Lockdown is over, and Crocodylus are ready for their fiery return

Lockdown is over, and Crocodylus are ready for their fiery return

Three-piece garage rock group Crocodylus has worked their way up from good ol’ humble house parties to playing European stages with The Chats.

Crocodylus have been a Happy Mag fave since they first burst onto our top 100 songs in 2017. Since then we have watched the Northern Beaches band skyrocket to impressive success.

With an impressive catalogue of sell-out headlines, tours, and international festivals, these lads surely know how to put on an entertaining show. Since it’d been a while and we missed them so much, we sat down with drummer and all-round great guy Mikel to chat about the group’s dynamic, their high school days, past tours, and the harsh realities of lockdowns.

Crocodylus golfing in 2019. They’re slightly better at playing shows. Photo: Pat O’Hara

HAPPY: So tell us, what’s been happening with the band lately?

MIKEL: Up and down!  It’s December… everything’s getting busy, but we haven’t done anything all year. It’s intense, we’re like doing nothing but we are doing everything. You start seeing more people because you can, but I’ve had a cold this week which is like…ahh!

HAPPY: You get a cold now and it’s, ‘oh my god is it COVID?’

MIKEL: Yeah exactly, you start to freak out! So, I’ve been weathering that, but getting excited to do more stuff with the band and shows.

HAPPY: You guys have your Christmas show coming up in Paddington this weekend. Will you be playing any new songs in that set?

MIKEL: We are playing a tonne of new stuff. We recorded right before lockdown, so we’ve been sitting on the songs for ages, and we want to play them!

HAPPY: What about releases? Any new releases coming up or are you guys going to sit on it for a while?

MIKEL: I want to get it out as soon as possible, but I think we are going to have to stagger it out. It’s a whole record, so I think maybe the middle of next year.

HAPPY:  I totally get that, the marketing and strategy, but when you just want to get it out there it is annoying having to wait. You’re on the pots and pans, behind the drums, do you like hiding out at the back or do you ever wish you could jump up the front with the other lads?

MIKEL: Sometimes! I mean not really. I started when I was really young and have always been at the back of the stage. As a kid, you’re like ‘give me attention’ so I’ve just been thrashing about all the time.

HAPPY: I think drummers have a sort of reputation for being wild animals, so it is cool when you look at a drummer play and they often just go nuts. It’s entertaining!

MIKEL: It’s the easiest thing to go nuts too, but I also play guitar in a band and I’m always looking down like… trying not to mess it up.

HAPPY:  Ok band name, I am assuming you’ve been asked this question quite a lot, but is the name purely because of Australia and… crocodiles?

MIKEL: It’s funny, I wasn’t even in the band when it got named. I think it was just birthed out of a Wikipedia article. Josh was just looking a Wikipedia stuff and it’s like the scientific Latin name to a crocodile species.

HAPPY: No, that’s so cool. But if you could choose an animal that embodies you and your character which animal, would it be?

MIKEL: Oh jeez, most of the time I reckon I’d just be a sloth with a little smile on my face. When I’m on the drums it’s a bit different, but every other time I feel like I’m really slow and passive with a little smile here and there.

HAPPY: I love it!  Ok, what about if you weren’t doing music? What would you be doing with your time… assuming music is your full-time gig?

MIKEL: No, I have full time work as well!  It’s annoying because that would not be the case if COVID didn’t happen, but you can’t dwell on that. This question has sparked an existential fear in me. I don’t really do much besides music. If I’m not writing with Crocs or making music, I’m in another band and I’m also writing my own stuff.

HAPPY: I saw you and the boys met in high school… go through the band, feel free to throw them under the bus, and use one or two words, to sum up your high school selves.

MIKEL: Oh boy. I would say, Stephen, reserved but also quite stoic, but he can also be quite giddy and excitable too. He’s like a polar opposite man, it’s great. Josh, it’s like very frantic and manic, we became friends because we started going to live concerts together, and he was always like ‘do you know this band? do you know this band? do you know this band?’, and was so overwhelmed by his love of music.

HAPPY: I’ve changed a lot since high school, so I’m sure you guys have has this really interesting dynamic as you’ve grown and changed.

MIKEL: Yeah it’s weird! We all live in the same house and it’s funny, instead of picking each other up and going to a gig or practice, we’re all just here milling about.

HAPPY: Who is the ‘mum’ of the house, who’s doing the cooking and who’s cleaning?

MIKEL: We all take turns, it’s all very diplomatic and democratic, which is cool. We have maybe two meals that we’ve all made for each other, it’s very segmented and everyone’s doing their own thing, but we all just sleep here. It’s going to be funny when we’re on tour next year.

HAPPY:  Speaking of tours, you guys have done plenty of touring with artists and festivals and whatnot. You’ve been lucky jumping on with bands like The Chats. What has been the highlight or your favourite band to play alongside?

MIKEL: We’ve gotten really lucky over the years ever since our first tour with The Pinheads and Drunk Mums, that was in 2017. There have been so many highlights. 2018 was cool, we jumped on a thing with Skeggs, then 2019 was a real cool one, we did probably one of my favourite tours, a triple headliner with VOIID and A. Swayze and the Ghosts. It was great, but the best one of all was definitely going to Europe and the UK with The Chats, that was insane.

HAPPY: That’s the dream, honestly!

MIKEL: Yeah, you’d go to bed every night and you just spent all day hanging out in Europe and doing nothing and then playing a sick show, it was crazy.

HAPPY: Have you personally found COVID a struggle? I have spoken to a few musicians, some of them say they have found it useful for writing and practising, but others have gone stir crazy.

MIKEL: Personally, it’s nothing short of fucked me up. The first lockdown I was fine… everyone was doing live gigs on Instagram and baking bread, working out, and being optimistic. But then this last one fully crushed me. I was like ‘I don’t even give a shit about anything’.

HAPPY: Honestly, that is very fair I think this is an important topic to talk about.

MIKEL:  All this aside though, it’s been nothing short of devastating to my mental health, for sure, but I’ve written some cool songs.

HAPPY: Yes exactly! Out of every shitty situation in life comes a good song.

MIKEL: Exactly… I’m like, ‘wow my writings gotten a lot better!’ And it’s something that I actually enjoy.


Tickets to A Very Crocodylus Christmas at Paddo RSL, Sydney on Saturday December 18th are on sale now. You can get yours here.