Novacrow are a UK based hard rock band with a generous dose of zombies and sleaze added to the mix – think along the lines of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. They’ve just released debut EP Black Syrup, so I sent them some questions to learn more about the band.
What is the story behind your band?
Kitty: Seeing as the truth is pretty straightforward, in that Jonyx and I started making music together and we acquired Freddy and Torben for Novacrow purposes, here is an extravagant backstory.
Jonyx: Originally conceived on the planet of Sexlexis in the Andromeda system, we were sent to dominate Earth through the power of pelvic-thrustingly good music. Unfortunately Sexlexis became struck with the extremely erotic disease ‘Sexlexia’ and we were given the task of finding a cure, the fastest way to spread the word…Novacrow! (continuity errors in storyline may occur…)
Torben: …and then I joined
Where are you from, and what prompted you to start?
K: I have always loved playing in a band and I think the four of us were drawn together, because we all enjoy making lots of noise and embarrassing ourselves. Jonyx and I are from Wolverhampton, Torben is from Norfolk and Freddy is originally from Italy.
How would you describe your sound?
Freddy: A sextastic sonic force.
K: Fat juicy riffs, sleazy vocals and groin-grabbingly good choruses.
T: Top stuff.
What song or album do you recommend for first time listeners?
F: Our EP ‘Black Syrup’ is a must listen for anybody who enjoys being a person. I’d say ‘Fat Frog’ off it would give the best idea of what we’re about.
J: Black Syrup, it’s the tits!
T: I’d personally go for Fight the Horde, I consider it a stomping song.
Why kazoo? It’s definitely not a conventional instrument.
K: Kazoos are just hilarious. We first used one when we did a terrible cover of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ at a Valentine’s gig. People loved it, so we thought it would be funny to add a bit of kazoo into all of our shows. We ended up recording it on the opening track of our EP, Fat Frog.
Torben, you appear to be the punk in a band of metalheads. Does this cause any conflict?
T: When I first joined I wanted to play everything much faster, but whilst punk is my favourite genre, I grew up on metal, owning every Opeth record and listening to them on repeat. Gojira were also big for me, and still are. But having said that, I wouldn’t say it has caused tension, at core we’re all just looking to have fun playing music we love.
Sadly, rock music is still male dominated. Do you find that you’re treated differently to other bands because you have a female singer?
K: It’s hard for me to be objective as (obviously), I’ve only ever been in bands with a female member, but I’d say that we are treated differently to an extent. ‘Female fronted’ is regularly treated like a genre, which is a bit strange, as we often find ourselves billed alongside a load of symphonic metal bands. To us, the fact that we have a female member isn’t an important part of Novacrow. I’ve had my fair share of derogatory comments, but it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than a couple of snide remarks to stop me from rocking my ass off.
It looks like you have a lot of fun playing on the zombie/horror theme. What are some more creative examples of where you have taken this theme?
K: We did a big cheesy B-movie music video for our single Fight The Horde!!! Which was super fun to film. We’ve used this in our live shows too, in one we used a giant screen to show clips creating a ‘storyline’ and had zombies coming on stage and out into the audience. At our EP launch we did zombie face painting too, so we had a whole crowd of the undead.
Between you all, the band covers recording, production, writing and art. Tell me about your DIY motives.
F: For us it pretty much came naturally, we all seem to fit together like a sort of jigsaw puzzle. John has the most experience in photo editing and designing, so he just took on the role of artwork designer. I’m a producer of my own accord outside the band, so I took command of recording, production, and video editing when needed. This leaves most of the artistic direction up to Kitty, so she’ll write most of the songs and we all chip in accordingly.
And then there’s Torben.
Paint me a picture of what I should expect to see at a typical Novacrow gig.
Kitty: Picture yourself at a dingy venue with a cheap pint of beer in one hand. Novacrow comes onstage and suddenly you are weak at the knees. Each member is dazzlingly attractive and unimaginably talented. Their music is so fantastic, you feel faint. Their stage banter is so hilarious, your sides actually split from laughter. The crowd around you are going wild, foaming at the mouth, tits everywhere. You fish out your wallet and you’re literally throwing handfuls of money at the band, they are just that good….
Kitty, I saw that in the list of books you read last year you covered a lot of classic literature and graphic novels, especially some dystopian texts. Talk me through some of your favourites. I know you have a degree in English Lit, so I’m expecting some good recommendations.
K: YES. Excellent question. There are so many incredible novels that everybody needs to read! Obvious choices include Fahrenheit 451, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1984, Brave New World, Slaughterhouse 5 and any of Poe’s short stories.
My longtime favourite author is Stephen King. His first person narratives are unbeatable and I love his great sprawling fantasy epics. It, The Stand, The Dark Half and The Green Mile, are a few of my top choices.
In terms of a quirky recommendation, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, or Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino. I’ve also just finished the trilogy of 1Q84 novels, by Haruki Murakami, which were fantastically written.
What format do you use the most when listening to music? [vinyl, cd, streaming etc..]
F: I mostly download my music, and when I buy CD’s I’ll import them to my laptop. I ain’t got the time to pick out a CD and put it in a CD player and shit, I just want it THERE!
Torben: MP3s or digital music, whenever I travel or walk I have music in. I have a vast collection of CDs which I listen to whenever I can, because I love having a hard-copy of the music I love most.
Tell us your best tour story.
F: We once played a biker club in the middle of Derbyshire and camped out on their fields. There was a HUGE slug that turned out to be just two regular slugs. There was also a lot of booze, some cooked chicken, a broken pump, and a giant fake plastic horse. And Showaddywaddy.
What is your band’s greatest achievement to date?
K: The fact that we’ve somehow tricked people into believing that we’re a real band, rather than a group of attention seeking idiots. I’m super proud of the EP and the excellent feedback we’ve had from it.
Who would you most love to tour or collaborate with?
F: The almighty GWAR.
K: Wednesday 13, Rob Zombie, Skindred or Alestorm.
T: Murder Dolls or Green Jellÿ who were great fun to play with… anyone who’s up for fun and some heavy music basically.
What plans do you have for the near future?
K: Loads of gigs, working on new material and general badassery