......I did have the soundtrack though haha.

2. How about telling me about the band, why did you want to create this project? Is it different than your other project, Wooden Jesus or would you say the same?

Zach:  Like Andrew mentioned, we’ve always wanted to have a band like this, writing music like Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Pantera ya know, just heavy shit that moves, shit that can groove out or be aggressive as fuck ya know, different moods all in one song, whatever we want to do.   Andrew had songs from way back when, that were grouped under the name Crow back in like 2002. Years later around 2009, I had a few songs together that I’d been messing around with that were in this same vein so Andy and I started jamming on them and we ended up calling Eric because we always wanted to jam with him.  Wooden Jesus was doing their thing, Eric was in a band called SEIP and they were doing their thing at the time, so it was just us jamming around.

So we got together and Eric really liked the riffs and we were all really excited about the energy and the potential of the project.  I ended up having to move to Reno NV for work so everything was put on hold for a while.  Wooden Jesus recorded our album while I was in Reno, and I was only over there for about 3 months so right when I got back we hit Eric up and let him know we wanted to get this thing going again.  Eric mentioned that Josh and Mikey were both interested so we started talking about getting together to kind of feel things out and see who was gonna do what, cause I was originally going to play guitar and Josh was going to play bass.  Josh was one of the guitar players in SEIP and Mikey was the original bass player in SEIP but was in another band at the time.

Right in the mix of us meeting up and hanging out SEIP broke up which meant this was no longer a side project for Eric and Josh.  Now that this was their main band Josh really wanted to play guitar and I was really torn between drums and guitar, but with Josh being such a great player I thought it would be best for the band if I went to drums which I’m totally cool with.  So with me making the move to drums and Josh going to guitar we needed a bass player.  From the start we wanted this band to be made up of buddies ya know, making sure the personalities were right was just as important as everything else, so the first name that Eric and Josh brought for a bass player was Mikey which made sense because he was a friend of all of ours and he wasn’t happy with the band he was with, the line up was set.  Andy and I were already kinda calling this thing Crow so we were just really hoping all the guys would like the name, lol.

Crow is very different from Wooden Jesus, musically, the writing process, just the personalities within the band are very different.  With Wooden Jesus Andy writes all of the music while I’ve contributed a very small amount of the lyrics it’s pretty much all him. As far as Crow goes I’ve brought in songs, Andy has brought in some great songs as well, Josh has brought in some really cool riffs to round out songs and really cool parts.  Eric writes all of the lyrics and contributes, along with Mikey to arrangements, and melodies, so it’s a little different as far as the song writing process goes.  This whole thing is still very, very new so we are still learning and shaping as a whole so it’s been really exciting.

Eric: Like Zach said earlier on, we all wanted this project to be good crunchy metal, something you can bang your head to as well as understand, and break down. In my previous band S.E.I.P. it just seemed like we weren’t gonna make it too far because of petty differences, everything just got heavier and faster, which is not always a bad thing. It just seemed like we had lost our drive and it became more of a job than a hobby, a job you didn’t get paid for, which sucks. So with this project we are fixing those problems before they tear us apart like S.E.I.P., so it’s definitely different from my last project or I wouldn’t do it. lol!! The biggest thing on my list was to get a demo out ASAP, it just seemed like our last band procrastinated to the fullest extent, so we all set down and laid out where we want to be, and how we're gonna do it. So far so good.

Mikey: Well I was playing in another band that I wasn’t happy with the direction it was going, Eric had hit me up talking about starting a new project with Zach and Andy from Wooden Jesus and talked about what direction they wanted to go with the music and I was all for it. We pretty much all grew up liking the same type of music and still listen to those same bands, next thing I knew Crow was formed, and I’ve been loving the music we have been making ever since.

3. Who's all in the band and who does what?

Vocals – Eric Doran
Guitar – Josh Gonzales
Guitar – Andrew Thrasher
Bass – Mike Lemley
Drums – Zach Lucero-Thrasher

4. Since the band's formation you've played few shows on/off what has the crowd's reaction been thus far? How was the headlining gig get positive or negative feedback?

Zach:  Man it’s been really good, there’s an actual buzz about this band, there was anticipation.  A lot of people that followed S.E.I.P. were really curious to see what was up.  People that follow Wooden Jesus really wanted to see what we were up to with Crow.  And then people really just wanted to see what we would being doing together between the two bands members, especially because SEIP and Wooden Jesus were pretty different sounding bands.  The first show was really cool, great turnout.

