Long-time fans of Pop Will Eat Itself would have been extremely heart-broken when the band went their separate ways in 1996. After waiting over a decade, that heartache was healed however; Graham Crabb managed to shake the cobwebs off the Pop Will Eat Itself part of his life with four new bandmates alongside him!
Since that reformation, Pop Will Eat Itself have gone on to release two more albums that have seen them travel all around the world to perform once again; next year it is Australia’s turn once again as Crabb leads the invasion of Australia in March next year for a run of four shows. Not only that, but somehow Pop Will Eat Itself have convinced Australia’s own Caligula to come back and perform at three of those four shows (sorry Perth!)
OVERDRIVE got the chance to speak with Crabb and the first topic of conversation was about the upcoming tour to Australia; this interviewer wanted to know how excited Pop Will Eat Itself are to get back to our shores. Crabb was quick to mention how “we’re very excited to come back as it’s one of our favourite places to be!” before giving reason to why that is:
“We’ve always done okay in America, Australia and the UK; they were the three main territories where the fans have been great to us. Plus I’m definitely looking forward to getting out of this miserable grey place, which has been getting loads of rain and dampness all over; I can’t wait to get to enjoy the sun in Oz.” When asked if there was much snowfall where Crabb is located, he mentioned how “the snow was pretty much everywhere yesterday; except for where I am! I’m located in the south east and we just got a lot of sleet and rain, whereas the rest of the country got snow. We’re just getting that miserable rain that we’re used to” before ending with a small chuckle.
Long time Australian fans of Pop Will Eat Itself will be quite happy to know that original members Richard Marsh and Adam Mole are going to be making the journey for the upcoming tour as well! Crabb went into great depth when he was asked how the conversation came up between both Marsh/Mole and himself:
“I suppose it’s been a while now since I got Pop Will Eat Itself back together and functioning; which has been a sense of achievement for me. I think that they saw it still works well and that it would go down well; they both got on stage with us at a festival in London called Indie Daze. Not only did they enjoying playing again, but it was great to have them back! I just proposed the question to them really; Tim (Muddiman) our guitarist for the last few years has been quite busy with Gary Numan, so he’s off doing that most of the time, so Richard was asked to fill in. With Adam, we just thought it would be good for old time sakes if he came to Australia!”
Since both Marsh and Mole are making the trip down, this interviewer wanted to know whether Crabb approached either Clint Mansell or Fuzz Townshend about making it a full original line-up reunion. Crabb touched on Mansell first, saying how “he does his soundtrack stuff; he’s also come out and stated that he doesn’t want to do any more Pop Will stuff, so we will just leave him to his own devices.” before touching on Townshend:
“Fuzz still drums for us on and off actually; he’s done a couple of shows on and off within the last year to two. He just couldn’t do it this time around as he’s quite busy with some TV work; I don’t know if you’ve seen Car S.O.S on TV, but that’s the show he does. He’s actually got a small break until late January/early February, but then he’s got to get back to his day job on TV.” When this interviewer made a comment about how Townshend had it hard, not being able to find time to fly to Australia because of his other band commitments and his day job as a TV host, Crabb let out a big laugh at the humour in the situation.
This interviewer was informed before the interview that Pop Will Eat Itself are getting Ben Ellingworth (who drums for Illy) to sit behind the kit for this upcoming tour; when asked how this came to take place, Crabb gave a good insight into the workings behind the scenes:
“Since we had to change drummer anyway, I thought it would be good to get a native Aussie on board. He was actually recommended by our tour manager; our tour manager’s name is Stu Mark so make sure to give him a mention. He oversees a lot of bands, so he knows drummers who are good with technology and have a bit of an edge to them; he came out and said how Ben’s one of the best drummers going around in Australia at the moment, so I mentioned that we should approach him and see if he wants to do it. Not only did Ben want to do it, he knows the stuff because he is a fan of the band so it’s all seeming to work out for now!”
Considering that Pop Will Eat Itself have written new music since the departures of Marsh/Moll and the fact that Ellingworth isn’t the usual drummer, this interviewer was curious as to how long it has taken each of those musicians to learn what they need to for the upcoming tour. Crabb focused on talking about how Ellingworth was finding everything before touching on the two former band members:
“I think Ben has received all the stuff that he needs to learn for the upcoming tour, but I haven’t gotten a report back on what he is finding difficult to learn. From what I hear he’s quite a pro, so he will probably find it a piece of piss (chuckles) Richard recently did a couple of gigs with us in the UK so he’s up to speed; Adam knows all the old songs anyway, so it’s just a matter of getting re-acquainted with those and learning the new stuff. We’ve got a bit of a job ahead of us with a re-jigging of the backing tracks though; a lot of the samples and keyboard parts were on the backing tracks originally, but now Adam is going to be dropping those in live! That’s a bit of work that needs to be done, but it will all be completed by March next year.”
For those who are attending or are considering attending next year, you’d most likely want to know what to expect on the night; don’t worry, this interviewer has you covered! Crabb have a short and sweet answer, but it summed up what is to come just perfectly:
“We’re always a pretty lively bunch, so we have quite an amazing dynamic. We’ve got the two front men whipping it up, to go with the other four people on stage so you won’t be short of something to look at; we just hope that people turn up, get down with us and come to party! The reception in Australia has always been amazing so we’re just hoping for more of that, as well as possibly being shown a pub or two to go to after the shows.”
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