Crywank was started in Manchester in 2009 by James Clayton as a solo project despite having no previous experience playing guitar. The project started the night Clayton learnt their first two chords and wrote their first two songs (Welcome to Castle Irwell, Thomas Saunders Gang Chant). Lyrically focusing on the end of their first relationship whilst contending with moving away, and musically heavily influenced by American folk punk and anti-folk, their first album ‘James is Going To Die Soon’ became a cult favourite on the internet, both for its charm and many flaws.
After their first release Crywank began to play with and subvert the role of singer songwriter. Shifting the focus from self-pity to self-criticism and fluctuating between hard-hitting confessionals to tongue-in-cheek deconstructions resulted in Crywanks paranoid ‘sad-but-fun’ sound. Dan Watson (ex-GNOD, Denim & Leather) joined the band in 2012 on percussion and began to implement approaches and influences not often seen within ‘anti-folk’, at points going into d-beat and blastbeats.
Crywank have since self-released five records and have amassed a dedicated following online. Despite being self-managed and their name getting in the way of radio play or press coverage, Crywank have had over 25 million streams and have toured internationally. Their most recent album ‘Egg On Face…’ was released in December 2017 and is their most experimental yet, with punk politics, identity and ethics being recurrent themes.
Foto: Jennifer Merlyn Scherler