NewTracks New Artist: Crying Club

NewTracks New Artist: Crying Club

Te Whanganui-a-Tara quartet Crying Club ‘s single Litterbug‘s modern take on emo will see entomologists cringe, but the rest of us might join for a bop in the moshpit in agreement. The song clearly stands out while being catchy and energetic. NZ On Air Music featured it on their NewTracks compilation this February.

What are your names, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

  • Sean Beales – From England but live in Wellington. I play drums and occasionally scream.
  • Chrissy Pantelakis – From Wellington though both my parents are Greek. I play bass!
  • Isaac Lundy – From Palmerston North, now living in Wellington. I play guitar plus do some vocals.
  • Datu Beech – From Wellington. I’m the lead singer of Crying Club and play guitar too.

Was any high school or other music training especially important?

Music class in high school was incredibly important for us all as it’s how we all met each other and got the opportunity to collaborate on stuff together for the first time.

Any other projects we might know you from?

Three of us were in Mishap back in the day, and each of us have been involved in many other various projects of the years including Casino Dogs, Reignmaker and The Delinquents. Currently, members of Crying Club are also involved in bands such as Imperial Slave, Bulletbelt and Piss Baby.

What’s the background story of how Crying Club came to be? 

Crying Club started with Sean and Datu getting together after both taking breaks from being in bands. Datu had some songs written that he wanted to jam out and then things took off from there. Chrissy and Isaac joined in not long afterwards and we have all been making music together ever since!

As a process, the music writing started off with Datu and Sean sitting in Sean’s parent’s house, recording ideas, mostly Datu’s that he had previously made. Nowadays it’s mainly starting either at the house Datu and Isaac live at or the garage we practice in, and evolving through jams.

How and when did you come up with the name for the project?

We originally played under the name The Chonus Brothers as a placeholder while we settled on a name. We switched the Jonas Brothers names with ours and introduced ourselves as Chevin, Chick and for some reason Otis Chonus at our first show. Isaac was the Bonus Chonus. After that lasting a little longer than expected, we decided to go with the most emo-sounding idea we had and thus Crying Club.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

We really loved travelling up to Auckland for CrushFest 2022. That was the first time we’ve ever performed outside of Wellington and we got to play alongside so many other cool bands! Definitely, a trip to remember.

What makes Litterbug stand out for you as a single?

It’s fun, catchy, and has a good message behind it about not littering.

What’s the lyrical story behind Litterbug?

Datu, the singer of the band, works in a little cafe and often sees people throwing their ciggy butts which he then has to go clean up. It makes him very angry and sometimes he cries about it.

What’s your favourite moment of the single?

Probably when Datu sings the bridge at 1:11, that little verse goes pretty hard!

Who did you record/produce the song with and where? 

Everything was written, recorded, and produced by us except for the drum recording which was done at Undercroft Studios (shoutout to Sam Higham!). We had so much fun doing it all ourselves and learned a lot as we went along. The biggest lesson was probably working out that the amount we spent on drinks during the recording probably would have covered a full studio session, but you know, sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination… haha

What would you like listeners to take away from the song?

Ideally, we’d like them to take Datu out to dinner and treat him like a princess. But a few head bops and avoiding dropping their ciggies outside Datu’s cafe is all good too.

How do you generally work out what would make a good single?

Picking a song that doesn’t have explicit content is a good start! But generally, a song that can be recognized quickly, is catchy, and represents the band well is a good guideline

Who else is in your team?

We try to do as much as we can by ourselves! We handle all our own social media, gig bookings, and everything else that needs to be done. We even made the latest EP cover ourselves! Graphic design is our passion…

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

With Crying Club, we have already started talking about and planning our next release so keep an eye out for when all that gets rolling – in the meantime though, we have plenty of gigs booked for this year so you can get a little taste of what’s to come next!

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Finger Tight: Incomplete Sentences Are So
  • Dartz: 1 Outs Captain Cook
  • MelanieMaude St.

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others?

We haven’t applied for any funding so we haven’t really encountered any issues related to that, but we are super grateful to have been included on NewTracks this month! Advice? Don’t get discouraged by not being picked for playlists by curators/radio hosts! Everyone has their own personal taste and what one person might think is mediocre, another person might think it’s the best thing in the world! Just keep on going, create what makes you happy, and have fun with it! That’s the most important thing!

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Shoutout FryDaStream on Twitch for always making good reactions and entertaining the masses.

Who did you make the video with?

The Litterbug video was made with the help of the lovely people at Abstract Bear Productions. These guys rule!

Any last words?

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to check out this interview/listen to our new EP! Appreciate all the support a lot. And thanks to NZ Musician for having us on!