by Matt De Mello
Last year I began to hear rumblings about an up and coming punk band out of England. They were touring with Social Distortion and Frank Turner so I had to see Sharks for myself. They were lively, energetic and in keeping with past icons of punk played perfect three minute songs with rapid succession. After the show we sat down and spokie for a few minutes about their debut album and it was a bit enlightening to say the least. Now, a year later, they’ve already finished their second album Selfhood, their sophomore album, from which we exclusively debuted their first single “Portland” last week. As a follow up to last year and a precursor to what is sure to be a phenomenal tour I emailed Andrew from Sharks, ten questions (of which he answered nine). Here they are:
Matt De Mello – So last year when we spoke at the Fox in Oakland you guys were experiencing touring the West Coast for the first time. Will you feel a little more like seasoned pros this next time around?
James – Certainly with the States I think we all know what to expect now. We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of four different tours in America, which is not bad for a bunch of nobodies from the UK!
MD – You turned the second album around pretty fast and it is actually really good considering you just released your debut in 2012. Where did you find the time to write all these songs and record them in such a compact amount of time?
James – We just decided to book the studio time a couple of months in advance and give ourselves the pressure to write a record from scratch. I think the pressure was vital to the creative process. Writing all these songs together within a tighter time frame really gave this record a stronger direction as a whole.
MD – This album seems a little less raw than the first album, was that a conscious decision or do you feel that is owed more to your progression as musicians?
James – We’re far more disciplined as a band now and I think its undoubtedly had an effect on everything from our songwriting to our live sound. We felt the pressure was off with this record and as a result the whole recording process was much more relaxed and care free. We tracked everything live and finished the whole thing in a fortnight. I think Selfhood does a far better job of capturing the natural energy of us playing live together.
MD – How do you feel about the state of punk rock these days? Do you see a resurgence with bands like Japandroids, FIDLAR and you guys?
James – The UK is certainly lacking a healthy punk rock scene, which makes our lives rather difficult when we’re trying to book shows over here. The States are definitely in better shape when it comes to punk music.
MD – What is your drink of choice on the road? A free alcoholic beverage of the promoters finest choice. MD – What’s next for the Sharks, tour wise?
James – We have a UK headline tour starting in April.
MD – Are you guys sports fans? What sport? Who’s your team?
James – If I’m actually there at the event, say watching the England rugby team playing at Twickenham, it’s really quite an amazing feeling to be a part of that. But watching sport on TV? I couldn’t think of anything less I’d rather do.
MD – Will you settle down after this tour or have you already started writing your next album?
MD – Did you always want to be in a punk band? If you weren’t playing music what would you be doing?
James – I definitely picked up the guitar because I wanted to be in a band. All I wanted to do when I was 12 years old was be in a band and be on Top of the Pops. If I hadn’t picked up the guitar, I’d probably just be a directionless graduate with a huge student loan to pay off at this point.
MD – What is the future of Sharks? What level of fame is too much?
James – I don’t think we’ll ever reach a huge level of success. We’re just not that kind of band. But there’ll always be a space on the wall for a platinum record, just in case.
Selfhood comes out April 30th on Rise Records and as Andrew said Sharks will be headlining throughout the UK very soon. When they come to the states I will let you know.
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