I spent the weekend watching Almost Famous for the second and third time. I am a certifiable rock journalist now, (not a 15-year old boy searching for truth on the road with an imaginary band: Stillwater, loyalties lying somewhere between Creem and Rollingstone), but what stays on my mind each night I lace up my boots and attend a live show, meet a new artist, or conduct an interview with a band, is: was Phillip Seymour-Hoffman right when he said that ‘Rock and Roll’ was grasping at, and in the final throes of, existence back in 1973? If so, where does that leave us now? In an age when almost anyone can record a song that gets ’em a few likes on Facebook, the lines between modern music and the ghosts of ‘Rock and Roll’ are evermore blurred.
I found this existentially long-weekend the perfect time to get in touch with the New York based blues and soul band Memphis Crawl. They have just released their debut EP Falling Down Against The Sun this year, with their fan-favorite track, “Wildflower Annie.” Lead singer Matty O’brien started the band in 2004, which now contains member Mad Freik on bass, Mikey Powder on drums, and guitarist Bryan Stevens. I’ve posted a video below, of their creepily accurate ‘golden age of rock’ performance at Whiskey a Go Go a few years back. That ‘Whitehorse’ rendition immediately takes me back to a bus-full of long-haired wonders chanting “Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer.” If ‘Rock and Roll’ is really dead, these guys are doing one hell of a job reviving my spirit.
Thrillcall: How would you describe your style? Including major influences in both music and lyrics?
Memphis Crawl: Our influences originate from the blues, some 60’s and 70’s rock and roll, and in general… soul music.
Thrillcall: How do you feel about the trend of downloading music online? Especially now with equalizers such as iTunes and Spotify?
Memphis Crawl: I think it’s really cool, but at the same time I don’t think that a Jimi Hendrix album should be the same price as an album by some schmuck in his garage, (laughs).
Thrillcall: What’s Memphis Crawl’s claim to fame so far?
Memphis Crawl: I think our live performances are by far our strongest asset, as well as our lyrics and writing ability. We’ve come up with some ‘super catchy’ numbers.
Thrillcall: What inspires you all to play music?
Memphis Crawl: LIFE, LOVE, TRAVEL, ART!
Thrillcall: What are some of your pet peeves whilst on tour?
Memphis Crawl: Tardiness (laughs)… No way… probably would have to be all of our different sleeping patterns.
Thrillcall: Tell us what fans can expect at your next shows. I see you have two coming up in New York this month, at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn, and the Brickhouse Brewery in Patchogue, NY.
Memphis Crawl: For one, I think our fans should really try to attend more than one of our shows. Every Memphis Crawl show is different, but I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed. Also, check out our latest tracks, I think our audiences are really going to dig it.
Thrillcall: If you could tour with any band, or artist, who would you choose?
Memphis Crawl: Definitely Jack White, and maybe Neil Young or Bob Dylan.