The Cribs brothers, Ross, Gary and Ryan, return to Australia to see in the new year at the Pyramid Rock festival.
'I'VE never really liked New Year's Eve.'' It's a pretty stark confession from someone about to ring in 2013 in front of a few thousand festivalgoers, but the Cribs' Ryan Jarman isn't really the type to sugar-coat things.
Speaking to EG from Sheffield, England, where the Yorkshire rock band have just played a Halloween show - he dressed up as Paul Stanley from Kiss - Jarman dryly notes that New Year celebrations have never really been his cup of tea.
''I always think it's the time of year when people that shouldn't kiss each other, kiss each other; when people that shouldn't argue with each other, argue with each other … It's really exciting for me to be in Australia, but it's not my favourite time of year.''
The Cribs are one of the bigger drawcards at this year's Pyramid Rock festival in Phillip Island, along with rapper 360 and psychedelic end-of-year list toppers Tame Impala. They're also playing sideshows in Sydney and Brisbane, making this a particularly brief visit for a band that hasn't toured here since 2010.
''Three shows is absolutely worth sitting on a plane for that amount of time,'' Jarman says in a West Yorkshire drawl. ''We like playing in Australia and we haven't played there in a while, so this was a chance to come back. Sitting on a plane and watching movies you don't really want to watch and drinking free booze is not really a pain in the arse for me.''
Jarman recently settled in New York after a decade on the road. His twin brother Gary shifted to Portland, Oregon, around the time of third album, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever (2008), while younger brother Ross still lives in their hometown of Wakefield in Britain. Jarman says that after years of surfing his brothers' couches, he wanted a place to call his own. But New York, he agrees, came out of the blue.
''I didn't expect to live in New York, because generally I don't like big cities, but it just worked out. I met people in New York I really got on with.''
One of those people is Jen Turner, former bassist of Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic, who he met while touring Japan. The pair immediately hit it off, writing an album together under the tentative moniker Exclamation Pony. ''I've never found anyone that I want to write with like Jen,'' he says. ''It shows a really different side to what I do with the Cribs.''
Jarman, of course, is no stranger to collaboration. He teamed up with the Smiths' Johnny Marr for the Cribs' 2009 album Ignore the Ignorant. Marr became a permanent member of the band, but left amicably when writing sessions for its follow-up, In the Belly of the Brazen Bull (2012), ''weren't really working''. Now, Marr plans to release a solo album of this own in 2013.
''I hope it does well for him,'' Jarman says of the album. ''I'm interested to hear it. He's still a friend of ours and we still get on well.''
Does Jarman ever get tired of questions about the guitarist?
''It's par for the course,'' he says. ''I knew when we started writing with him and when he joined the band that was going to be in our future, but I don't mind it whatsoever.''
The Cribs play the Pyramid Rock festival, Phillip Island, December 29 to January 1.