Crypts photos live from Harlow’s in Sacramento by SNR Photography aka Ruben Diaz & Steven Hayashida.
Crypts announce July Shows with Palms
Crypts will be playing a few shows on their way down to meet up with Palms, the newly formed quartet featuring three former members of ISIS (Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide) with Deftones’ vocalist Chino Moreno.
SEE ALL SHOW DETAILS HERE.
7/5 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
7/6 - Portland, OR @ Rotture
PALMS & CRYPTS
7/10 - San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
7/11 - Santa Ana, CA @ the Observatory
7/12 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour - SOLD OUT
7/13 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
BANGSTYLE: Featured Artist Crypts w/ Interview
There’s a house party with of a DJ spinning the greatest hits never heard. You show up to the house and the place is pitch-black, save for some neon light bulbs that flicker from time to time. The house is packed with people unsure whether they should dance or shove each other. All of this sounds fine enough to you until you realize that there isn’t a DJ spinning the thumping music. Instead you see a man standing in the corner projecting images of your worst fears against the bare wall, a ghost slung over a laptop and synth setup, and finally, a werewolf bouncing in and out of the crowd howling lyrics in the faces of all who are present.
Yeah, that’s what Crypts sounds like.
Crypts hail from Seattle, Washington and features Steve Snere, of These Arms Are Snakes fame, on vocals. It’s somewhat chilling to know that Bryce Brown and Nick Bartoletti are the only other men besides Snere making any noise in a setup that thrives off apocalyptic soundscapes.
I remember the day that I found out that These Arms Are Snakes called it quits. I was devastated, like I am with few bands. I didn’t know if I’d ever hear anything else from Snere, undoubtly one of the greatest frontmen of his generation, bar none. Finally, Crypts surfaced, changing my perceptions of what was possible when combining hip-hop/electronic elements with the visceral, maniacal voice of Snere. What you hear when you listen to the self-titled debut by Crypts is something dark and strangely danceable. You’ll initially feel constricted and claustrophobic with what these men of the Northwest have created, but by album’s end you’ll realize they’ve actually set you free to the possibilities of music. If one of the greatest frontmen in underground rock can successfully forge a new path with hip-hop beats and twisted synths, then all things are possible.
Bangstyle had the truly amazing opportunity to speak with the guys in Crypts about their beginnings, how Twin Peaks factors into their sound, and what’s next.
Interview Magazine: Discovery “Crypts”
Crypts are a band with a penchant for mischief. The cover of their new self-titled LP, which features synth and drum machine impresario Bryce Brown crawling on the roof of a car in the dead of night with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, is a perfect representation of the band’s impish spirit. Fittingly, the image was captured by the band’s second synth player,Nick Bartoletti, who is also responsible for a hefty arsenal of visuals for the band’s live show. Singer Steve Snere (yup—his real name) was apparently not on hand for the debaucherous photo op, but still boasts his own credentials as a writhing, gyrating, stage-destroying frontman of extreme caliber.
The boys mirror their music in a way that could be passed off as mere façade were their electronic orchestrations not so blinding and formidable. Reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and Suicide, they marry one chaotic sound after another without losing the intention of the overall composition. Snere’s vocals—a mix of wails and staccato belts—bite through the mess with attitude and a bright timbre shared with T. Rex’s Marc Bolan. Having just wrapped a tour with The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez, and coming up on their second anniversary as a band this winter, Crypts gave us a minute to discuss how they came together, and what goes into those brutal tracks of theirs.
AGE: Drinking age, and above
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington. And, one from Cleveland.
CURRENT LOCATION: A conference call, coast to coast
INTRODUCTIONS: Snere: The intro to the song Breathe was taken from an old 7” record of kids with dysfunctional breathing. It’s a doctor giving different examples of patients with various respiratory problems.
SOUNDS LIKE: Brown: Roland CR-8000 (modified with midi to trigger boards), Alesis HR16, Akai XR-20, Korg Poly 800, Korg MS2000, Roland MC-505, Boss Dr. Sample, Korg Kaoss KP-3, LZX Analog Modular Video Synth (video & audio), various pedals, and Reason.
