Will Crewdson: “Skipping Over Damaged Area” and Much More
An anomaly in the music world, Will Crewdson, internationally acclaimed and applauded guitarist, songwriter and producer, belongs to more bands than there are stars in the universe. Audaciously and relentlessly touring year round, Crewdson is the celebrated lead guitarist for the iconic “Adam Ant”, the popular Ska band, “The Selecter”, the fun punk/pop faction, “Rachel Stamp”, the goth group, ” Sigue Sigue Sputnik”, and two of his own projects, “She Made Me Do It” and “Scant Regard”, the industrial phenomena.
Aside from the collection of the current array of eclectic bands that Will is dedicated to, he has also played with artists including: Bow Wow Wow, Cheap Trick, Iggy Pop, Korn, No Doubt, and The Tubes. Along the way he has played guitar for Malcom McLaren, Tom Jones, Celine Dion, and Bryan Ferry amongst others.
One by one Will Crewdson allowed us to dissect the gigs and releases of all six bands that he currently gigs with.. He has enlightened us with the latest updates and particularization of each as well. Most excited about his new Scant Regard album, soon to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world and entitled “Skipping Over Damaged Area”, Will shared some cool insight as to what we can expect.
Will, how are you?
I’m home this weekend, I’ve been doing a lot of gigs with Selecter since I’ve been back from America.
You’re almost constantly touring, America, New Zealand, Australia, then back to America with Adam, Europe with Selecter….. how many days in a row have you actually slept in your own bed this year?
At the moment we’re only doing two gigs a week really with Selecter, so it’s not too bad. It’s all in the UK apart from we are going to Europe next month. I don’t really know what’s happening past June. I might be at home for the second part of the year…can’t tell really….
How many bands are you in….6?
Yeah…well there’s Rachel Stamp, there’s The Selecter, there’s Adam, there’s Scant Regard, and She Made Me Do It, and Sputnik….that’s six, yeah…
Let’s talk about Selecter first…..what are they up to?
As I said we’ve been playing in the U.K. this year and we’re going to Europe next month, Germany, and Sweden, Norway and Finland as well. We’re going to Ireland next weekend …for St. Patrick’s Day as well so that will be quite mental. We’re doing Belfast, Mandela Hall, this Friday the 16th. Then we are doing Dublin, Olympia theater on the 17th.. that’s with Selecter and The Beat will be playing with us. We’ve been doing a lot of gigs with The Beat. I think there has been talk of The Selecter doing the West Coast but it hasn’t been confirmed yet. If I’m doing stuff with Adam, I won’t be able to do it though.
You’ve got a lot of stuff going on with Adam this summer …..
There’s the American stuff and also we are doing these “Let’s Rock” festivals. That’s like one every month. There’s one other festival as well.
If you could promote anything at this moment what would you choose first?
Right now my head is kind of in that new album because I’m almost finished with it. It’s the 5th Scant Regard album, and hopefully it should be out by the end of next month. The album I did last year with She Made Me Do It, didn’t get a lot of press so not a lot of people knew about it. Also because I was so busy touring with everyone it was hard to do gigs. We have a London one in the summer, and I’m looking for more gigs for that as well. So the biggest thing right now is the new release for Scant Regard.
What can fans expect from the new Scant Regard album?
I’m really pleased with it so far. All the tracks are kind of all there, they just need a little tweaking and finishing off. There’s quite a bit more vocals then we normally do on this album. Hopefully there will be some guest vocalist but I can’t talk about it, because it might not happen. I’m really excited about one of them anyway. Hopefully over the next week I’ll know about that. To me it seems really varied. I tried to keep that electronic, guitar, instrumental thing as a basis but it’s kind of branching out …it’s quite poppie…and uplifting, where as before it’s been sort of industrial and gloomy. It’s the same kind a blueprint of sound but I’m just trying to vary the outcome and where it goes.
Does the album have a name?
The album is called, ” Skipping Over Damaged Area”
Some people have called it SODA for short already. So it’s ” Skipping Over Damaged Area”… I wouldn’t say it’s a concept album, but it’s kind of taking a bit of a theme on. The main thing is kind of the deterioration of the evolution of humanity….which seems like a big thing but like I said apart from the doomy, gloomy stuff there is some uplifting choruses and stuff in there as well.
Sounds a little scary in a good way.
Yeah, I guess that’s a good way to describe it….
You have a gig at the end of April correct?
Yeah, I’m playing at The Hope and Anchor in Islington on April 27th. It will be quite early because we’re going on first, so I guess I’ll be on around 8.
That’s a cool venue.
So that’s “Rockaway Beach Night” which is always a really good night. I’m playing with ex members of “Daisy Chain Saw” so that will be a good night. It’s kind of a rock night, so there will probably be a lot of high energy.
