Interviews

Tex Crick on Mac Demarco, instrumentals, and hiring a private investigator to shoot his album cover

Seasoned live performer and collaborator Tex Crick recently tracked his debut record in the big apple. We caught up with the artist to chat about the release.

Tex Crick recently released his debut album, Live In… New York City. It’s a memorable debut, drenched with a warm atmosphere and sweet, piano-driven balladry. Though it’s the artists’ first full-length, Crick has been amidst the music scene for quite some time, collaborating with Weyes Blood, Kirin J. Callinan, and Connan Mockasin.

His sound also spiked indie prince Mac Demarco’s interest, and he’s since become the first artist to sign to Mac’s record label (other than Mac himself, of course).

The intrigue of Tex Crick doesn’t stop there. His creativity extended into every nook of the project, from hauling a battered piano off the streets and repairing it, to hiring a private investigator to follow him under the suspicion that Crick was a cheating husband. The investigator’s photo ended up becoming the album cover.

Anyway, more on that shortly. With Crick’s impressive collaborations, multi-instrumentalist experience, a bubbling pool of influences, and off-kilter charm, we couldn’t wait to chat with him about the project.

Tex Crick

HAPPY: Hey Tex, thanks for taking the time. Where have we caught you today?

TEX: No worries. I’m in Tokyo now, sitting in the attic. I’ve built a small studio up here.

HAPPY: Live In… New York City is not only the first release on Mac Demarco’s label (other than his own work), but he also did a bit of mixing on the record. How was working with him on the tracks?

TEX: Yeah, I met Mac years ago. He’s a sweet guy. We mixed it all via email. Helped glue it all together and smooth it out. He’s got a good ear. Understood my vision. I’m grateful to be the first artist on the bill.

HAPPY: And how do you think time on the road with the likes of Iggy Pop, Weyes Blood, Kirin J. Callinan, and more has influenced your sound?

TEX: Not sure how it’s influenced my sound, but I respect what these artists are doing. You just gotta be yourself. Follow your nose. Same goes for songwriting. I only played with Iggy once in Hawaii.

HAPPY: Sometimes I Forget is an earworm! I love the carefree lyrics about your heart skipping like a stone and being hooked on someone. What sort of headspace were you in when you penned the track?

TEX: It was the first track I wrote for the record. It kinda set the tone for the rest of the album. I was head over heels… I had a piano and something to sing about.

HAPPY: Spinster St. I & Spinster St. II are really sweet and gentle instrumentals. Do you have a soft spot for instrumental tracks?

TEX: For sure, I write a lot of instrumental tracks. This record is mostly not those, but there will be more to come.

HAPPY: Your piano playing is so smooth. It reminds me of Randy Newman a little. What sort of music did you grow up with?

TEX: That’s nice. He’s a great player… I’d tune into Rage every Saturday morning. My grandma was always playing Elvis. There was always a lot of Michael Jackson in the car. My sister was obsessed with Ricky Martin. I was learning the Suzuki piano. A mix of everything, really…

HAPPY: Does that music still play an important part in your life?

TEX: Not so much anymore. It wasn’t until I grew up a little, I found my parent’s old records. I started enjoying music a lot more then.

HAPPY: What inspired you to record background noise in jazz bars and add it to the record?

TEX: Listening to live records. All the little extra sounds. It builds a nice image in your mind… It’s the kinda mood I’d hope my record can give. Up close ‘n’ personal.

HAPPY: Lastly, will you ever tell that private investigator what you did for the album cover?

TEX: He didn’t give me his full name. I lost his email address. I’m not even sure what he looks like. I don’t feel a need to chase him down – something nice about never knowing who took that picture.

 

Live In… New York City is out now via Mac’s Record Label / Caroline Australia. Stream or purchase your copy here.