Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Broken”?
‘Broken’ was a song that was written early 2017. When it came to recording we never really intended to put in on the EP, having just written the song, but thankfully we did and it seems to be one of our most popular tracks!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not a particular event – it was more of a case of feeling a certain way and worrying about speaking out about those feelings generally. The song was written very quickly and it wasn’t really meant to be heard by anyone – it was written for mainly for myself.
The topic of the song seems to be something that people ask about often, and people often say they can relate to the message of the song.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We’ve thought about it, but for our style of music, it seems more suitable to have a more genuine music video that reflects who we are as a band rather than, for example, having a storyboard and hired actors etc. We’ve released one video so far for our first single “Run” which is more of a fly-on-the-wall type video of a gig and travelling to it, which worked really well. We plan on doing a live video for “Broken” but with regards to a music video we’re still a little undecided. It’s likely to be something we’ll approach for future releases.
The single comes off your new self-titled EP – why did you self-title the EP?
As the EP is our first big release, we thought we’d keep it simple and use it as an introduction to who we are and what we do. Our newly songs since have a much more thematic style to them so the titles of our future releases will most likely have more of a narrative.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording process was great! We went into it a little blind in all honesty, so it was challenging to say the least, but our producer Danny was amazing! He went the extra mile to make sure we were able to try things and work out what fit well and what didn’t.
A lot of the parts recorded were largely improvised and developed as parts throughout the recording process, which was really important for us. We’re delighted with the result and the feedback and support has been overwhelming since it was released.
What was it like to work with Kenneth Nixon and how did that relationship develop?
Nixon is in a band called Framing Hanley who were made famous for covering Lil Wayne’s ‘Lollipop’ and I’ve been a HUGE fan of theirs ever since I was about 13. I used to go to loads of their shows and purely by asking questions and sending over music online, Nixon picked it up. He called me saying he wanted to fly me over to Nashville to work on some Demos for this first release. It was a dream come true to work together and his overall knowledge and just ideas blew my mind and i’ve definitely learnt a lot.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Nixon co-wrote two songs on the record and the final versions were just slightly modified versions of the demos we had recorded. His writing style is definitely something I have learned from as well as the structuring of our songs, but with regards to the performance of them, I asked Charlie and Shannon do their bit to put their own influence and style on them.
How do contemporaries like Joe Bonamassa and Rival Sons has influence your writing?
As a band we all have different influences and we do try and write together as much as possible and therefore the stylistic influences come from a variety of genres and interests. When I’m writing in my spare time the songs can be influenced by a bunch of different artists too!
I am a huge Bonamassa fan and we have written some heavy Riff based tunes like Rival sons for the next EP. I guess we try and cover all the genres we like but try to make it sound like ‘us’.
What role does Manchester play in your music?
Manchester as a whole for music is great. The music scene is booming and it’s great that there’s so many great venues and such unbelievable talent around the city. We travel around a bit to play and there’s nothing quite like playing a hometown show! We’re very lucky to have such a musical, historic and bustling city on our doorstep.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Inspiration can come from the weirdest places; people you meet, things you watch and read or personal experiences. It’s weird how things can just pop up, you’ll start writing a melody line or a hook and before you know it you have a brand new song which could be influenced by several events all at once. For this song specifically, it was with regards to wanting to share personal feelings and not knowing how best to approach it – which I suppose is uncanny, as initially we weren’t even particularly sure how to approach composing and recording the song fully.
Any plans to hit the road?
YES! Most definitely! We’re currently planning a little UK tour and making sure we have everything ready to do so and to make it a success. We have some fantastic festival slots confirmed for this summer which will have us up and down the country too. We hope that whilst balancing writing & recording more material and booking some great shows, we can hit the road late this year/early next year with an ever improving show.
What else is happening next in Ashley Sherlock’s world?
Our main focus is to support this release properly and get back into the studio to record some more material for our next releases. We are also very excited for festival season and can’t wait to get out playing! We have a very exciting journey of musical exploration ahead of us; in the studio and in the rehearsal room, with fresh ideas and new influences… and we can’t wait to share it.