Interview: Graham Crabbe from Pop Will Eat Itself

UK Industrial dance/rock pioneers, Pop Will Eat Itself, aka PWEI, are set to return to Australia next month for the first time in two decades. During the late 80s and early 90s, PWEI gained a huge global following with their sample-heavy satire and industrial dance anthems. On this tour, PWEI fans can look forward to old favourites, including Everything’s Cool, Wise Up Sucker, Def Con One, Ich Bin Ein Auslander, Can U Dig It?, Dance Of The Mad Bastards, PWEIzation, R.S.V.P and many more.

Thanks to Metropolis Touring and Maric Media, we had a chance to talk to founding member and frontman, Graham Crabbe, about the history of the band, his side-project, Golden Claw Musics, and how it feels to be returning to our familiar shores.

SR. Thanks for taking time to talk to us, Graham. First off, congrats on the new tour! Are you looking forward to returning to Australia?

GC. Absolutely stoked. It’s been a long time. The UK, Australia/NZ & the US were our main ports of call. I’d like to keep it that way.

Pop-Will-Eat-Itself-tour-posterSR. PWEI has been slotted into a number of genres, including alt rock, dance, and industrial, and you’ve always been considered innovators, with your incredible live shows and unique aesthetic. How do you view your evolution to the present day, in terms of genre and style?

GC. We just try to keep it organic. There’s no master plan. The new incarnation of the band are great musicians and like to play it heavier, so that’s the current vibe of the band. But as we’ll be playing a lot of the old stuff for our first time back, it will be a blend of the heavy, the dancey, the groovy…

SR. When PWEI went on an extended hiatus back in ’96, you focused on your solo project, Golden Claw Musics. What was that time like, and what motivated you to reform in 2005?

GC. The Golden Claw stuff was after my mum died, it was something to throw myself into and make sense of life. It was great working at peter Gabriel’s Real World studios, built into a lake, it was quite fitting for the music.

The Reformation of 2005 was brilliant and was meant to be the Rebirth with an album from the original members but Clint couldn’t commit with all his soundtrack work, so that was that. Since then it was always my goal to get PWEI up & running again. And here we are!

SR. Can you tell us a bit about the background of Reclaim the Game and your feelings towards FIFA and the Brazilian situation? Have you heard how FIFA responded to the release?

GC. Did they respond? I’m unaware of any response. FIFA are a joke. They ruin the game, they’re a bunch of clowns.

They have too much power and could do so much positive with it, really help kids and sort the game out instead of the poncey showbiz circus it’s become.

SR. Over the years, you guys have notched up some pretty intensive tour schedules. What are your favourite aspects of taking the show on the road, and is there a show that stands out as a favourite, or most memorable, from your gig history?

GC. I loved headlining Brixton Academy back in the UK. It’s a big venue and a landmark gig. Touring with Public Enemy and Run DMC was special. And a stadium tour in the States with NIN. Australia/NZ have always treated us very kindly.

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SR. What’s on your stereo, or iPod, at the moment?

GC. Sleaford Mods, Silver Arm, Noizia, M.I.A.

SR. Do you have any funny or weird tour stories involving a fan that you could share with us?

GC. Mark Little turned up at one of our gigs in Melbourne. Went for drinks afterwards. Nice chap…But strange, repeatable? Pass.

SR. Finally, do you have a message we can pass on to your Australian fans ahead of your Oz tour?

GC. A spiced rum on the rocks, splash of water and freshly squeezed lime juice for me please!…We’re all bang up for this, can’t wait!!

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Tour Dates Aug/Sept 2014

Sun 31st August
Rosemount Hotel

Wed 3rd September
The Gov

Fri 5th September
The Zoo

Sat 6th September
Manning Bar

Sun 7th September
The Hifi