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Interviews

Ryan Jarman answers the Questions of Doom

...Ryan tells you why you should love his band....

Who are you?

Ryan Jarman

And what do you do?

I'm in THE CRIBS. I play guitar and write some of the songs.

What are the secret origins of the Cribs?

We were born into the same family, me and Gary by Caesarean section in 1980, Ross naturally in 1984.

You supported the Libertines on the last tour with Pete Doherty in tow. How have your lives changed since then and did you get any recognition because of that tour?

It was a really good show and an important tour to be part of. We were the first band to play on the 'Albion Tour' and it was exciting because you never knew if it was going to happen until you were there. The community that surrounds the Libertines got really into us after that and it was cool because we met a lot of new friends and did some fucking great shows that were a lot of fun.

You also toured with The Others. What were those shows like?

A lot of fun and a really good laugh. As messy as you'd expect I suppose!

You've become friends with Dominic Masters. What is he really like?

Dominic is my mate and that's how I see him primarily. I met him during the Libertines tour before The Others had put anything out so I had no pre-conceived notions about him. So we go back a bit and I find him to be honest and that's all you can be. Gary lent him £20 on tour and he's never forgotten about it.

On your debut album you recorded with Bobby Conn. Could you, for the folks at home, describe this rock'n'roll alien and why people should love him and his music?

He is small, smart and unlike any person or band around at the moment. People should love him because I say so.

Why is Calvin Johnson your God?

He isn't. Gary loves him but I'm the one that sings like him on the album which doesn't make much sense. I like that scene though. I ate a bag of what was essentially salty wood with Calvin.

Being brothers in a band and touring up and down England, does it cause any band tension?

No.

What is the Cribs manifesto with regards to music. Are you pop, are you rock, are you living in a land where Guided by Voices are king?

I don't like Guided By Voices, so no! I don't know what we are. The new album is full of different ideas. I suppose we are pop and I don't care. It's not a dirty word. Rock is dirtier! We have punk hearts, most importantly.

You are from Wakefield, not London, so, the question is - IS WAKEFIELD BURNING and with which bands?

Wakefield burns with the Cribs and we'll burn with Wakefield.

What are your thoughts on scenes?

I don't like them. We've lived in Wakefield all our life and so have never been a part of one and it's made us feel like outsiders. They're stifling and scenesters have no aspirations to do anything outside of it. I think there is a big difference between scenes and communities though, which are made up of like minded friends. I know that sounds like "six of one and half a dozen of the other" but it isn't. Scenes have bullshit hierarchies and uniforms etc. I'm just glad that where I've grown up has never allowed me to become a scenester.

Is it o.k. to like rock'n'roll again?

It's alright to like whatever music floats your boat. If you mean rock 'n' roll like the Beatles then absolutely! If, however, you mean dumb arse rock 'n' roll like Jet or something then certainly not in my book!

Wichita Recordings recently connected itself to V2. Were you worried about affiliating yourself with a major label?

Of course, but Wichita are smart enough not to get fucked and we only deal with them. They let us do what we want. I would never have signed to a major. I'm on Wichita and V2 have no say in what we do.

You are recording your second album, what can we expect?

Violins, accordions, pub pianos...seriously! Roddy Frame from Aztec Camera and Paul Cook from the Pistols came down to the studio to hang out, it was amazing and they're both influences. We haven't listened to anyone or anything that could have fucked us up. It's still simple and sweet but weirder, angrier and poppier all at the smae time. We recorded a song on Scarborough beach too. The album is a little bit sadder but I know that people who liked the first one will love it. It's also quite personal.

Is this the perfect description of your music, 'You know when you're a kid and you keep playing your fave pop song over and over and you get excited about going home to listen to it some more'.

I hope so. I like that.

You are often compared to The Strokes. Do you find it tiresome that a legion of critics believe that The Strokes invented the three-minute pop song?

I suppose that's just lazy, but our songs are all about two and a half minutes anyway so we're at least thirty seconds cooler than The Strokes.

Edwyn Collins is producing your next album, how did this connection come about? Any stories about Edwyn that you would like to share?

He's a really cool guy. I think we were working together because we heard he wanted to do it and we really wanted to work with him. We got pissed every single night in the studio with him so it was really relaxed and Edwyns alter ego Denny Lorimer would take over. He gave us loads of vintage mics for our studio and told us stories of how he's basically pissed off everyone in the music industry at one point or another. Top fella!!!

Your live shows are often described as ramshackle yet fun, how do you gear up for a Cribs live show?

We just show up and drink until it's time to go on. It's weird, we always get paranoid that we aren't going to be drunk enough to play so we always end up overdoing it a bit and that's why something invariably ends up going wrong. I wouldn't have it any other way. There is nothing more boring than a professional show and I would hate to put one on. We are quiet people and if we weren't pissed I seriously doubt we could do a gig.

What's on your stereo?

I don't have one, honestly. Fuck knows why. I suppose if I did it certainly wouldnt be The Killers or anything like that. That is the best reason ever to listen to my band.

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