Camden Crawl 2012 Interview: Danny Fury and Sam Ray from Antlered Man

By on Thursday, 17th May 2012 at 11:00 am

After the release of their debut album and successful European tour, London proto-rockers Antlered Man are gearing up for festival season with a performance at this year’s Camden Crawl. I caught up with Danny Fury (guitar) and Sam Ray (bass) for a chat about Camden, UK music and masturbation.

The last time TGTF saw you guys was supporting Lower Than Atlantis
Danny: Yeah, that gig was tough for me. As soon as we got to sound-check, the sound guy wanted a bit of vocals from me, and I went ‘[croaky cough]’ and my voice just wasn’t there. And I said ‘I can’t sing’ but everyone was like ‘Oh go on, sing you cunt!’. But there was no singing voice there, if I did it would have been like a William Shatner vocal. Spoken word alternative rock.
Sam: Shatner being the word.
Danny: Shat. It was a horrible gig for me, but everyone said it was all right.

What have you been up to since then?
Danny: We did an EP – that was some guy’s bright idea, because apparently people don’t do albums any more(!) [laughs]. It’s like fucking is going out of style. And that didn’t really work out, but on the back of that we got a tour with And So I Watch You From Afar around Germany. All round Europe, actually, and it was unbelievable. We forged a really good bond with those guys and they gave us a lot of advice. We became to realise there’s a lot more outside in the alternative/underground – there is a subculture. We were always pompous enough, but you could afford us that because we locked ourselves away when we first wrote the album, and the only bands we knew were shit ones. Then when we came out we met bands like Exit International, Palehorse, And So I Watch You From Afar, all these cool bands it was like, “Sweet, we’re a part of something”.
Sam: We’ve got quite a bit of touring in the next few months. We’ll be back over in Europe in July, we’ve got a couple of festivals. A few festivals in England around June. But it’s quite sparse so we’ve got a lot of time to do the album, which is good because during festival season you’ve got one gig then a week off, then another gig, so we’ve got time to get some new tracks down.
Danny: The German thing is really exciting, in fact all round Europe. In Poland, we came out of the backstage area onto the stage, and there were three kids moshing at the front to no music. I knew it was going to be good [laughs]. We got offered so much cool stuff from that. To tour Europe is unbelievable because in this country it can be a little bit unforgiving for bands – there aren’t even places to park outside the venues, let alone a rider so you can smash up a fridge up in the backstage area if someone ‘dissed your chorus’.

What do festivals like Camden Crawl say about UK music?
Sam: I think these type of festivals are becoming more popular, rather than the standard music festival thing where people play in a massive field. It’s become more of a thing for journalists and bands to come down to and check out other bands. There’s a massive musical scene happening in one weekend and it gives you the opportunity to go find other bands.
Danny: It gives people the opportunity to see their favourite band, or bands that they’re checking out. I checked out Hawk Eyes like 6 months ago and they were unbelievable. Everyone wants the opportunity to not see those guys in a fucking sterile, big place, they want to go to a little club and see it. I’ve looked at the photos of Camden Crawl from the past 2 years, and I thought there was no fucking way I wanted to go there. I’m just a bit agoraphobic and I don’t really like too many people round me. Ordinarily this place on a Friday or Saturday is fucking nightmare.
Sam: We were going to drive down here but there’s no chance we were going to get anywhere to park and we would probably have been stuck in traffic for hours.
Danny: I’m not sure what it says about the music scene. The scene around Camden has always been thriving, but without wanting to be bitchy, not a lot of it is very good. But there’s the odd gem out there and I think they’ve got a really good line-up this year. I think there is a heavy resurgence that’s definitely occurring with Pulled Apart By Horses, Hawk Eyes, Exit International, all these guys are on the up, and there seems to be a place for it.

There are a lot of heavier bands playing this year…
Danny: I think that’s probably why it seemed like kryptonite to Superman with me for the last 2 years. It was just any old shit and we never really put ourselves forward for it. So when they floated the idea to us, we checked the listings and thought ‘fuck yeah, that looks good’.

What is it you love about Camden then?
Danny: I bitch and moan about the crowds round here, but if ever I am going for a drink I tend to do it round here. I like that there’s more of a laid-back vibe and they’re a little bit more tolerant round here. There’s the young people who come to the gigs who are enthusiastic about everything, and 90% of gigging – if you’re a London band – is done around here. It never used to be like that, about 5 years ago there used to be places in Islington but now it’s primarily here. It’s always good to bop around and sometimes be recognised.

Have you got a favourite venue in Camden?
Danny: The Barfly is cool, especially since they put the new PA in. Never played here [The Black Heart] before but I’ve heard good things about it. But I’d have to say, as far as sound and everything goes, it was always Koko. Then it started getting infiltrated by 15 year olds who are eating off their faces and freaking out, so I stopped going there. So I’d probably say the Barfly.
Sam: I like the size of the Barfly, as it’s good for an intimate crowd as well.
Danny: I would say Proud for the sound but there’s nowhere to park out there and we’ve got about four parking tickets from there and the bar staff just shrug their shoulders when you tell them.

The name of the festival is Camden Crawl, what would you crawl the length of Camden for?
Sam: Hair of the Dog at the moment, I think. It was our drummer’s birthday yesterday so we had quite a few beers.
Danny: We don’t drink before we go on, but we get hammered after. The talent to be able to play arsehole drunk – just to alleviate the hangovers – I would definitely crawl the length of Camden for.
Sam: We got drunk yesterday and tried to play the set but it wasn’t happening.
Danny: That speaks volumes for the intricacies of our parts… we went a bit prog.

You mentioned you’re playing a lot of festivals in Europe, have you got any UK festivals lined up?
Danny: The Great Escape, 2000 Trees… The Great Escape should be really fun.

TGTF’s Editor will be at The Great Escape…
Danny: I remember when we were over in Germany, staying in some fucking rural farmhouse surrounded by deer we read a really good review on There Goes The Fear of our EP. So thanks for that!

That wasn’t long after your Lower Than Atlantis gig TGTF reviewed…
Danny: I remember there being three morbidly obese kids sat outside there drinking from 2 o’clock in the afternoon. And they didn’t have any finesse to their drinking, they had a bottle of blue WKD, a bottle of Bailey’s, and about six cans of Stella. Then a mate would come along with a bottle of [Jamesons] and pour it down his throat and it got to the point where I knew they were going to get nicked, but it was a matter of when. In between playing and losing my voice, I was running outside to see the drama unfold. Then I finally saw the fat little cunt get nicked.
Sam: Hopefully they’ll read this and reassess their life.

Finally, have you heard the world is going to end at the end of the year?
Danny: No.

You missed the Mayan calendar saying the world’s going to end?
Danny: I love reading but it’s such a commitment. One book at a time. And I just don’t have time for the Mayan calendar. I’m too occupied with which badass is going to die next – MCA, man. The world can end as far as I’m concerned, as long as we finish the second album… then fire it into space, so one day we’ll get a demographic.

Well the question is, what’s the last thing you’re going to do before the world ends?
Sam: Record this album because I’d hate to think… wait, no-one would know, would they? Scrap that, it wouldn’t even matter.
Danny: I can’t think of anything quirky. For me it would be something really normal like logging onto violent anal porn and whacking off as much as possible. I’ve got nowhere to be. Might as well watch some poor girl gag for money. I’m not going to come across well, am I?

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