The Crookes is a pop rock band that has been influenced ’60s Motown, girl groups and modern pop music. The members met while in college in 2008 in Sheffield, England.
“We have collaborated a few times with Richard Hawley, who was always a massive inspiration to us. It was a real privilege to work with him,” the band said.
In the beginning, the band played at house parties before going on stage, playing songs about their friends.
“The guitars were out of tune, the vocals came through a bass amp and people usually nicked various pieces of music equipment before the gig had even finished,” the band said. “However, the one thing it taught us was how to put on a good show. Even if people don’t like the music, if you look like you’re going mental on stage, people will probably get into the show.”
The band has worked with other bands as well.
“We had a really interesting conversation with Win Butler from Arcade Fire about how they could improve their live show,” the band said. “We suggested covering Nirvana songs. He thought releasing thousands of helium balloons shaped like various animals would excite the British crowds.”
The band says it has a desire to succeed.
“Perhaps, we have been lucky in (that) the success hasn’t happened over night and we have constantly and still have to constantly work to promote our material and keep improving and writing new material,” the band said.
The Crookes recently released their debut album, “Chasing After Ghosts.”
“We wrote the whole thing in the living room in our big crappy house but chose to do most of the recording with our good friend Matt Peel,” the band said. “He owns a small studio in Leeds and could offer us ‘mates rates,’ which was appealing to us as at the time. I believe we were fairly broke.”
For the band’s future, they said they hope to continue making the music they love.
Band members include:
Alex Saunders: Guitar
Daniel Hopewell: Guitar
George Waite: Bass and vocals
Russell Bates: Drums
Where is the band from? How and when did you form?
The band formed in Sheffield, England in 2008. We all attended university there and started writing songs instead of attending lectures. Fairly boring really!
Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?
The band features four chaps. Alex Saunders on Guitar, Daniel Hopewell who also plays guitar. George Waite on Bass and vocals and Russell Bates on drums.
How did you get your start?
Quite hard to pin point it really. We played a show at a small venue in Sheffield to about 7 people. In the crowd was BBC DJ Steve Lamacq and Jon McClure from British band Reverend and The Makers. They were both a big help early on.
How did you come up with the name The Crookes?
We lived in a place called Crookes, it was on a road sign opposite our house. We were feeling lazy on the day of name choosing.
Who are your influences? Have you been able to contact or play with them?
We are heavily influenced by 60's motown and girl groups as well as modern pop music. We have collaborated a few times with Richard Hawley who was always a massive inspiration to us. It was a real privilege to work with him. Dan would also like to say that he is heavily influence by Fez from 'That 70's Show'.
What was your first gig and what did you learn from it?
We played at numerous house parties before even stepping foot on stage. Here the guitars were out of tune the vocals came through a bass amp and people usually nicked various pieces of music equipment before the gig had even finished. However the one thing it taught us was how to put on a good show. Even if people don't like the music if you look like your going mental on stage people will probably get into the show.
What songs did you perform when you first started?
When we first started we wrote joke songs about our friends, they were called things like 'Ruth in a Box' 'Lucy Brown and I' 'Smokey Mc Smokerson' and 'I can walk for Miles'. These were performed to these people much to their displeasure.
What was the most interesting experience you’ve had in your career?
There really are so many, we actually had a really interesting conversation with Win Butler from Arcade Fire about how they could improve their live show. We suggested covering Nirvana songs he thought releasing thousands of helium balloons shaped like various animals would excite the British crowds.
What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you on the road?
The strangest thing that has ever happened on tour cannot be repeated as it involved felonies by each member of the band.
What is your dream concert and where would it be?
Festival featuring a tasty sample of old and new bands. The Grateful Dead are on stage all day and night. All the bands have to play with them, everyone takes acid. I have a beer with Springsteen and he is a bloody nice guy. Lennon is there and tells me he really respects me as a musician. In my dream I have a beard.
Who writes your music and how do you come up with the ideas for your songs?
We write very collaboratively everyone contributes to the overall idea. The only role taken on by a single member is Lyrics that are entirely written by Daniel.
What inspires you to keep your music going?
Desire to succeed! Perhaps we have been lucky in the success hasn't happened over night and we have constantly and still have to constantly work to promote our material and keep improving and writing new material.
How and where did you create the album “Chasing After Ghosts”?
We wrote the whole thing in the living room in our big crappy house but chose to do most of the recording with our good friend Matt Peel. He owns a small studio in Leeds and could offer us 'mates rates' which was appealing to us as at the time i believe we were fairly broke.
What is the story behind the album?
Daniel has prepared this concise statement to answer this question.
“Every song is concerned with the tension between a bleak reality and escapism through imagination. Specifically, it’s a testament of youth, with most of the songs addressing a sort of loneliness and angst that is particularly painful when you occupy that liminal position between childhood and adulthood.”
There you go.
What are your future goals?
Ideally we would like to become millionaires so we can buy giant boats and race them around the world. Or if not that just to be able to keep making music we love.