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A very easygoing chat with Crepes

For Melbourne’s Crepes, playing music is an extension of the five-piece’s friendship. 

Now on the other side of releasing their long-awaited debut album Channel Four, the band are eager to tour more of Australia.

“We haven’t done a whole lot of festivals so it’s really nice to have been invited to play,” says Karmouche. “Generally we like to stick around for the whole weekend and make the most of it.

“We’re really looking forward to Grampians Music Festival, it’s good to see other Melbourne names like Jarrow playing there. There are heaps of really good bands that we’re looking forward to checking out.”

Having started off as a solo bedroom project, Karmouche revels in the context of the band. “Everyone brings their own little elements so it’s a lot of fun. When I have ideas I can bring them to the table and flesh them out with all the others. I enjoy what everyone brings, especially when we play live. It’s a privilege to be able to write songs and play them with these guys.

“Being on the road with the band is pretty much like travelling with five mates,” Karmouche continues. “Everyone likes to joke around and have a really fun time. Maybe if we get bigger it’ll be more of an operation.”

There’s an obvious ease between members when playing live which Karmouche attributes to their long term friendship. “Nick, Pat and myself have known each other since we were really young, so we’re all pretty comfortable with each other. We haven’t known Sam and Jack for that long but we all have similar personalities. I think that’s the key to getting along and working together. No one really has an ego or anything like that, we’re all pretty dorky.”

Karmouche is keen to gain some touring momentum given that the band has staggered out their shows for the last few years. “It’s always fun to play a few shows in a row, we all get really tight. The live show gets really enjoyable when it’s all pumping and everything’s sounding good. I still feel like we haven’t toured Australia that much, given that we’ve never been to Perth or Adelaide. I’m hoping we’ll do more of Australia this year.”

Karmouche admits that the band felt some pressure to follow up their first EP Cold Summers which was released back in 2015. “I think we just wanted to get the next full release out there just so we could keep being a band and touring. The first EP felt a bit buzzy so we wanted to keep up with that. We’ve since learnt to not worry about things too much. We ultimately want to focus on making music, the rest seems to sort itself out.”

Recording part of the album with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie allowed the band to work at a faster rate than they normally do given Mackenzie’s prolific nature. “Stu doesn’t like to dwell on things too much. His philosophy is to get it done so he doesn’t like to do things a million times and re-record stuff.”

Reflecting on the year the band has had, Karmouche is intent on ensuring Crepes don’t stay content for long. “It felt really good to finally put an album out. It was a huge relief obviously but the feeling doesn’t stick around for too long, you kind of want to get stuck into the next thing pretty quick, especially because we take so long.”

As for when we can expect a second album, Karmouche says that the band’s approach is to take things as they come. “We’re not going to think about it too much or put too much pressure on ourselves. Ultimately we just write some good songs and record them when they’re ready. We’re really happy with Channel Four but I think we’ve got something better in us, we just want to make something that’s really long lasting and enjoyable.”

Crepes will perform at Grampians Music Festival, taking place at Hall’s Gap from Friday February 2 until Sunday February 4 with Polish Club, Tired Lion, Ruby Fields, and more. They’ll also perform at Boogie taking place at Our Friends Farm, Tallarook over the Easter weekend. Channel Four is out now via Spunk Records.