Craang is a psych rock band from Thessaloniki and have released one full-length album ‘To The Estimated Size Of The Universe’ (2014, Pink Tank Records). They will jam on January 28th at ILION Plus in Athens.
Manos (guitar, vocals), Nick (drums), and Theano (bass) from Thessaloniki Greece. Tell us a few words about Craang, year of formation and source of inspiration.
The band has changed significantly over the past few years, Nick being the only remaining original member. I, Manos, joined in 2011 as second guitarist and after a short time we went from a 4 piece band to a trio. In late 2015, Theano replaced our former bassist, and we have been the winning team ever since. As far as our process is concerned, we have tried to create outside of using musical stereotypes and standards. We prefer to just follow our flow, so to speak. We compose all together in the rehearsal room, pushing each other’s limits, which makes the music naturally occur. I would say it is a pretty intriguing process.
You have one album released so far, ‘To The Estimated Size Of The Universe’ (2014, Pink Tank Records). There is also a recent digital track from the ‘Just A Burn’ compilation, ‘Death To Ming’. Is this track part of a future work?
‘Death To Ming’ is part of a very long jam that happened during a recording session. We always record our rehearsals. At that time, it was a very representative piece, so naturally we chose it for this compilation. We are currently working on new material but there’s no rush. It’s wonderful not having a deadline, we create freely, so anything you hear from us is the fruit of pure musicality.
Your sound and the technic of jamming without many lyrics reminds me of Karma To Burn, but slower and more psychedelic. What are your main influences and favorite bands of the kind?
We all three have different musical backgrounds. What we do have in common is good taste in music. We often share with each other songs of totally different genres, we try to get inspired by them. One example is our cover of ‘The Carnival Is Over’ by Dead Can Dance. We have given it a really original, unexpected feel. Like most bands, we are lucky to be influenced by great music.
Describe to us your live shows. Do you perform cover songs… Do you improvise?
Our sound is made up of heavy fuzzed guitar, pounding, rumbling, train-like bass lines, massive kicks and huge cymbals. We like to think of our gigs as a long trip and back again. As mentioned, our sets usually include one cover song (Dead Can Dance’s ‘The Carnival Is Over’), some improvisation and of course, our hourly long, uninterrupted, one shot show.
You are appearing on January 28 along with Fuel Eater and Golden Nugget at ILION Plus in Athens, organized by Merlin’s Music Box. Apart from your work of ‘To The Estimated Size Of The Universe’ what should the audience expect to listen from you?
We’re working on a surprise so we can’t give you any more information! We are just hoping to make it on time.
Theano (bass) is also a talented artist who is responsible for the great artwork of your album. Can you tell us what the artwork reflects along with the title?
We are very lucky that both Theano and Nick are talented artists. Theano works wonderfully with her hands. She gets dirty while creating, using a variety of colours and materials. Nick is a master in digital arts. Both of them have designed many of our posters. As for our album cover, I wouldn’t say there is an exact straightforward meaning related to the music, since it was created before the music was even conceived. We just loved the way it looked and knew we wanted it on our album cover, so both Nick and Theano worked closely with each other to adapt it.
Is the way you express yourselves as musicians, the same way you see the world?
It might be the other way around, actually. We see the world the way we express ourselves through music. There’s a lot of merit in the saying, “Earth without Art woold be only ‘Eh’“. Is there any way to sanely experience the world, if not through artistic, musical expression? If yes, tell us, please!
Photo credits: Victor Malkievic