DATE OF INTERVIEW: 10th April 2018
METAL DISCOVERY: I guess dark electronica would be a very general description the music you’re doing now, but you’ve opted to label it as ‘Punk-EDM’. Did you see it as important to have some kind of genre affiliation?
KROW: Well, definitely from the EDM side, because of electronic music. But, the thing with electronic music, it’s quite sparse, actually. You’ve usually got one or two loops that they’re using, and then you’ve got vocals. So, it’s not kitchen-sink, like I’ve done it. But, on the other side of it, I’ve got the aggressive vocals and the aggressive sounds and, for me, I guess that is harking back to punk. For me, I am anti-establishment; I just am. As I say, I’m an older woman; I will not conform and, I guess, a certain part of my history and that, I think that women are natural anarchists because we’re always operating in a male framework… especially in music. So, yeah, I guess that’s why it came across as Punk-EDM.
(Krow on her anti-establishment ethos)
"I think that women are natural anarchists because we’re always operating in a male framework… especially in music."
Krow - promo shot
Interview by Mark Holmes
Photograph copyright © 2016 - uncredited
MD: That makes sense. Although I think you have one of those voices that’s malleable to any genre. As I’ve always said about Brian Blessed, for example, he could read out his own shopping list and it would sound amazing…
KROW: Yeah! [Laughs]
MD: I think you could sing anything and it would sound amazing, if you know what I mean!
MD: I think all good, sincere music ultimately transcends any sense of genre affiliation, when it’s digested as an emotional experience… as I was saying earlier, I guess… which I think is how I’ve experienced your music. It’s so emotionally powerful, that style becomes secondary. Is this how you hope people will connect with your music? You know, it’ll attract people from the punk and EDM scenes, but I think it’s a very powerfully emotional experience, regardless of genre.
KROW: Yeah, it is, anyway and, with the stage show, more so, because I’ve got costumes that I use in that. To be honest, I just wrote it for myself. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t writing it for anyone; I was writing it for myself and, when I’ve had a few glasses too many, I want to put something on really loud, and I want to really enjoy myself, and I want to be taken somewhere else. That’s how I wrote the music, and that was my intent, for myself. The fact that other people like it is a bonus. It’s a real bonus, I’ll be honest! [Laughs]
And, here’s the thing - I guess, in the message, I think it can be transported across to all different age groups and genres because of the messages against society. You know, ‘Demon, I’ is about older women; older women who are no longer seen. They’re no longer breeding so, as far as that’s concerned, they’re out of time. And, that’s why I sing, “I’m not afraid” and “I am devil-made” because, as far as that’s concerned, you are devil-made. You then become a sorcerer as far as the superstitions of our society are.
‘Sexmenco’ is about rough lesbian sex, which I’m sure a lot of groups would be up in arms about the fact that I’ve just said “rough lesbian sex”. Well, that’s who I am and I wrote it for myself and, if you don’t like it, go and buy a different album. The world is so bloody big… do you know what I mean?... [Laughs]… you don’t have to sit there slagging mine off! [Laughs]
MD: Exactly! People like to be hyper-critical of things they have no interest in, in the first place.
KROW: Yeah, and I think ‘Headmonsters’ is also… it’s about mental health. It’s one of those things, at the moment, it’s very high in the media. But, it’s not just about mental health… it’s also, for me, I wrote that about my own periods and the fact that, when you have a really bad period, fuck me, you are locked into your mind, that is trying to do summersaults and, all you want to do is get away… and you just can’t. It’s so hormonal. And, I guess, I would say it’s the same, but you guys have the same thing once you’re locked in with the testosterone rush. Do you know what I mean? You get that red mist and that’s it. And, for me, ‘Headmonsters’ is about that. It’s about the really bad ones.
But, I also do have a lot of fans who come up and a few of them have been abused as kids, and they said it really helps them to listen to that; just to be able to sing it and just shout it out and get it out, because the music’s so fucking loud. And, also, they say that they don’t feel alone and that’s just really sweet. It’s nice to know that you’re helping someone.
MD: It’s kind of like a mutual catharsis, I guess, in that sense.
MD: Obviously, you said it’s cathartic for you, but other people are experiencing catharsis along with you.
KROW: Yeah, absolutely. And, I think the thing is, doing it to music, it’s not all…. I don’t know… let’s draw a circle and what do we feel about that? You don’t have to cover your way through stuff; you can just shout your way through stuff.
MD: Which is a very cathartic thing in itself!
KROW: Yeah! [Laughs] Absolutely.
