Stoner Rock In Thessaloniki: My Interview with Craang

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By: Harrison Giza

Music is one of the few things in life that can bring out the primly primal and joyful feeling we call happiness. The start of a favorite record… the crash of a Moon cymbal. Energy explodes and cracks as loud as Bonham could pound the drums.

For Craang, a band influenced by old sci-fi films and soundtracks, happiness is a lot of pace-driven, hazy and psychedelic shucking that amounts to piles upon piles of opaque, harsh distortion.

Hailing from the Thessaloniki, Greece, the band is beyond fanatic about the quality and capability of stoner rock. Manos (Guitar, Vocals), Mike (Bass), and Nick (Drums) complete all the necessary requirements for fuzzed-psych schlock. There is a fierce appreciation for the classics, specifically guys like Sleep and Kyuss. Effects are used like Russell Stover’s chocolates in February… sickening and slumbered and showcasing the adept worth of Craang. They know tricks that have worked before in their genres, but try and step up those ideas by embracing experimental jam techniques.

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Their latest release, To The Estimated Size Of The Universe, has enough sinister blue notes and heavy kicks to make even the most sour of loudmouths appreciate. Riffs are everywhere, packed to the brim with gunpowder-sharp pedals and bends from a car fire. Manos’ six-string distillation of rough tones and roaring phrases bring waves of trip upon trip upon trip.

I talked with Craang earlier this week, looking to find what exactly gets a band like this going, working, and creatively savvy. What I ended up getting was warm discussion, insight into their enterprise of mind-expandingly corrosive licks, and your average Greek love of “bueno donuts.”

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HG: How did the band come together?  

C: Everything started in 2009 with our drummer Nick and our former guitarist/vocalist Stefanos. Various line-up changes led us to the trio we are since May 2013.

HG: Who are your influences?

C: Sci-Fi films and soundtracks, comic books, 90’s desert rock scene and 80’s dark…

HG: To you, what makes a great live performance?

C: Live performance is not only being on stage but also off the stage, so we say what makes it great is loud volume and open spaces.

HG: Describe your perfect breakfast.

C: Coffee and cigarettes… the Greek way (laughs) and some bueno flavored donuts!

HG: You guys have fantastic riffs. When you write your songs, do they come from jamming together or are they planned out?

C:  Eighty percent of our music comes out by jamming.

HG: What can fans expect from seeing you live?

C: Low lit psychedelic and light visuals and a LOT of intergalactic noise!

HG: How many guitar pedals are you using?

C: Five pedals on the guitar, three on the bass and one on drums. It’s a custom made signature Craang fuzz pedal.

HG: Do you have a favorite band at this moment?

C: Only one favorite band? It’s better to say favorite songs than bands… let’s get started with Kyuss, Whitewater, The Machine, Medulla, The Sisters of Mercy, Under the Gun…

HG: How old were you when you picked up your instrument? What made you want to play?

C: This is top secret information but all we can say that we take orders from above (laughs).

HG: Is “Craang” a Ninja Turtles reference? Where does the name come from?

C: It’s more like a sound in our heads… not a special meaning but if you Google it comes first.

HG: Sound did come before Google. Let me ask you this… you’re stuck on an island with one rock star… who do you choose to hang with?

 C: Ozzy! No further questions please.

HG: Too bad. Please tell me you have listened to Sleep… stoner bands have to love other stoner bands.

C: Can’t stop listening to the Dopesmoker record…. Sleep and Kyuss and many more bands have a place in our hearts.

HG: Where do you see music going for you in the upcoming years? 

C: Backwards, analog jamming , true rockers and illegal substances

HG: Favorite album?

 C: You did it again! Too hard to choose….but let’s say Masters of Reality from the mighty Sabbath!

 HG: And finally, if Craang were a pie flavor, what flavor would you be?

C: An illegal one.

To find more of Craang’s illegal pie, click here /http://craang.bandcamp.com/releases

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