NEW YORK — The stories about bands of brothers overcome with sibling rivalry are legendary — take the volatile relationships among the Black Crowes and Oasis, for instance.
However, it is quite clear — based simply on one morning meal at the Bus Stop Cafe in the West Village (not very rock ’n’ roll, mind you) — that this probably will never be the fate of Arckid, the new group formed by the three Langdon brothers and fellow Brit Johnny Cragg.
“Those other bands just don’t do the therapy we do,” deadpans Antony Langdon, the eldest. “And we’ve had an hour at Stella Adler [Studio of Acting] already this morning.” On cue, siblings Royston and Christian join him in baritone vocal exercises, comic support for their brother’s quip. It’s a little like having breakfast with the Three Stooges. That is if Larry, Moe and Curly wore really tight pants.
Thankfully there’s a straight man at the table: drummer Cragg. “I’m used to it,” he sighs resignedly of being the odd man out. “I get on with them all as friends. But in a sense I’ve taken on a whole new dimension of psychological complexity now that there’s three of them.”
Indeed, Cragg, Antony and Royston used to perform together as Spacehog — until 2001, when the group disbanded as a reaction to the complexities of life after Sept. 11. “We definitely burned ourselves out and we felt we sort of did it to the nth degree,” says Royston. “It was such a confusing and fragmented time in general.”
In the meantime, Antony spent three years in Spain and got married; Royston became a father (his wife Liv Tyler gave birth to son Milo in 2004); Cragg toured with the punk band The 22s, and Christian moved to New York from London.
Now that the four have joined forces, they say their new sound is more refined than the neo-glam Britpop associated with Spacehog. “It’s more streamlined, more subtle,” Royston explains, mentioning they plan to release an Arckid album early next year (though no label has been attached.) “It has a maturity now that I don’t think it had before.”
This story first appeared in the August 28, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Arckid will play a VMA after party Aug. 31, then hit The Continental in the East Village on Sept. 8. They’re also trying to line up a few fashion-related gigs during the upcoming New York collections. “I’m going to be up on the runway if it’s the last thing I do,” Antony kids.
Of course, middle child Royston is more familiar with the fashion show scene than the others, having accompanied his wife to John Galliano’s couture show in Paris this summer. “The look was kind of a cross between C-3PO and Cleopatra,” he says, doing his best at a review. “It’s not really my thing, to be honest, but I do enjoy the theater of it. All the lights went out and Iggy Pop started playing, the girls obviously looked like they were kind of like from outer space, but, oh man, I loved it.”
Already, the band has developed a bit of a fashion connection itself. For performances they are outfitted exclusively by Hugo Boss, for which they played a party earlier this summer. “We are basically what you would call fashion whores,” Antony explains. “If you give us free clothing, we’ll wear it. Frilly pink, deep purple or back to black, we’ll do it.”
In the unlikely event the whole rock band bit falls to pieces, there’s no running home to mom and dad in Leeds, England (Antony jokes that they’ve already changed all the locks). So Antony has set up a couple of side businesses. He’s successfully pitched “Antony Langdon’s One-Minute Master Class,” a downloadable 60-second skit, to MTV and has already shot spots with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe (one-minute meditation) and his sister-in-law Tyler (one-minute workout). He and Christian also moonlight as caterers, with Antony in the kitchen and Christian passing drinks and nibbles like sausages and poached salmon. “We are available for parties,” Antony says humbly.
Indeed they are, in any capacity, as he’s already agreed to play at the retirement party for an NYPD officer who posted a comment requesting such on the band’s Web site — much to Cragg’s chagrin.
“I f—ing hate the police,” Cragg moans.
“Yeah, but maybe we’ll get some of those get-out-of-jail-free cards,” Royston replies.
“That’d be useful,” Christian laughs. “Especially for this band.”