Hard hitting “brit wave” geniuses SHINERS talk about EP NOW
If you thought brit-pop and new wave were finished, think again. SHINERS are bringing an invigorating new sound to modern rock and it isn’t going unnoticed; receiving support from ‘BBC introducing’ which is no small feat. They call themselves “brit wave” and this itself shows why they are the epitome of what music and art should be about – not to be defined by genres, but be genre defining.
Your debut EP ‘Now’ is soon to be released, can you give us a look into what it’s about and what inspired it?
NOW is an important record for us not only because it’s our debut EP but because it’s been a long time coming. We made the decision to retain control in all aspects of the record from the recording through to the artwork but this is super time consuming. We recorded some parts of the record in studios and some of it ourselves in different rooms in East London. Our keyboard player John actually mixed two of the tracks too.
The EP is quite diverse in terms of themes. We didn’t sit down and say ‘right let’s write a record from scratch based on this idea’ – the songs came together from different writing sessions and got chosen for this EP as they were the ones we felt were strongest and most representative of us as band in 2017. ‘Just Got Paid’ is our payday anthem which was born from us always being skint essentially! I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to… ‘Generation Y’ is similar in that it’s a song about our peers but rather than being monetary based it’s more of a call to Arms for us kids to rally together and make some changes. The world has been a crazy place in the last two years and a lot of people have become disillusioned with politics in particular and we wanted to reflect this.
‘(I Feel So) Blunt’ is also on the EP and is one of two tracks previously released as a single. We were really lucky with it getting a lot of support from BBC Introducing etc and it serves an important purpose on the EP as it shows another side of SHINERS. We’re not just about grooving bass and drums with angular guitar and keyboards. Well not all the time!
The final track on the EP is the most recent track. ‘I Love The Girl’ is a sort of love-tragedy about two people who want each other badly but know that there is no way that they can ever be together. Sounds a bit sad when it’s put like that…!
How would you compare your single ‘Just Got Paid’ to ‘Now’?
That’s a bit of a tough one as ‘Just Got Paid’ is on NOW! Obviously though NOW is more than just a single. It’s great to have a body of work together all on one piece of vinyl and gear how they interact with each other. It’s the first time we’ve done this so it’s quite exciting.
‘Just Got Paid’ has elements that seem to be inspired by old school british punk such as The Clash and The Jam, particularly lyrically. Do you agree with this?
Absolutely. Punk and New Wave are some of our biggest influences. Not so much the Clash for me (although they are Edd’s favourite band) or the Jam although obviously I’m a fan of both. My thing is The Stranglers, Elvis Costello and Dr. Feelgood and I think you can hear a bit of all of them in our sound which we like to call ‘Brit Wave’. It’s a mix of Brit Pop and New Wave because we’ve got some big Brit Pop influences too such as Suede, Pulp and the Longpigs and we wanted to combine two different sounds to create something new that we could call our own.
What does it mean to the band to have such great support from the BBC, for example being named artist of the day and getting the gig at T in the park?
BBC introducing have been amazing to us and really championed us from early on. BBC introducing London made us artist of the week on our second release which was amazing and BBC Norfolk have had us in for sessions and given us a huge amount of airplay. They also sent us up to T in the Park which was excellent!
What is your favourite aspect of live performances?
We love playing live and getting out to new places we’ve never played before as well as playing in London. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about playing live but I think every band would agree that it’s one of the best elements of being a musician. Is definitely the
part that we enjoy the most and we put a huge amount of effort into our live show to make it the most entertaining and tight performance possible. Our next show is on the 7th of November at the Sebright Arms and we’ve lined up a few little treats for those guys and girls coming down!
Who/what are your top 5 influences?
Personally my influences change over time. I still love all the original stuff that inspired me but right now it’s probably –
* David Bowie
* Lee Brilleaux
* Kitchen sink drama of the 1960s
* The Stranglers
What is your creative process like? John Lennon would write a song in one sitting so not to lose the emotions he had whilst writing. Are you the same or is your process more constructed and orchestrated?
It’s always different. If I’m working with one of the guys in the band then maybe we will sit and write a whole song in one sitting or just the basis of one maybe, a chorus and a few versus. If I’m working on my own I can have ideas kicking around for months which come together almost randomly for no reason but it’s good when it happens. I don’t think there’s any need to have a strict creative process, just do it when the moment strikes you or you just feel like playing.
How did SHINERS form? Have you known each other for a long time or did you all meet around the time the band was formed?
Me and Lenny have know each other since leaving school and have played together in bands ever since. The other two guys we met along the way and formed into what you now see.
When do you think you first made your mark on the music industry?
That’s a really tough question that I don’t really know how to answer. It depends how you quantify a mark I suppose. One person could see something we’ve done as a huge achievement whilst another could see it as nothing more than a smudge on the glass of the train carriage window I’m looking out of right now. I don’t think it’s my place to say.
Can you give us an insight on what is to come next from Shiners?
Well there’s some pretty exciting stuff on the cards but nothing I can talk about yet. All I can say is that we will be out playing a lot more shows and releasing more new music in the new year. Maybe even another EP!
Listen to the new single ‘Generation Y’ now taken from the EP ‘Now’ out on 24th November: