Sunday, 7 March 2010

Interview: They Sink Ships


They Sink Ships are quickly gaining a reputation as the ones to watch in 2010. Fresh off the back of a well received EP ('Home Is Where You Make It') and with dates to come with Stateside punks A Loss for Words, as well as Tell It To The Marines and Francesca. With shows alongside Maycomb, Not Advised and Lost On Landing in the past, the band are slowly getting the name out there.

The band currently made up of guitarist's Tim Spatz and Connor Reddy, singer Tom Dani and drummer Steve Bareham, spoke to ATP about life as a young band, working with Matty O’Grady, their views on the industry today and more.

Alter The Press: For those who are unfamiliar with you guys, tell us a little bit about the band?
Tom Dani: We are a five piece pop-rock band from a county just out of London called Hertfordshire, we all grew up idolising our favourite bands and hoping to one day be in the same shoes, this is us trying.

ATP: Your EP “Home Is Where You Make It” just dropped, how do you think it’s been received so far?
Connor Reddy: So far the reception we've had has been incredible! The feedback we've had from fans and critics alike has generally been really positive, and the songs seem to have gone down really well at the live shows as well. As much as we were excited about the release we were quite nervous, we worked the best part of our 2009 on these songs and we are so happy with the result. We never really expected it to be received the way it has thus far.

ATP: You worked on the EP with Matty O’Grady who has worked with the likes of The Blackout and You Me At Six, how was that?
CR: Working with Matt was awesome! He really seemed to understand what we were aiming to do with the EP, and was honest about what he thought would work and what wouldn't. The studio had such a relaxed vibe and a great environment to work in. An all round lovely guy.

ATP: What do you think he brought to the table?
Steve Bareham: Matt definitely helped us step our games up in terms of song writing. Working with bands of similar genres, he has a keen ear and definitely knows what he's talking about, allowing us to progress in the way we write. Matt pushed us really hard to get the best result, he was a massive part of this EP.

ATP: Some of you are at school finishing off you’re studies at the moment, is it hard juggling homework and touring?
CR: Yeah sometimes it can be pretty difficult playing shows up and down the country, getting back late, and waking up for school the next day. At times we've had to take our homework on the road and do it before shows, and we spent some evenings hitting the books at the travel lodges we were staying at when we were recording. It's near impossible to find the time to commit to work when your enjoying being in a band this much. We have learned so much about ourselves on the road and meeting people, having to go back to the classroom after it all is the most undesirable thing.

ATP: The main criticism of the pop-punk genre is a lack of originality, what do you think sets you apart from other bands?
TD: That's really for the listener to decide I guess, we could go in to our defence for hours but it wouldn't mean anything to a person listening to our CD as they could disagree entirely. Being from Hertfordshire we grew up way away from any music scene, so the bands we have had to look up to have been the ones we genuinely love and admire from our childhood, so I guess you could say we have had some damn good role models to aspire to. We have never set out to recreate any band's work, as there's no need. We're just finding ourselves as a band, as people, and as musicians and hopefully one day we will be able to write something as meaningful as any of our idols, that will be stamped with our personality.

ATP: What sort of things inspire you to write songs?
TD: Lyrically, the things that have shaped me into who I am; relationships, family, friendships, held together with a desperation to get out of our home town, I guess you can only really write about what you know and have experienced, and a lot of those ideas come across on the EP. In terms of inspiration for writing music, we all just generally have a passion for writing and getting the songs out to a live audience.

ATP: Give us an idea of the creative process you use when you write?
Tim Spatz: We are all really involved in the process, we usually come to the table with an idea, record it, pick it apart and improve it until we are proud of it. No one likes to take a back seat which really keeps us productive and alive as a band.

ATP: Which artists inspired you as a band?
TS: Bands we listened to when we were younger growing up like Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line, and even more recent bands like Say Anything, The Academy Is... and Motion City Soundtrack.

ATP: What are the band’s hopes and plans for 2010?
TD: Well off the back of our release of our EP 'Home Is Where You Make It' we plan to tour up and down the country, playing like crazy to anyone who will listen! 2010 is off to the best start we could have hoped for, we all have high hopes for the rest of it.

'Home Is Where You Make It' is available now throught Riot Pop Records (Online Store)

They Sink Ships on Myspace, Twitter and Facebook.

Words by Liam McGarry

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Sport and Music Journalist
l.mcgarry1@uni.brighton.ac.uk
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