IN FOCUS – Interview with The Sherlocks

Ahead of their Reading Festival appearance, Chris Horrocks from New Sounds chatted with Kiaran Crook, frontman of British Indie-Rock sensation The Sherlocks regarding their upcoming second album “Under Your Sky” performing arena tours and how your grandad really can be your best critic.

NS – Kiaran, your new album has finished, how are you feeling about it and the Sherlock’s journey so far? Is it how you expected it?

KC – Yeah I think so. It’s always hard and you never know how people are going to take it. We’ve been touring for ages so we could have cracked on earlier with it but that’s just how it is with the music industry and stuff.

NS – I really enjoy how you guys keep the indie rock aspects of your music but incorporate more ‘rock’ elements while still retaining the interest of  mainstream audiences through strong hooks.

KC – Thanks pal. We don’t try to be a quirky band, its down to the song and that’s what really matters. As long as the tune is there there’s no reason it shouldn’t reach as many people as possible. I’ve played to grandparents and they love it and we’ve got teenagers loving it to. My grandad loves (new single) NYC and his recommendation ended up being the first single!

NS – You’ve had a great deal of success off the back of your first album including some huge gigging opportunities with several huge British bands – what do you hope to get from this second album?

KC – It’s hard to tell where it will go. We’re excited to see how it goes but we’re not too fussed where it charts. Hopefully people will like it and we’re all really proud of it. It’s a little different in sound but the songs are still the same. We’ve written them in the same places – just the 4 of us bashing it out in the practice room. We’ve done the same writing process but hopefully gotten better at it this time.

NS – You’re about to release that second album very shortly, I’m currently making my way through the album at the moment and I’m really enjoying it! Do you have any influences that may surprise some listeners or has that always come naturally? 

KC – A lot of people describe us a hybrid between The Killers, The Artic Monkeys and The Strokes, it’s not deliberate but we view it as massive compliment. Especially if we ever get a Stereophonics comparison. It’s never an active decision but we’re happy with people getting something from it. That’s what you do with music.

NS – How was the recording process this time around? Did you learn anything from the first album that’s helped this time?

KC – I think so, as much as we love the first album that’s then and this is now. But we’ve learnt to strip things back when recording – you don’t need that wall of sound. You can get 2 guitars sounding like 30 especially with James Skelly (Producer) who’s so good with the writing. He’s helped us pick out the best parts of everything so the song doesn’t feel crowded, just lets it breathe. We didn’t rush and focused on spending a month so everything is the best it can be. 

Its not as intense as the first album which was worked on everyday and was really intense for at least 3 weeks, from 10am til the producer fell asleep at the mixing desk! 2nd album was just a Monday Friday thing which helped us balance things and keep our heads on straight.

NS – How important is radio play to you? Do you think national radio is overlooking guitar music currently?

KC – It’s harder in general for guitar bands to get on the radio, there’s loads of groups not getting played and its a shame. But I think the radio has to play what’s popular so you can’t blame them really. Guitars aren’t as popular at the moment,but I think it’s coming back slowly. We just do our thing and hope for the best, just keep writing good tunes.

NS – There are a lot of musicians who recently have come out against streaming services and the cost per stream rate, is that something The Sherlock’s feel similar about?

KC – I don’t know too much about the streaming thing, but a lot of people are on streaming sites so it’s really the thing to do. We can’t do a Taylor Swift and pull everything off Spotify because we’re just not big enough to do that. But its not really relevant to us at the moment. Its definitely a lot harder now to make money in music.

NS – You’ve performed at Reading and Leeds three times already and you’re about to play there again this weekend. Has each time at the festival been different or pretty similar?

KC – 3 times total and all different in a good way. We guessed Melvin’s(the festival organiser) email address the first time and he was impressed so he threw us a bone and offered us an opening spot. It gave us such a huge buzz so early on. Second year was the afternoon and it was mental too on the Radio 1 stage. Absolutely rammed. It’ll be nice to do it this time as a surprise set and hopefully gather some new fans. We’re a Sheffield band but both Leeds and Reading treat us really well and there’s a great buzz at festivals both in the UK and in Europe too.

NS – Last question.. how did playing in front of such huge audiences on the Libertines arena tour feel so early on in the bands journey? Was it as you expected?

KC – We’d not had many support slots early on when we got the call but it was a no brainer to do that one. I’ve always been a big Libertines fan so it’s surreal to open for them. It was so new to us and it was next level with there being so many people in the crowd. Hopefully it’s a level we can get to ourselves eventually because it was really special to us. 

The Sherlocks release their much awaited second album Under Your Sky on October 4th. We’ve heard it and it’s a cracker!

Cover photo courtesy of Primary Talent