GOING STEADY: Brown: I met Nick through a couple mutual friends. He was doing mostly visual art and projections, but he wanted to learn music. He started coming over to my house, and I showed him some stuff, and it was like, “Damn, this is awesome!” We just kicked it around and started playing together.
HOLIDAY VIBES: Snere: It was around Christmas time of 2010 when everyone had a break that we got a space and went at it. We bought a PA and hung out with each other the whole time, and just worked on music.
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES: Snere: I either wanted to do something super garage-y, like noisy and sloppy, or I wanted to do something more like Suicide—electronic shit. It just went more this way.
COVER BOY: Bartoletti: I took the photograph on the cover of our album. I’m not sure when exactly that night was, but we know it was on Capitol Hill, because you can see a Pike Street dumpster sign.
Brown: I was drunk. That was not my car. I jumped into a trash can; I jumped out of a trash can; and then I landed on the top of that car. Steve wasn’t around, but we were probably just leaving the bar he works at.
Bartoletti: The car was talkin’ shit.
VIDEODROME: Bartoletti: I have an analog modular video synthesizer that I use live. I have a video sampler that I control with my laptop. We run the analog and the digital stuff. I also have a video mixer, a little security camera on Steve, and I have a bunch of clips that I’ve made. But, I’m not like a VJ because its all stuff I make that I cue up in real time. I don’t download stock footage or play in spinning cubes.
LIVE SHOW: Snere: Its dark, and super loud. We bring our own PA. Generally it’s aimed to make our presence known, whether that’s good or bad. That’s always been my motto: if you’re there, better make sure people remember it.
Bartoletti: Sensory overload.
HABITS: Brown: Vitamin C shots and cigarettes.
CRYPTS WILL PLAY A LIVE KEXP SET ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 AT 6:30 PM. THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT LP IS OUT NOW. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, VISIT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE.
Line Out: Just Hit Play
…The only other band to play this night is Seattle’s electro-punk pride, Crypts. This would be a quick revisit to the Bay Area, as Crypts supported Chelsea Wolfe on her tour only a couple of months back. Interestingly enough, both venues Crypts played at (The New Parish on this night and Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco two months ago) are extremely similar: smaller venues with an overlooking balcony and a pretty good bar. As a fan getting ready for the completely new sounds of Bosnian Rainbows, Crypts opening was sort of a mystery in terms of what I was trying to prepare myself for. Chelsea Wolfe is a mix of folk and goth with a hint of experimental pop. I couldn’t necessarily see Bosnian Rainbows becoming a doom folk act… but then again, I didn’t really see De Facto as the band they ended up becoming so I truly was trying to keep the most open mind possible.
Crypts did not fail to impress again. Vocalist Steve Snere was just as animated as he was a handful of weeks ago, climbing on stacks of amps and even hinting towards climbing up onto the balcony. The stage itself was crammed with (I believe) seven keyboards, with Crypts situated as close to the front of the stage as possible. The trademark projections of visual art blasting all which ways, including Snere blasting the crowd with projector light during a handful of songs, made it more of a visual-aural experience akin to The Books, except punk and brash. Last time, Snere shoved the microphone down his jeans (which… is definitely a feat to begin with) to which he then sang into again. This time, he was much more making out with the microphone — and at times, trying to devour said microphone. The New Parish set seemed much more lush or loving… like Crypts took us out on a date that night, rather than trying to just take our pants off. My friend Brandon has fallen in love with the Crypts boys now, and may be their biggest fan. And so, congrats on a great show Crypts.
4am SMUT in the Sargent House Glassroom
The Stranger Catches Up with Crypts on Tour
If Crypts’ modular synth crunk-noise were a finger painting of the sky, the Seattle threesome would fuck it right in the eyeless, half-smiling yellow-orange sun. The band checked in from their confines last night at the Medford, OR Red Lion Hotel. Crypts play tonight in Sacramento at Harlow’s. They’d been in Portland the previous two nights, and say they saw no strippers, and ate no steak. For Steve Snere, Bryce Brown, and Nick Bartoletti, I’m sure it’s been board games of Parcheesi, the entire time. Radjaw (Gregory Smith) is tour managing, and going through video-game withdrawal. We spoke. He’s terrible at Parcheesi.