MD: I read in a recent online interview, to quote you, you said, “It’s time for me to rip a new arsehole in the flabby safety net of modern life!”
MD: Which is amazingly well put! So are you wanting to pull the rug from under the sugar-coated, Disney world that’s sold to kids, with its perennial sense of perfect closure, and show everything for what it really is; to make people think about stuff on a more profound level?
KROW: Yeah, I think, in general, we’ve gone backwards. Everything’s so safe and so tame now. We have become a nanny state. I guess with Rockbitch, you kind of thought, “Oh, well, there’s a reason for that”, but you’ve got to remember, with RB, everything we did, it was over 18s entry, okay… over 18. Now, when you’re eighteen, you’re supposed to be an adult and you’re supposed to make your own choices, right. Unfortunately, the councils and the higher powers that be, decided that, “Fuck that, no… I don’t care if there are eighteen year olds, if there are adults, who want to go and see this band, they’re not allowed to.”
So, that was back then. Oh, it’s even worse now. And it’s just disturbing that so many people are just sitting back and not doing anything about it. You know, we’ve just got to be little good consumers; feel the same thing; we’ve gotta be polite about any old shit and, above all, we’ve got to be nice to each other. And that isn’t for me. That’s so not for me. And, I’ll be honest, I don’t bother talking to people, anymore; they’re just so disappointing. There’s, pretty much, nothing there. So, yeah, I do just sing it out instead. And you’ve got social media… social media is vile… fuck me…
MD: Good words! Facebook, it’s the closest it’s come to finishing, at the moment, with the current data abuse scandal… I’m like, yeah, get rid of Facebook, and then people can retrieve so much time of their lives… but I guess they’d just jump on the next social media bandwagon and become mindless zombies on there.
KROW: Yeah, exactly, it is. And you get the trolling that goes up and it’s such a sad world we live in. It really is.
MD: It is. People have become so solipsistic with the whole thing, where they’ve become the centre of their own little social media world and not really looking beyond that. It’s a very short-sighted way to exist.
KROW: Yeah, we need to encourage some spinal growth, at some point!
KROW: Otherwise, we’re gonna go backwards. We’re gonna go back into the water and never come back out again!
MD: I think we’re heading back towards Mediaeval times, so I think, in 500 years’ time, we’ll be back in the Mediaeval period!
KROW: [Laughs] I agree on that one!
MD: Probably for the better… and then everything can be built from the ground up again and not invent shite like Facebook!
MD: You have a good few shows coming up, including a masked ball in Whitby that looks like a tasty little event. Is that something you’re looking forward to?
KROW: Yeah, absolutely, so much looking forward to that. Just the dressing up, darling, it’s gonna be wonderful! And just the fact that the whole… I mean, I’ve been to Whitby quite a few times, but to go there for the event and to be invited for the event is just like kudos for me. I’m really, really excited. And it’s just gonna be lovely to see the whole town transformed into goths. I’ll probably go up to the castle, you know…
MD: Oh yeah, up by the Abbey; up the 199 steps…
KROW: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. I’ll probably just go up there and look out and see if I can see Dracula!
MD: Are you going to announce any further shows for the rest of the year or is it just what you’ve got booked now?
KROW: So, what we’ve got booked for now is what we’ve got, but we’re actually working on a second phase, at the moment, and we should be releasing those, I think, in two or three months’ time. We’re also working on some new material, as well. So, yeah, it’s fun. I’m having fun, which is lovely! It’s nice to be in a band where I can enjoy the music again, if you see what I mean.
MD: Definitely. You kind of touched on this earlier, but blurb on your website talks of “an unmissable conceptual stage show”, so what can people expect from a live Krow performance?
KROW: Well, the live performance, it kind of goes through… I’ve got three main characters. One is, obviously, the female; the woman, but with the horns, so, obviously, she’s from the darker side. I usually start off with her. My second image is I have a bloody period dress that I wear, and a lot of those songs that we do in that particular moment on stage are to do with mental illness. Then we have, also, a witch’s outfit, basically, because one of the songs we did was ‘Hallelujah’, from the previous album, and that was an ode to the witches that died. I just felt that, being Pagan, I needed to get it out there and sing “Hallelujah” to them… obviously, not in Christian form!
KROW: So yeah, that, basically, is the rough thing. I mean, at 140 bpm, this show only lasts for fifty minutes because, as you can appreciate, that is some serious going; it is double busy.
MD: Oh yeah, intense, I guess.
KROW: But it’s good. If you’re feeling saggy at the beginning, you are up there at the end!
MD: [Laughs] I need to get myself to one of these shows, very soon!