Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Criminal Song”?
Of course, Criminal Song is our latest single and is out now on all major platforms, you can find the music video on Youtube. It is a song about something or someone making you feel you need to be ‘criminal’ or maybe something you’re not in order to certify with. We’re very happy with the support so far and would love to expose it to as many people as we can!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
There was no particular event as such, but the song always had this strong identity that we tried to deliver in its recording and production. There’s this sense of longing in it, especially in the lyrics and the way the music comes together near the end of the track. We have always had a vision of how we wanted to final production to sound like, so it was rewarding when we came out of the studio with the final mix.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Filming the video was a lot of fun as it was all recorded upstairs in our local pub! They let us shoot in the attic, a room given to Adam to leave his drum kit. We remember it being extremely hot up there, it was summer with loads of lights on us and no fan. You could hear it blaring down the street all day which was cool.
Our good friend Matt Flynn directed, recorded and produced the video for us and we’re very grateful to him. The different shots and the storyline were all his idea. He got a friend/actress Collette Adams to feature in the video. So, it was nice for us all to be mates coming up with ideas and creating a video together – especially in the local pub.
How was the recording and writing process?
We’ve had Criminal Song for a while, it isn’t a new song as such. It was written shortly after Joe Ottaway joined the band as a second guitarist. So, this was the first time we could really explore more with harmonies counter melody’s and backing vocals. The song really came together once he joined and it was all very natural.
We recorded the song at the start of 2019 at Brighton Road Studio. We’ve worked with our producer Ali Gavan on all of our tracks, so he knows our sound and the way we record. We spent most of the time working on the guitars and getting the sonics right. The shimmer at the start of the song came in in the studio by Joe which worked really well. It got us excited, the song seemed to have its own unique sound that we will always relate it to.
How has Queens Of The Stone Age and Royal Blood influenced your writing?
Both of these bands have had such a massive impact on us as songwriters and musicians – which you can easily tell in the music. ‘…Like Clockwork’ by QOTSA is one of our favourite albums and it has a lot of influence on Criminal Song, especially with the layered vocals and the guitar melodies. Also, the way Josh Homme and Mike Kerr sing over the heavy riffs has affected the way (Tom) has looked at delivering and shaping his singing and lyrical styles.
Royal Blood’s song structures are definitely something we took notice at – especially in the early days of the band. The way they craft and weave their riffs into verse-chorus style ‘pop’ rock songs is genius.
What role does Brighton play in your music?
The Brighton music scene is more about the attitude and a swagger in its sounds and appearances. It’s a really tight scene, bands look after each other and there’s a huge support for one another. We love playing and going to watch our mates perform. We’ve got good memories developing as a band in Brighton and we rely and feel comfortable using it as our nerve centre of performing.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
We have songs in the works at the moment and we’re hoping to jump straight back into the studio after our tour. Since Criminal Song we’re excited to keep making music and recording as much as possible. We’ve been writing a range of different sounding songs, more of our heavy drop Csharp tunes as well as exploring the layered ideas within Criminal Song further with slower and more ambient songs.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Nothing has been confirmed but we will be releasing music very early next year. We do have a title, but it’s still early days!
Any plans to hit the road?
We will be touring the UK next month, playing some new cities and venues which is always exciting. We are being joined by The Survival Code for all dates and Luna Kiss for the first 5, two bands we’ve loved playing gigs with in London before. We’re mostly excited about playing our hometown show in Brighton at The Hope And Ruin and then later playing in Liverpool at The Outpost on Halloween – where I’m sure we’ll all wear ridiculous costumes.
What else is happening next in IDLE CROOKS & ENGLISHMEN’s world?
We’re just hoping joe gets a passport so we can travel around a bit more than usual! We would love to play on the festival circuit next year – playing to new audiences and seeing new bands. Also, it would be a dream to play abroad and hopefully that will happen as soon as possible! We are just focusing on writing music as best we can, getting it out there for music fans to hear and to progress ourselves as a band and musicians.