Eric: It was a bit nerve racking after not playing for six months or so. You keep asking yourself " are we ready?", but once you get back on stage and get going, well it’s just like sex, just because you haven’t done it in awhile doesn’t mean you don’t know how. lol! But ya, it’s been really good, and every time we play, we get tighter and tighter, starting to feel like home.

Mikey: I think it went pretty good, people already knew around the area that S.E.I.P. had broken up and the former members were starting a new band in a different direction, not just “the heavier the better”.  With Wooden Jesus already being an established band in the area there was a really good turn-out and, the crowd’s response to the music was great.

5. Would Wooden Jesus and Crow ever play a show together?

Zach:  Ya know, at first I was all about that, logistically it makes sense, you go out with one band on a tour, or a couple of shows or whatever, you take both bands and you get more bang for your buck, but I don’t know now.  These bands are SOOO different, not so much the music but just dynamics and personalities in general I don’t know if it would work, we’ll see.

Mikey: That would be completely up to Zach and Andy, but like they said before, the styles are not the same and I would rather have them focusing on one band at a time.

Eric: I agree with Zach, I want everyone to focus on this project when it comes to shows. I think it would be too much of a mind fuck for these guys to play two different genres of music on the same night and give one hundred percent to both.

6. What about 2010 what else does it have in store for Crow for the remainder of this year leading into next year?

Zach:  We are so antsy right now, (at least I am!) we’re really making things go right now and its going to lay down the ground work for an amazing 2011.  We had a big show at the Knitting Factory in Reno, NV October 28th with Dirt Communion and White Witch Canyon which was great. We have another headlining slot at the Fat Cat in Modesto on 11/20 to get our demo out there which we just finished.  We really pushed to finish the demo so we would have it in hand for Reno, but with it being so last minute we didn’t even get to listen to it or adjust levels before taking it up there so it is a rough mix but it gets the point across. With the holidays coming up we are just focusing on key shows until the New Year.  We just booked studio time for our debut full length album in late January with Adam Ruppell (Systematic) at Pro View Studios.  We are reeeeeeaalllly pumped to work with Adam. I think we are on the same page on so many levels I’m really looking forward to it.

Mikey: I’m actually really excited about what we are doing right now we just got done with the demo that I’m happy about, it’s been awhile since I have been in a studio and it felt great to be back in there again we had a great show in Reno where the crowd response was amazing it seemed like we could not stop handing out demos and when is are next show, I think we are really looking forward to getting the full length recorded and finished by the middle of the next year  and getting merchandise out there for are fans, I can’t wait for next year.

7. Why should people listen to your band?

Eric: I think people will find what they’re looking for in Crow, we touch ground on so many genres which makes easy to relate to. You can take one of our songs and relate it to an aspect in your own life, even if that’s not what the lyrics meant to me when I wrote them. That’s why I think we'll grab your ass up and not let go!

Zach:  There are so many bullshit bands out there right now, I know you’ve heard this same shit a thousand times but it’s true. All these metal bands sound the fucking same.  All these rock bands on the radio all sound the fucking same.  We are writing shit we love to listen to, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Skynyrd, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, we love that shit and that’s what we’re doing, not that I’m comparing us to them, but that’s what inspires us in the band when we write.  I feel like such an asshole when I’m talking to someone about music and they start naming off all of these new bands or even bands that have been around for a while that I don’t know of, and don’t give two shits about, because I seriously listen to like 10 bands (regularly), there are more than that, that I actually listen to every once in a while, but for the most part it’s like 10 bands.  I have a group of bands that I really like and I don’t give a fuck what else is out there, until I hear it and like it, then I’ll listen to them too, lol.  Like this band Graveyard that I stumbled onto, they are fucking amazing, if you haven’t heard them check them out.

Mikey:  We make great fucking music, we write what we love and we all have a different influence in this band, I love the different styles we incorporate in each song it’s like a blender of good music. We’re not looking to write some song that gets played all over the radio. It’s hard to determine what band is playing what anymore, music has changed so much since I was younger it seems more about image then what your writing or playing, don’t get me wrong, no disrespect to the newer metal or rock, It’s just not what influences me to play music.

8. For the people that don’t know who Crow is what should they know?

Mikey: If you’re in the area check us out, grab a demo, full length coming soon.

Eric: Watch the fuck out cause here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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