In conversation with Crux

A six track counting EP was released by Newcastle band Crux, their powerful and energetic alternative rock sound is vigorously distorted. We felt it was time to talk to Crux and get to know the band more before their big take-off. We’ll start at the beginning.

How did Crux come to be? “Jake (lead guitar) and I (rhythm guitar, keyboards, and vocals) were in a band in sixth form and stayed in Newcastle when everyone left for university, and we wanted to continue making music. We became Crux after Hallam (bass) joined the band in October 2014, we were previously called Renaissance at sixth form, a bad name, we know. We’ve been playing gigs in and around Newcastle ever since and recording demos. Joe (drums) joined the band in January 2020 and we recorded the EP with this line-up.” On the EP we hear the band’s memorable sound with one of our favourite songs ‘Bigg Market’ being the second on there.

What inspired your new EP? “A plethora of music, literature, the ever changing political landscape, and our culture in the North East were our biggest inspirations for ‘Death at the Cash Machine’. Personal experiences were also an influence so some of the lyrics wrote themselves. For example, there are verses in ‘Incel’ and ‘Radgie Gadgie’ that we’ve seen with our own eyes. A combination of these factors shaped our lyrics, the instruments we chose, the tones, the melodies, and the rhythm.” The inspiration behind the tracks are what make them relevant as well as mesmerising, their storytelling combined with dark instrumentals set Crux apart from others within their genre.  

Do you think your sound has changed much from your previous releases and if so what influenced this? “Our sound has changed massively to previous demos we released back in 2015 and 2016. Back when we first started, we were quite naïve to the recording process, so we’d try to rush and record as many songs in one day as possible. As a result, the songs would sound nowhere near as good as we wanted. We’ve learnt to really value studio time and invest in spending as much time to make the song as good as it can be.”

Besides that, the band’s influences have also changed, “Our musical influences have also shifted over the past few years with Hallam and Joe adding a lot of progressive rock elements to the rhythm, they’re both massively into Porcupine Tree and Tool. Jake and I have really changed our guitar tones, the pedal board is ever expanding but we’re both much more aware of our sound. I’ve also listened to a lot more post-punk (IDLES, Slaves, De Staat) and started reading Irvine’s Welsh’s novels which have really influenced my lyrics, especially in this EP.”

What do you hope this EP will achieve? “We hope that people enjoy it, and that there’s an emotional connection to our songs. We do what we do because we absolutely love making music, so for even a few dozen people to love what we do will make it special. In terms of our career, it would be nice for the EP to solidify our status in the North East music scene and expand our audience, allowing for new opportunities in terms of gigs and festivals, knocking on the door of independent labels.” The distinct sound of ‘Incel’ shows the band’s progression and how they have found a sound that works for them and their story, its more thoughtful soundscape and slightly warmer vocals make for a very refined song!

What are some of your future plans and goals? “Gigs are starting to pick up again so for the immediate future we’d love to keep picking up support slots, growing our audience to a point where we can go on a tour ourselves. We’d also love to play a few festivals next year, we’ve only played a handful in the past so we’re hoping that summer 2022 brings a couple more. Meanwhile, we’re writing and rehearsing new music, we’re really excited with how it’s sounding so expect us to be back in the studio soon…”

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