Interview with Stuart – ‘TheBigList Northern Ireland’

TheBigList Northern Ireland are featuring The Crawling this week, and were kind enough to interview Stuart. Pick up your copy in local pubs and clubs in the Belfast area.

Thanks for the support guys!

The full interview is below.

Please introduce yourself and the other members of the Crawling?

Stuart Rainey – Bass and vocals, Andy Clarke – Guitar and vocals, Gary Beattie –Drums

What is the band’s history? How did the three members find each and start a band? 

I (Stuart) hadn’t been in a band for a few years and had kind of given up on the idea until one night in December 2014 I went to see The Obscene Machine in Belfast. They really blew me away that night and I was determined I was going to get involved in the music scene again. A couple of weeks later I asked Andy if he would be interested in getting a band going. I’d known him since the early 90’s when I was in a Death metal band called Severance. I had seen him play with his band Honey For Christ many times over the years and was keen to get him on board. We had a couple of other old friends on drums and vocals and got together a few times with really only the fun of playing in mind. Things really clicked musically though and it became obvious very quickly that the band was going to head in a more serious direction. After a few months we parted company with our vocalist and drummer and were lucky enough to get Gary in. He also plays drums for Zombified so we were delighted when he wanted to get involved.

How would you described the music of the Crawling?

We essentially play slow Death Metal with a few nods to Doom Metal and the odd hook thrown in. We had a real vision of playing slow, down tuned and ultimately, music as heavy as we could make it. While the music has evolved we have kept close to the original plan. We have all spent a lot of time and effort trying to perfect our sound, myself and Andy going through several rigs and set ups before settling on the sound that we all felt fitted what The Crawling was about.

What bands/music influence the Crawling?

Andy has always been heavily influenced by bands like My Dying Bride and Katatonia. Slow and heavy, which he has adapted into our style of Death Metal in his writing. Gary is really into Hooded Menace, Type O Negative and has been listening to a lot of doom recently. I still love a lot of the bands I was into the first time around; Morbid Angel and early Entombed, but I would say my biggest influence both in style and tone is Marduk.

Do you take influences from outside music (as a band and/or as an individual)? Literature, art, science…

I think the plan for the musical direction was to try and take influence from the misery and tragedy of everyday life. Things that people can identify with.
Andy writes the vast majority of our stuff and these real life situations are definitely reflected in his writing. There’s nothing happy in there, but I think the music needs it to be that way.

You are releasing your debut EP next month, please tell it as much about it as you’d like people to know? The whos, whats, wheres, whens and whys…

Well it’s called “In Light of Dark Days” and is set for release on October the 23rd through Grindscene records. We recorded it in Andy’s own Rundown Studios and we are all really excited about it. Andy has recorded a lot of local bands in the past including Belfast Death Metal legends Zombified as well as our first single “Choking on Concrete”. He has really captured our sound again and we are all dying to get it out there. Its three tracks that I think really encompass the light and shade in our music and hopefully anyone who has seen us live will already be familiar with them.

Will there be a release show for the EP? 

We are working on that but heavy schedules for all three of us, plus the ever increasing amount of live shows in Belfast means it might not be possible on or around the release date. I’m still hoping we can get something sorted in Belfast but we’ll have to see.

And what other plans do the band have? An album? More shows?

Once the EP is released we are keen to play as many shows as we can to promote it, and are currently looking at getting some booked.  We are delighted to be playing at The Siege of Limerick in Dolans on the 25th of October. Longer term we have plans to start recording our debut album next year and as we already have most of the material written we will start to rehearse for that in the new year.

Besides your own what music are you currently enjoying?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Foetal juice recently, a great band we did a short Irish tour with in February. Apart from that I’ve been listening to Gojira and the new Paradise Lost album.

In the Big List office we have been discussing people’s desert island disc (an album and a song), with none but me being able to actually settle on a choice. So, if you could only listen to one song for the rest of your days, could you pick one? And the same for one album? And why?

My one song would probably be Left Hand Path by entombed. I’ve been listening to it for more than twenty years and never tire of it. Left hand Path and Clandestine were the first Death metal albums that really excited me. They completely changed the way I thought about metal up to that point.  One Album is a harder question. If I had to pick one at short notice I’d probably say something like RIITIIR by Enslaved. It’s got a bit of everything I love about music going on. From fast and aggressive to more musically progressive sections but all with an underlying heaviness, and I think I could find something to match whatever mood I was in.

And if for some as yet unknown reason you could only watch one film before all film ceased to exist, what would you chose?

That’s a really hard question as well. I love horror and fantasy films but I’d probably have to say something like Drag me to hell. A classic horror film with a bit of humour thrown in.

Anything else you would like to add? Feel free to besmirch your enemies or embolden your allies.

I’ve no besmirching to do…yet, only gratitude for the support we’ve had from Grindscene Records and all the bands and promoters we’ve worked with this past year. Special thanks would have to go to Zombified, Foetal juice and Desecration for our amazing Irish tour at the beginning of the year. We have had nothing but good experiences with everyone involved in the local metal scene and I fully expect that to continue.

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