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  • Interview: Gary Jarman of The Cribs

    Tue, 07 Aug 2007 13:13:10

    Interview: Gary Jarman of The Cribs - Gary chats about the real meaning of DIY and growing up as a band

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    The Cribs are poised to be your new favorite band. The brothers Jarman—hailing from the podunk town of Wakefield, England—are indie-rock purists bringing the U.S. a much needed wake-up call with their major label debut, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever.

    We caught up with Gary Jarman (the bass-playing identical twin of co-frontman Ryan) on the band's current U.S. tour, and got the word on the current state of "indie" and how their new album is not about couples therapy.

    The title, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever, suggests a concept album—or at least one with a very defined theme. Was that intentional?

    It just ended up like that. It wasn't an intentional thing. The album title actually came before the songs. The album title I came up with on tour. It was just a line from a conversation I was having with someone, and I thought it sounded good, so I wrote it in my journal. And, Ryan and Ross liked the idea. Then we wrote "Men's Needs" the song, just because I was thinking about the same things at the time; the words just fit. Then came "Women's Needs," and that was the last song written for the album. In a way I were kind of excited about that, but as far as I know it wasn't meant to be like that.

    Yeah, it gives the album closure; it bookends it.

    The thing with this record is that it definitely ties together pretty well. I think that's because we wrote it in the span of the year, where we addressed a lot of the same feelings over and over. I'm pleased it worked out like that; it was a happy accident.

    How did the Lee Ranaldo [of Sonic Youth] collaboration on "Be Safe" come about?

    We have a very tenuous link, actually. We had considered asking him to produce the record in the first place, but by the time we eventually met up with him we had already decided on Alex anyway. I met up with him at Fuji festival in Japan. We knew we weren't going to go for the production thing anymore, but it was still just exciting to say, "Well, we have something else—another project we'd like to work on." We just emailed for a little while. We emailed him an idea and he said he was up for it. So we got together in New York, like a month after the album was finished, spent a couple of days working together—which was really fun and really enjoyable; just to have someone outside the group come in. We've done spoken word before, and we thought this is the first real collaboration with someone else. The four of us just sat down, throwing around ideas. It were really fun. It was something we'd never really done before.

    Did Lee write all the poetry, or did you guys have a hand in that, too?

    Yeah, Lee wrote all the spoken word stuff. We wrote the choruses and the music.

    That song, and the whole album, sounds much more dramatic and romantic than the angsty stuff on your first two albums. Was that a conscious move in a new direction?

    I think the second record was definitely way more aggressive. But, we were sort of frustrated and we'd been tied up on tour for a long time, too. It was a knee-jerk reaction record. This time we had more time to think about stuff, and our situation has changed quite a bit. Now we have time to consider other things and and spend time thinking about it, rather than writing a record out of frustration, which is what The New Fellas was pretty much based on.

    Ryan was recently was quoted in NME saying that the music scene is "rubbish," which is a fairly common statement these days. Why do you think people have become so complacent?

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