"You can have the best sounding record on the planet, but if you ain’t got the songs, what’s the point?" - hmv.com talks to Those Damn Crows
Hard-working hard-rockers Those Damn Crows return this week with a new album, Point Of No Return.
Recorded with Colin Richardson and Andy Sneap, whose credits include Funeral For A Friend, While She Sleeps, Slipknot and Machine Head, the album is a hard-edged slick record, a step up from their debut, Murder And The Motive.
With Point of No Return now on shelves in hmv stores, we spoke to frontman Shane Greenhall about how they put it together...
When did you start working on the songs for Point Of No Return?
"We’ve been continuously writing since the release of our first album Murder And The Motive. There were a few songs that have been kicking around for some time, songs like 'Going Down' and 'Devil In My Pocket'. A couple of tweaks and they were ready to record. But, I'd say, the majority of the new songs were constructed in a short two month period."
How did you want this album to move on from what you did on Murder and the Motive? Did you have a goal of how you wanted it to sound?
"I think we just concentrated on the songs, to be honest. That is fundamentally the most important thing as a band. We knew we had confirmed working with Colin Richardson, Chris Clancy, and Andy Sneap, so we knew the sound of the record was in safe hands. You can have the best sounding record on the planet, but if you ain’t got the songs, what’s the point?"
You did the album with Colin Richardson, Chris Clancy, Andy Sneap, what did they give you as producer and engineer? They’ve worked on some pretty big records...
"Working, jamming, and recording at Andy’s studio was amazing! His attention to detail, setting up, his collection of amps and guitars was awesome! Judas Priest's rehearsal room was very inspiring, we would all jam out the song we decided to record that day in the Priest room first, then Ron (Huxford, drums) would jump straight into the drum room to record, capturing that energy from the drums was fundamentally the foundation to the entire recording process."
"Colin and Chris are an amazing team to work with; their attention to detail and skills was only matched by their passion in creating the best record possible. They believed in this as much as we did!"
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"Lyrically some of the songs on the record are the most brutally honest songs I’ve ever written, some are just an exaggeration of events, that’s the beauty of storytelling. But there is a theme, throughout the entire record. There are consequences to all our actions once you’ve consciously made those decisions, you can’t undo what’s been done. you are at your ‘Point Of No Return’..."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"It was probably ‘Go Get It’ - it was all about getting the riff and the power behind that riff rhythmically right guitar-wise. It’s a very simple riff but one that everyone had to be on the same page, as we were all doing the same thing as opposed to separate, individual parts."
And which came together most quickly?
"It was probably ‘Be You’ - it took shape extremely quickly."
When did you decide on Point Of No Return for the album title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We wrote a song called ‘Point Of No Return’ years back, but it didn’t make the first record. It just fitted the lyrical aspect of the album as well as the decisions some of us have made, having given up jobs, and giving this band our everything. Can’t go back now! Point of no return!"
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We love playing live and can’t wait to play it to our fans who have been patiently waiting for new Crows material, we’ve just been announced to do three UK shows with Monster Magnet, so we’ll be playing a couple of the new tracks off the album, but it’s our headline tour where you’ll get to hear what the album sounds like live! The tour kicks off February 4th in Newcastle and we'll be playing all over the country then! We're lining up a few in-stores on those dates too."
How are your festival plans shaping up? Is it looking like a busy summer?
"We’re playing the main stage at this year's Ramblin Man Fair in July for starters and have lots in the pipeline, but can’t say too much as the powers that be haven’t announced as yet, all we can say is that we’re very excited about where the new album, festivals, and shows can take us this year!"