RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Crepes
"I love finding the sweet spot of a song when recording, it might be a certain instrument line or part. It could even be the vibe of a song from the start. You have these euphoric moments when making music, I guess you hope that translates to the listener... it's fun to share those moments."
Melbourne-via-Ballarat band Crepes will reinvigorate your day with their warm garage rock. Their laid-back jams go well beyond the surface, slowly building and twisting their way into the dreamiest of soundscapes. Made up of members from The Murlocs, Fraser A. Gorman band and Tropical Snakes, they certainly know how to bring the chill vibes (for such a busy bunch). Just last week they released their debut LP Channel Four and it's been on repeat ever since. We had a mini catch up with lead singer Tim Karmouche to see what's up.
As always, please press play below before reading. The mood has to be just right.
Your sound has a real vintage authenticity to it, it sounds like the past but it doesn’t feel forced at all. Did you all grow up listening to older music or are you just super chill dudes?
Most of the music we listen to is probably from past eras, and the current stuff we listen to probably adopts old school production techniques. So no doubt we have a taste for older sounds. I think the ‘vintage’ sounds on our record are a result of the gear we used. Also Jarvis Taveniere who mixed the record should probably take a lot of the credit for the nice warm sounds.
You released your brilliant debut LP ‘Channel Four’ just last week. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process?
We had a couple of attempts at recording it at different locations with different approaches. Ultimately we settled in at a small studio in Northcote. We ended up tracking most of the songs to the demo’s.
Your songs are so beautifully layered. What’s the weirdest instrument or recording technique you used while making the album?
The funnest instrument I got to play on the record was the Theremin on ‘Forgetting Something’. Its so hard at first but when you hit the right notes you feel like a genius! I also had a real fun time putting congas on almost every song. I think they got buried in the mix a bit though. The weirdest thing we recorded was a car starting and driving off on gravel from the window of the studio. It was pretty funny, but in the end didn’t make the cut.
It seems like you’ve all got a fair bit going on with other band commitments etc. Can you talk us through your creative process as a band? Does having people working on more than one project make things harder, easier, or not really matter?
Having members in other bands doesn’t hinder us at all other than the fact that it might stretch someones time a bit more. The creative process of Crepes has really changed and developed over time. Now I will bring a song to the table and the band will all just do their thing on it. It's good having another songwriter in the band in Sam, who makes suggestions about the form and chords etc, so it becomes a fair collaboration by the time a song is finished. I’ve been a bit fussy about drums and bass in the past, but for the next record I want Nick (drums) & Pat (bass) to do their thing because they’ve both got awesome styles and play well together. They’re twins after all.
There’s a real sense of calm and warmth that translates through your music. Are you consciously trying to create a certain experience for the listener? Or is that just what’s therapeutic for you?
It's definitely therapeutic for me. I love finding the sweet spot of a song when recording, it might be a certain instrument line or part. It could even be the vibe of a song from the start. You have these euphoric moments when making music. I guess you hope that translates to the listener, and its fun to share those moments. There’s definitely moments on the record I struggle to listen to, but also some good moments that I'm proud of.
If you could spend time making music anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Maybe Cape Town in South Africa. Its got these three beautiful mountains in the middle of the city and a really nice coastline. I recently went to Sicily and that was also very beautiful. I love the Australian bush too and find that very inspirational.
Who are some local musicians that you’ve been listening to lately?
There are so many good artists in Melbourne. My favourite at the moment is probably Great Outdoors. Parsnip are also great as well as Girlatones, The Stevens, Orb, Wet Lips, Swim Team, etc. etc. the list goes on forever.
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music, how do you go on the dance floor?
I think I used to be a good dancer. Now I’m really shit, maybe because I don’t dance as much. I’ve been told I dance like an old man! I need to practice.
Crepes will be taking their debut LP on tour for some special live shows. Don't miss 'em:
Friday 10th November, The Eastern, Ballarat - info here.
Saturday 11th November, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne - info here.
Thursday 7th December, Waywards, Sydney - info here.