CROWHURST's Jay Gambit Picks His 10 Favorite Documentaries To Kick Off His Massive 2019
Jay Gambit has been putting his time into extreme music for going on eight years under the banner of Crowhurst, a noise/black metal project he began as a solo endeavor in 2011. Gambit's released dozens of full-length records and numerous splits, collaborations, and compilations in those years. Yet, for all he's released in that time, 2019 is shaping up to be his project's biggest year yet.
A huge new full-length record entitled III, a brand new project, and a unique appearance at Roadburn are all on the horizon for Gambit and company. It's much deserved for Crowhurst. Years of unique and tireless work continue to pay off. This all comes in a time where white nationalism and neo-nazis seem to appear more frequently in a genre he has worked in for years. It's certainly an added stressor to Gambit's work. When asked what it’s like being Jewish and non-white, in a scene that has a reputation for xenophobia he's had his fair share of problems from people who hate him for his appearance and religion—but fewer than one would expect.
"I have 200% had problems with dorks who throw up Hitler salutes and try and confront me after gigs," Gambit states. "I think they have all been kind of fringe idiots, but they’re very different from the ones who are loud online. The keyboard warriors are just edgelords, people who have never actually met a Jewish or non-white person in their life."
Gambit keeps his head down though. He doesn't let people's politics interfere with his work. "At the end of the day, I don’t care what people’s personal politics are if they don’t fuck with me about it," he explains. "I think the majority of people—no matter if they define themselves as anti-fascist or apolitical—don’t want people behaving shitty and ruining their good time."
The spring is shaping up to be incredibly busy. III was recently unveiled as is coming out this spring on Prophecy Productions. "For the past three years, I’ve consumed myself in working on III with Andy (Curtis-Brignell)," He reveals. "It's an intensely ambitious record that was produced by Kurt Ballou and was super experimental in its approach. Pre-production was done across multiple continents. There are blends of various types of drums with electronic and live drums that are interwoven consistently, (there are) massive choirs and every idea that we could execute."
The newest Crowhurst album also features artists who have influenced Gambit and Curtis-Brignell over the years. Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man), Tony Wakeford (Death in June), Tara Vanflower (Lycia), End.User, Brandon Elkins (Auditor), Jon Nihil (Lycus), Mac Stephens (Pythia), and Christian Molenaar, who, Gambit describes, "is to drum production what John Nash was to numbers."
Again, it's not just a new album for Gambit. There is a new post-punk band brewing named Executioner's Mask that features Ryan Wilson (The Howling Void) and Craig Mickle (Cop Warmth). He describes the project as "pretty heavily influenced by stuff like Total Control, AFI, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and Scarecrow—the first deathrock band from NY in ‘82." In addition to this project, he'll be performing at Roadburn this year in a collection of special performances, one of which includes collaborating with Lingua Ignota.
When Jay isn't busy making music though, he consumes himself with movies and film. As he puts it, he's a fan of one style in particular to a point that they find their way into his music. "One thing that really inspires the shit out of me is documentaries. I’m a film buff in general, but throughout my life, I’ve always found myself drawn to the kind of larger than life characters and stories that are stranger than fiction," Gambit admits. "The odd ways we process, perceive and document them. The basic layout for a lot of the records I make are based on films, and on the newest record Burning Ad Infinitum I tried to incorporate elements—be it thematic, aesthetic or structural/compositional—
A lot of his love of film also made into the upcoming III. "When we were working on III we consistently talked about the songs having a certain spirit of battle akin to a film like Restrepo. I was also heavily influenced by episodes of The Twilight Zone, and even titled the last track on the album after an episode: 'Five Characters In Search Of An Exit,'" Gambit reveals. It extends beyond his new album as well. It permeates the principles of his music writing as a whole.
"As far as ideologically, a big influence in my recent album-making has been the Oliver Stone-directed Natural Born Killers. It's got a soundtrack carefully sculpted and mashed together by Trent Reznor, a script by a young Quentin Tarantino and it's shot on multiple formats using a litany of experimental editing techniques. It's an action, an adventure, a political film, a romance, a dark comedy and more. The film squeezes the best out of the best talent it has at its disposal in every way. I want to make albums like that movie."
Gambit's blending of passions ultimately creates wildly unique and enthralling music. For such an extensive discography, it makes sense to picture each effort as a character that Gambit has created. They play out in a sequence of events that amass to Crowhurst's collective story—a telling tale of limitless creativity, diligence, and experimentation.
Click over to the next page to see Jay's picks for his favorite documentaries and his reasons why. Stream Crowhurst's recent collaboration with Gnaw Their Tongues as well, which is currently available from Crown and Throne, Ltd. Make sure to catch Crowhurst at Roadburn this year and keep your eyes and ears peeled for new music!