02 September 2009

A Boy Named Crow Answers 5

I am always out to discover new music that moves me, and my latest discovery is A Boy Named Crow. For this I thank the Internet, as they are an unsigned band out of Birmingham that I discovered through MySpace. This is definitely one of those bands that has something different to offer… something that is best described as “organic.” Though it may be quick to conclude that this has something to do with the acoustic line-up, the reality is that it really has everything to do with their emotive approach to composing music. This is not your generic band! And I would like to thank Jez Diaper (piano) for taking the time to Answer 5.

Photograph by James Butroid

1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Our influences musically are pretty vast and range from classical to indie/alt/folk. In terms of classical composers we love Gorecki, Sibelius, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Grieg... On the modern side our main influences are Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Elbow, Nick Drake, Mercury Rev and The National. We love anything that is passionate with a heart-felt sincerity, and I think ultimately that is what we try and get across in our own music. Aside from the music, we love literature – Kafka, T.S. Eliot and Dante are amongst our favourite authors. Matt often writes about his own personal experiences so love, loss, memory and passion always influence our music in some way shape or form.

2. A Boy Named Crow – interesting name; how did the band form and how did you settle on the name?

Matt had been in bands for a few years but then decided to go solo after his last band parted ways. The formation of Crow was pretty organic with Ed (drums and percussion) joining first, having found Matt on MySpace. Mike (cello) met Matt at a gig and I joined a few weeks later after meeting Matt at University through mutual friends. We did a few gigs accompanying Matt and soon realized the sound had progressed into a band. Thus A Boy Named Crow was born. The name is taken from Haruki Murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore,' which is one of our favourite books. The power and beauty of music as a communicative medium is central to the novel – and this is what we hope to get across when people listen to our songs.

3. Already you guys have been compared to some of the best songwriters in musical history; how do you approach your song writing (both instrument and lyrics)?

A lot of the time Matt already has a template of the songs completed and so Ed, Mike and myself will then add our own embellishments to them. Our only approach when adding our parts is to always try to capture the mood and sentiment of the song. Sometimes it’s an instantaneous process; other songs can take months before we're happy with them.

Photograph by James Butroid

4. This is a broadband world and the Internet has revolutionized the music industry. How has the Internet been an advantage and disadvantage to you?

I think the Internet is very much a double-edged sword. On the plus side getting your music heard has never been easier what with MySpace, Lastfm etc, but as a result it is becoming increasingly difficult for really good bands to get the attention they deserve as there is so much music out there. So far for us it has mainly been an advantage, as we are able to spread the word on our music all over the country and beyond to people who would not otherwise have heard it.

5. Ultimately it is about great music (check) and connecting with fans. How has your reception been in the UK and do you have any words for us Americans who are starting to discover you?

Thanks, yeah I would totally agree with that. The reception has been good so far; we've already played some festivals and supported the likes of The Walkmen, so things are starting off pretty well. We have our EP launch penciled in for later in 2009, which is exciting. Hmm, I would say keep your eyes peeled for our EP and continue to support up and coming bands.

Keep up with A Boy Named Crow at their homepage and MySpace.

This would be an excellent time to mosey on down to MySpace and take a listen to the band, and if you like, click that “Add Friend” feature. Support the band and keep an eye out for their upcoming release.

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