The Crooked head straight for the Fete: Interview with touring Toronto rock band

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The Crooked are a Toronto-based alternative rock band. Formed from four people with migration backgrounds, it was in Canada that they found each other and a common love for their particular brand of rock music. We talk to Neelesh, a Londoner who lived four years in Berlin as a musician and music journalist before relocating to Toronto where he hooked up with The Crooked in his first week in town. Now Neelesh has brought his Crooked band back to Europe and is stopping in at the Fête on their trawl through the continent.

“For me, Berlin is like beer. It’s entertaining, and addictive. But you need self control – for the sake of health and sanity.”

FDLM: Where do you play at the Fête de la Musique Berlin 2019?

Neelesh/The Crooked: Freizeithaus Balzerplatz at 21:00.

FDLM: what does the city mean to you?

Neelesh/The Crooked: I lived in Berlin for four years. Like everyone, I have a complicated relationship with the city. For me, Berlin is like beer. It’s entertaining, and addictive. But you need self control – for the sake of health and sanity.

the-crooked-at-fete-berlin-2019FDLM: Where do you come from?

Neelesh/The Crooked: The band formed in Toronto, but we’re all from different countries. The drummer is Italian, bassist is Swiss, lead singer is Costa Rican and I’m British. This will be the first time in Berlin for the boys. I’m excited for them. Toronto is like Frankfurt – a business city. Beautiful in many ways, but uptight and prohibitive. Berlin is the glorious opposite. This city may never let them leave.

FDLM: Why are you playing at the Fête de la Musique?

Neelesh/The Crooked: We’re on a European tour, playing six shows in and around Berlin. We then head north to Hamburg and Lower Saxony. In early July, we have two festival dates in Norway before returning to Canada.

Toronto is like Frankfurt – a business city. Beautiful in many ways, but uptight and prohibitive. Berlin is the glorious opposite.

FDLM: We see the stages, the organisers and the musicians as ‘our’ influencers. How do you think your music influences the audience?

Neelesh/The Crooked: We trick the audience into liking something ‘ugly’ by rewarding them later with something pretty-sounding, or familiar. It’s dynamics – we love pop melodies, but also dissonance.

FDLM: Who would you like to share the stage with?

Neelesh/The Crooked: Nirvana is a fundamental band for most of us. It might be tough getting a gig with them, though.

Thanks for the interview! See you on the 21st June!