Anywhere else with Scant Regard?
We’re doing The Underworld as well in May with a Depeche Mode Experience band. That’s on the 15th of May. Then in June I’m doing The Lexington with The Glam Skanks. That will be June 10th. That’s about it for Scant but I’m looking for more gigs. Maybe I’ll pop up in on New York…
Will you be doing anything off the new album?
Oh yeah… I played a gig before Christmas and I was already playing tracks off the new album.
What has the response been?
It was a good response. Like I say there is more singing and did a bit more vocals. If they’ve seen me before people are a bit taken about because they expect me to be doing instrumentals. So that’s the thing that takes them by surprise I think.
Do you have a favorite band, and you can’t use Adam….
My favorite band of all time I think would be Depeche Mode because they are consistently playing amazing songs.
If you could play anywhere in the world that you haven’t already been, where would you choose?
Well I’d like to go to Hawaii. So I would just play there, just because I want to go there. I’d love to go to Japan as well. I’ve never been to Japan…it’s almost nearly happened with a few bands I’ve been in. For some reason it’s never happened.
Will, when you create a song, what influences you?
Depends really….it can be just a phrase which will start the lyrical off, or it can be a rhythm that I might hear in the street from the traffic or something. It can be from anywhere really. It’s like one of those things that you just have to hone in on. Sometimes I wake up with a melody in my head from a dream or something. Sometimes it comes while I’m awake.
When it happens, the moment of the birth of a song, do you take out your phone and stop whatever you’re doing?
Oh yeah..totally..or pick a guitar up…
How many guitars do you own?
I think I have about eight. I’ve got enough..I’m happy, it’s weird because when I look at guitars in shops I’m not tempted anymore because I’m so satisfied with the guitars I’ve got and all the equipment I’ve got, the amps and the peddles …I feel like after all these years I’ve got the exact right equipment ..
Even more important how’s Lance…I understand Lance has merchandise now?
He’s fine, he’s asleep at the moment. We did a video with She Made Me Do It. It was like an animated video a little bit, with Lance in it. We made a T-shirt out of it..his image in the video, so he’s famous. People say “I want the Lance shirt”, and they haven’t even listened to the band.
So is there anything going on with Rachel Stamp?
We did a sort of secret gig in January for David the singer’s birthday, and that went really well. We didn’t even rehearse for that and it just made me wonder why we ever rehearse when we play a gig….it just sounded great straight away. We’ve been offered some more, but it’s not an on going band. Everyone is involved with other stuff. It makes more sense to do one off stuff and make it a bit more special. We know we can’t go on tour for weeks because we’re all so busy with our other stuff. Last year we played The Underworld and sold it out, with a 500 capacity. A lot of people traveled to that because it was a one off….we might do something by the end of the year, I’m just sort of waiting to hear what’s happening with all my other stuff from the summer onwards.
And..She Made Me Do It?
We’re writing the third album at the moment. I think we’re going to put out an EP within the next few months. We’re playing The Electro Works in Islington London and that’s on the 2nd of June.
And Sigue Sigue Sputnik ?
I’m doing the Whitby Goth Festival the day after the Hope and Anchor gig with Martin from Sigue Sigue Sputnik. That’s the 28th of April, so that’ll be fun. That’s in Whitby up North of England. They have a massive Goth festival. They have it a couple of times a year and everybody dresses up, and the whole town is taken over. It will be worth traveling up there for that. We did it a couple of years ago with She Made Me Do It. That was fun.
How do you keep all of these dates in your head for gigs?
I literally have to look every day, week to week, but I do know the next gig is in Ireland on March 16 and 17.
Was there a favorite experience performing this year, touring with Adam, aside from all of your coffee stops?
Over the past year, the one that sticks out the most was the LA show, just because it was a magical venue. I’d never been there before, but there was something about that venue that was just perfect. It was set up as a kind of Amphitheater. Everything just seem to come together that night, sound wise, visually, and just the whole feeling of it. I love LA anyway, but that’s definitely the best venue I’ve ever played in LA.
What was the best coffee you had?
Probably every time I went to Coffee Bean really. Unfortunately they don’t have it all over America.
If a fan wanted to buy you a cup of coffee, how do you take it?
Black, just black, straight ….no sugar, no milk….
If you could say anything to the world what would you say?
Chip away until the stone rolls down the hill. That’s kind of an Aerosmith type quote isn’t it? What I mean by that is just never give up in essence. Your time will come.
If you could look back on everything that you’ve done up until now, what advice would you give baby Will knowing everything you know now?
You just never give up. Keep doing what you love. So I did, and that’s why I am so busy.
You’re probably the busiest musician in the world.
Could be, yeah. You never know when it’s going to stop so that’s the problem. That’s what kind of keeps you going, the fear of it stopping.
Written by Eileen Shapiro