If the weight of expectations heaped upon the shoulders of Those Damn Crows are weighing the band down, they certainly aren’t showing it. Sophomore album; ‘Point Of No Return’ is poised to gatecrash the National top 20 album chart, and guitarist David Winchurch took some time out before a sold-out show in Glasgow to tell us how much it would mean to the Bridgend rockers to make this rock & roll malarkey a full-time career.
Obvious place to begin is the tour, and tonight is sold out. After a venue upgrade, that must be special?!
Yes, it is. Bristol was the first to sell out and tonight was the second.
A lot of eyebrows were raised when the original gig was booked in such a small venue?
We didn’t know what we were going to do ticket-wise. Initially we thought that we weren’t going to sell any of them out! And then with the upgrade, we thought “well that’s not going to sell out again!” We potentially could have upgraded again, but we thought “just leave it there.”
Just build on what you have already got.
Yeah, not get too greedy!
Onto the new album. The day is almost here, only 48 hours or so until it is released. You must be glad that it’s finally going to be out there?
We are, yes. Now that you’ve said 48 hours, it’s come around really quickly. We finished recording the album in May I think it was, so it’s been done and dusted for seven or eight months, but now you’ve said 48 hours it’s like wow that’s soon!
We forget that you guys put this to bed quite some time ago; to us it’s fresh..
Yeah, plus there are some songs on the album that we’ve had parts of for a while beforehand. Not many, but there were some songs that we had written a long time ago and were able to finish.
Any nerves about the release?
No, not at all. You just do what you do; record music, release it, and whatever happens, happens. We just work as hard as we can, put our best stuff out there, and the rest isn’t up to us.
Are you aware of the buzz surrounding not only the release, but the band as well? Especially on social media, in particular the NWOCR group page on Facebook?
The only things that we see as a band are on our fan page, or we hear what people say after we play. We get a bit of a hint about it. It’s the same as selling venues out: we didn’t know that so many people would come and see us. But I don’t think that we are fully aware of a buzz as such.
The buzz is there trust me! Everyone is tipping Those Damn Crows to be the next band to break through in perhaps the same way that Massive Wagons has done. Does that put any pressure on the band?
No, I don’t think that any of us feel any pressure. We literally just do what we do; we work hard, write the music and criticise the hell out of it, make it the best that it can be. The only pressure that we feel is from ourselves… is this good enough… could this be better.. that kind of thing.
On that subject, were there any songs that didn’t make the album?
There were a good handful of parts of songs that we had written which didn’t make it on there, but that might be something that we look back on and maybe pull together for the next album. I’ve got bits of recordings that could potentially go on the next album. But in terms of full songs, everything that we went in to record ended up on the album.
It’s a hefty album! Thirteen songs?
We all discussed how many songs we should put on it. We thought maybe about ten, purely because of the way that people listen to albums now…
You mean our ever shortening attention spans?!
Yes, and I’m guilty of that as well! I love albums, and maybe you get to track six or seven and switch off and skip over to something else. So we had a conversation about how many; should there be ten or eleven? The label had a bit of input and it ended up at thirteen. It was the easiest thing as we couldn’t decide, and if people aren’t keen then they can skip songs!
Back to the recording process for the album. Andy Sneap was involved, and I believe that you rehearsed in Judas Priest’s rehearsal room. As a guitarist yourself, that must have been special?! The room where the trademark Priest twin-guitar sound blasts out of!
It was, for all of us! In terms of inspiration it was simply incredible! It’s what you always dreamed of when you were a kid; there was inspiration everywhere. You’re sitting around and Rob Halfords microphone is just over there! We made the most of it, took it all in.
Regarding the new album, how do you measure it in terms of success? Is it a case of if – it helps you give up working and make music your career – is that the goal?
This is what we all want to do as a full time career. The way things are with the music industry it’s a lot harder to do that. But it’s possible. In terms of it being a success, in the way that we measure it, it’s a success if we are all proud of it. But yeah, we’re working on making this our career. We’re working hard, we’ve all had to make sacrifices in terms of family, jobs and all sorts of stuff.
Well you can’t exactly phone in sick can you if everyone has cameras on their phones at a gig!
(starts laughing!) Yeah, I have been caught out like that before! But it’s just a case of working out what your priorities are. If I lost my job tomorrow, then I’d be.. fair enough, I’ll pick something up.
Well hopefully the release of ‘Point Of No Return’ will go some way to help the band achieve the goal of making this a full time career. You can play your part by purchasing (or streaming) the album now, and help get Those Damn Crows into the national charts.
Interview – Dave