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 Misc. old interviews

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Fallen On Deaf Ears
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PostSubject: Misc. old interviews   Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:16 am

Social Distortion 2011

Fuck Your Scenses

Pre Vans Warped Tour:



Reading and Leeds:


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PostSubject: Re: Misc. old interviews   Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:32 am

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PostSubject: Amp Magazine May 3 2011   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:24 pm

By John B. Moore
Interview with singer/guitarist James Mattock

The UK band, SHARKS, have yet to release a proper debut and they have already snagged one of the opening spots on SOCIAL DISTORTION’s latest tour and are already committed to play every date of this summer’s Warped Tour. Not bad for a band that has yet to play a single show in the U.S. before this year. Rise Records, fans of the band’s earlier EP’s, talked the band into signing and has just put out The Joys of Living, a compilation of the band’s earlier music – mostly recorded when they were still in their teens. Playing rock in the vein of GASLIGHT ANTHEM and, appropriately enough, SOCIAL D, this four-piece band of punk rockers is clearly off to a solid start. Singer/guitarist James Mattock spoke recently about the band landing a dream gig right out of that gate and the warnings they’ve already received about life on the Warped Tour.

How did the band first get together?

Andy (Bayliss, guitar) and I formed the band at school out of a bond over the same music. We wrote a few songs as a two-piece and invited Sam (Lister, drums) to join to his acceptance. Christian (O’Reilly, bass) joined a year later, replacing our then bass player. We’re basically the only people we know with the unspoken understanding for each other and the dynamics are perfect. The aim has always been to create to a 100% standard of personal satisfaction and we’ll do all we can to preserve that notion.

The Joys of Living is a compilation of your earlier songs. Have you started working on a new record yet?

We have around 16 songs good to go. We’re just in the process of demoing and really thinking about how we want our debut to sound. We’re going to continue writing because we don’t see any reason to stop, but the songs are sounding great. Just last week we were demoing at the Lodge in Northampton, where we recorded our first EP, Shallow Waters. It’s great to be back in there and the writing process has been very organic and progressive, musically and lyrically. We’re just trying things out and seeing what feels good and we’re doing our best to not think too hard about any preconceived expectations for this album. When the songs are ready, we’ll know it.

How did you first connect with Rise Records, your label in the U.S.?

The guys at the label had been fans of the band and already owned all our previous releases. So being a record label, they naturally wanted to work with us on something. They just got in touch and really expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for it. It’s great to work with those who really get the drive of our band and want to help steer it.

You scored a major coup getting the opening slot for SOCIAL DISTORTION and CHUCK RAGAN. How did that happen?

We just pushed our very all for it. If there were three dream bands we’d like to tour with, SOCIAL DISTORTION would be in there. They’re a huge influence on all of us and, luckily, everything just came together. Our manager and agent pushed from the very start and I owe them all the thanks. I also suspect that making friends with GASLIGHT ANTHEM and CHUCK RAGAN alike helped out because they’re all in the same kind of ilk and friends. We’ve also recently been jamming a song of theirs, “Lude Boy” which we recorded at Maida Vale for the BBC. They’re just amazing, and to be put on the same bill says a lot about our band and I’m especially proud of that.

Have you played in the U.S. before this year?

That we haven’t. We only played overseas for the first time in October last year when went to Europe with the GASLIGHT ANTHEM. We’re really excited to come over. The whole idea actually really blows my mind because it seems America has come to us early on in our career and it was really unexpected. A lot of our contemporaries haven’t been to the US yet so obviously we’re feeling very pleased with ourselves.

What are your impressions of the audiences here?

I reckon it’ll be awesome. There actually seems to be more enthusiasm for our band out there than over here, and certainly a broader understanding of the music we’re playing. The UK has been really tough to work, so I’m hoping the US gives us a bit more of a break. The music scene can sometimes feel a bit stuck-up here, but that’s not to say we’ll ever give up.

Your also playing a bunch of Warped dates this summer – have you been warned yet about what you’re in for?

Yeah, all we really get are warnings and stories of hard times, but we’re really sticking our chests out for this one. We want it to beat and batter us. We’re going to come off that tour the best punk band in Britain. We’re looking at it as a massive opportunity because usually smaller bands like ours rarely get to play a festival so big and popular. So we’re honored to be given the chance and we intend to completely fulfill it.

