Welcome to the latest Q & A with London indie band The Shallows, who also popped up last year in New Tunes #19. They have had 3 EPs released to date, with the most recent, Fear and Hope Vol.3, coming out in June, which again highlighted their knack of writing and performing highly infectious indie tunes. The four members that made up The Shallows have, however, now gone their separate way, but frontman Tom Skelton is continuing the project (and has new tracks in the pipeline) and he faces this Q & A, but what have the film Frozen and fresh Chai tea got to do with rock ‘n’ roll?
~ How was the band formed / how did you meet?
Michael and I met at uni, he was making fresh Chai tea and I asked for some. I initially went to play some drums for a recording for him but then ended up writing a song with me singing and then we carried on writing every Saturday for the next 5 years.
~ The 3 EP’s were recorded in Spain. How did that come about?
Michael works with a guy called ‘Youth’, he’s the bass player for Killing Joke and Is also in a band with Paul McCartney. Anyway, he is quite big in the recording game and has a studio at his Spain abode based on Olympic studio room 1. Youth gave us the opportunity to go out there for 10 days to cut a collection of songs we’d been working on for the previous couple of years.
~ What song of yours are you most proud of, and why?
That’s tough as I think they’re all quite varied. The Enemy really sticks out for me, I love the zombie vibe. More Now Than Ever is also a killer tune. The middle 8 is well Beatles.
~ Is music your full time job?
Yes Music is my full time job. At least that’s the way I see it.
~ What are your fears and hopes?
I’m afraid of not doing music anymore.
I’m hoping that some people in the music industry actually reply to my emails.
~ Now you have released the 3 EP’s what’s the plan?
Carry on writing. Nothing really happens when we release an ep. There’s a little reaction online but we have no money, no pr, no marketing, no label, so not much happens. Not to sound negative but it’s a bit of an anticlimax. Gigging is tough in London too so we’re probably just gonna keep it real and keep writing and releasing and hope that one day we’ll make some money which will enable us to put a band together and gig around Europe or Japan. Japan would be rad.
~ If you could curate a festival stage, what five bands/artists would you invite to perform?
Sun Kil Moon
~ What’s the least rock thing you’ve done in the last week?
~ What song would you sing at a karaoke if no one you knew was watching?
If I could turn back time by Cher
~ Can you suggest any new up and coming bands we should be checking out?
~ If you could claim one song as your own – wiping the original from all memory – what would it be?
Curtis Mayfield – Move on up
~ What’s your favourite small venue?
Empire Records in St Albans.
~ When you look to get a new live band together, what instrument would you trust me to play without wrecking the performance?
Jim you can play whatever you want, if you suck then that’s cool. Just come and have fun with us.