If you had to describe your music in a sentence, what would you say?
That’s a tough one really; don’t want to sound pretentious, but a lot of publications seem to have a tough time pigeonholing us. We’ve had everything from Spaghetti Western to sea shanties, even disco! But the one we settle on is gypsy Scouse surf. I think that captures us pretty well!
What is the latest EP you have out – and what does it say about you?
On our first EP Something In The Water, we tried to capture the range of our sound, going from the brighter, catchier elements, like on Feeling In My Pocket, to the darker, more sinister corners like on The Moon. We chose the title for its dual meaning too – the idea that something special must be happening in a certain place (like Liverpool, say?) and the only way to explain it is to attribute it to something in the water. But then there’s that dangerous edge – a bit ‘watch yourselves, there’s something in the water’!
Did you have any particular artists in mind as an influence when you started out? What about them do you think you’ve taken into your music?
Not specifically, no, which is why I think we’ve ended up with a melting pot of the weird and wonderful. There was no conscious decision to go ‘right, let’s be Shack’ for instance, though we’d be fools to deny our influences. I like to think we’ve taken the melodies of groups like The Growlers and The Everly Brothers, but wrapped them up in the weird noisy bits of Tom Waits, Galaxie 500 and Love. Lyrically, the ghosts of James Joyce and Leonard Cohen make their presence known, but I have a regime of listening to Half Man Half Biscuit regularly to keep me grounded, lest I end up thinking I’m – heavens above – a poet.
Why is music important to you?
There’s nothing quite like it that satisfies so many needs. From the experience of finding a new record or band, having that urge to tell all your mates about it, right through to writing a song, thinking ‘this is the one’ and then performing it to strangers who are bang into it – wow. Nothing else quite comes close.
The Shipbuilders play the Bido Lito! Membership launch party at 24 Kitchen Street on 20th April. You can listen to an exclusive downloadable track by The Shipbuilders through our Bido Lito! Membership digital bundle – learn more here.