The Rosy Crucifixion are one of these bands a friend describes to you in conversation and you just know really that you are going to love them (writes Andy Wood). Duncan ‘Destruction’ McCurdie of The Creeping Ivies (aren’t I the little name dropper?) told me about them and I immediately had to check ‘em out. There’s always a little fear that you aren’t actually going to like a band after someone describes them in such glowing terms but there was no disappointment here.
Live online videos aren’t always the best way to first hear/see a band as the limits of a handheld camera or phone in a darkened room don’t always show a band in their best light but somehow the roughness suits The Rosy Crucifixion. There sound can be sparse, edgy and harsh but also melodic and strangely beautiful. I finally caught them live at the beginning of June in Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s and I was utterly beguiled with how cool they come across without really trying at all. In a low ceilinged basement room they just seem so at home, Stuart and Conal providing the bedrock rhythms that give Emily space to slash out some amazing guitar lines. And that voice, it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The Rosy Crucifixion infect my DNA and haunt my increasingly bizarre dreams. Songs like ‘Do You Right’ and ‘Sunshine Fuck Off’ hurtle at you with sleazy, bruising intent to knock you off your feet and leave your head spinning.
To date The Rosy Crucifixion have released three songs on the Some Songs Side-By-Side compilation alongside the likes of Muscles of Joy, Gummy Stumps and Palms. They are currently due to release a split album with another excellent band, The Wharves, more of which below.
Emily kindly took time out to answer some questions. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Rosy Crucifxion. Cherish them…
Please introduce yourselves. Who are you and how did you come to be recruited to The Rosy Crucifixion?
We are: Stuart on Bass, Conal on Drums, and Emily on Guitar and Vocals.
Stu and I met dancing to The Stooges and started playing together. We also started a Recording Studio called the Green Door. Conal was on a course we were teaching for unemployed musicians. They were covering a Bo Diddley song and Conal hopped on the drums—we found our drummer!
Where did the name originate from?
The Rosy Crucifixion is a trilogy (Sexus, Nexus and Plexus) written by the late great Henry Miller full of lyrical flights of fancy and amorality.
What are your influences, musical or otherwise?
Michael Yonkers, Joe Meek, The Monks, The Fabulous Wailers, Link Wray, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Goblin, The Birthday Party, King Tubby, Kenneth Anger, and Conny Plank to name but a few.
Why be in a band? Isn’t it just a heck of a lot of work only to reap a hell of a little reward?
Sure is, but we wouldn’t really know what else to do. What’s interesting (from the point of a view of running a studio) is that most bands no longer labour in vain under the illusion of having a ‘commercially-viable career’ and making stupid amounts of money from their music. It means that the musicians we work with are genuinely making the kind of music that they want to, and taking more artistic risks, rather than sanitising or packaging themselves in some way that might get them on the cover of the NME or onto a Radio One playlist (which still won’t sell records anyway!!!). What’s left of the current mainstream music scene has gone way beyond the point of pop eating itself. That is why the DIY scene in Glasgow makes it probably one of the best places in the world to be making and recording music.
What has been the best moment (or moments) of being in The Rosy Crucifixion so far?
Supporting the Fall and then meeting and getting drinks from Mark E. Smith (!)
And the worst / most awkward?
Playing a gig we don’t remember playing (arriving/drinking whisky from 3pm….playing at 11pm = bad idea) in London. I always play with my Fender Twin Reverb Amp (it pretty much plays guitar for me…) and it was the only gig I’ve ever had without it. I felt like the Wizard of Oz without his PA (Afterwards we ended up at a party in Dalston full of people dancing ironically to Dire Straits…we were glad to get back to Scotland!)
How would you describe your music to someone who has yet to have the privilege of hearing The Rosy Crucifixion yet?
My friend Craig from Future Glue (a great Glasgow band) said I sound like Patsy Cline’s evil sister. I was rather flattered. Check influences (question 3), blend and pour.
I believe that you are in the process of recording/releasing a split album. Could you please tell me a little more about this and when we can expect to see it released?
We recorded it ourselves at Green Door with the help of the Green Door ghost (basically we set all the mics up and started the tape machine running in the control room, then ran through to the live room and banged it out!). We managed to record 6 songs which are coming out as a split vinyl LP with London ladies The Wharves on SoftPower Records.
If you could put together your ideal gig (with time, money and mortality no objectives) who would you invite to be on the bill and where would you hold it?
Hmmmm…Supporting The Birthday Party on Stromboli Island, followed by an encore of Iggy Pop performing The Idiot with Bowie on keys. Many years ago my old band supported The Contortions and Lee Scratch Perry at a bull-fighting arena in Spain….that was pretty sweet.
Some of you also run a recording studio (Green Door). How do you balance that with being in a band?
Stu and I are big geeks who are happy to spend most of our time recording the incredible bands (Golden Teacher, The Amazing Snakeheads, The Creeping Ivies, Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers, Saint Max,etc, etc.) that Glasgow (and Scotland) has to offer, clocking off at 2am, (when Conal gets off work at the 78), and practicing through the night. We only come out to play gigs (or the odd DJ set)—thus the usual chalk-white “studio tan”, dark circles, and incessant tinnitus.
What do the coming months hold for you?
This Saturday! Plus, a pre-Halloween gig at Sleazys with an amazing band we’ve been recording called Euguene Tombs (with members of Fur Hood/Bongmonster, The Downs, Sons and Daughters and Jacob Yates); plus a gig at the Hairdressers in November with Jacob Yates and the PGLP’s and London’s Fat White Family Band (if we can lure them up to Scotland).
Anything else that you’d like to add?
Hear the Rosy Crucifixion here:
The Rosy Crucifixion play the Cool Cat Club at the 13th Note in Glasgow on Saturday (17th).