Interview: Crux (Third Time Lucky Festival)
Straight off the back of their set at the Head of Steam as part of the 2nd night of the Third Time Lucky Festival; we caught up with alt-rockers Crux.
The band, made up of 5 multi-skilled Newcastle lads, delivered an impressive and unpredictable set of original and cover tracks despite their drummer having a broken arm - including a surprise rendition of 'Park Life' with drummer Elliot on vocals!
Spotlight: To kick things off, can you all introduce yourselves and what you do in the band to give our readers an insight into who Crux are?
Jake: I'm Jake, I'm lead guitarist.
Max: I'm Max. I'm the sort of key figure of the band. I'm the one who brought everyone together and the sort of narcissistic person at the front. I attempt to play the guitar, the keyboard and occasionally also play the drums.
Elliot: Hello, I'm Elliot. I'm the drummer and I currently have broken arm!
Hallam: My name is Hallam, bassman extraordinary. I'm older than the rest of them, have been in a couple of previous other bands and sometimes do some singing too.
Spotlight: How does it feel to be asked to play as part of this fantastic home-town music festival - The Third Time Lucky Festival?
Elliot: It’s the second time we’ve played it. The first time we played at Jumpin Jacks which was a great experience and we are very happy to have been invited back.
Max: It’s just great what Jay Landman (Festival Organiser) does by putting all these bands together, giving them a chance to play and also see these other talented bands. They are all really, really good.
Spotlight: With the Third Time Lucky Festival focusing on emerging artists like yourselves, is there any tips you would give to other bands and artists just starting out?
Max: Just gig, and gig, and gig!
Hallam: Take any gig you can get, even if no one turns up its still a posh practice.
Max: Yeah, posh practice, that's it! And also, get a good demo down at a recording studio. But you’ll have to do a few gigs first to make sure it’s at a good place.
Elliot: Also networking is massively important these days. Who you know can make all the difference. Me knowing Jay through Uni has provided us with so many gigs and platforms where we can hook up with bands across the country. We’ve played with bands from Scotland, London, Sheffield, Huddersfield. That gives us the opportunity to support them if they have a gig back home and that's what it's all about.
Hallam: And make friends, because no matter how good you think you are there is going to be a better band out there. And it's far better to just make friends with them, stroke their ego a little bit and just say “Hey, that was great. Hook us up for another gig!” And actually it's really rewarding to see other people who are better musicians or who are in a better position than you because you can learn from them. It’s all about experience. And if you play to an empty room, then you can say you’ve done that.
Spotlight: Talking about other bands, is there any other acts on the festival’s lineup that you are particularly looking forward to seeing?
Max: Actually, St Buryan are playing. My friend, who I used to play football with, plays the bass. There are a few others who we’ve played with before like Columbia, who are really good.
Hallam: We’ve played with Human X before who are about to play next tonight. And the Yada Yada Yada’s, who played last night, are a really good band.
Elliot: But there are plenty of other bands who we are also excited to see, and that's what it’s all about. Seeing new bands, making new friends, new connections and open up new avenues. That's the best way to get yourself more gigs.
Spotlight: And what’s coming up for you guys next? Any more gigs or new music we can look forward to?
Elliot: Well the two gigs we’ve recently played since I’ve broken my arm were shows we were already committed to, so since then we haven't really been looking for anything for obvious reasons. As good as we have been without me on the drums; it’s definitely a key ingredient we have been missing. I'm not just saying that to blow my own trumpet, it’s just not the same!
Max: But once Elliot’s arm gets better we are going to try and record a new EP. We’ve been wanting to do it for about two years now.
Hallam: We’ve got two people in third year Uni, me doing a masters and one in a full time job so we are all a bit all over the place. But come summer time we will knuckle down and get it sorted.
Max: But the extra time has given us time to polish the new songs; we are really excited about it.
Hallam: My nine minute prog-epic is READY to be unveiled. Every EP has one outrageous prog song that I write, and its coming along nicely.
Jake: We’ve done a couple of recordings before and we’ve learned from them to take our time with it. Previously we’ve been under time constraints purely based on cost, but we’re striving for perfection for this next EP. (Perfectly timed laughter from everyone at this point)
Spotlight: Any final shout outs or comments?
Everyone: We’d like to thank Jay!
Elliot: Also you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under our handle Cruxnewcastle.
All Photography by Mandy Naumann