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Interview: Getting Keen For Live Music With Mikel Salvador of Crocodylus

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Image: Mikel Salvador | Tom Wilkinson Photography

Live music is back on the rise! Slowly but surely we are inching our way back into pubs, and seeing more and more shows pop up. To celebrate, reflect on what we’ve been missing and get pumped for what’s to come, I sat down with Crocodylus drummer Mikel Salvador, to discuss all things gigs.

What makes a great gig? That can be from your perspective as the artist playing or as a member of the audience? Do you think that there is a top three things that a good gig needs?

The gigs that are the most fun, unfortunately for the venue, are the gigs when things get destroyed. So I’d say mayhem is the first thing that a good gig needs. I’d also say unpredictability. And I’d definitely say energy.

What do you think has been the best gig you’ve ever played? And how much did that have to do with the general vibe of the audience and how much did that rely on the venue you played at?

You know, there’s gigs where I’m like “This is my favourite venue, this is my favourite moment, this is my favourite song that we’ve played.” But geez overall favourite gig is so hard.

Maybe in London when we played with The Chats; that was pretty crazy. I think that was the biggest show we’ve played actually (so far).

How big was that one?

It was pretty packed. There was probably close to 2000 people there and we were tripping. And I remember Josh came out - Oh my God it was so funny - he wrote on his stomach “F*ck Boris Johnson” because he’d just been elected, but the stage was so big and the audience was so far away that no one could really see it. It was so funny because he was putting his bass above his head like “Yeah f*ck yeah!”, and people in the front row were like “YEAH!” But everyone else was just like “What?” So that was really fun.

Image: Crocodylus by Tineke Klamer

And then there was a great show we played way back in 2017 at this place called San Remo in Victoria near Phillip Island and we were sort of playing this song and then when we finished, on the last note, the power cut out of the whole venue for like one second and then turned back on so it looked really intentional; the crowd loved it and we thought it was great.

But yeah I just remember the really fun stuff. I remember playing at this pub across from where my parents live, and people were like ripping up the carpet and stuff. And I was like “Aw Geez” but also it was really funny. But yeah, those types of moments at gigs are the best.

Sigur Rós! I’d love to support Sigur Rós. That would be great. Some of our fans would be like “What is going on?” and their fans would be like “What is this trash?”

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to as an audience member?

Wow that’s a lot. That is a whole lot. Probably the biggest one was seeing Roger Waters do his Pink Floyd thing. Even thought it was a big stadium thing, it was so subversive (you know, for a stadium show) because you know, normally you sort of loose some attitude when you get to that level when everything’s pretty safe but it was really political and it was right up my alley. I was just like “Wow this incredible” the whole time and I couldn’t even believe it. There were these huge, stadium-wide screens of Trump in like a Klansman hood and stuff like that and I just thought it was amazing; I couldn’t believe it.

And I would say best mid-size show was actually the last real show I went to before COVID. It was Sleaford Mods at The Metro. That was amazing. They were awesome.

In terms of a smaller show, I remember seeing this band Hobsons Bay Coast Guard. They sort of showed up maybe like 45 minutes late- they were playing with us at The Grace Darling in Melbourne - and they were like “blah blah blah we’ll just go up and play a song” and then they were just this amazing band. They were so good.

Who would you most like to support and who would you most like to headline for Crocodylus?

Aw man, that’s a tough one. I need to think about this hold on…

I’d just love to play a show with all of our mates bands. So, if we were playing that show I’d say to headline we’d get like some of our mates like: Cupid and the Stupids from Byron, Pist Idiots from here in Sydney, A. Swayze & the Ghosts from Tassie, VOIID from Brisbane. I dunno just all of our close mates would be really fun.

And then, I guess for support. Sh*t I don’t even know. I’d love to do something really wacky or really dumb. Yeah nah, we’ll support like Mumford and Sons or Coldplay or something; just something that really doesn’t fit. Oh no, Sigur Rós! I’d love to support Sigur Rós. That would be great. Some of our fans would be like “What is going on?” and their fans would be like “What is this trash?”

Who should be in the lineup for the first post-COVID or COVID safe festival?

Oh my God so many bands.

So A. Swayze for sure (they just put out one of my favourite albums of this year) Shady Nasty, Le Shiv, Pist Idiots,Rosa Maria, VOIID. Just everyone, whatever: OK Hotel, Del-Slackers. There’s just too many to name. Just literally bring them all. Actually, hopefully that’s the case when everything goes back, like we just have a tidal wave of shows. It’s gonna be crazy and I can’t wait.

You’ve got your ‘Social Climber’ Tour coming up soon. I’m hoping to catch one of your Newy shows at The Cambo actually and am really down for some of the chaotic energy from the ‘Camouflage’ music video (which I loved by the way).

Yeah that video was the least amount of thought we’ve ever put into a video. We were just in a weird headspace and we were on a writing trip and that cabin was in the middle of nowhere and we were just like “Alright let’s get weird.”

What are you most looking forward to about playing live again on this tour? And what can audiences expect from Crocodylus this time round?

They can expect a bunch of new songs, that’s for sure. We’ve been getting really restless and have been writing a lot and we’re test-running a few songs. We’ve never played them live and they’re quite new and we’re really excited because we really like them and we wanna see if the audience will dig them. So yeah, a tonne of new songs and hopefully a lot of pent-up energy because we haven’t played in a bit.

So yeah it should be good, I’m excited.

If you're in NSW definitely head to their show - you don't be disappointed - get tickets here and deets below

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