Interview: Lewy Glass of HONEST CROOKS

Words/Interview by Ash Wallace

Hellsworths’s Heaviest, Honest Crooks, have some exciting news to share amidst this global pandemic. A recent signing with EVP Recordings as well as dropping a hot new track titled "No Rest." The hardcore four-piece crew out of Tamworth/Canberra are now label mates with the likes of Behemoth, Disentomb and Psycroptic

Combining elements of deathcore, slam and hardcore, Honest Crooks are a true showing of grit, bringing to the heavy music scene a fresh perspective and a “unique brand of heaviness.” Their story is that of a classic small-town band with big city dreams, aiming for international reign and success through perseverance and determination. We caught up with bassist Lewy Glass about the recent signing, new track and more.

Not too long ago you released the track "No Rest", can you give us a rundown of the track and where the inspiration for it came from?

It had a bit of a positive inspiration to start with which kind of turned negative. Originally, we wrote "No Rest" to explain the way that we grind and that we’re always trying to tour and play shows. So it was like no rest metaphorically as in we’re always working and doing whatever we can to expand and get ourselves out there. Then some people that we helped out a lot earlier on when touring, we called our friends, then found out they talked some shit about us online in regard to some opportunities that we worked really hard to get and we were like ‘fuck that’, anyone who disrespects us, we won’t let them stand in our way. It took a darker turn toward the end, but we kept it a bit of a mix of the two, it’s got a very violent undertone and the video represents that as well.

What has the response to "No Rest" been like?

Interesting. We dropped it on the same day Download Festival was cancelled so it was a mix of emotions. It’s a very heavy track from us and it’s a bit simplified. We went a little bit back to our roots for this one and I think some people noticed that. Got a lot of good response to Brodie, our vocalist, he’s only been at the helm of vocals for just under 12 months, moving from guitar to vocals and a lot of response from people already hearing improvement in his vocals in this new direction we’re going down. The response was also good too that we hooked up with EVP Recordings for this single so it’s cool, it was a very exciting day for us, we’re very proud.

I was about to ask about the signing with EVP, how does it feel to be a part of that label family and what sort of opportunities do you hope it will bring the band?

EVP is cool because we’ve known Lochlan Watt for a while and he was speaking to us at the start of our last EP cycle. So, when the “Suffer” EP came out in October 2017, Lochlan Watt actually spoke to us about EVP back then. There’s been talks about it over the last couple of years and we had a few labels in mind that we were thinking about, but EVP has sort of been there for the last couple of years and we thought that we could do as much for them as they can for us and we wanted to come together and have a creative partnership together.

Being in the middle of the global pandemic, what is the band focusing on right now?

We’ve had an album in the works for quite some time and obviously with all the shows being paused for the foreseeable future, we’re just working on the music. We’re just making sure we’ve got everything as tight as we could possibly have it and songs the best that we can make them while we have the time to do so. So, we’re not rushing, we’re taking a step back and thinking what we can do with this time. Unfortunately, we can’t all get together in the studio or anything like that, and there’s quite a bit of distance between the members in our band—pretty much since the beginning. We’re used to working away from each other and working online, so we’re using that experience as a benefit in this situation to work together as much as we can for these new songs and get them as best as we can as soon as we can get some time in the studio, we can lay it down and hopefully make the best record we can make.

Where do you gain most of your inspiration from, whether that be musically or personally?

That’s a good question. I can’t necessarily speak for everyone in the band but we all come from different directions musically, I was a bit of a deathcore dude, Cal and Brodie are kinda metal dudes so we got this cool mix and blend of styles that shows in our music and I think it translates well.

Personally, I’ve always liked to be in control. I’ve always had an interest in management, and leading and direction, so that’s where I get my main drive for doing that side of things with the band. Even lyrically with Brodie on the recent releases that he’s been working on, vocals for him, he said he’d rather sing about things that are personal to him, so he writes a lot of personally driven lyrics and more emotional lyrics that mean something to him. And I feel like that comes across in the songs and in the live performances as well.

Since the beginning of the band back in 2014, what has been your biggest takeaway or lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt along way would definitely be that hard work pays off. We started as a band in Tamworth NSW, which is a regional town of about 50, 000 people, the country music capital of Australia, probably not where you’d expect a metal band to come from. So, when we started we knew we were on the back foot, and we started from meeting people that would come to Tamworth touring with their bands, and me and the original vocalist of Honest Crooks, would travel to Newcastle to see bigger tours that would come through. We’d do a trip Wednesday night then get back home at 3am and go to work that day. That’s the sacrifice we paid just to go and watch live music and that inspired us to do our own band and we had to push ourselves to get out there. We had to network, meet as many people as we could, talk to new bands and people releasing new music or emailing promoters — everything that we could just to get out of town.

It was mainly due to people we’d met in other bands who were putting on their shows. Brodie, who’s now the vocalist of Honest Crooks, before he was in this band, he played guitar in his other band Underminer and he was putting on shows in Sydney and he got us out in Sydney a bit more. Then we started putting on our own shows. The first two Australian headline tours we did we booked ourselves and we just had to do as much of our own work that we could to get our name out there. We were like no one’s gonna pay attention to us if we’re just at home releasing music in Tamworth, no one’s going to notice it, we need to get out there, put on our own shows, we need to meet people and have a good live performance, something people would want to tell someone about or to post about us online or tell their friend who’s a promoter. That’s been the biggest takeaway. You only get out what you put in and we put in 100% from the start which has really paid off for us.

Moving forward what do you hope to achieve next in music or what goals to you have for the future?

It’s kind of hard to say looking at the future at the moment but we definitely want to try and branch into international territory. We’d love to be able to do an international tour, get over to Europe which would be fantastic for us right now. We’ve done a lot of touring in Australia and we love touring Australia, hopefully we can pick up something with the bigger bands. But yeah, we’d really love to get over to Europe and start reaching international waters for sure.

Purchase or stream "No Rest" here:

Follow Honest Crooks on Facebook and Bandcamp for the latest updates. You can also pick up their merch over at Big Cartel.

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