Crocodiles are a young Californian noise duo, which released their debut album 'Summer of Hate' on Fat Possum Records earlier this year.

Described by one critic "the Velvet Underground swinging the Jesus and Mary Chain", the band, which consists of singer Brandon Welchez and guitarist Charles Rowell, recently played their first European tour.

'Summer of Hate', instead of describing the usual Californian world of beaches, expensive homes and beautiful sunsets, conjures up a nightmarish world inhabited by violent Hells Angels and sports jocks, drug casualties and in which war planes erupt through the skies overhead.

Pennyblackmusic caught up with Crocodiles on their last date of their UK tour in london. We spoke to Charles as Brandon was saving his voice for the gig.


PB: To me the name Crocodiles means a lot because it is also the tile of Rcho and the Bunnymen's debut LP title. Does that mean anything to you guys?

CR: No, it has nothing to do with that.

PB: Why did you choose that name then?

CR: We wanted the band to be called Crocodiles Tears because it sounds really cool and very 60s, but for some reason we thought it must already be taken somewhere. Then we kept on saying Crocodiles and it sort of stuck. I mean it is really cool that there is an LP By Echo and the Bunnymen called that. We thought it sounded cool, the sort of a name that a doo wop group might have. We love Frankie Lymon, but that's about it really.

PB: How long have you been going then?

CR: We have been together for about a year now, but we have both been playing since we were like 16 or 17.

PB: How old are you guys then?

CR: 26 and 28. We started out playing in various other noise acts. We toured the States straight away as the Crocodiles and we have now reached this point.

PB: Where in California are you guys from?

CR San Diego.

PB: You draw a lot of references to the Jesus and Mary Chain in particular.

CR: Yeah, yeah, yawn! Zzzzz!

PB: But to me, I also hear in your music the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Suicide and the Spacemen 3, which to me says your music is moody, noisy, and psychedelic. Would you say that is about right?

CR: About right. They are words we use.I don't know. It is different sitting around writing songs and then you release them. You don't really think about them like under an umbrella. We don't listen to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but we know what they do, I would say Suicide are an influence because it took a lot for us to become a two piece.

PB: How long did it take you to record and write 'Summer of Hate'

CR: Six months. We had a single called 'Neon Jesus'. That was the first song we wrote together. The second was 'Soft Skull' which is on the album. With our first songs we just wrote and recorded straight. Every time we had a new song, we would go in and record it.

PB: Why did you call the album 'Summer of Hate'?

CR: I don't know. It's just how it came out, A lot of the songs are moody, and to do with isolation. That's just the feel of the album that it gives off. The title fits that. With summer, you still get, heartache, riots and whatever. It doesn't conjure up good images, but it is still also summer. There are two sides to everything.

PB: This your first UK tour, isn't it?

CR: Yes.

PB: Have you played Europe yet?

CR: Yes.

PB: Where have you enjoyed playing music most so far?

CR: Ireland, Italy and Scotland.

PB: And what were the reasons for that?

CR: They were just really great places and great times and there were nice people there. When you're on a level like ours, it's not really a level at all. We are just beginners. You cherish these times and the times stick with you. We were suprised that so many people came out to see us.

PB: What are your current future plans?

CR: We go home and we tour with the Horrors and then we come back here in October. Glasgow is the first date on October 19th.

PB: Thank you, Charles.

CR: Thanks.











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