Radjaw: One brunch so far was shitty, one brunch was delicious. I ate a bacon-wrapped date. I drank two bloody jerks. Nick had to stop at the store to check out some synths and we checked into multiple vintage stores so Steve could get new shoes. Everyone agrees that Bryce looks like a young Bea Arthur. I made a picture of Steve as we listened to the debate whirling through thunderstorms on I-5 South. There was gallon of Evan Williams. Steve loves to pee in bottles. Nick ended up buying some new modules today. I have no idea what he’s talking about. [Speaks to Nick.] Where did you go today?
Nick: To Control Voltage to pick up two new modules for his Analog Modular Synthesizer. It’s a touch controller and a four-step sequencer.
Radjaw: What do the modules do?
Nick: Most of them are for video. A voltage-controlled audio and video that you use to make projections and sounds. The main intent of it was to process video signal but because it can process audio at the same time. I’m trying to make visuals with sound. I like the experimental nature of it and the controls. The live control of the machine.
Radjaw: How much did it cost?
Bryce: Nick, can you roll us a joint?
Steve: Is that being mean?
Crypts live, from the Medford Red Lion:
Crypts Tour with Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group Bosnian Rainbows kicks off in Seattle on October 19th
Crypts joins Bosnian Rainbows , the new Omar Rodriguez Lopez group with Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes on vocals, Deantoni Parks of The Mars Volta on drums and Nicci Kasper on synths for their tour. The LA, San Diego and Santa Ana shows are all already Sold out so make sure to get advance tickets! Then on Halloween Crypts will play another scary show at Chop Suey in Seattle.
SEE ALL SHOW DETAILS
Oct 19, 2012 - Seattle, WA @ City Arts Fest / Triple Door # (Early show)
Oct 20, 2012 - Portland, OR @ Star Theater #
Oct 23, 2012 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s #
Oct 24, 2012 - Oakland, CA @ The New Parish #
Oct 25, 2012 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour - SOLD OUT #
Oct 26, 2012 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory - SOLD OUT #
Oct 27, 2012 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones #
Oct 28, 2012 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah - SOLD OUT #
# w/ Bosnian Rainbows headlining
Oct 31, 2012 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey - HALLOWEEN!
Ghettoblaster Magazine Issue #33 Review: Crypts
Nanobot’s Album Reviews Greg’s Take & Clay’s Take on Crypts
GREG’S TAKE ON CRYPTS
Over the course of film history there have been post-apocalyptic stories that some perceive as predictions of our future, maybe even foreshadowing. Mostly they’re hyped up views of California falling into the ocean or mutants running wild. Though some people’s cranial capacity may make an argument for the latter, we’re just not there. Rarely do any of these visions speak to the musical post-apocalypse.
Now is a good time to tell you I am not saying we’re about to discuss zombie-laden musical approach to a futuristic vision; but rather a view of how rock may be fading like some sci-fi power outage storyline. Some may argue Rock has reached its apocalypse, or in the very least jumped the proverbial shark. I’ll leave that up to you. For Seattle based Crypts, they packed up their shit and hit the musical road to find self-salvation away from the burning city of rock.
This is not some glammed up robotic approach to desolate musical wastelands. Crypts (Steve Snere, Bryce Brown and Nick Bartoletti) is an audible imagery of a punk world launched into a chaotic, synth-riddled future of mind blowing proportions. The trio’s self-titled eight track debut is like a shot of Jolt Cola straight into your bloodstream. The energetic musical language is more like a digital aftershock to a post-apocalyptic Mars Volta. Fittingly enough they’ll be joining The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group for a handful of west coast dates, a pairing that should not be missed.
