I just had to know more so i posted the band on my wishlist and got contacted by their old guitarist and singer Todd just a week after. My guess is a lot off other people have missed this band as well so i decided to do an interview to get some info on them. The band has just reunited and are getting ready to release a collection of their old songs on CD so i will throw in a download of their Working class EP as a sample of what to come from the CD.
¤Hi Todd. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Could you please introduce yourself and the band to the readers.
-I'm Todd, I play guitar and sing. John plays bass, Danny plays guitar and Matt plays drums. This is our original lineup although we made our first demo with Tim Pendergast (Born without a face) on drums because Matt couldn't do it for a while. We all met and were in other bands together in the late 80's in high school, then formed The Krabs around 1992. Our very first few shows were with a 15 yr old girl named Jessica Powell singing and a different drummer, Snapper (Pecker Tracks). We did about 3 shows with that lineup, but it's been mostly us four guys since 1993.
¤I am in a loss when it comes to your releases. I know you released 2 ep's and a demo but could you please give us the full discography?
-We have one full length tape called 616 Rumble that was recorded with Tim on drums. We made about 200 copies on cassette. Then when Matt got back in the band we recorded a 7" EP called Punk Crock and made 500 copies ourselves. Beat Hotel and Room 13 Records in Detroit then put out the Working Class 7". I believe there were 2000 copies of that. Then we had songs on various compilations on Centsless Records, Shredder Records, and some others I honestly just can't remember.
¤Will all these old releases be on the upcomming release?
-Yes, we are putting everything that we recorded on an upcoming release. We're hoping a label will put it out, but there is nothing for sure yet. If no label comes through, we'll do it ourselves. We also have a full length album of new unreleased material that we will be putting out soon as well. Again, still looking for a label!
¤When did you break up and for what reason? How did it feel to reunite and have you noticed any differances in the scene since the 90's?
-We never really broke up. Danny our guitar player went into the army around 1999 then ended up in Iraq for a few years. We played as a 3 piece for a while, but it just wasn't the same. When Danny finished his time (about 10 yrs) in the Army, we started playing again almost as soon as he came back. It felt great to be back together! We played a couple shows and a ton of people showed up, so that felt really great to know people remember us.
The scene here in Michigan is different now because for one thing, our economy has always been based on working class jobs like making cars. When all our jobs went to China, it means nobody has any money. So, instead of taking vacations, people now just buy a couple of beers and go to a show. The scene here is much bigger than it was in the 90's. We were actually kind of hated in our town because most bands here were anarchist crusty noise bands, and we weren't really into that. Now, it seems like people are more into the kind of music we are playing. So, that's good for us!
¤I heard some of your first songs and it didnt really sound like Oi!/Punk to me. What made you change your sound and what bands influenced you to do so?
-I'm not really sure that we changed our sound. I like to think that we've just gotten better! LOL We've always played different styles of music. I think our records ended up with more oi/streetpunk type songs on them, but we've always been into different music. We have some ska songs, some more metal type stuff, and some songs that are just kind of funny joke type songs. We just play what we want to play. We are all into various types of punk. I think when we were younger, we were listening to lots of British Oi!, New York Hardcore, and a lot of California punk. But, we like stuff like metal and ska as well! I've played in ska bands, garage bands, and metal bands. I even played in an Irish folk group for a while with my mother! The other guys have played other types of music as well. Some of our biggest influences were Michigan/Midwest bands like A.L.D. (Almighty Lumberjacks of Death), Negative Approach, Naked Raygun, Meatmen and Sloppy Seconds. Bands like the Business, Circle Jerks, Clash, Anti-Heros, Stiff Little Fingers, Black Flag were all bands that we listened to alot as well. Probably our biggest influence was from bands that nobody has ever heard of.
When we were growing up, there was a place called the Icepick that was the only punk place around and other than an occasional touring band, it was all local bands playing there. We were teenagers and it was our first taste of punk. There were skinheads and punks there and lots of beer. It was a great place. It was like a big family really. We got exposed to different lifestyles at a really young age. GG Allin even lived there for a while!
¤You mentioned that not only where you working on a collection album of old releases but also a brand new record with unreleased songs. What can we expect from this record? Gothrock or synthpop?
-Well our drummer had to eat his own arm when he was trapped in his car under the snow for over a month last winter, so he'll be playing Def Leppard style now. The rest of us have decided to play Swiss Alpenhorns instead of guitars, so we'll see what that sounds like. Seriously, it's pretty much straight forward American punk rock. The same four chords we've been playing for years!
¤From what i remember your town had some Left VS Right skinhead violence (Group 38 or what they called themselfs). How is it nowdays? Unity or fractions?
-We've never really had much of a skinhead scene at all in our town. Detroit has had some problems, but our town of Grand Rapids has only a handful of skinheads. Mostly non-political, although there was one Aryan group back in the 80's called the Pitbull boys, but that's ancient history. The skinheads now are mostly just working class guys like us that like to drink beer and listen to good music after work. The only division in our city is between some young skins trying to prove they're men and us old guys. But, nothing real big.
¤This is probably the most important question of them all. What do you know about the fabulous and ass-kicking viking kingdom known as Sweden?
-Hmm.... well, I know the Swedish word "Lagom", from what I read in the news there is a growing problem with the muslims in Sweden (maybe need to revive that viking heritage?), and Sweden has a knack for producing pop groups that help drunk Americans have sex (Abba, Ace of Base, etc.). Probably the most important aspect of Sweden though, and the reason we want to tour in Sweden, is because of your beautiful women!
The Krabs - Working class 7'' (1995)Tracklist:
01. Working class
03. Gun control
Released by Room 13 Records in 1995.
Nice coverart in typical 90's fashion á Headache Records etc.
The first song on the record was the one that sparked my intrest in the band. Maybe it was mostly because the rest of the music i heard that evening was underground electro and over appretiated Black Flag records, i dont know.
Listening to it now afterwards it aint all that special, it's good and all but not even the best one in the bunch.
The best song of them all is Gun control. A great and fast anthem about...... gun control and quite reminds me about a more pop and less noizy Squiggy.