Interview: The Download Tapes – Those Damn Crows – LLoyd Wood “Everybody is here for a good time, and they look out for one another.”

Welsh rockers Those Damn Crows’ career has only gone from strength to strength since their fruition ten years ago. Dreams are becoming a reality as they proudly tick things off their bucket list. Aggy Gillon chatted with bassist Lloyd Wood after their set on the mainstage, reflecting on those milestone moments. Lloyd also tells us about their video podcast ‘The Crowcast’ which they started over the COVID 19 pandemic to connect with their fans.

You’re not long finished your set, how did you find it?

It was very warm but it was very wet as well. As soon as we walked on that stage the heavens opened. The audience loved it and stuck with us. You can’t argue with that. It was great and it’s great to be back.

How many Downloads have you guys done?

I believe this is the fourth now. We started in 2019 I think. We were second on the Dogtooth stage. Then obviously COVID 19 happened which was a shame…a pain in the ass *laughs* We did the pilot. Then we played the mainstage the year after which was two years ago. We were second on the mainstage, the same day as Iron Maiden which I believe was a Friday. And now we’re back and done the mainstage again.

What was the pilot like, was it good?

It was absolutely electrifying! I think everybody has been locked up for so long. I think they capped it at ten thousand but it felt like a hundred thousand. Everyone was raring for it and the atmosphere was electrifying.

What does it mean to you guys to play Download?

We all have a bucket list. The first time we played Download it was a massive tick on the bucket list. It’s a dream come true. Your Monsters of Rock, your Donnington , it will always be Donnington!

The home of rock n roll!

Yeah exactly, rock n roll and heavy metal. Everybody is so nice here. Everybody is here for a good time and they look out for one another. It means the world to us.

We remember the last we saw you was five years ago at the first ever Call Of The Wild festival. We were so pleased to see you on the bill at Download and playing the mainstage, it’s just amazing. It must be like a pinch me moment performing on the mainstage.

Yeah it is pretty crazy. To think that ten years ago we started this band. I remember our first show was to about thirteen people and then to be here right now and be on the mainstage like you said to thousands of people. I try not to think about it too much because I don’t want to get into my own head. I try to keep composure, like this is what we do. I’m so so forever grateful that I get to do this. I can only thank the fans.

Your last album ‘Inhale/Exhale’ which was out in 2023 got into the UK charts at like number three didn’t it?

Yeah, we charted at number three in the UK official charts. It was kind of a weird feeling. We entered the charts with this album we had been writing during COVID. Its basically an album of experiences and trying to connect with the fans because of COVID and what it all entailed. To get to number three, again dreams come true. Like wow. But, you know..I try not to think about it too much *laughs*

You have your latest single ‘Lets Go Psycho!’ that came out only a few days ago didn’t it? Can you tell us about it?

So, it’s basically from what I can gather from the writing process we are taking into consideration this whole artificial intelligence, the A.I and how that’s coming into play in life. Like having a chat with God and going hey, is this really what you wanted, is this really what you planned? We kind of wanted to record something being quite unhinged and to capture that sound of it. The tempo of the track, the idea was to make you feel it was just on the edge. When you listen to something and you think it’s a bit too fast, well it’s just on the edge of that. It kind of makes you wanna go ‘Lets Go Psycho!’.

Are you here all weekend or are you just here today?

I’m travelling back this evening to my hometown. I may catch a band or two before I leave tonight. Some of the rest of the guys in the band are sticking around. It’s quite interesting, we started during the COVID 19 pandemic in order to reach out to the fans and connect with everybody every Tuesday evening at 9pm we did a video podcast called ‘The Crow Cast’. For those of you not familiar with it, basically the five of us jumped online. We found a streaming platform so we could stream to the masses for free. During lockdown every Tuesday we would connect with everybody, just to check in as it was a tough time. We then started growing the show with getting guests on, we started doing competitions. There’s loads of content. We have ended up doing about 106 episodes. They’re all on Youtube. Its quite interesting if you watch the very first one to see where it is now.

Do you still do it regularly?

We don’t do it regularly anymore as the world is back up and running but we dip in and out. My point being is, some of the guys are sticking around tomorrow and they are doing a live Crowcast at Download festival.

Going back to your last album, was that written and recorded during lockdown?

Majority was written during lockdown. When the restrictions started to ease we managed to escape to a couple of studios around mid Wales. Just to start demoing, just to get away and just to remember what it was actually like to be in a band.

From people we have interviewed over the years since then, it’s been a mixed bag of experiences but it has been hard hasn’t it.

Yeah it’s been tough for everyone, businesses, people. All I can do is just say hey keep fighting the good fight.

You guys are from Bridgend?

Yeah, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales. It’s actually produced some very big names over the years. You’ve got Funeral For A Friend and Bullet For My Valentine. I didn’t realise how much I liked being from Bridgend until I actually started travelling and touring. Everybody kind of disses where they are from. You get out of there and you come back and you think actually it’s not that bad. There is definitely something in the water down there.

We were just about to say that, definitely something in the water *laughs*

I can only put that down to growing up we had a lot of live music venues and there’s actually none there now. We have zero music venues in our hometown. You can argue that’s the times we live in. You either skateboarded, you played rugby, football or you played music. I did skateboarding and I did music. You either did sport or you kind of rebel. I chose to rebel *laughs*

Well it’s paid off hasn’t it? *laughs*

Well, it’s fun *laughs*

What would you like to say to your fans reading this?

Thank you very much for putting us where we are and that I love them. I love them dearly.

Do you have any more UK shows coming up after this?

We have literally just announced the only Crow headline show of 2024 and that’s taking place at the Cardiff Utilita arena. A lot of people know it as the Cardiff international arena. That’s on December 14th.

Those Damn Crows – Facebook

Interview and photos by Aggy Gillon