Text: Zaza de Vries

Hailing from Warrington in the UK, rock quartet Crawlers exploded into the alternative music scene near the end of 2021 when their song ‘Come over (Again)’ took off on Tiktok. Proving that they’re more than just a one hit wonder or social media hype, the band has amassed a steady fanbase who now know all their songs by heart. Recently Crawlers has released their mixtape ‘Loud Without Noise’. We spoke with the band’s singer Holly Minto and drummer Harry Breen about the past year, their mixtape, and what may be next.

Last year was massive for CRAWLERS, what’s your favourite memory of the past year?
The whole American tour. It’s just nuts isn’t it, it’s like living the dream. Even though most of it was spend in the back of a car for eight hours a day, the general experience was still incredible
Holly: I think it’s kind of iconic that we got to do that so early in our career. We’ve got so many sold out shows, every night was just ridiculous. But I think, my favourite memory as a little ex-emo, or well, still emo really, was opening for My Chemical Romance. Which is stupid, we shouldn’t have been allowed to do that. We’re such a baby band still. It was insane and we managed to sell out a show straight after, it’s really a dream come true.

Speaking of opening for My Chemical Romance, how was it?
Holly: It was insane. We only did one day because Amy (Woodall, guitar) and Liv (Kettle, bass) are from Warrington. My Chem was playing Warrington, I can’t say how silly that was. The guys running the tour for My Chemical Romance kept hyping us up because we’re this new fresh alternative band and we’re from Warrington, so we basically followed them until they gave us the slot, and it worked. It was amazing, we were playing at Amy’s local park and it was huge, the most amount of people we’ve ever seen. Gerard Way (singer My Chemical Romance) said our name on stage and I cried and I threw up.
Harry: It’s weird because Warrington is such a weird town to be playing at. They announced it and everyone in the UK asked themselves why they were playing Warrington.
Holly: Gerard literally said “Hello Manchester” and we were all like: “This is not Manchester, but close enough.”

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself this time last year?
Holly: Put your mental health first. You’re about to go on the trip of a lifetime and get emotionally exhausted from that. You need to start your self care as early as possible. I wasn’t prepared, so when we started touring I became really anxious. So, sorting that out earlier, before the touring and festivals would’ve been easier and more fun.
Harry: Take the time to look around and appreciate what is going on. We’re still struggling with it now because we keep doing one thing straight after another. The America tour went by so quickly, it was a month and it still went so fast.
Holly: Speaking of the America tour, it was crazy. People were actually coming to our gigs and have supported us from the start. They were actually screaming our lyrics while I was wondering, “How do you know who we are, this is nuts.”

 Speaking of live shows, what is your favourite song to play live?
Harry: ‘
Placebo.’ Just because it always goes off.
Holly: Mine is ‘I Can’t Drive’. It’s such a builder, it starts off as this chill song and then it gets the crowd hyped. It’s so good to play at a festival or at a gig. It gets the crowd wild and they scream along. Everyone loves it and I love jumping around.
Harry: I think that’s the best example of one of our songs that sounds better live than on the record.

Two songs, ‘Come Over (Again)’ and ‘Fuck Me (I Didn’t Know How To Say)’ went viral on TikTok often becoming the introduction to your band. But which song out of your discography do you think is the best introduction to Crawlers?
Any song would be a weird introduction. You listen to one song and then you go and listen to another song and it’s nothing like the last one. Every song is different. There’s always going to be a thread of CRAWLERS in every song. But stylistically every song is completely different. I don’t think there’s an all-encompassing introduction to CRAWLERS.
Holly: I agree, we’re so in the beginning of our career we haven’t even got an album out yet. We’re still playing around with our sound and finding out what we’re comfortable with. We’re also in a position of genre bending, because we can. So, I think right now, if you like any of our music, you’re going to like whatever comes to us in the future.

You mentioned an album, is there an album in the works?
We’ve always said we were going to be an album band. We’re not the type of band to just release singles. We want something really special and it’s not something that we’re going to rush even though we’ve got the platform now. But I do promise you, we’re sitting on some absolute treasures of songs. 

By the time this interview is published, your new mixtape will be out. What was your favourite song to write on the mixtape?
The one that came the most naturally was ‘I Don’t Want It’. It was one of those songs where we jammed it out and we all knew what to play and what to do. The demo sounds identical to the studio version. It was the most enjoyable to write, because we didn’t have any worries about how it was going to sound.
Holly: ‘I Don’t Want It’ was just so much fun to write and it was so pressureless. It was written last and it was quickly added to the mixtape. When we had to confirm which songs we wanted on it, everyone on our team agreed that it was going to be on there. The one I loved writing the most was actuallyFuck Me’. It’s hard writing about such traumatizing things, but we got to play with a lot more influences. It went through so many variations, it started as a Fionna Apple/Mitski type ballad, then it turned into a Pixies grunge song and it turned out to be a type of Gorrilaz song with a huge harmony by the end of it. The chorus was written last, I love writing the chorus under pressure. Now it’s a recurring theme on the mixtape. I wasn’t as confident writing hooks when we started out, but I’ve grown a lot and now I love it.

Do you find it hard to perform these emotional songs live?
Holly: Yeah. When we were touring America, we had just released ‘Fuck Me.’ Singing that song when people were singing it back to us, it was quite a lot. I didn’t want any of our fans relating to that song. No matter the context, it’s a song about not feeling self love and giving your body to receive it. Sometimes it hits me, playing the song live. But it’s good to know that we’re creating a safe space together and that we’re going through it together.

Which artist or songwriter would you like to write a song with one day?
For me as a drummer I’d be happy to drum with everyone.
Holly: I would love to write a song with Muna, they just write amazing pop bangers and they’re amazing producers. I would love to write a ballad with Phoebe Bridgers or Matty Healy.

Finally, 2022 is almost over, what are you looking forward to the most in 2023?
More studio time. That’s my favourite part of the job. Even if it’s 12-hour studio days. You just wake up every morning, go into the studio, make new music, go to bed at night and the next day you get to do it all over again. I love everything else about the job, but that’s the best part.
Holly: Writing new things and conceptualizing and finalizing our album. We love studio time with each other, we still work with the same team we’ve had since ‘Come Over’. We don’t want to change that format, but we’re also working with new people. It’s so exciting. Oh, and playing festivals of course!

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