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INTERVIEW: Shanghai Treason

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Glad to be here! We’ve been busy, we recently finished recording some new material at Steel City Studios with Callum Benson and we’re currently writing and rehearsing in preparation for our next tour!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Drowning Heart”?

Drowning Heart was (I believe) the first we wrote after I (Alex, Drums) joined the band and it’s a personal favorite of mine. It was one of the first two songs we recorded together and we knew from the minute we wrote it we were excited to release it early on! It’s the kind of song I feel represents who we are as a band and what we do best – fast, energetic punk songs with super catchy folk instrumentation and vocal hooks that make you want to drink, shout along and move about to! We’ve been playing it live on tour ahead of its release and it’s consistently had one of the strongest responses live, so it feels awesome to get a recorded version out for everyone to hear!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think it was written during the time period we were starting to solidify our lineup as a band and really get things moving, so I think just the kind of positive energy that we were all feeling – I think the enthusiasm we had really comes across in the energy of the track – it’s the sound of a bunch of guys making music together and loving it!

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We already have one out! We recorded it across some of our shows on our UK tour for Musicians Against Homelessness last December and at our first ever show supporting Buzzcocks in Manchester. It’s a pretty good documentation of the absolute blast we had last year. You can find it on our YouTube or Facebook!

How was the recording and writing process?

Everything with this band always runs really smoothly. I think the fact we’ve all played in so many other bands means we know what we’re doing by this point. We’re all also 100% sure of the identity of the band, the kind of music we want to make, and we all want to take this as far as we can! I feel there’s no deadweight in the band and every member contributes significantly in their own, and I find that’s pretty rare! So we all work together towards a singular goal and put all our energy into doing that, in the best way we can. So the writing process tends to be pretty natural.

Recording wise, we don’t mess about, we want it to sound clear and powerful but we’re not a complicated band with a million different layers of studio bullshit. We’re a punk band at the end of the day – we go in, we record the songs the way we play them live and try to capture that same energy, and that’s all there is to it. It sounds like 5 guys having a blast playing these songs, and that’s exactly how it should be. It’s much more honest that way and truly indicative of who we are as a band!

What role does Yorkshire play in your music?

We’re all from Yorkshire so growing up there obviously has some sort of effect on our development as individuals, on the music we make, and the lyrics Sam writes! I think there’s a certain feeling of being the underdogs when you grow up here compared to everywhere else in the country, but also a toughness and resilience that comes from that. It adds to the honest, everyman flavour of what we do – we’re just regular guys playing songs about what we know. There’s no extra pretense or anything like that. And I think there’s so many people who feel the same way that they respond well to it, and that’s awesome!

How has Dropkick Murphy and Lavellers influenced your writing?

Dropkick Murphy’s are a huge influence on as a band. They are pretty much the quintessential Celtic Punk band and if you play music in any way similar to ours, they’ve influenced you in some way (even if indirectly). They really nail the sound and help create a lot of interest in this subgenre of punk music that we love!

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

We’ve actually just finished recording a few new tracks and they’re some of our personal favorites! I feel they really help hone in on and define who we are as a band, while also exploring what we can do in terms of songwriting (and instrumentation, but I can’t delve further into that right now).

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I can’t go into any details regarding that as of now, but what I can say is there’ll be new music to hear in the very near future, and we’re all really excited to have it out for people to hear! And if you wanna hear the tracks ahead of release, come catch us live, I can guarantee we’ll be playing them!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! In early March we’re heading out for a few dates in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh! Sheffield is actually a headline slot at Corp, a super prestigious venue in our area, so with it being our hometown we’re really excited to play! Edinburgh we’ve played before but it’s always a good time (and an amazing city), and it’ll be our first time playing together in London and Birmingham which we can’t wait for!

Tour dates are as follows: 

4/3/20– The Water Rats, London

5/3/20 – Dead Wax, Birmingham

6/3/20 – Corporation, Sheffield

7/3/20 – Banshees Labyrinth, Edinburgh

What else is happening next in Shanghai Treason’s world?

We’ll be playing a lot more shows; we have a load we’re waiting to announce as we speak! We’ll be writing, recording, and releasing more music, and touring everywhere we can, to play to everyone we can, for as long as people are interested in hearing it!

WATCH HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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