we talked to brandon welchez from crocodiles about shitty times, real life, and new bands to listen

‘shitty times’ is a triple album full of remarkable covers by the most diverse artists imaginable, ranging from Spanish-Mexican new wave to pop star madonna

let’s talk about ‘shitty times’, cover albums are a bold play under ordinary circumstances, but you guys put out a triple album of covers, what inspired you to do that?

At the end of 2019, when we were saying our goodbyes at the Taipei airport after finishing our last tour of the year, we said to each other, “See you in the spring to record”. We had intended to do another album of originals in 2020 but of course circumstances changed and prevented us from meeting up in person to do this. Still wishing to stay busy, we decided to remotely record a cassette of covers from our respective homes and save our original material for when we could meet up in person in a real studio. The first tape sold quickly and we decided to donate the money to a bail fund in our hometown of San Diego for activists fighting police brutality. It was quick and easy to do the first tape so we just decided to continue for two more volumes and donate the money to other causes we believe in. Song selection was easy, we just picked songs we loved and thought we could do justice.

you called the album ‘shitty times’ which is a pretty topical name for an album released in 2020/2021, but was really shittier than any other time?

I think 2020 was objectively shitty. Rising unemployment, including my own; watching a mysterious new disease kill thousands of people a day; morgue trucks, bodies being temporarily buried in public parks; the American fascism that is always bubbling just underneath the surface of our society being stoked by an inept President; rampant state-sanctioned violence against civil rights activists. The list goes on and on. 

What’s one thing you do every day that you’d have a real shitty time without?

Drink coffee. 

Following you on Instagram, and you guys lead a pretty globetrotting lifestyle. What Mexican or French bands do you like that we should add to our playlists?

Check out Sonido Gallo Negro from Mexico and Alvilda from France. 

on the road as Crocodiles for more than a decade at this point, which can be a real grind. What’s a shitty time that stands out from all that time in the van?

Touring in general has been a blast. An adventure with friends, seeing new places and making new friends. But of course, real life continues and runs parallel to life in the van. So during all those fun times you’re also dealing with relationships falling apart, addictions taking hold, mental or physical health issues, etc. People also sometimes enjoy stealing from musicians and this has happened to us a few times. Stealing from musicians is pretty low. 

Last question, what’s your favorite memory of getting shitty in New York?

I don’t know if I can pin down one favorite memory of getting shitty in New York. Between my years living there and all the visits to play or to just hang out there has been a lot of fun times. It’s all a bit of a blur now.