The UK classic rock scene has been completely turned on its head in recent times by a huge wave of talented new bands, taking the classic rock sound and giving it a 2010’s twist, gaining huge new audiences in the process. One of the bands at the front of that movement are Welsh natives Those Damn Crows, who have been winning new fans wherever they go. As a result, we pinned down Those Damn Crows (and more specifically their singer Shane Greenhall) to run the gauntlet in our introducing feature series.
Welcome! Please introduce yourselves to our readers:
Hey… What’s up… I’m Shane, front man of Those Damn Crows.
Please tell us a little bit about the history of the band:
We’re all from the same town. Bridgend. Myself and Ronnie have grown up together since we were kids, went to the same school etc, we met Shiner when we attended comprehensive school. That’s when we formed our first band together, around 16-17 years old. Band split a couple of years later, I went off, did my own thing, writing, a publishing deal, Ron and Shiner started a girl fronted band ‘Miss Conduct’ and went on tour, signed a deal, only for the band to split. Ron and Shiner started demoing new songs, they knew Lloyd from another band and they started to jam. I needed drums done on a track I was doing and bumped into Ronnie in town. Went up to Ronnie’s studio and the next thing I knew I was listening to these demos and recording myself in my studio, writing lyrics and melody lines to these wicked pieces of music. We then got in a room, thrashed it out and worked on these demos. We knew very early that we had something pretty special, but we felt we needed an extra guitarist live to create that wall of noise for these big songs we had created… we had a few people in mind, but when we rehearsed and met with Dave, we knew we had our band!
Which one of you is “the funny one” in the band?
Every single one of us has a great sense of humour and I think it’s the reason why we’re so strong as a unit. You gotta be able to laugh at yourself in this line of work, you’ll end up killing each other otherwise! Shiner is very quiet but comes out with perfect one liners! Dave has quite a dark sense of humour… nuff said ha! Lloyd is life of the party when he’s had a couple of drinks and Ronnie has just this wicked sense of humour. It’s something myself and Ron have talked about, people need to see the funny, comedy side to our band, it’s important for fans to see us as people/characters as well as musicians as in a band! Hence our lil dramatic video we posted on Facebook half way through our tour about my chest infection. Ha!
If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so?
We grew up in the 90’s so bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Green Day, Foo Fighters… were all hugely influential. There’s elements of all these bands in our music, then add the classic rock bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC, Maiden, Zeppelin for the riffs and big choruses, chuck em all in the Crow Cauldron and you have Those Damn Crows!
Do you have a particular way of song writing and writing music, or does it vary?
It really does vary, there were demos that Ron and Shiner wrote early doors, some that needed very little work, some that did, but we’d get in a room jam it, rearrange it, and all put our stamp on it. More recently, anyone of us can send over a riff as we all play different instruments, it usually starts with an idea of a song, a riff or melody line.
Those Damn Crows have developed quite the reputation on the UK live scene over the last year or so, having played with a lot of different bands at a lot of different shows. Are there any particular shows that have stood out for you, and are there any other bands you’ve particularly enjoyed playing with? (Two-in- one question there).
We have been lucky to play some great festivals/shows in the past year. Stand out shows have to be Planet Rock’s Winters End, Ramblin’ Man, and a show we did recently at the London O2 Forum with The Quireboys… man.. that show was incredible. We were very early on that night!… 6:30pm start! We thought there wouldn’t be anyone there to watch us as a support band. But we were AMAZED to see the place rammed 2,500 people there to watch us, as I looked out I could see people wearing our merch, as the gig went on the crowd grew louder and louder they were singing back our songs to us! It was just a really special night for us! We LOVE the big stage!!! We’ve recently done a tour with The Bad Flowers boys, great fun, great guys and a great band! We’ve been lucky to play and share the stage with some killer bands – one of our favourites was The Wildhearts at Steelhouse festival this year! We love them!
Your new album Murder And The Motive is being released this Friday, and is definitely one of the best “feel good” rock albums we’ve heard this year so far. Were you always looking for such a positive sound, or is that just how the album turned out?
Ummm we just knew that we wanted to make these songs the best and sound the biggest that we could at that time. It is a positive sound and feel good record as the lyrical element to the album is all about listening to yourself – don’t be pushed around, do things your way, don’t let people dictate to you. ‘Be the needle don’t be the thread’ ‘someone someday’.
There’s a lot of talk over the term New Wave Of Classic Rock (NWOCR) at the moment and Those Damn Crows are consistently mentioned as being one of the bands at the top of that “movement” – is that something you have a particular opinion on? Do you think its an accurate label for your sound – if there ever can be such a thing.
Any group or movement that supports our band we thank and welcome with open arms! We love the guys at NWOCR and they have been one of several groups to help and support us!… The Rock community/family will always champion a band that they can relate too, so the name of the group isn’t as important as the message or support it gives people. Are we classic rock? Maybe/maybe not? Do people who like classic rock like us? Well clearly they do… as you’ve just pointed out. For me the whole message behind Rock music is not to be be pigeon holed, not to care if we’re in the parameters of a genre – we love grunge music and people back in the day thought grunge was killing rock?? As people thought Elvis and the Beatles were killing music back in the day, when they first came out. It’s what people want, connect, and resonate with that’s important, not the name tag it comes under. We don’t have to label everything! There’s all different types of Rock out there and we’re somewhere in the middle of that AWESOME and incredibly talented rock pool!
What do you have in the pipeline in terms of live shows for the next few months?
Album drops October 5th!… but we have shows in Cardiff, London, Nuneaton, Ramsgate, Newport, Wrexham, Swansea… Just head over to www.thosedamncrows.com to get the full info on dates/tickets.
If you had to choose one song of yours to show to potential new fans of the band, which one would it be and why?
Wow… that’s tricky! Fear Of The Broken sums up the sound of the band I guess as it has elements of all the bands we grew up listening to in it. But our most popular songs that people really love live and on the album are Blink Of An Eye and Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead.
Who would be your dream band to go on tour with?
Without question it’s the Foo Fighters! Massive fan of the band and Dave Grohl.
What is the best flavour of ice cream?
Apple Pie or Banoffee ice cream! There’s an ice cream parlour in South Wales that does both. It’s the one!!!
Lastly, Who is your favourite Simpsons character? If you don’t like The Simpsons you can suggest another cartoon character.
Favourite Simpson’s character is prob Mr Burns! Ha! He thinks he’s so powerful… ‘release the hounds’… but he’s just a weak, rich, old man! Money alone is not power. 😉
Those Damn Crows album Murder And The Motive was released on the 5th of October through Earache Records. Rock Sins review of the album is available to read right here. For full band info, including details of all their upcoming live shows, head to www.thosedamncrows.com.