As you may have gathered by now, Crushed Beaks, a duo made up of Alex Morris and Matthew Poile, are currently based in South London, where they’re hard at work on their debut album. White they put the finishing touches to the LP, the pair are set to play at this weekend’s Brainlove Festival, taking place at The Windmill, over in Brixton tomorrow. Jonathan Hatchman catches up with Matthew prior to the event.
There’s a limited amount of accessible information about your band online. Let’s take this time to get to know a bit more about you and the music you make…
We are based in a shed in Lewisham, South London. The shed is where we write, record and practice, and is where we’ll be come the apocalypse.
What can you tell us about your early days? How did you get together and did you have a plan of what you wanted to achieve?
We’ve known each other a long time. We grew up in the same town and went to the same school and then to the same university, where we led separate lives. Then we were reacquainted one evening at the Marquis Of Granby. I knew Alex played the drums well from old times. I played him some demos and said how about giving it a shot. I don’t think he was that into it at first but we had a rehearsal anyway. Seemed to work pretty well straight away which was awesome. There was no real plan. We made demo CDs with Page 3 girl sleeves and gave them out at shows.
There may be some readers that are unfamiliar with your music. Tell us why they should check out your material and perhaps get their hands on a copy of ‘Sun Dogs’?
‘Sun Dogs’ was the first track that we released properly online. We put a lot of time into making it sound exactly how we wanted it to. We wanted to make something that sounded expansive and vast, but in the context of a pop song.
Does the fact that there are only two of you make it difficult to breed creativity and produce your textured sound?
Having less people actually makes it a lot easier for us. Things happen more organically. We’ve both played in bands before where too many cooks were spoiling the proverbial broth. Less is more.
What has been the favourite show you’ve played so far?
Annual Fucking Awesome Saturday Day Part Two last weekend was great. AFASD is a garden party in New Cross that we put on with our friends. This year the stage was a castle and there were gargoyles and pig’s heads. Real pig’s heads. It was gross and wrong on many levels. Also playing were La Shark, Filthy Boy, Yucky Slime, The Boys Next Door and Naseby Fox.
You’ve been gaining a bit of a reputation around South London… What do you think it is about the music you make that has resonated so much with people?
I think when you play music that comes naturally, people respond to that. People know when you are forcing it because it doesn’t gel. We don’t tend to think too hard about our songs. If they don’t work the first few times we play them through we put them to one side. Many songs get left in the gutter like this. On the other hand, some songs write themselves while we’re playing them.