Melbourne’s The Crookeds have released cracking new single State of Panic taken from their EP Dead Eye. The quartet’s latest offering is a riff-heavy slice of rock, ready to delight fans of Nothing But Thieves, Royal Blood, and Queens of the Stone Age. Raring to go, following the Melbourne lockdowns, the boys have come back strong with two massive new tracks Dead Eye – a hard and fast take on society’s shift from intuition – and now State of Panic – a driving, 7-string, hard-rock banger against modern-day mind control. Oscar Linkson (drums) answers some questions for Hi Fi Way about the single and EP.
How exciting is it being in The Crookeds right now?
It’s unbelievably exciting! We’re really riding off the high from this release and we can’t wait to get out on the road and start playing shows again. Our growth in the time that we’ve been together has really been nothing short of amazing, so we’re excited to see where the future takes us from here. The only way is up for us.
With all the challenges right now have you been stoked with how the band has been able to push on?
I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve come and how we’ve been able to overcome challenges. It’s by no means been easy, but we all believe in this band, and have such a clear picture in our minds of what we want to achieve that we’re not letting anything stand in the way of that. We have a beautiful internal dynamic and it really shows through all of the stop-starting that we’ve had to endure.
How has the build up been to the new EP Dead Eye?
The build up to this release has been such an exciting journey – we worked on this one for just short of two years, so the sense of relief on release day was incredible. We have such a wonderful fanbase and support network that really believe in us as well, so we’ve had incredible feedback throughout the whole journey – it’s been really special.
What is the story behind the EP?
Dead Eye was originally a four-track EP comprising of the tracks Dead Eye and Tell Those Lies, alongside our two previous singles Sucker for Pain and Never Get It and was set for a mid-2020 release. However, with the onset of the pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, we were forced to change our plan. We had previously recorded tracks Dead Eye and Tell Those Lies in November 2019, Something So Wrong was written in the peak of Melbourne’s second lockdown, while Lunacy and State of Panic came together late last year/ early this year. We hit the studio in March to record the three new tracks, and the first single Dead Eye was released on April 22.
Sonically how would you describe The Crookeds?
Powerful, vibrant and sexy.
Are there plans for more music this year?
Not this year. Our main focus now is getting this EP into as many ears as we can. We’re still writing new material though, so keep your eyes peeled for more from us soon.
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for The Crookeds?
Honestly it’s hard to pick just one. We’re all lovers of metal and heavy riffs, which I think is pretty evident in the music we create. Our writing process is very organic, and we never really draw from any one source of inspiration. We bounce ideas off each other so fluidly, so I think our biggest inspiration is each other and the love we have for creating music as a group. Nothing But Thieves is an obvious comparison that a lot of people make. Huge riffs and angelic vocals are a unique pairing that I don’t think very many bands are doing at the moment. We’re all fans of those guys, and we love what they’re creating, so I think it’s fair to say that we draw some inspiration from their sound, but with our own flair of course.
Did the band lose much momentum last year due to the pandemic?
Initially yes. At the start of 2020 we had just finished our very first headline tour – 10 dates in 8 cities – and with plans to release our debut EP, we felt unstoppable. Following the onset of lockdowns, all of our touring plans were lost and we felt as if our momentum had halted completely – something that was quite difficult to come to terms with. However, following the extended lockdown in Melbourne, we were so eager to get out and pick up from where we left off that we began rehearsing and writing as soon as we could. Once Melbourne opened back up, the following six months were some of our busiest and most exciting since the band began. We were selling out more shows than ever before and we could see real progress again. Our passion for this band is unrivalled, so I think that while our momentum was halted, it only made us more excited to get back to it as soon as possible.
Selling out the last five of your own headline shows how much are you looking forward to things opening up again?
Honestly we can’t wait to get back out there to share the love with our fans. We thrive off the energy of performing live and all this time away from it has only made us hungrier. Not only did we see incredible growth in our momentum during the first half of this year, but we’re now working with Premier Artists and Habit Music so it’s such an exciting time for us and playing shows is really the only thing missing.
What’s next for The Crookeds?
Straight to the top baby! In all seriousness, we have plans to support this release with a tour, but lockdowns have thrown a spanner in the works so I can’t quite say when at this stage. Just keep up with our socials to see when we announce more information. We’re writing new material currently as well, so I’m fairly confident that you won’t have to wait too long to hear more from us. We’ve got some big plans for next year, but I’m not at liberty to discuss those just yet, so you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled.
Interview By Rob Lyon