This interview was originally posted on The Edge.
The indie four-piece hailing from Sheffield are making their mark in the ‘guitar band’ section of the music industry. They have relentlessly toured the UK, supported acts like The Libertines and Kings of Leon, and are due to release their debut album Live for the Moment on 18th August. I caught up with lead singer and songwriter Kiaran about their journey so far and what to expect from their first album.
You began 2017 with a huge UK tour, you went everywhere – when you’re doing that many shows, how do you make each show unique?
I don’t know, to be honest, I think you can’t really tell how it’s going to go. I think when you get out there – that’s when you know. Even though it’s the same gig every night and it’s a similar setlist, with a similar age crowd, every gig is still different. So it’s the crowd that makes it, you never know what’s going to happen. There’s usually something funny that happens.
It’s funny you say that, because I’ve just seen a video you shared from your tramlines secret set this weekend, where the bouncers just get pounced on by the crowd.
Yeah, that was funny. The bouncers were trying to calm the crowd down and ‘Chasing Shadows’ just kicked in and they just got mauled by everyone. It’s stuff like that which makes it really funny; there’s always something daft that happens, and it just changes every night.
On that same tour, you played in every corner of the UK and nearly all of them sold out. What does that feel like?
It’s good. It’s a good feeling that there are that many people that want to come and see us. And even though it did mean some people missed out, it also means there will be demand for the next one – it’s a good sign that we can build up to bigger venues, rather than trying to sell shows out for ages and no one turning up. It’s nice that people want to come and see us and are willing to pay for hotels and train tickets to do that. It means a lot.
You’ve already done some festivals this year, and you’ve still got more to come. Do you approach festival sets differently to gigs?
I think so. We love playing festivals anyway, they’re a lot different to playing our own gigs because obviously, it’s a different crowd. We just see it as a big opportunity to gain a load of new fans who have never seen us before or just recognise our name. I think festival-goers are more likely to just think “oh, let’s check this band out” in-between, because it’s almost like a free gig, a free trial. They might have heard of us and just wander into the tent to check us out, and then potentially come to one of our gigs on our next tour. It’s a good way of getting new fans, so that’s how we see it. It’s always a good laugh anyway, especially when it’s sunny, and we can crack open a few cold ones.
Do you find festivals more or less stressful than gigs?
I’d say less. It’s weird, I’d say with your own gigs, you know full well that everybody is there to see you, so there’s no pressure in that sense, whereas at a festival you’re playing to people who have never seen you before, but it just feels like less pressure because it’s a festival, there’s something about them which is just fun.
You obviously meet a lot of people when you’re touring and doing festivals, what’s the best advice you’ve been given by someone backstage?
The only bit of advice I can remember is from not that long ago when we played with Richard Ashcroft, and you know those in-ear monitors we use to hear ourselves? He told us he doesn’t like using them because you’re in your own little bubble and it cancels out a lot of noise. His advice was to enjoy the natural sound of the stage and to be with the crowd, not isolated.
When you’re not touring or doing press, what do you do to relax?
We meet up quite a lot to keep on top of things, but I’m not sure what they do, I think they play badminton. But you’ll probably find me and Brandon in a pub somewhere, we play a lot of snooker, we play it on tour as well. Whenever we’re waiting around in a dressing room we always find a snooker club and have a game, so that’s what we’re normally doing when we’re not gigging.
Who’s better out of you and Brandon?
I’d say me, but I’m biased. I think recently I’m playing alright, I think I’m actually better than him now. If we’re not doing that we’re watching the boxing.
Are you excited for the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight? Who do you think will win?
I can’t wait, I think Mayweather will win but I’m not a fan of him so I want McGregor to win, he’s hilarious. It’s the same weekend that we play Reading and Leeds; we play Leeds on the Friday, then the match is Sunday morning before we play Reading. I think we’re going to watch it on the tour bus. It’s the same week as our album comes out so it should be a good week.
Your debut album Live for the Moment is out on the 18th August, how are you feeling about it?
I’m buzzing, I can’t wait to give everybody these extra tunes, obviously, they’ve heard a few singles, but the album tracks are quality, I can’t wait for people to just have the album and listen to them all, together. It’s quite different I think. With a lot of debut albums, it almost feels like every track is the same, but ours is a very varied, ambitious album.
When you’re writing, if you’re having a bad day, what do you do to refresh yourself and get some inspiration?
I just put it down, really. I can be sat with the guitar for ages, but if it’s not coming then I just put it down. I’ve fallen out with it too many times, just banging my head against a brick wall, trying to get something, but I think the harder you try, the less it will work. I know people say “if it doesn’t work just try and try again”, but it just doesn’t work with me. The best thing I can do is to just put the guitar down and do something else, then I might be listening to a tune and all of a sudden, I’ll just get some inspiration and feel like I can write again.
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would you pick?
I feel like I should say someone legendary but, I wouldn’t mind collaborating with the DMA’s; they’re on the same label as us so probably them, it’s not actually too unrealistic, maybe one day.
What’s your favourite album right now?
I’ve been listening to The National recently, but probably the DMA’s album. It’s the first album that has come out in a long time that I’ve really enjoyed, and albums come and go, but I’ve played it to death and I’m still not sick of it, I love every single tune. Probably one of my favourite bands at the minute, and they’re a proper guitar band which is what I’m into. They’re probably the best guitar band that has come out in a long time, I really appreciate what they do. It’s nice to see bands picking guitars back up, and the guitar becoming popular again. Hopefully, we’ll make a difference too when our album comes out.
What was the first gig you went to?
McFly – a bit of a pop choice, but it’s because my brother was a couple of years above me in school and he entered a raffle in his class. The prize consisted of the McFly tickets, and he won so he asked me to go. I’d never been to a gig before and it was at the Sheffield Arena so I was like “yeah, I’ll go, better than sitting in my room doing homework”.
What’s been the most exciting part of your journey so far?
We played with Kings of Leon recently at the Sheffield Arena. We’ve played a couple of arenas before with The Libertines last year, but Sheffield Arena was mad, probably one of the best gigs we’ve ever done. It’s one of my highlights.
Apart from Sheffield, because playing in your own town is always going to be phenomenal, where is your favourite place to visit?
I would say Manchester, but I’ve quite enjoyed playing in Nottingham lately. It’s one of those places – we forget how mad they actually are, they’re just as crazy as Manchester or Sheffield or Glasgow. They’re like the new hotspot for us, we’re playing Rock City there on our next tour which looks like it’s going to be good, so definitely there.
The Sherlocks’ new album Live for the Moment is available to pre-order now here. You can also see them on their upcoming tour in September by getting tickets here. Listen to their single ‘Chasing Shadows’ below.