Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Interview - Crocodiles - 6.26.12 - Brillobox - Show Preview - Concert Preview

This Tuesday, 6.26 Crocodiles will be appearing at the Brillobox. The San Diego five piece just released their latest album Endless Flowers via Frenchkiss Records this past June. The new record was recorded in Berlin with the sounds of the 60's and 80's breaking through the distortion. Brandon Welchez was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about the new album, their San Diego roots, comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain and recording in Berlin. And of course we have a pair of tickets to the show for giveaway courtesy of our good friends at Opus One. As usual, just email us your name at to enter. 

You are now a five piece compared to a trio. How have the added members contributed to the new album? In a live setting? Did it work well in studio?

We've been touring with Marco, Anna and Robin for over two years now, so it definitely feels like a family. We have a lot of fun but we bicker, bitch and moan too. The highs and lows of touring life definitely inform each show. I'm sure our mood can be read on our faces from show to show. Their presence made the studio situation very smooth and very fun. It felt like a party a lot of the time. They are all excellent musicians so the recording aspect went very stress-free.

Do you get sick of the comparisons with Jesus and Mary Chain? It appears you are constantly linked together. Do you feel that connection?

I guess it could be worse, at least they are a decent band. It's mildly annoying to be misunderstood but I just remind myself that half of my favorite bands were misunderstood. It's usually people with shallow frames of reference who make such lazy comparisons. We don't feel any significant connection to any of the bands we're most commonly compared to. We're not a shoegaze band and we're not trying to do some spin on '80s indie. We do shit loads of covers and always talk about bands we love; that should make it pretty apparent where we're coming from. Some of the dumber journalists have a hard time grasping that Dee Lite and the Kids could have equal influence over a band.

The artwork to the new album is quite a conceptual piece. Who is the model? Is there a theme behind it?

The model is a friend of ours, Jesus, from San Diego. Marco Gonzalez, our bass player, took the photograph. We wanted the cover to be wide open; it's really interesting to see the reactions we've gotten. Some people think it belongs on a gallery wall and others have seen it as pornography. 

What is the difference thematically from Sleep Forever and your new album Endless Flowers?

I don't think there is much of a difference in the themes on this record lyrically speaking. We really only write two kinds of songs, love songs and hate songs. 

How was recording the album in Berlin? It’s quite the modern city compared to others in Europe. Did the area have any influence on your process?

Berlin was incredible. We've spent a lot of time in Europe and Berlin had always been one of our favorite cities. It definitely influenced the album, though I can't really say how. You just feel incredibly free there. It's cheap, no one really breathes down your neck about anything, it's great.

You are from San Diego how is the music scene there? How did it affect you growing up?

So many amazing bands have come from San Diego. When I was 14, I started going to punk shows and I was just totally swept away. There was this band the Spent Idols who were these burnt-out 40 year olds who did xerox '77 punk and predominately did covers. It was pretty cheesy looking back, but as this stuff was all so new to me it was inspiring to see bands playing Johnny Thunders and Cherry Vanilla covers. As I grew up I got more entrenched in the real underground punk scene that was going on at the time. Very fucked up, screamy, arty punk made by kids. I missed bands like Vicious Ginks and Antioch Arrow by a few years but I was around for Go Go Go Airheart and early Rapture, when they lived in San Diego, and bands like that.There is still a really cool scene in San Diego now with bands like Heavy Hawaii and Plateaus and a bunch of others.

The album is a bit more poppier than your past. Was this an intentional or was it a natural progression?

We've always tried to write pop songs, I think we're just getting better at it. Everything from our first single to our most recent was written as a pop song.

What do you think of the current media/social music world? Now being a solo artist is it difficult/time consuming to maintain a relationship with fans/public?

No, it's really easy. Our email address is out there and we always write back. 

With albums being able to d/l for free, what changes need to be made to maintain an ‘indie’ act such as yourself? What modifications need to be made in your opinion?

Unfortunately, there isn't much of an option but to pay for music if you want to support an artist you like. No bands, even bands you might think do, make much money on the road. It doesn't bum me out that people pirate our music, if anything I'm happy that people are interested and I'm also not saying that I've never stolen music online. But it doesn't make it any easier for us to feed ourselves.

What are your upcoming goals? What would you like to accomplish?
We want to write a song at least as good as Tommy James' "Crimson & Clover". If we ever feel like we've achieved that, we'll probably quit. Until then we're gonna just keep plugging away.

What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?

No, not really. Just an overwhelming desire to do something interesting with my life. Music is the only thing I have a remote talent for and I knew I didn't want to slave away in an office or do menial labor or be tied to any one place or be hassled by some boss so I had to give it a go.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

It's been a long time, Pittsburgh...

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