Andy Crofts is a very busy man indeed. When he’s not touring or recording as bassist for UK legend Paul Weller, he’s working with his own band, The Moons. When he’s not doing that he’s working on his label – Colorama Records. If that’s not enough for him to go at, he also hosts the occasional radio show on Boogaloo Radio. We chatted to Andy to get an insight into how he’s keeping occupied during these strange times – he also gave us an exclusive acoustic track ‘How Long’ from The Moons back catalogue (find out how to listen below) and exclusively revealed The Moon’s next single…
An unavoidable talking point at the moment is the current pandemic and the threats that the music industry faces because of it. With no live shows for what looks like the rest of the year, do you think artists and venues can bounce back?
I think music and artists can bounce back any time to be honest. We live and breathe music and there’s nothing that can stop that I guess. I’ve lived my whole life in a kind of lockdown in my mind with music, so I don’t feel any threat there. As for venues, now this is a tricky one because this obviously has affected their income and trade in general. It is definitely gonna affect some smaller independent venues which is a shame. The best thing we can all do is to enjoy live music to the max after this go to these venues and give support.
On a more positive note – it is interesting to see how artists are interpreting the situation. Do you feel as if lockdown has altered, or influenced your creativity in any way?
I was talking about this the other day. Now although this pandemic has literally changed everything, it certainly has opened new doors as well. I mean the online gigs etc have been a real treat during all this and people are really liking them. I have done three and will do a few more, I guess. The whole situation has made us all aware of how grateful we should be for the Internet. For all the crap it holds it is also really amazing. I mean just imagine being in Lockdown with no net! I guess we would not know any difference, but we would be so restricted – just a third world addiction we can’t live without. Down the line all the online shows will become the norm and appreciated as an actual accepted way of watching artists and could possibly even end up ticketed where people pay to join and watch your show like a gig. I also think it will become stale too with so many people doing it but that happens with anything right? Either way, at the moment it is fun.
From a personal perspective, how do you feel about how the government is handling the whole current situation?
I’m not very intelligent when it comes to politics, so I won’t pretend to be. It’s bad timing for Johnson for this to happen so soon but I never voted for him because I don’t think he and most Tories care about the people. So, with this in mind I am sure things could have and should have been handled differently. I cannot help thinking that when he was treated by the NHS it was a publicity stunt to show that he’s “one of the real people” when he’s totally not! As if he would go to the NHS!! He would have private doctors and people rushing around his feet 24/7. But in general, I guess we don’t know what anyone would do as this is a mad situation. Corbyn may have stumbled too but the big difference with him is that he is all about the people and many lives may have been saved under his reign. I don’t think he would have skimped on protective gear for nurses on the frontline etc. At the end of the day It’s a big topic and I’m just as confused as the rest.
You appear to be keeping busy with The Moons, as there’s a new release out on the 22nd of May entitled “Home Demos & Rarities Vol. 1”. What can you tell us about this?
Yeah this was a bit of a last-minute thing to Moons fans really. Something to try and lift the spirits of the people, but nothing too heavy. It’s mainly just a bunch of my home demos from over the years. Like most musicians when I write a song, I usually have put a rough idea down so I don’t forget and so that I can listen for more ideas. These are very raw and as you can imagine, we’re never intended to be heard so it’s more of a treat to real fans, I guess. I’m a big fan of hearing bands demos. I love to hear how the songs were born and how they developed. Hopefully, people will like The Moons collection. In fact, I sometimes end up preferring rough demos as they always have a charm.
“Vol. 1” suggests that you have more releases of the same nature planned?
We put Vol.1 ‘cause yes there are more, and there are a bunch from the new album that isn’t even released yet so we had to hold them back. When there will be a volume 2 I have no idea. 2021 maybe…
You’re working on a label called ‘Colorama Records’ – described as a “labour of love” in order to serve as a platform for your work and others. Can you give us any more information on this, and the artists involved?
Colorama Records is a label I actually started in 2008 and released The Moon’s first ever single on 7”. After that I just got so involved in other labels and Weller world that I just thought I’d put it to bed as I didn’t need a label. Anyway, years later in 2020 and I wanted to have somewhere to house any of my recordings. So, I brought Colorama back from a very long sleep and I think I like the idea of it more now. The beauty of now is that digital is completely the norm and easily accessible so it makes it much easier to release stuff. I much prefer physical such as vinyl, but it costs a lot so only selected things may have records pressed for the time being. So apart from my own releases I will always have an ear out for other artists. To be straight up, I can’t do much apart from offer a home under the Colorama umbrella and hopefully this can help some new and young artists just find their feet. It’s such a tiny thing but the music business is so fickle that It sometimes helps to be on a label when releasing music just purely to be taken seriously. In a nutshell I’ll do digital releases for other bands and artists if I like the music. I like good song writing.
You are not only working on your own music and label, but also an online radio show on Boogaloo Radio. What can listeners expect from a typical show?
Boogaloo radio is one of my favourite things to be honest. I’ve been a host on there for over a year now and I really love doing it. I’m not a professional radio host in the slightest and don’t think I’d like that so much so I’m just me. I play a melting pot of music from all genres but mainly soul, rock n roll, new indie and psych bands, ska, funk, blues, 60s. I like to play unsigned bands now and again too but I do have to like it and won’t play anything as I think it needs to fit the show. I think Boogaloo Radio for me is my way of talking to the people and having a little escape whilst feeding my control freak addiction of showing people music. My “NIGHT TRAIN” show runs every Thursday night 10pmtill midnight and is currently being broadcast live from home. You can listen live here www.boogalooradio.com
Do you have any more plans in the pipeline of your already busy schedule, with The Moons or Paul Weller – or anything else?
Well yes, I do actually… I do like to keep my fingers in a lot of pies, but you can probably tell that by looking at my fat belly!! So next up for me is a new single by The Moons called Riding Man. You are the first to know! It’s a nice little summer tune and we chose it to add some colour to these grey times. I’m waiting on a release date, but it will be out late June I believe, on download and ltd coloured vinyl. So, you heard it here first folks. Records will go super fast though so keep an eye out for pre order announcements very soon.
So obviously a new single means a new album so The Moons new album will be out later in the year and was all recorded at Abbey Road Studios London. It’s full of very catchy melodic songs. We can talk about this another time though. One other bit of news I’ll quickly brisk over is a book I’m releasing. It’s a Paul Weller book and is a collection of my photographs. That will be available later in the year but I’m not saying anymore for now. All music info will be on my socials and website www.andycrofts.com so stay posted.
As for Weller, you have all seen that tour dates are being rescheduled etc so we unfortunately can’t tour BUT he does have his brand new album “On Sunset” our next month so hopefully that will help tie you all over in the meantime. In general we all just have wait for this to pass and then make new plans I suppose. I’m trying to keep busy though regardless.
Thanks for having me Northern Exposure.
Listen to Andy play an exclusive track called ‘How Long’ (The Moons) for Northern Exposure over on our IGTV Instagram at 8pm tonight.