Those Damn Crows are currently on a UK Tour with Monster Truck. On their second date, MetalTalk’s Andy Shaw caught up with lead singer Shane Greenhall about one hour before the band would hit the stage at the fabulous KK’s Steel Mill.
Those Damn Crows have seen their stock rise in increasing jumps. Their second album, Point Of No Return, entered the UK Album Chart at number 14. They kept spirits high on the second stage at last year’s Download Pilot, and this year has seen them batter Firestorm, Stonedead, Chepstow Castle and, of course, another appearance at Download.
“All those things had highlights,” Greenhall says. “Firestorm was the first festival, so we didn’t know what to expect, and it turned out amazing. The crowd that went there just was so up for it. Download obviously is the highlight, I guess, of the year, because we’ve wanted to play that stage for god knows how long. Since we were kids. That was something else. It’s been a pretty cool 2022 considering it’s the year back after what has been an absolute shit show.”
MetalTalk said that Those Damn Crows were an inspired choice for Stonedead 2022. “There’s a reason the Crows have been picking up plaudits and growing their reputation exponentially as well as picking up a die-hard group of fans,” MetalTalk said, “and that’s because they are a stonkingly good live act.”
Their set at Stonedead was faultless. It’s hard to believe that they are only two albums into a career that, on this showing, holds unlimited promise.
Download was a great, thumping show. Greenhall was down in the pit at one point, proving at 1.15 pm that it’s never too early to ramp up the madness.
With displays like this, it does seem that Those Damn Crows, with a special mention to Florence Black, are at the forefront of the New Wave Of Classic Rock. They are the standard bearers.
“That’s amazing to hear,” Shane says. “We don’t look at it like we’re the leaders. We’re just gonna do our thing. There are so many incredible bands out there right now, and rock music, in particular, is just soaring. You know, it had that sort of underground feel. But now it’s reaching the levels that it did perhaps 20 years ago. We’re just glad to be part of it, man. We always give our all, and people are responding.”
People seem to be looking for bands now rather than just turning up for the main band. People are doing their homework.
“100%,” Shane says. “We did Thunder at the Motorpoint, and everybody turned up so early to watch us. I think everybody’s chomping at the bit for new material, and they want to go and see it as opposed to just hearing it on social media. Now, they want to go, buy the tickets and want to see if that band can live up to what they’re hearing. The rock scene has grown. I think fans are just so intrigued now, they want to go out and see live music, and I think that’s why it’s turned the corner. I think fans are willing to go out even on a school night and go and support these bands that they’ve connected with.”
There is a new album on the horizon. Inhale/Exhale is set for a February release, and the artwork, designed by Alex Tillbrook, is incredible. “We told him the ideas and the concept of the album. He just got it, and we were off to the races. We’re so pleased with it. In this industry, working with those artistic and creative people together, you’re on the same wavelength. So it was really easy to talk to Alex, and we’re buzzing with the new artwork. It’s really special.”
The news about the new album is that it comes across as quite emotional. It seems like there are a lot of stories in there that all of the band are trying to express.
“I don’t know how else to write than to be honest,” Shane says. “Yes, we can manipulate and exaggerate certain stories. But this album was literally from the heart. We’ve all been through so much shit. I mean everybody on the planet, in the last couple of years. We’ve lost some really special people within the Crow family. So, yeah, when it came to record it, all those emotions came out, and sometimes you can’t even describe or put down in words really what it is. There’s just something in it. It’s in this band’s DNA now and forever.”
How do they pick a window to release the album making sure all strands are coming together? “It was supposed to be released in October this year,” Shane says. “A few things happened. Certain things weren’t ready within the product, vinyl in particular. Obviously, we want to chart, and in order for it to chart, you have to have certain things in place. So it was no point having the CD and all the digital things ready if the vinyl wasn’t. So it just it was a case of all those boxes need to be ticked before you could say, you know, let’s go.”
The CrowCast podcasts during lockdown and post lockdown were a massive part of what a lot of people were listening to. Is that something you want to continue doing?
“100%,” Shane says. “But the primary thing in being a band is to be a band. So you know, live music is back, the albums back. We are thinking about maybe making CroweCast fit in when we’re not touring or maybe on the road as well. It was such an important part for us and our fans, but also the rock community. We had interviews with Kris Barras and other people in the scene. We couldn’t go to live shows, so that was our gig, involving everybody when we could, and the support was unbelievable. They’re coming to our shows now. We did a show in Cardiff, and I ripped out just a little bit of What’s The Next Line on acoustic guitar, and everyone sang it back. It was just like, this is nuts. It’s not even a song, really, but it just caught on. I think everybody needed it, and we’re so glad we did it and it will continue, but maybe not the same. We’ve got to be a band first.”
As for Wales’ prospects in next month’s World Cup? “They can turn it on, and something clicks, but they play with nothing but passion and the underdog thing. That’s what we thrive on. That’s what we love, which is amazing. It would be amazing to be there. Myself and Ronnie [Huxford, drummer] go to the games regularly. We went to Poland the other day, disappointing result, but we were competing, and we didn’t have a full team. So who knows? I think in these tournaments, anybody’s beatable on the day.”
Touring with Monster Truck is the current plan, with future plans geared up for February. “After this tour, we’ve got a few things we need to do, like videos and stuff for releases,” Shane says. “It’s all gearing up for February. We will be doing a few things on CrowCast with some exclusive stuff going on there. As far as gigs are concerned, this tour will probably be the last unless something comes in, and we’re always willing to do something. But yeah, it’s all about gearing up for that album.”
With 40 minutes left before showtime, Shane was off to warm up his vocal cords before the band unleashed themselves on Wolverhampton. MetalTalk will catch another show later in the tour, but the word is that things are really hotting up for the guys from Wales, and we couldn’t be happier for them.