‘Now we’re spending every single day together, and that’s such a beautiful thing’: Crawlers’ Liv May on their debut album, social media, and influences


Having burst onto the scene during lockdown, Crawlers are now on the cover of Kerrang!, playing major festivals and today, releasing their debut album ‘The Mess We Seem To Make’. I caught up with bassist Liv May to talk about what went into the album, giving back to fans, social media and touring. 

So, the album is out today! How are you feeling?

Honestly, I think I’m a lot more settled now than I was last night! My stomach was kind of doing flips all day, but I think once it came out at midnight we were all together in the band, all sat and listened together, and I’m feeling a lot more at peace with it! 

I mean, I think it’s brilliant! Your sound can be so varied, possibly due to your eclectic music taste as a group – are there any influences on this album that you think might surprise people?

There’s a different group of influences across the album anyway – at its core it’s Nirvana and Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins. But we all have such different influences. So it’s like, … with ‘Better If I Just Pretend’, that’s one that you can tell is more coming from my own influences, things like The Prodigy, TOOL, those kind of heavier sounds. Then there are other, you know, traditional rock, edgy, kind of sounds where you can tell that’s more of Amy’s, and our general rock sound, that’s like Muse and things like that. So, I think, yeah, the album sort of explores different genres while still being its own thing; there’s definitely something for everybody on there.

I found that ‘Hit It Again’ had a sort of White Stripes vibe! 

Oh, no way! Yeah, with ‘Hit It Again’, that one we always joked saying that’s our vampire club anthem, for some reason that’s just the kind of vibe it gives us, but yeah I can absolutely see White Stripes now you’ve said it! 

Where would you most like to find your music playing? You guys have done a lot of different venues, from Soho’s Heaven and festivals to your own shows, and you were featured on the Doom Patrol soundtrack too – where would you most like to hear yourselves?

My brain just jumped to ‘everywhere’! Do you know what, honestly, I feel like, regardless of where it would end up, we’d be happy, to be honest. The fact that people enjoy our music is enough gratification for us, so anything more that comes from that is a beautiful bonus. 

Are there any new songs from the album that you’re particularly excited to play live, or any older ones that are your favourites to play live?

Definitely ‘Hit It Again’, ‘I End Up Alone’, we’ve done, like, when we’ve been doing our practices. I don’t know, there’s a different energy with certain songs that we’re really excited for. I’m personally really excited for ‘What I Know Is What I Love’ and ‘Better If I Just Pretend’. On these acoustic runs that we’ve just done, of intimate shows ahead of the album, we did a little play-through of ‘What I Know’, and it seems to already be a fan favourite across our dedicated creepy-crawly fanbase, which is a very positive sign. It definitely gives you hope for the rest of the album. ‘Kiss Me’ is really fun as well, and also had a very good reception on the shows that we did play it. Do you know what, honestly, I’m just really excited to be out there playing the album, more than anything. 

Speaking of your fanbase, would you be able to talk a little bit about social media? TikTok, which has been compared to MySpace, obviously has a big influence on music discovery, but personally I really love that you guys also have a Tumblr!

Yeah, I mean, the Tumblr, Hol and I had Tumblr when we were teenagers, I think Hol was on it more so than I was, and then it was only really in the past year that Hol sort of turned to me and was like, ‘you know, Tumblr’s making a comeback’, so we absolutely had to jump on that. The Tumblr is, at the moment, it’s where I personally can feel a different level of connection with the fans, you know, we see the comments on TikTok and Instagram and Twitter, but with the Tumblr, it’s more of like, the fans get to see us in a different setting. They get to see us, you know, snippets of us when we’re in the studio, they get to see us reflecting on the shows that we’ve done and you know, I’ll post little GIFa that maybe Holly or Jess have made, from a show that Jess has captured, and I think it’s a more raw side to us and how we present ourselves online, but across all social media platforms, the fans are just so sweet, and so supportive, and so loving, and we love them to death. So, you know, in the build-up to this, to today really, the album release, the fans have just been more excited than us and to be honest, have sort of helped us keep the positive focus on instead of the worry focus, you know, the ‘oh my god, what if it doesn’t do well, what if people don’t like it’. We already, like, we have that sort of reassurance from them without them even realising, you know – it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because they love it and they support us and they love us, and we love them, and they have been a massive help, for me personally, for sure, throughout this, without them even realising, and I think that’s true for all of us across our careers with them.  There are moments where they actually save us a little bit, you know. And that’s why ‘Golden Bridge’ is a track dedicated to them as a thank you, because, you know, our vocalist, Holly, in the darkest periods of her life sort of got pulled out of the pits a little bit by the fans and just how beautiful and how supportive they really are. 

