The Cribs: the Internet devalues music


The Cribs relaxing during the interview, before preparing to play their gig at the Engine Shed. | Photo: David Andrew Robinson

“For people to be introduced to a band through MP3s on a website is really disappointing to us,” muses Gary Jarman, The Cribs bassist. He squashes against his guitarist twin brother, Ryan, on a pristine red leather sofa. They’re joined by younger sibling, Ross, and Johnny Marr, who play drums and guitar, respectively.

“I know it sounds old fashioned,” he continues, “but I don’t understand that weight on the Internet. It devalues it, really. 2000 seems a different world to 2009.”

It’s easy to understand Jarman’s point of view. The three brothers started The Cribs in 2001, before iPods and Myspace. Early songs were recorded at home and effort was spent booking quality gigs. Essentially, they are the last of the fanzine generation.

Johnny fondly reminisces about his earlier days when music fanzines would be left on coffee tables in student houses. Articles on Gang of Four and Au Pairs would be read over and over; dissected, analysed, and absorbed.

It’s no secret that the Jarman boys are hugely influenced by Johnny’s work in The Smiths, so his inclusion into The Cribs ranks fits like a glove. I ask if their new album “Ignore the Ignorant” is a collaboration between two camps, or the work of a full band.

“It was four people in a room, every day, until it was done,” Johnny quickly explains. “I think, in this case, ‘collaboration’ isn’t quite the right term because it’s been done as a band.”

Whichever way you look at it, their methods have paid off: the album charted at number 8, beating previous release Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever. Most bands hit a creative wall at their fourth album, but The Cribs seem to have broken theirs down.

Ignore the Ignorant is out now on Wichita Records and you can hear more of the interview on The Linc podcast this Sunday.

View the photo gallery from the Cribs interview and gig on our Facebook page.

Comments are closed.