WILL CREWDSON INTERVIEW
Will Crewdson is one of the UK’s most electrifying guitarists, having played for the likes of Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, and Flesh For Lulu. Here, in an exclusive interview with “Pulse” author Steve Rudd, he waxes lyrical about his extraordinary life in music…
Hey Will, how you doing?
I’m doing good. Quite a bit of “rock’n'roll juggling” going on with various bands and projects. It’s great to be busy.
You’re presently playing guitar with Flesh For Lulu, and you’re fresh from supporting The Goo Goo Dolls…
Flesh for Lulu were around originally from about 1982 to 1992 and came out of the whole London “Batcave” Goth scene. They had a couple of hits in the USA later in the eighties, and John Hughes featured one song in his Some Kind of Wonderful film which really helped them out. This line-up just got together a few months ago; Nick Marsh, the singer, is the only original member now.
We’re playing mainly the old stuff live at the moment, but throwing in a couple of new ones, too… and we’re planning on getting some new recordings out really soon.
They were always one of my favourite bands, and Nick is most definitely my favourite singer, so it’s a joy to be part of it.
The first time I saw you play was with the mighty Rachel Stamp… and that was way back in 1999! How many years have you been playing guitar, and do you have a favourite kind of guitar to play?
I’ve been playing for thirty-four years now. My favourite guitar is my Teisco Spectrum which I use on all my solo Scant Regard twang-tastic stuff.
Of all the bands you’ve played for, which have generated the fondest memories, and why?
Really hard to answer that because there are so many high-points related to every different project and band I’ve been involved with. I guess the first proper tour of the USA with Rachel Stamp in 2003 was a pretty fond one. I had always dreamed of travelling coast to coast, and to actually do it playing music every night to great audiences was fantastic.
Your many and varied projects with bands aside, you’ve recently flung yourself into solo sessions under the Scant Regard guise. Please tell us more…
Yeah, I started Scant Regard a couple of years ago. I had always wanted to do something on my own, but never wanted to be a normal singing frontman. So I decided to let the geetar do the talking.
I have a big passion for Electronic music, and it seemed like a natural progression to mix my playing with some beats and sequences, enabling me to go out and do live shows completely on my own. It’s very liberating after so many years of playing with other folks, and I find it really motivating when I do go back to playing with other musicians again.
I’ve put out two albums now both with a kind of Spaghetti Western flavour mixed in with the blips and beeps. I like to call it Spaghettilectro.
Over the years, you’ve played with a huge number of incredibly famous folk including Bryan Ferry, Celine Dion, and Tom Jones to name but a few. In spite of being a sensationally talented musician in your own right, do you ever find yourself beset by Starstruck Dire-Straits?
Yes, of course. I still feel like a fan of so many of the bands I’ve loved over the years. There’s definitely a few people who, if I had the chance to work with them, I would probably take a year to relax with and talk about the weather.
Growing up, which singers and bands influenced you the most, and why? Bringing things up-to-speed, which singers and bands are you currently awed by?
I would definitely say some of the pioneers of Electronic music like Cabaret Voltaire and Depeche Mode were a big influence. I am pretty infatuated by the whole Post-Punk era of the early eighties. I was too young to remember Punk itself, but those few years right after that, which I guess you could call the New Wave era, coughed up a lot of creative and original bands.
I also love American rock right back to the fifties. I guess Aerosmith are my favourite rock band. Still as strong as ever.
Some newer bands I’m listening to include The Knife, Boogie Belgique, Factory Floor, Die Antwoord, Ladyhawke, International Observer and Bo Ningen.
In 2010, you hooked up with Adam Ant in order to play live with him and to record. How did such a ‘gig’ come about, and do you plan on continuing to play with him in the future?
In 2010, I saw he was doing an acoustic show. Being a massive fan (Adam and the Ants was the first band I ever saw live), I went down to have a look. I could tell he still had that presence and star quality going on, and he knew me from Rachel Stamp, so I suggested I might help him put a band together.
We spent most of the year doing guerrilla style gigs, mainly round London, and it was an amazing experience. I would literally get a call at 4 p.m., and he’d be like, “Okay, we’re playing The Scala tonight”, and we’d be making up the set-list as we went along.
I’ve done the odd gig with him since then, but he has a regular touring band now. I’m still always up for that, though. So many great songs and ideas.
Speaking of the future, what does the rest of this year and beyond hold in store for you?
Right now, I’m launching a new band called She Made Me Do It with Shaheena Dax from Rachel Stamp on vocals. We had a load of song ideas that have all come together really well. It’s kind of a New Wave Electronic-Poppy chorus-fest.
We’re launching it ‘live’ at Some Weird Sin club at the Buffalo Bar in Highbury and Islington on the 7th December. It’s gonna be a riot!
Finally, how can folk find out more about you and your musical ways?
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Will Crewdson)
This interview was conducted on 1st November, 2013.
“Pulse” by Steve Rudd is now available for the Kindle.