Can you share any anecdotes from the journey to this album, or are there any secrets you can give people from behind the songs?

Oh my god, there’s loads, let me try and think of a good one, okay. Sorry, there’s so many! Okay, we’ll run with ‘Golden Bridge’. So, the song itself actually hasn’t changed at all – the only thing that’s changed about ‘Golden Bridge’ is, we met up with Jamie who has worked with Celeste and wrote one of Holly’s favourite songs, ‘Strange’, so we were super buzzed when he said that he wanted to work with us, and we were all sat in a studio in London and Hol played ‘Golden Bridge’ for him and he literally just said, ‘make the bridge the chorus and you’re done’. And that was probably the least amount that a song has changed on the entire album. So, at its core as a song, it has barely been touched. It was more, for us, about exploring how to present such a heavy song? So, when we were out in the States, we were trying out some different things, and we were just kind of exploring. I was sat noodling on my bass, and that ended up being the little motif that you hear in the song – that hasn’t changed at all, that was, what came out on the day is what’s on the track, that’s what I took, what we took back to Liverpool with us and recorded. We all went out, the four of us, Pete, our producer, Pete Robertson, and our audio engineer Tom Roach just kind of turned to us like ‘right, you guys go out to the docks in Liverpool and just capture sounds, go make an afternoon of it’, so we were out for maybe an hour, down at the docks, with our phones, just recording so many different sounds, like the chains rattling in the wind, the different foghorns and things like that, just capturing moments of other peoples’ lives in passing, kids running after their parents, laughing, just really sweet moments that we were just capturing on our phones. It gave us this moment, I think we all felt it while we were doing it, just like, surrealism, I suppose, realising the beauty of things that were so true, and it was so fitting for the song, very on brand. And we took it back to the studio, and we combined those sounds into, to make a soundscape behind ‘Golden Bridge’, and Holly and Amy sent in some videos and audio clips of their nieces and nephews laughing which were on the track that you can hear; the line ‘I’d never see the smiles of my own sister’s child’ is a reference to Holly’s nephew, and Holly seeing their nephew smile and laugh for the first time, and realising the beauty despite how dark a place they were in. There were just so many layers to this song… everything just kind of fell into place very authentically for it. We were all in bits when Holly played it for us initially, not a dry eye in the house.

What’s it like touring as such a tight-knit group?

Honestly, it’s the best thing anyone could ever ask for. Amy and I have known each other since we were like 11, 12, and it brings me to tears to think about those two kids who barely knew each other once upon a time, and now we’re spending every single day together, and that’s such a beautiful thing. Amy and I have been working together, whether that’s playfully in high school bands or our own little silly projects that never came to fruition, and here we are in Crawlers, releasing our debut album. I remember the day I met Holly, it was my first day of college, and I just saw this pink-and-purple split dyed hair, and was like, ‘oh my god they’re really cool’, and Holly had actually thought the same of me, and we’d both, sort of, had a mutual friend that we – Holly has admitted to me that she tried to get close to this particular friend because they thought she and I were close! And I had just met her that day as well, and then Hol and I ended up being put in a band together, and everything just took off. It’s funny for us when we sit and think about how long we’ve actually known each other, because Amy and I have known each other the longest, Holly and I have, it felt like we’d known each other forever, and the same with Harry, like, we only met Harry in 2020/2021, and it feels like we’ve all been together forever in the best way, but really, it hasn’t been that long. It feels like we’re each other’s forever family, it’s not like your typical friendship, it surpasses that, it’s so much more than that, in the best way. 

And now you guys are on the cover of Kerrang!

Honestly, I have to stop myself from thinking about it too much sometimes!

‘The Mess We Seem To Make’ is out now on all major streaming platforms via Polydor Records.


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Records Editor 2023-2024

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