Complex and borderline psychotically paced, Crypts draw you in to their artistic approach to an already abstract sound. One that, if put to Fallout or Resident Evil, would feel like it was made specifically for that world. Crypts are as hard as The Prodigy and their fans falsely believed they were. Dark electronic beats, layers of synth dancing among Snere’s range of vocals paint a landscape vast and unrelenting. Beginning with “Completely F**ked” there is no leisurely burn-in period given to adapt to Crypts. You’re either on board or you’re trampled by their fierce sound. As the album progresses, notably through “Fancy” and “Smut” (the latter reminiscent of Roger Waters, if he’d been coming into the scene in today’s world) Crypts establishes themselves confidently. Topping off the truly unique experience, “Sleazy” comes in it at nearly five minutes with its digitized macabre corridors.
Masterfully produced, even better than I could have imagined it could be, Crypts is a deeply dark and addicting 33 minutes. Where there is all the potential for them to simply fall in line with sounds crafted by Rammstein and the like, they stand apart. Easily one of the most genre expanding, original sounds I’ve heard in a long time. Snere, Brown and Bartoletti paint the cobwebs of your subconscious with precisely what they want and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. You simply have to bow down to the post-apocalyptic film they paint in your mind and hope you aren’t left out of their foreshadowing vision.
CLAY’S TAKE ON CRYPTS
The first word that comes to mind when trying to describe Crypts is “dirty.” Or “filthy,” or “grimy,” or how about just plain “fucking awesome.” I usually try and keep it classy on the internet, but as much as I have struggled with the words for this record, I drift around the first three words, but always come back to the first two.
So what specifically makes it so awesome? Because lots of things are awesome: paper planes, beer, sunrises, my old cat, Doctor Who.
A man who is wiser than I intimated once that we are destined to eternally love the music stylings we were exposed to between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Industrial and the meteoric rise of electronic music fall specifically in that wheelhouse for me, so I am an impartial reviewer, but hell, who isn’t? While I may be transitioning to more traditional rock ‘n’ roll as my 20s shrink in the rear view mirror, I have an incredibly soft spot for well done industrial.
Hey, guess what the Crypts fall into? I knew I was in trouble the moment that I read that the trio consisted of former These Arms Are Snakes front man Steve Snere, programmer Bryce Brown, and visual artist Nick Bartoletti. Again, the band has three members and one of them is a visual artist. A visual artist. Visual artist. Visual. Artist. I still don’t know how to wrap my brain around that.
But it doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter that in 34 minutes, Steve Snere joined the “What the Hell Are They Singing?” pantheon currently inhabited by Eddie Vedder on “Yellow Ledbetter” and Stevie Nicks on practically every song she sings. His tenor is bombastic at times like in “Smut” or digitally filtered in “Fancy” or “Bloods” but is made for this music. Plus, Brown’s melodies cover all of the pathos that I cannot decipher from lyrics, and he adds some of the dirtiest hip hop beats ever to cross over into a musical genre that usually bring up images of rivets, electrical tape and Trent Reznor. Sometimes all you need is a good producer.
“Filthy” or “fucking awesome,” this album is far from perfect, but its timing could not be better, as it was released this month on Sargent House. The carbon-scored darkness is perfect for the cold and grey winter, for turning in on inner demons, or as it turns out: getting in the zone and cranking out Excel spreadsheets. Put in your earbuds, get angry, and love yourself some Crypts this fall and winter.
GRISL’S UNDER THE NEEDLE: September Best Albums “Crypts”
Crypts have been on our radar ever since they blew our minds playing sandwiched between Deafheaven and Russian Circles. I burned a copy of their self-titled release and it has been in my car CD player since. I have an hour commute each way when I go to work and this album has been on heavy rotation. I have never grown tired of it and find myself playing it louder and louder each time. I am a little obsessed but I feel that it is a healthy obsession because I have converted some friends into Crypts fans.
I got a chance to catch the record release party when they opened for Chelsea Wolfe on 9/9 and it was awesome. Seattle crowds are fickle and you can never tell if there will be a good vibe or if it will be a motionless sea of people. The crowd for Crypts was into it and the dance vibe was heavy. Check out the video for Fancy over here —> FANCY. Pick up your own copy over here —> Crypts – s/t
COS Album Review: Crypts
After the dissolution of post-hardcore heavies These Arms Are Snakes, frontman Steve Snere seemed determined to find new depths to mine. Along with visual artist Nick Bartoletti and electronic musician Bryce Brown, the experimentation process led Snere to a chaotic industrial sound, where hip-hop-inspired beats and manic goth howling collide. Putting Shabazz Palaces producer Erik Blood behind the boards for their self-titled debut added some extra darkwave eclecticism, and the trio known as Crypts came away with an album with a compellingly vast array of reference points.
