Brandon Welchez (Vocals, Programming) and Charles Rowland (Guitar, Synth) comprise scuzzy San Diego duo Crocodiles who are set to play at Victoria’s Meredith Festival later this year. They’ve been compared to everyone from Velvet Underground and The Jesus & Mary Chain and after their pals in No Age listed their single “Neon Jesus” among their top ten songs of 2008 on Stereogum, the buzz began. We had a quick chat with the 20-something-year-old boys about doorbell ditching, being booed on stage and “wetting beaks” with Wavves.
P: You guys are playing at the Meredith Music Festival in Melbourne in December- are you excited about that? Have you been to Australia before?
Brandon: Very excited to go back to Australia. Crocodiles as a band has not gone yet, but we have both been before.
Charles: I played a festival in Syndey in 2006, it was cool, but the band I was in at the time got booed our entire set… I cant wait to see Australia again.
P: Apart from performing – what else were you hoping to do whilst Down Under? Any mammal petting?
Brandon: If it’s anything like last time, we’ll be demanding to be taken to a mythical bar, “Muchacho’s”, while under the influence of ecstasy and handcuffed to complete strangers.
Charles: My main priority is taking in the cosmic rays of the sun (I’m a child of mother nature). Sweet.
P: Do you have any favourite Aussie bands?
Brandon: Oh fuck man, I’ve been obsessed with the Saints “This Perfect Day”. I want to cover it. But yeah, Saints and Boys Next Door/Birthday Party. Are those too obvious?
Charles: Radio Birdman, Birthday Party, Thought Criminals…
P: You guys met as teenagers. What kind of shit did you get up to as rowdy boys?
Brandon: We used to just do a bunch of dumb mischievous things. Doorbell ditching and throwing stuff at people from moving cars. One time we went to this taco shop and all these sport-o’s were hassling us, so we filled about 60 little cups with salsa, drove up a hill overlooking the restaurant and pelted them all with salsa. That was amazing.
Charles: We used never drink alcohol, we were too young but we could find it of course but we abstained for other reasons, so to have some fun we would travel deep into the suburbs on the weekends and try and freak people out by ringing their doorbells, leaving stuff on their doorsteps, messing with jocks, all kinds of shit.
P: One of your tracks is called â€ Neon Jesus’- explain where that name came from because I’m imagining a blinking neon sign on top of some cheesy bar somewhere in Vegas.
Brandon: No, no – it’s got nothing to do with that. That song was commentary on San Diego and music.
P: Speaking of track namesâ€¦ ‘I Wanna Kill’, ‘Summer of Hate’ ‘Young drugs’â€¦would you say there was a theme with the album? Teenage angst doesn’t seem to quite cover it.
Brandon: No theme – at least on purpose.
Charles: It was all written song by song and the art was produced last, there was no theme in mind. I suppose the lyrics or song titles do tell some of what we have dealt with over the past two years.
P: Who would you guys classify as your musical influences?
Charles: The Troggs, Phyllis Dillon, Max Romeo, Trojan Records Comps, Nuggets Comps.
Brandon: The Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and JAMC’s “Head On” hahahaha
P: You’ve recently signed with Fat Possum, who also look after Wavves who I believe is from your area back home. Do you kids hang out?
Charles; Yeah, we both tour a lot but we do hang from time to time, and get our beaks wet together.
Brandon: Small town – everyone is friends for the most part.
P: What’s next for Crocodiles?
You can catch the Crocodiles at the Meredith Music Festival in Victoria in December this year, or check them out on Myspace.
Photo Provided by Crocodiles