Interview: Crime & The City Solution

I think we are all very excited to play in the new incarnation of the band and present the new works.

The brilliant Crime & The City Solution have recently returned with a new lineup and the band, now based in Berlin have released their latest album the killer, and it sees their art/post punk sound feeling as fresh as ever and is a fine addition to the bands 40 plus year career. Gavin Brown caught up with Crime & The City Solution singer Simon Bonney and guitarist/piano player Joshua Murphy to hear all about the killer, the return of the band and their latest European tour.

E&D: Your new album the killer has just been released. Have you been happy with reaction it has had so far?

Simon: It always nice to have a record well received, but it’s more important to me for me to love the record, and I do love this one.

E&D: Who do you work with on the album and what did they bring to it?

Simon: For the first time Crime worked with a producer, Martin J. Fiedler, and that was key to the sound and arrangement of the record.

Joshua: I joined the collaborative process whilst the band was already in the studio, developing and expanding on the initial works. There were a lot of musicians on this record, 3 guitar players including myself, Chris Hughes playing drums and percussion, Frederic Lyenn played a multitude of instruments on the record, Georgio playing synths and textures, and it was slowly pieced together by the members of the band and producer Martin J. Fiedler, Simon and Bronwyn. That’s one of the things that makes this record interesting to me, the blending of different intent from many players. Each brought their own beauty.

E&D: What subjects do the songs on the album deal with and is there a common theme that connects them all?

Simon: Loss and Acceptance.

E&D: You have talked in the past about how hip hop and rap are an inspiration to you when it comes to making music. What is it about that art form that inspires you and who are your favourite artists?

Simon: Black Star, OutKast – lyrics and stories and a personal view of the world that I otherwise wouldn’t have exposure to.

E&D: Who else is a big influence on you and the music of Crime & The City Solution?

Simon: Black Sabbath, Curtis Mayfield, Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament/Funkadelic, The Doors, The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Willie Nelson, Steve Young, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, The Eagles.


E&D: You are touring the UK and Europe right now. How excited are you for those dates?

Joshua: I think we are all very excited to play in the new incarnation of the band and present the new works. Like the record, Fred and myself are playing multiple instruments and blending our sounds as much as possible. I’m very excited to develop these songs in their live format during the tour. To present something different each night.

E&D: Will you be playing the killer in full at those dates or will it be a mixture of material?

Simon: We’ve been playing 5-6 tracks off the killer.

Joshua: We rehearsed 5 or 6 of the 7 songs on the record, the idea is to be open to interpretations to the songs, but also the set list. So we may not play all of them each night.

E&D: Does it feel exciting that you are playing such an extensive tour, especially how difficult that can be on current times?

Simon: It is quite a financial challenge making music work in the 21st century, but I have noticed that as populations migrate out of the capital cities there are now many interesting and receptive venues and community arts centres dotted around which is nice.

Joshua: It will be my first time back on the road in such an extensive run of dates in around 10 years. So it’s both exciting and daunting, but I’m always excited to be on stage and present these works. We are all very proud of them, and that is the lasting feeling regarding the tour and its potential difficulties.

E&D: The band are now based in Berlin. How does the city influence Crime & The City Solution?

Simon: Location is always an important influence, but the lyrics were written before we moved so it will be the next record that will likely reflect our time in Berlin.

E&D: The tour ends in Berlin. That must be a special show for you end the run on?

Simon: Berlin is our home, so yes it is always enjoyable to play for your community.

Joshua: Berlin is our home, I have lived there for 11 years, Chris has lived there for over 30, and Simon and Bronwyn have of course spent many years there over the years. I’m very excited to finish the tour there.

E&D: What are your live plans going into next year?

Simon: To play everywhere.

Joshua: We want to do a series of electric and acoustic shows, to open up the scope of the music and the songs.

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