While Nine Inch Nails’ large, dark shadow looms heavily over much of Crypts, butto call this team mere Trent Reznor acolytes would be a disservice to their inventive blend of sounds. The simple, clap-along haunted house party beat and thrumming synths of “Sleazy” recall early Liars, but everything is a little more tensely wound, building to a scorched earth break. The slouchy sensuality of “Bloods”, on the other hand, works closer to a world where Dan Boeckner sings about graveyards over a Zola Jesus production.
Brown’s sub-bass drop and square-wave flurries on “Fancy” are escalated by Snere’s hardcore howl, making for a track fit for a slasher chase scene. “I feel so fancy/ throw this round my skull/ I’ll be better,” he sighs in a rare moment of quiet, soon to be re-engulfed by the mire, minimal hip-hop percussion buried somewhere under layers of fazing synths. The twitchy percussion and insistent electro-waves of “Territories” push along like tides, building on a focused pop structure. Snere’s muffled vocals sound like he borrowed Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale’s wrestling mask microphone, especially when buried this deep amidst intense rhythmic pulses.
Rather than dig back into the familiar tropes of guitar based rock, Snere found a new paradigm to explore. Luckily, he seems to be just as comfortable doing so here as he did with These Arms Are Snakes, finding the same rampant catharsis that he did in hardcore. While Crypts haven’t invented a new genre, they’ve collage-d together a framework from which to deliver their intensely dramatic punches to the gut. - by Adam Kivel for Consequence of Sound
Essential Tracks: “Fancy”, “Territories”
All Music & Subba Cultcha: Album Reviews “Crypts”
“Applying a Newtonian mindset to music, former These Arms Are Snakes frontman Steve Snere, weary of the guitar-based rock world, formed electronic trio Crypts with programmer Bryce Brown and visual artist Nick Bartoletti to blast an opposite but equally powerful reaction to the 2010s rock revival. Eschewing the post-hardcore sensibilities of These Arms Are Snakes, Snere and company instead take inspiration from ’80s industrial and goth sounds, combining harsh aggression and cold gloom with dramatic, visceral vocals. In place of a six-string are Brown’s home-modified synths and drum machines that build an ominous, all-consuming atmosphere of thick noise, subsonic bass, and glitching beats. Produced by Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces), Crypts unearths the creeping paranoia of Alan Howarth-style synth gunk (“Completely Fucked”), the droning desperation of early-’80s Cure (“Territories”), and the nihilistic intensity of late-’80s Ministry (“Fancy”), only letting up with moments of skittering, Southern hip-hop-influenced rhythms (“Daft”). Crypts deal in musical entropy, and their sound is primed for the ultimate end-of-the-world party.” - by Chyrsta Cherrie for All Music
“There is no shortage of quality new music available from ex-members of influential post-hardcore troupe These Arms are Snakes. Bassist Brian Cook is one-third of Russian Circles, arguably the finest post-rock band on the planet right now, and guitarist Ryan Frederiksen is part of sludge kings Narrows. Meanwhile vocalist Steve Snere has just unveiled the debut album of his new project Crypts…and it is safe to say it may not be quite what you would expect.
These Arms are Snakes were happy to tear up the rulebook but Crypts take those experimental tendencies to a whole new level. This self-titled debut album is a bit like what Nine Inch Nails might have sounded like if Trent had continued further down the dark path of “The Downward Spiral” and “The Fragile”, yet it is by no means an unoriginal album. This album is still oddly reminiscent of Snere’s previous project by means of its chaotic atmosphere, but its musical content is capable of veering impressively between dark, claustrophobic rhythms and soaring refrains such as that present on penultimate track “Bloods”. Programmer Bryce Brown, responsible for the disarming array of electronics that makes up the Crypts sound, clearly has a passion for synth-pop as well as for dark industrial noise.