Posted by: will | June 21, 2007

Band Interview – The Ackleys…

The Ackleys are a great pop/punk band from Birmingham, Alabama. I have gushed over the band on SAL for the last six months. Vocalist/guitarist Katie Crutchfield was kind enough to answer some of my questions. You can check out my review of the band’s last release, the Forget Forget Derive Derive EP here. Check out the band’s myspace page for songs and tour dates.

I know you have mentioned Guided By Voices in the past but what are some of the band’s other influences? And how would you describe your sound?

The Muffs, Descendents, X, The Smiths/Morrissey, The Weakerthans, X Ray Spex, Tiger Trap, The Slits, Jawbreaker, Jawbreaker, The Smiths, and Jawbreaker

I would describe our sound as…indie-punk? Maybe? Really poppy songs with simple structures and lots of energy.

The Birmingham music scene seems to be really cool and tight knit? What distinguishes it from other scenes? Any up and coming bands to watch out for?

Birmingham does have a really tight scene. Central Alabama is one of the friendliest places on earth so that definitely comes across in our hospitality towards touring bands…which can be pretty surprising. I guess most importantly, we want people to be comfortable and we want to make friends and we want everyone to have a positive experience. Locally, it’s kind of like a small town…everyone knows everyone no matter what genre. Hardcore kids come to some indie rock shows and indie rock kids come to punk shows and punk kids come to art shows we have and so on.

Awesome Birmingham/Alabama bands are The Judy Garland Death Squad, Teen Getaway, Danger!, Baak Gwai, Tyrants, Ex Members of The Holy Trinity, Brothers and Sisters, Poser Parade, Unwed Teenage Mothers.

Most have myspaces so check them out!

Has living in the South influenced your songwriting at all? What other factors influence the band’s songwriting?

I think living in the South kind of affects almost every aspect of my life so I’m sure in some way it influences my songwriting. Being in the South gives you an interesting perspective. In a lot of cases people come here or listen to your band with this premeditated opinion of what you’re like or what you think..its a strange thing.

As for other influences, lyrically everything I write about is pretty typical: boys, friendships, the scene, dumb girls, really dumb boys, books i read, etc.

Upon my first listen I was stunned at how young the band was. Do you see the youth of the band as more of a positive or negative?

I guess its a positive right now. When we started my sister and I were 15 and couldn’t drive and I guess that was kind of a negative because we weren’t old enough to go to a lot of shows or do a lot of things but now I think its a positive. We’re still young enough for people to find it somewhat enticing but we’re old enough to make good decisions and stuff like that.

Being that everybody is still in school (be it high school or college), what kind of priority is the band in everybody’s life right now? Is there any thought to making The Ackleys a full-time gig?

I guess making it a full-time gig is the ultimate goal, and I’m sure eventually that will become the main priority. As of right now, we have a lot of time and we’re not in a huge rush. It’s a big priority in all our lives but its not the only priority, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

What’s the band’s opinion on file-sharing?

For it. Anyone who wants our music can have it.

Do you think it necessary for a band to be “signed” to be successful?

Definitely not. I’ve seen plenty of bands put out their own music and be successful. Labels are there to help you, not do everything for you in my opinion. I think its probably really helpful but not a necessity.

What’s been playing on the band’s collective stereo lately?

Well, we all listen to really different music…but for me:

The Unlovables – Heartsickle
Descendents – Everything Sucks
Fucked Up – Hidden World
Municipal Waste – Art Of Partying
Pink Razors – Scene Suicide EP
Lemuria – Kind Of Like Spitting Split
Fake Problems – How Far Our Bodies Go
Marked Men – Fix My Brain
Hop Along, Queen Ansleis – Freshman Year
The Ergs! – Jersey’s Best Prancers

What’s on the horizon (releases, touring) for the band in the near future?

Eastern US tour this summer, a lot of which will be done with our good friends, O Pioneers!!! and hopefully recording a new full-length in early fall!

Any last words?

I don’t think so! Thanks Will!


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