For the last year and half, I’ve had the pleasure of performing with a band called Crones, based out of Prince George, British Columbia. Originally the solo project of Nathan Kelly, Crones has grown into a five-person band featuring Landon Hilde on drums, Chris Dibbens on bass, Cal Hilde on the keys and ukulele, Nathan on guitar and lead vocals, and myself as background vocalist. With hits like “Whoopin’ Cough” and “Lucky Dog” infecting Prince George crowds like a gentle fungus, Crones has managed to maintain their sarcastic humility. This interview was conducted amongst many laughs on Sunday, September 8, 2013, while sprawled upon some couches in a dark basement living room.
BRITT: Hello Crones! Thank you for lending me valuable practice time to conduct this interview. Who else here is hungover?
Crones: (incoherent grumbling)
BRITT: What did you all do last night?
NK: I went to a show, then I went to a party, and then I drank whiskey.
BRITT: So, is whiskey your drink of choice?
NK: No, it’s whatever is within arm’s reach.
CH: I drove Nathan’s drunk ass around last night, so…
NK: I wasn’t that drunk.
CD: You weren’t ‘dancing’ drunk.
BRITT: Nathan, why did you decide to call the project “Crones”?
NK: Because I feel like a bunch of haggard old ladies…Actually, I had a crush on a girl who had Crohn’s Disease in high school. “Crones” is just an easier way to spell it. Also, I like the fact that people think it’s going to be a girl group.
CD: I have a beard.
BRITT: Speaking of beards, Nathan your beard is very formidable.
NK: Thank you.
BRITT: Does it have a name?
NK: I initially named it “The Prospector”, because I was inspired to grow it while working at Barkerville (Barkerville is a historically preserved gold rush town in central British Columbia).
BRITT: What did you do in Barkerville?
NK: I refurbished old buildings.
LH: So, you made old buildings look ‘kind of new’?
NK: They were supposed to look like new buildings from back then. We had to use the same materials that they used back then, like square nails and…other things that are old.
NK: Wood and nails.
CD: But no hammers.
NK: We used the shells of turtles, attached to a horse’s leg.
BRITT: Does anyone in the band have a nickname?
NK: Of course. There’s Landon “Long Dong” Hilde, Christopher “Turnip Hands” Dibbens…
BRITT: Why “Turnip Hands”?
CD: I wanted to punch Bob Dylan in the face, and he’s a wizard, so we figured he would turn my hands into turnips.
NK: Those are the cliff notes.
LH: Now when you shred on bass, you’re actually just shredding turnips.
NK: A new nickname that would be appropriate for Chris would be “Janice”.
CD: Why Janice?
NK: You know why. Because you look like that muppet. What was Cal’s nickname? Oh yeah, it’s ORC, for Old Rapey Cal.
CH: To be clear, that is out of character for me! Were we coming up with rap names?
NK: A play on ODB or something? The reason is lost in the mists of time, I think. You’re the only one who doesn’t have a nickname…because the only thing that rhymes with Blit (laughter)…Well, you know where I’m going with this!
LH: ODB…Old Dirty Blitoris?
BRITT: I reject that!
CD: Well, I’ve gotta be Janice, so you can be ODB!
BRITT: Well, now that we’ve got that covered…if Crones had a catch phrase, what would it be?
NK: I’ve been saying it a lot at work. I’ve also been saying ‘D’oops!’ a lot. Like, I’ll bump into someone and say it.
LH: I think we just found our second catch phrase.
BRITT: Who is Crones’ biggest influence?
NK: Neil Young.
BRITT: Who does Crones influence the most?
NK: No one? Some people just love me.
CH: So, it’s not about the band, it’s about you.
NK: Yes, it’s a cult of personality, really.
BRITT: What does ‘Success’ look like for Crones?
NK: Enjoying what we’re doing.
CD: Laying on a pile of money with many beautiful women.
NK: Well, we’re not doing that, so…
BRITT: What does success smell like?
CD: Beautiful women…
LH: Nathan’s beard.
NK: I was gonna say beer farts.
LH: So, pretty much the same thing.
CH: I’m pretty sure success smells like B.A. Johnston.
NK: So, beer farts.
BRITT: Nathan, I’ve noticed that your writing in the past has focused a lot on your dog, Pippin. Lately the focus seems to have shifted to your balls. What gives?
NK: Well, they say that a dog is man’s best friend, but really guys, isn’t it your balls?
NK: Yep. I would agree. With myself. I guess I’ve just been feeling pent up. Needing to get my balls out there…lyrically.
BRITT: Any band drama to report?
CD: Everyone keeps f*cking calling me Janice.
NK: Deciding on our Halloween costumes has been tough.
BRITT: If Crones were an animal, what animal would it be?
LH: A sloth.
CH: A sloth with a really bad cough.
LH: A “Whoopin’ Sloth”.
BRITT: Well, thanks for your time, Crones! Anything else you would like to add to the millions of readers out there?
NK: D’oopsies? Oh boy.