Crowhurst have an extensive catalogue that bears reflecting upon, yet recent release I is garnering more respect than ever. I love when a project goes full on Willie Nelson / Swans/ Smashing Pumpkins/Neil Young style where the artist releases just a ton of material throughout their career. It’s not even about being less calculated, as Crowhurst ringleader and renaissance man Jay Gambit clearly puts care into each release, from the musical ground up to the visuals. This is to noise and blackened industrial what All Out War’s Dying Gods is to metalcore, the real genuine fuckin’ deal, kids.
Read our conversation BELOW.
Crowhurst’s “black oceans” intro reminds me of like a neurosis heavy queensryche. haha. why do i feel this way?
I can tell you that a lot of the lineup for I was super influenced by Neurosis, myself included – and I think that played a heavy role in it. I’m not sure where everyone else’s views on Queensryche lay but I definitely dig them.
Yeah, Queensryche rules. this record is immersive front to back, full of sheer cliff faces of noise and dynamic charge, leaps, bounds and dirge. It doesn’t ever drop the ball. What does this album mean to you, right now?
This record is definitely a document of an evolution in the project. After 60+ albums and a rotating cast of characters in the live lineup, the shift turned towards writing something that encapsulated what the core group had all felt was reflective of the combination of all of our musical views.
The next LP is completely different, despite having a lot of the same sonic elements and is again – reflective of the musical views of the whole group. Crowhurst has always about being a cauldron for various sounds, from the massive noise orgies of sound that came on our first few tours around the country to the honed in sound of I and now II.
It sounds like unconventional means might have been used to procure some of the vocal sounds?
Honestly, all of the vocal tracks were done in one take with the exception of the singing part in “It Is The Mercy”, which was double tracked. I just kind of have influences all over the place so I guess some of that bleeds into the way I did vocals on these tracks. I hate trying to describe my own voice because it makes me feel like kind of an egotistical prick, but I guess I feel like it’s got a bit of glassjaw and a bit of Darkthrone and all sorts of stuff in between.
I love your use of distance, onslaught, mushed up styles and the range of instrumentation. what were some of the more enjoyable passages to ratify/realize?
Honestly, the final track and “It Is The Mercy” were my favorites. From concept to execution, every part of those were fun to do.
What else is going on/ what have you been up to?
I’m in the process of writing the followup to this with Andy from Caïna. It’s called II and it’s got artwork by Reuben Sawyer and a layout by Jim Swill. It sounds exactly like I want it to sound and I’m flying to Manchester to record it in September, and then it goes to Keith Souza at Machines With Magnets for mixing and mastering. Andy Gibbs of Thou is doing a guest spot on a cover of a Bruce Springsteen demo.
can you discuss the cover art of the album? how did the impressive collaboration come about?
I’m just really lucky to have been able to contact Nicole and Johnny and have them say yes. I gave Nicole no prompt and Johnny very little and they both came up with work that was beyond my wildest imagination or expectations.
do you feel some people still confuse black metal as only the drums, make up and picking style of the early second wave bands?
I mean, some do- but if you look at acts like Mamaleek, Wold, Venowl, Auditor, or any of the other groups that are really paving the way for new expressions within the genre. I’m certainly no authority on black metal or noise though, I just make what sounds good with people who I respect and admire.
do you think jazz as a narrative in music will rise up more strongly again and find a resurgence in more popular culture in the future? i’m curious to see what lines blur further as pop, noise, electronic music and the strange hyper speed horizon of meetings media and social styles of the world evolves. the information age is still young, if you discount the advent of computers and preceding rise of mathematics.
One thing I’m really hoping for is to see more of that jazz influence seeping into different forms of music. Orenda Records puts out some beautifully genre defying jazz that sounds every bit as avant and interesting as the stuff that groundbreaking labels like Utech puts out and appeals to the same core audience.
did you get spiritual making this fucker? also, how was working with Eugene?
A lot of this album deals with getting over chemical and emotional dependencies. I definitely put a lot of my body, heart and soul into the making of the record. Again, it sounds super pretentious but I guess I would say that was definitely a spiritual experience, to answer your question directly. The spiritual element is that catharsis. That’s why I make music. To get that out.
And Eugene is the greatest of all time. Hands down.