Will Crewdson is the artist behind the sci-fi electro-guitar fusion act Scant Regard and is also guitar master behind bands such as: Rachel Stamp; The Selecter; She Made Me Do It; and Adam and the Ants. Will’s diverse career pushes boundaries and constantly seeks new explorations of music, having worked with an extensive list of artists. The Punk Lounge managed to grab Will in his busy schedule to talk about his current bands, which movie he’d write the soundtrack for and what’s coming up in the Crewdson calendar…
Cover image by Thomas Triton
Hi Will, how are things? What have you been up too lately?
Hi! It’s very good, lots of stuff is going on as usual… At the moment I’m playing a few solo gigs under the name Scant Regard to promote my fifth album ‘Skipping Over Damaged Area’ which just came out. As well as Scant Regard I’m doing a few festivals with Adam Ant and The Selecter and writing new songs with Shaheena Dax (also of Rachel Stamp) for our next She Made Me Do It album. I’m also preparing for a US tour with Adam and we just announced a one-off Rachel Stamp gig at the Islington O2 Academy at the end of November.
Let’s start at the beginning – how did you get into playing guitar? I heard you started out playing piano as a kid, was there a particular band or style that got you hooked into rock music?
Yes, I began learning the piano at age 7 until I started guitar lessons when I was 9. I was taught classically and trained at the Royal Academy Of Music and got all the grades etc.
I guess the whole post-punk style got me hooked. Bands like Adam and the Ants, XTC, and Japan got me into all that. Later I got more into the electronic side through bands like Depeche Mode and Cabaret Voltaire.
Do you ever have a dabble on the piano these days, or any another instrument other than guitar for that matter?
I use a lot of synth sounds in my solo work but it’s all quite basic and programmed so I don’t really need to play keyboards the way I was taught. I also had percussion lessons when I was a teenager so I guess that helps when I have to bash a drum or two on stage with Adam.
I love the new Scant Regard album – ‘Skipping Over Damaged Area’ – it’s got a real interesting, sci-fi blend of guitar and electronica. How did Scant Regard come about? Was it a means to challenge yourself and experiment with music in your own right after years in bands?
Thanks! I’m glad it comes across that way.
I started doing Scant Regard in 2011 when I found myself band-less for the first time in ages. I was at a point where I didn’t want to deal with the band dynamic for a bit and I’d always wanted to do something on my own. It’s a completely different experience to not have people to bounce off onstage but one which is just as valid to me. It was almost 100% instrumental and soundtrack-like at first but vocals are creeping in now. It can go off on any tangent and I like to keep it quite experimental and random although I do love a nice poppy chorus here and there. Expect the unexpected!
How have Scant Regard’s recent gigs been in light of the new album? Any plans to tour Scant Regard further in the UK? Just asking for a friend…
It feels like the live stuff gets better every time I do it. I would probably stop if it didn’t!
The new songs have definitely upped the game for the live shows and all the recent gigs I’ve done have been great.
I’m always up for touring it and I’m looking at booking more gigs later in the year when I get a bit of time off from the other bands I play in.
So, there’s a lot of goings on with Adam Ant and The Selecter at the moment – including a US tour for each. How would you describe a typical week for yourself if there is such a thing?
Normally cramming in as much recording as possible before I have to change strings for the next gig. Each week is a new adventure!
You and The Selecter feels like it was a bit of a match made in heaven…
I’d like to think so! It works really well and I love the energy of the band and Pauline’s unique attitude. Killer rhythm section too…
What’s going on with Rachel Stamp at the moment? Any new music to accompany the reunion gig in November?
I’d love to get some new stuff out. I’m talking to David [Ryder Prangley] about that at the moment. I don’t see why we can’t squeeze some tracks out before the gig yeah.
Just for fun; is there a movie you would have LOVED to have written the soundtrack for? Or alternatively a record of yours that would have been brilliantly suited for a movie?
If they ever revitalise ‘Biker Mice from Mars’ as a live action movie I think that would be perfect!
Each track on each [Scant Regard] album could probably be used for an entirely different movie in their own right. It would have to be a pretty varied movie for one of my albums to work as a whole for it.
Who is your favourite live act?
What are your plans for the rest of this year and beyond?
I’m recording a Scant Regard cover version EP at the moment which may or may not turn into an album depending on when I decide to stop! That should be out within the next couple of months.
Other than that just writing new She Made Me Do It songs and looking for new ideas/collaborations. Next year should be really busy touring with both The Selecter and Adam so I’m gonna cram as much of my stuff as I can into this year.
Want to see Will on tour? Tour dates and further band information available via The Selecter; She Made Me Do It; Adam and the Ants; Rachel Stamp; or Scant Regard where you can also listen to ‘Skipping Over Damaged Area’.
Will playing alongside Adam Ant at Hammersmith Apollo in 2014: