As part of Otwo’s Dublin Bands on Your Doorstep feature Aaron Flood talks to Cruising
You COULD BE forgiven for not having heard of Cruising, with only one song released online and then in the form of a cassette tape in physical format. However you will have, without any doubt, already heard of the members who make up this indie mini-supergroup. Cruising consists of members from Logikparty, Seapinks, September Girls and Girls Names, who have come together to create their own brand of grungy, distorted punk rock in the vein of those punk bands which dominated the New York scene in the late ’70’s. Going by the pseudonyms of Benzedrine Black, Dan Handle, Dick Vortex and Sex Grimes, the group explains the origins of their newfound creative names. “I definitely wanted to be called Dick something” enthuses drummer Dick Vortex. “We really agonised over those and I feel like we’ve just forgotten about them! Not to sound pompous at all but we guessed certain people would be kind to us if they knew who we were from our previous bands if they liked them, and we didn’t want that!” Dan Handle chimes in, “We also talked about Mika Miko, they all had stupid names too.”
Despite only being officially together since late 2013, the band has had minimal activity, which they put down to their other projects and the location of the individual members. “The thing is, we’re all in different bands and we live in different parts of the country. It’s actually quite hard for us to get together and jam, let alone write songs,” explains Sex Grimes. “Even though we started jamming over a year ago, we’ve only jammed together around twelve times, even less.”
This gathering of the group’s members seems, then, to be a rare occasion, as they all sit around in their recording studio. “We’re kind of getting ahead of ourselves here,” explains Dan Handle, “We’re attempting to record a 5-track EP, but it might be shite. Not that the songs are shite but we haven’t recorded it yet so I don’t want to count my eggs before I have my basket, or count my chickens before I’ve got my eggs, or whatever the saying is.”
This DIY ethos at the heart of the punk rock manifesto is followed strongly by the band, who explain that “everything else we’ve had online is from Neill [Dan Handle]’s phone.” The single they released, ‘You Made Me Do That’, was filmed on the spot with a handheld camera. “It was done live, and it was done as we made it happen, which is how it should be. That’s pretty much how we do all our stuff.” The band thrive on this spontaneous way of creating and playing music, as explained by Benzedrine Black, “That kind of music should never be pristine. It’s not because of an ‘I don’t give a fuck’ mentality, but it would sound shit if you over-rehearsed. When we don’t rehearse a whole lot and then play gigs, it adds to the show, I think.” A refreshing mentality. Poised to shake things up on the Irish music scene, the journey which Cruising is about to embark on, with their bombastic, energetic punk sound, is sure to lead to a big year for them.