Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
CJ: An ex EMI employee a while ago referred to Crow Jayne as being “Quintessential British Rock with an intoxicating retro vibe” and he couldn’t have come up with a more apt description! Solid 60s/early 70s vibes with a modern edge and delivery.
PD: Tell us a brief history of yourself.
CJ: I grew up in NYC and Europe, but as as a lover of most things 60s & 70s, Music but also Films and art in general, I’ve always been a passionate Anglophile, hence I came to London for the first time when I was 18/19, on my own, spent few months here, went back home, came back a couple of years later on holiday with a friend, after which I had the desire to experience what it would be like to actually live here, so I decided to move here, and I’ve never looked back: England, and London in particular, is where I actually came of age, it’s my home and it’s where I’ve built my life, and I couldn’t be more satisfied.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
CJ: Even when I was a little kid, hearing a Blues or a Gospel song would really instinctively and deeply resonate with me, that became my musical milk bottle! Also, my Dad’s longtime friend, they and their girlfriends whom they eventually ended up marrying used to ride bikes together, was a die hard Jazz fan(!) with a massive vinyl collection, mainly late 30s to early 60s stuff, so one day, around the time I was about 13/14 years old, he made a couple of tapes for my Dad; my Dad never really listened to them but I would play them constantly, all the time, so as a consequence a certain type of “swing” became part of my DNA. ANother important event in my life was when one day this older guy, a terrible guitar player but he was known for being an expert on music, played me an album by The Jeff Beck Group and I was instantly seduce by the whole sound & vibe, those sounds became my world; remarkably, only few days later a girl said to me “Guy, you should really listen to this!”, and it was Led Zeppelin. So those two were my Damascus moments and my introduction to Rock as we know it, which opened the door to a myriad of other wonderful acts & artists!
On top of that I’ve always been fascinated by Acoustic and Folk music, from all over the world, and also more far out experimental stuff like Modern Classical and some weirdo electronic stuff. This just about sums up my musical influences, any worthy artist regardless of the genre, Blues, jazz, Folk, Country, Rock,…you name it, if it’s good I’ll sit down and absorb it, with pleasure!
As far as non-musical influences, 60s & 70s fashion and also movies have been a big influence on me, especially The Big Lebowski, and almost anything Alfred Hitchock, Sam Peckinpah and Martin Scorses have ever done, from “Mean Streets” onward. These influences can translate to music very well. I told someone “I want to play the guitar like Jack Nicholson”, who’s not a guitarist of course, but I guess my point was clear!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
CJ: Dreams and goals? To be able to be in the position to produce something worthwhile, entertaining (after all it’s Rock & Roll!) yet of real substance. As an example, artists like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, along with hundreds of other artists, didn’t just make records, they made musical statements, real works of art, artistically speaking they paved the way and set the standards. To be in a position to be able to do that, that’s my goal.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
CJ: I write most of the music even though everyone in the band contributes with ideas, which is incredibly healthy as musically we all come from very different angles; occasionally in the past I also wrote some of the words but nowadays I rather not, Nadya writes the lyrics and she does that much better than me… Regarding what the songs are about, love makes the world go around, hence the vast majority of our songs deal with that subject, which we strive to make it as interesting as possible.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
CJ: So far, strictly social media.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
CJ: It’s absolutely fine as long as the artist gets paid, after all it’s work; we’ve yet to hear of a plumber going around fixing leaks for free…
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
CJ: “A Day In The Life” or “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles, and also “A Song For You” by Leon Russel who is an artist I only very recently really discovered; it’s a beautiful piano song but I wish I’d written it, on guitar of course!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
CJ: Music and music events which are for people who are not really into music…
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
CJ: Many, but this one comes to mind. We played at a festival in Germany and at the end of the set a lot of people came up to us, all paying great compliments, the youngest being mid/late teens with the oldest about mid 70, with every age in between being covered, and every single one of them, men and women, being incredibly appreciative with some really taking time to analyze both the music and the performance; stuff like that is incredibly rewarding and can make you really happy, and proud.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
CJ: We have just released our first album “Crow Jayne 1” and we’re working on our second one, most of the tunes finished but…we’re fine-tuning the tunes!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
CJ: At the moment the album is available on line, directly from our website www.crowjayne.com