Seprona are a 5-piece band from Liverpool, who I first came across at the start of 2020 following the release of their excellent track Lost In The Lonely Hearts, which opened one of our Mixtapes. They’ve recently released the follow up, Rose Tinted Eyes, which is another barnstorming and contagious tune, and to coincide we’ve nabbed front man Daniel for a Q&A. So, read on to find out about the band, their music, hip shaking, goalkeeping… and channeling his inner Ricky Martin!
~ Hi Dan, tell us about Seprona?
My name is Daniel Badger (middle in the above photo) and I sing and play guitar. We’ve also got (left to right) Louis Birchall on guitar, Niall Blanchflower on Keys, Chris Woods plays bass and Adam Maher plays the drums. Originally the band started with a few other members and after a period of that, going down different routes, we kind of realised that wasn’t working, so it was just me at one point. At that time we had a decent gig booked and I was determined to play the gig so I was just thinking I will get whoever I can to play this gig and then take it from there.
Me, Chris and Niall were in band together a few years ago called Fare Evaders, so I asked Chris if he was up for it and he said yes. He knew Louis from uni so he asked him to play guitar so we managed to get together and play the gig with 2 weeks to practice for it, and it went really well. I had also asked Niall, but he was away at the time, but he joined on keys when he got back. Then we found Adam, who was looking to get into a band, and eventually joined us on drums. It all fell in to place quite naturally and we are all mates, so it works really well.
~ How would you describe your music for those who may not have come across it yet?
I suppose if you wanted to put a genre on it we would be classed as indie/rock/pop. Someone I was chatting to after a gig described us as a dirtier Blossoms mixed with AM by The Arctic Monkeys which I was happy with.
~ Rose Tinted Eyes came out a few weeks ago, and is another belter, so how did the track come about?
Thank you very much. It was a bit different with this song actually. We had played it together a few times and even tested it at a few gigs to get used to it. We went in the studio to record a demo of the song similar to how we were playing it at the time but after listening back to it we just felt it wasn’t quite as good as it could be. We have been working on arrangements much more in the studio with our last few releases, and thinking more about how instruments can link together. With this song we completely changed the rhythm. The lyrics, melody, and chords stayed the same but we shaped everything else for it while we were in the studio.
Luckily we recorded it before lockdown started otherwise I don’t think we would have been able to follow up our previous single as quickly as we have. We had to organise a few things for it throughout the lockdown and piece some things together, but we were quite lucky that we had prepared ahead.
~ What should people expect from a live Seprona performance, and when do you hope to get back on stage again?
Obviously at the moment it’s difficult to know what the right thing to do is, so currently we don’t really have any plans. We don’t want to book anything to then cancel them again, which is frustrating as we were midway through a tour when the lockdown happened, and we felt like we were playing well and the gigs were all brilliant. We were just getting into our stride playing wise, so we are keen to get going again. The thing is though, if that can’t happen then there’s not much we can do about it and ultimately we want everyone to be safe.
Our shows have definitely grown over time. We like people to enjoy themselves at our gigs and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, so we encourage plenty of hip shaking and we try to get people moving as much as we can. It’s important that people coming to watch us have a good time, so we just try and motivate people to get involved as much as we can. So far that seems to be working as well.
~ When you’re back on the road, which famous person would you love to get to drive the tour bus?
Hahaha this is a difficult question. I would say Paul McCartney, obviously because of his musical talents, and I am sure he would have some valuable advice for us. I am saying it mainly though because I was walking through town (Liverpool) one day and saw a big crowd outside the Philharmonic pub, so I went to have a look at what was going on. It turned out he was doing a secret gig in there for the carpool karaoke thing with James Corden. Anyway, after the gig he came out and jumped in a car and drove himself off. So I know he’s got experience of driving home from gigs so I trust he would keep us safe – haha.
~ Your previous release, Lost In The Lonely Hearts, is surely one of the most infectious guitar tunes of the year. You must be pleased with the compliments, exposure, and radio play it has received?
That’s very kind of you, it seems to have gone down really well. We were very happy with how it was sounding when we recorded it. I think that there is always a slight worry when releasing a song, wondering if people will like it, so it’s really nice to see people get on board with it so much. Having your songs played on the radio and especially by radio presenters that you actually listen to is really surreal. People have been very complimentary about this song and I think we can definitely feel the difference now. It feels like there is more excitement about this new song as a result of it. I would say we are now at a point now that we feel we can keep doing this going forward and making songs we are happy with and that we think other people will like.
~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in Liverpool that you recommend we check out?
Liverpool has got plenty of great musicians at the moment, so it’s hard to whittle it down to a few. The last gig I actually went to before lockdown was Zuzu in the Arts club which was really good, so I would definitely recommend listening to her. Other people I would say to check out are Bobby West, Katie Mac, She Drew The Gun, and Red Rum Club. There are probably loads more that I can’t think of at the moment too. Liverpool seems to be in a really good place with new music lately, and its exciting to see so many artists doing well.
~ What’s the best thing about working & performing with the other four, and what would they say is the worst bit about working with you?
Haha! The best part for me would be just that I get to spend a lot of time travelling around with my mates and doing things we enjoy together. We get to visit loads of places, record in boss studios, and play all over the UK.
I would like to say there is nothing they would think was bad about working with me but, if I was being honest, it would definitely be that I sometimes snore. Obviously in the daytime this isn’t much of an issue, but after a long day travelling, doing a gig and then staying in the same room together it can be more problematic! I woke up in a place we were staying in Glasgow one morning thinking that everyone had left without me, and walked out the room to see Adam was asleep on the floor in the hallway because I kept waking him up, so I think that’s got to be it!
~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician, who would it be and why?
There are so many you could say for this, but if I had to choose, as a songwriter, for me it would be Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys. He is boss at writing lyrics and to have an opportunity to get to learn from him would be amazing. He did produce and write an album with Alexandra Savior which I think was amazing.
~ Aside from music, do you have any other creative skills? (or obscure talents!)
To be completely honest with you my answer to that question would have to be no. I used to be a goalkeeper when I played football though, so I am not sure if that’s necessarily a creative skill but I wasn’t too bad between the sticks.
~ What song would you sing at a karaoke if no one you knew was watching?
Well, I wouldn’t mind if people were watching or not. I have done a few karaokes in my time. The last one I actually did was chosen for me, which was Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin. I am not sure if I pulled it off or not, but I tried to channel my inner Ricky Martin as much as possible.
I did go to a horrendous karaoke bar with Niall once, he’s a big fan of karaoke. He came second place in The Swan Pub X-Factor in Huyton where we are from. He still says that the the winner was friends with the owner so it was a fix! Anyway, when we were in this karaoke bar I put my name down for Club Tropicana by Wham. I was waiting for my turn for ages, it must have been hours. While I was waiting I ended up being sick outside the bar when they finally called my name for the big performance. Obviously this wasn’t my proudest moment and sadly I missed it, which is a shame because I had really mapped out the performance in my head. Next time I find myself at a karaoke I have definitely got unfinished business with Club Tropicana.