2005 has been a nonstop year for The Cribs and on the eve of their final show of the year in Glasgow, they took the time to chat with Room Thirteen. Bassist and vocalist Gary Jarman talked in depth and brother Ryan, guitar and vocals, popped in to show off his latest bruise.

R13: We've had a few people wanting to know, and I apologise for starting with a non-music question, but how was Soccer AM? (The Cribs recently appeared on Sky's Saturday morning football and chat show.)
GJ: Well, you're actually asking the wrong person as I don't know anything about football and I'm not sure about doing TV that much anyway but I thought Ryan and Ross dealt with it really well, they held their fans up and said they don't really like football but when it came to doing the sport, Ryan beat everyone else anyway, so it was a victory for the underdog.
The band came across quite well and they showed a lot of humour, so it was probably a worthwhile exercise
GJ: Yeah, it was dealt with right and maybe I shouldn't be so sceptical, it is a very laddy type show but Ryan and Ross did really well and beat them at their own game. It was a moral victory.

R13: Briefly staying with the TV angle, your new video is based around the old Channel 4 show, 'The Word'. Do you have any favourite recollections of 'The Word'?
GJ: I remember when we were kids, I was 14 when it finished and I was into Nirvana at the time. I just liked the fact that I never used to stay up that late and I just started going out to the pub with my dad or hanging out and it was nice to come in and see it. I've never been a big TV fan but it had a bit of spontaneity and they actually had forward thinking music bands on. Nowadays, there's not really much for bands to do, there is Jools Holland but it's all so sterile. There's so much that's all pre-recorded in the studio and we're more of a live and spontaneous band, so 'The Word' was good for that.
R13: Do you think it's a shame there's not much like it nowadays?
GJ:With current alternative and indie bands becoming the mainstream and the pop culture, it's a shame that there is no real alternative to that. Bands have to play ball I suppose. I don't think that's healthy for the genre or lifespan for a band, it's not a good situation. It's not why you join a band, well nowadays, it probably is why some bands form. Being on Top of The Pops is a totally achievable aim these days. So many new bands this year have already done that and it makes you realise how much the world has changed.
R13: Well it is like that now, it's go and learn three chords or audition for Big Brother, as it's all fame?
GJ: Yeah, you are right, that's a good way of looking at it, it does seem like a career opportunity for so many people these days as they pull the wool over record companies eyes.

R13: Okay, we'll move away from that and talk about the band more. You are on a new tour, do you have any new injuries yet?
GJ: Ryan, come over here and show us your bruise. (Ryan comes over and shows a massive purple and blue bruise on the underside of his arm)
RJ: I think someone must have been nipping or twisting my arm when I was going through the crowd.
GJ: The thing is, it's almost like haunting us now cos obviously stuff happened when we played but we feel a bit uncomfortable about it now as it's almost as if people are expecting it. It's just the case that we try and keep everything spontaneous and we have done so many gigs this year that we try and stop things going stale, not that I think it would, but we like the unpredictable. It's almost as if bands have become the chosen face of alternative culture and people want that but we just try and keep everything as real as we can and we try and separate the music from everything else. I wouldn't like to get to the stage where there is a massive gap between us and the crowd and being ushered into the venue, as I have never been into stuff like that but some times bands can get swept along with everything. We try to remember why we started and what our early gigs were about.

R13: There are rumours circulating that Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth (American 'godfathers of grunge' and all-time indie heroes) wants to produce your next record? How will you choose between him and Berard Butler?
GJ: Well, this is one of they rumours that has kinda grown. We have an American manager now and he was the guy who signed Sonic Youth to Geffen, and Nirvana as well, so he knows his stuff and it's really exciting. We were talking one night and he asked would we like him to contact Lee and see if he wants to produce you. So it all came from there but there's been all these quotes and it's been amazing. But we really enjoyed working with Bernard Butler. He's such a great man and we had a great time. He's mates with Edwyn Collins, who produced our first record, and we used the same studio and engineers, so it was really natural and great, so it would be nice to work with him again.

R13: Given your close friendship with the Kaiser Chiefs and you have Black Wire supporting you on tour, is "everything brilliant in Leeds"?
GJ: Well, it's one of those things isn't it? All these bands have worked really hard and put the graft in and they deserve their success but then you find that there is media hype to create a scene and all these other bands start appearing and try to cash in. There are a bunch of great bands like The Duels, and The Ivories, I really liked the band they were in before but then you get all these new hanger ons. It actually worries me a bit because it's not a good thing in the long run is it? You'll know up here in Glasgow with Franz Ferdinand and all the hype and new bands that it creates, that it lets a lot of bandwagon jumpers onto the scene.
R13: Certainly, music people up here will have known of Alex Kapranos, or Huntley as he was back then, for the best part of ten years, so he has clearly paid his dues and worked hard but that creates a platform for all these other people?
GJ:It's like we spoke about earlier and those just in it for a career or because it's hip and not because they really love doing it.

R13: You are signed to Wichita Records, who have a strong line up of acts, are there any you would say are your favourites?
GJ: The thing is, our record company's really great and they look after you, any time someone new joins the label, you usually meet them within a month and it's quite close. I mean there's bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah we haven't met yet but there's been a lot of good stuff being spoken about them. I'll tell you what though, Bloc Party are such nice people. We were introduced to them at a gig down in London and we hung out and it was great, really nice people. There is some stuff said about them and certain things but no, I really think they're great guys and a good band as well. But the label is great, it's great being with people who have similar ideas about music, it all comes back to the reasons of why you want to be in a band.

R13: You spoke to Room Thirteen earlier this year and stated that you felt that constant touring was the best way for a band to promote themselves. Have you seen the benefit of this?
GJ: The D.I.Y way is definitely the best way. It keeps you in control and it's a fun way, the real way of doing it. I don't give a shit about hype and it's nice that we have a hardcore following doing something that we enjoy. I'd be appalled if we turned out to be one of the bands that all the hip cats turn up to see just because they were told to.
R13: On my way into this interview, I was accosted by some fans who have been here since midday to see you. How does that make you feel?
GJ: It's really flattering but I still don't know if I'm 100% comfortable with it. No disrespect to them as we're so grateful for everything they do but I certainly don't feel like I warrant that. I don't think we have a low opinion of ourselves but we're just not egotistical.

R13: You've spoke in depth about the current life of The Cribs, so what does next year entail?
GJ: I think because we have an American manager now, we have a lot of stuff over there and I'm really excited as I like it over there. It'd be nice to record over there as well. And apart from that, just keeping busy.

With another busy year ahead of them, The Cribs deserve to take a look back at the good they have achieved in the past year and to steel themself for another hard and hopefully rewarding year.