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New Interview: Sherlock's Dead
Sherlock’s Dead debut EP ‘Indigo Sea’ is a bold attempt at trying to create a sound that is different to the current crop of manufactured bands churning out the usual drippy pop rubbish. The vocals are catchy and the singer has her own unique style that makes me think she will be set for big things, whilst the musical arrangement is quirky and when it all comes together you have a very promising band that people should look out for, best of all the EP is free to download, so don’t just take my word for it, go download it for yourself and make your own mind up.
Can you tell us a little about the band, who are you, why have you become a band?
Jake: I remember our first “jam.” Me and Henry on the upper deck of a bus with a stylophone were feeling incredibly cool because we had learnt 12:51 by The Strokes, and we had just got exactly the right sound. We even managed to get our first fans on that journey. It was from that point on we realised how much we loved playing music together and so formed Sherlock’s Dead, albeit with a different line-up.
Henry: It took us a while to realise that we couldn’t play all the instruments and realise that we needed to have other people, and a while longer after that to
realise that they needed to be the right people
Alex: yeah, I wasn’t in the band from the start, and wasn’t even a bassist when I joined the band. I play a lot
of jazz guitar and also saxophone in various bands. I’d played in crappy rock band for a competition, but it was nothing compared to when I joined Sherlock’s dead. The sound that we made when we first jammed was awesome. I just wanted to share that awesome sound with the world.
Maisie: I think I had sort of the same sort of entrance into the band as Alex, I’d been in a band in the U.S before here which helped
What equipment do you use to produce your music?
Jake: it’s...um...highly sophisticated.
Henry: Oh, yeah, we’re strong believers of using what we’ve got instead of going out and buying the newest expensive devices and gizmos so we went through Jake’s attic and dragged out this 80’s mixing board, bought a few cheap mics and set up with a mac and logic in the living room.
Alex: For the whole thing I used my £40 bass
Maisie: ...and I throw in some other instruments sometimes
Listening to your music it seems to be very alternative, not what I was expecting,
but it fits your image, why did you choose this direction?
Alex: It’s the music we want to play. It isn’t any exact style of music, it is just music that we enjoy and we hope that other people will enjoy it too.
Henry: Yeah, i mean our songs didn’t really get made with any template in mind; they were all created around
whatever we were listening to at the time and whatever mood we were in. I also think that London played a big part in the writing process; people always think that cities can’t be beautiful, but they’re wrong, I’ve drawn much inspiration from London.
Who are your influences?
Henry: That’s still a difficult one, we love so much music.
Maisie: I love the 80’s stuff like the smiths, acdc and led zep.
Jake: We’re all so different with our influences. Mitch Mitchell is my main influence on drums for his almost jazz-like influence on Jimi Hendrix, showing you can take components from completely different genres, and not only will they work, but they will add a whole new dimension to the music.
Alex: Yeah, I’m also influenced by jazz. Bands like the brecker brothers and the average white band are a big inspiration. With a lot of new bands which are similar to us, you
find most bass lines tend to be straight and continuous, but adding some funk in with the shoegaze feel of some of our songs gives them a much more interesting rhythm.
Henry: I would be committing a crime if I didn’t mention either Joshua Hayward (The Horrors) or Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) somewhere here for the guitar influence. I mean there’s other more unlikely ones too such as Jim Root (Slipknot) but that’s more for technical stuff.
What advice could you give to aspiring musicians wanting to do something in a similar style?
Jake: I know this sounds monumentally clichéd, but enjoying it is the key component to making great music. Find people you like to play with, and eventually something will click. I feel like giving advice beyond here would be meaningless, as we have barely reached this stage, but if you have fun playing music, then even if you never hit the big time, it will always be worth it.
Henry: Don’t force anything. If you force yourself to write music it comes out like someone else’s music whereas if you just wait until you have a brilliant idea then although it might have been inspired by someone else it’s completely you.
Maisie: oh and play at every chance you get, try things out and don’t rely on covers
How have you found the process of market- ing yourselves?
Alex: Quite easy, since Henry and Jake do most of it.
Jake: Yeah, without putting people off, it is a bit of a bore. I’m the one in the band lumbered with the task of emailing record companies, venues, anywhere that will get some attention. It can be tedious, but it is worth it!
Maisie: Well’ it’s not all us, we have great fans as well. We were recently shared by Alex Turner and that wasn’t us, that was the fans.
Henry: At least it looks like whatever we’re doing is working
Have you ever thought about using platforms like Kickstarter.com to pay for recording your ep’s?
Henry: Not as yet but maybe we will.
Jake: Although, there is something cool about recording in Henry’s living room. The xx used a bathtub to create reverb, proving you don’t need to be high-tech to be successful.
Maisie: We feel like we’ve achieved something quite big by doing this all on our own.
What is the song The End of Tomorrow all about? Can you explain it to us?
Maisie: This song was actually the first song I recorded with the band and so far loads of people have watched and liked it.
Henry: Aaah yes, that one. The meaning of that song has been the centre of many questions. Well the lyrics we’re written at 4 in the morning and just came to me pretty quickly and easily. To me they really represent what I felt at that particular time because I was just not feeling in touch with anything at all. I mean I don’t like to give too much away about any of the lyrics really because to everyone they could have a complete different meaning and I don’t want to spoil their angle by telling them what I think it should mean.
Jake: The song in my head is about losing hope, perhaps with society. The character is frustrated, and at first calmly questions the world around it. However, frustration builds and the song reaches a climax, before dying again, showing the loss of hope. I find that is too much analysis for a song, though, and should be interpreted however one feels is right in their heads.
Henry: ...Well that’s taken an emotional turn
What would be your dream gig?
Alex: Glastonbury! Henry: Glastonbury!
Jake: The Glastonbury of the 90’s.
Henry: You had to be different.
Jake: What? Since it is a dream, I am allowed to go back in time, right?
Maisie: Well mine’s Madison Square Gardens It’s big! and cool, and really represents the successful people out there, I mean right now even a funky festival or a support slot for a known band is good for me
Henry: Fine, I’m changing mine then Reading, crowding surfing in a rubber dingy with a guitar as a paddle and a tent made of the people on each others shoulders, that’s good enough for me.
Interview by Tim Knight. You can find the full version of the article with a review of the EP on the Amaze Magazine of May - http://issuu.com/5ways/docs/mayedition
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