The Cribs came to Bristol’s O2 Academy, ahead of their performance we were lucky enough to catch up with guitarist and vocalist Ryan Jarman.

What’s it like being back in the UK and all back together again?


Photo credits Daisy Lucker
Photo credits Daisy Lucker

It’s cool because the last tour we did, we spent most of the time touring in America which is nice but some days the drives are literally like two days long and when you’re doing it in a van… I feel like those tours really drag on. With a UK tour, everywhere’s so close and like they’re bigger shows; it just feels more intense. We left the UK till last, it was kind of good in a way, if it’s going to be the last tour of the year it’s better to do it in the UK because the just got the best crowds.

So would you say you prefer being in the UK than America?

I think in the states every show, city and audience is so different, it keeps it really interesting. We tour on a much more DIY scale out there, it’s a lot more hands on so I enjoy doing that but I would say the UK is my favourite. We’re most established here; the audience is more passionate.

Is it good being in a band with your brothers or is it just really annoying?

To be honest with you I think if I wasn’t in a band with my brothers I don’t think I’d still be in a band anymore! I’d still be making music but I don’t think I wouldn’t be going on the road. As brothers we’re all really close and we know we really care about each other but it’s mentally difficult to tour. We feel we have a responsibility to each other, you’ve got to pull together even when you’re really burnt out. Everyone thinks ‘oh you’ll be fighting all the time’ but we worked all that frustration out because being on the road, as much as it’s fun it does get to the point and really test you.

Have things changed massively from when you first started?

Yeah, when we first started we didn’t intend on getting a record deal that was all completely accidental. When The Strokes and the White Stripes came out, record companies started calling us all the time and we were like ‘that’s really weird’ because we didn’t intend on that! Things have changed since then; me and Gary live on opposite sides of America and Ross lives in the UK, if we all still lived together it would be too much. You can’t be on tour together and then go home together, you’d just been completely driving each other crazy. I go back to New York and I don’t think about being a band at all. I pretend I’m not a guy in a band and just forget about it. I just stay at home, lock the door and I hang out with my cat for about three to four days and then I just start to gradually start venturing outside. You’ve got have that total mundanity to still be able to enjoy it.

How would you go about writing an album?

You have to have time off touring. We wait until we feel like it, because writing songs becomes something you feel compelled to do it; if you’re not doing it you feel like you’re really starving yourself. We’ll either fly to Ross’s house in Wakefield and we’ll write in his garage or go to Portland where Gary lives and write in his basement for a couple weeks. It’s actually really productive to have a break, the fact is we’re just kind of lazy!

Do you prefer your old or new music?

I get to the point where I get sick of playing the same stuff, I like playing a mixture of both old and new, you know we’re not the band who will just only play the new record or anything, we’ve really changed the set list round this tour; we’ve got over a hundred songs so we can afford to.

Anything on the new record?

Nope, we started recording one and then we made the mistake of telling people that we started recording one so the update is no update at the minute!

Where did the band name come from?

It was Gary that came up with the name, it was something to do with when we were at college. Me and Gary got kicked off the course so we wanted to book the studio so he just made up a band name on the spot and wrote it on the booking sheet. The name just stuck after that. We always thought ‘oh we should come up with another name’ but we’ve grown into. We should’ve been called the Jarman’s really because that’s our second name.

By Alicia Brooks and Daisy Lucker