So what’s next for the band?

We’re back in August, so hopefully hit some of the last UK festivals. Then we really want to get stuck in with our album and hopefully get it recorded by the end of the year. It really has been a long time coming, but the timing definitely feels right. We started this band at a very young age so I’m glad we didn’t rush into a full-length record. The Joys Of Living is a celebration of our teenage years and the material we recorded at that time, and the new record is beginning to feel like a real step up. We’ve been demoing a lot recently, like I said, it’s really taking shape now and we’re confident and happy with it. We can’t wait to unleash it onto the world.
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PostSubject: Infectious Magazine Aug 1 2011   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:27 pm

It’s not very often that UK bands make it on to the Vans Warped Tour-so when they do, you pay attention. Never disappointing, Sharks is comprised of James Mattock, Andrew J. Bayliss and Sam Lister. See what they had to say about UK festivals, the latest reaction to their merch, tornado scares and more.

Infectious Magazine: Is this your first year on Warped Tour?

Sharks: It is, yes.

IM: How has it been, how is the whole new experience?

Sharks: Yeah, it’s a whole new experience for sure. The amount of people we’ve met and stuff, the way everything’s just changed, performing and stuff and setting your tent up, and doing this and that, it’s like a whole days work-you’re not just playing. It’s a really different experience, it’s not touring normally I guess and its outdoors, that’s a big difference. And you get your set times every day, so you have to be up and ready. It’s definitely nothing compared to playing in the UK, we’ve been to stuff in the UK and at the most they only last for a couple days. So, to be on a festival that’s traveling for so long, it’s a totally new experience. It’s like a traveling circus, ha ha.

IM: ha ha, in a way! Are you guys worn out yet?

Sharks: No, no, we’re alright. We’ve got some life in us yet.

IM: What are some of the differences you’ve found in audiences across the cities?

Sharks: The south is shit. We have a shirt that has a slogan that’s “Fuck God Believe in Yourself” and the reaction to that’s been pretty schizophrenic, aren’t they? Depending on various cities. It’s been interesting for sure, to see the culture change, just between states.

IM: How do you think as musicians you guys stand out amongst the other bands?

Sharks: Well we play proper music, don’t we? Ha ha. Yeah, we play music that’s loose and not rehearsed so badly. Yeah we don’t actually rehearse for any of our shows, ha ha….There’s an incredible mix of stuff on [Warped Tour] and we’ve grown to appreciate a lot of different styles of music, which I don’t think we’d have otherwise appreciated if we hadn’t been on this tour. It’s been an eye opening experience. We’re actually just as unique as any of these other bands, they’re all unique in their own way once you get it. But before it was like ‘wow, these are all the same.’ I mean, to each their own. I’m not going to step on someone else’s toes if they enjoy whomever. If that’s what gets you going in the morning, that’s fine.

IM: How did you get hooked up with Warped Tour?

Sharks: Kevin Lyman is a fan, and he wanted us to play.

IM: What have been some of the highs and lows of this tour so far?

Sharks: The low is the heat every day, that’s number one. Apart from that, it would be nothing, it would be fine. If it wasn’t so hot, then it would be such a breeze, because you’re out in it all day, it makes you so tired. But apart from that, it’s so good. I’m not going to complain about being over in America and playing, though. And in England it rains every time we play in August, so at least we get to play in the heat. So, no complaints.

IM: What is your guilty pleasure?

Sharks: Death Cab for Cutie, The Dance Party. I don’t think I can top The Dance Party.

(At this point it starts to downpour and Andrew runs outside the tent and into the rain, completely enthralled)

IM: A few years ago, they actually had a tornado watch at Warped Tour!

Sharks: Really? We saw our first tornado this tour. It’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened!

IM: Did you hear the sirens?

Sharks: Yeah, we were literally ten miles from a really big tornado.

IM: That’s so scary!

Sharks: Yeah, it was pretty bad!

IM: Alright, so what is the best kept secret from your hometown?

Sharks: Aleister Crowley! Ha ha.

It was Adolf Hitler’s favorite British town. We’re from a town called Leamington Spa and that was Hitler’s favorite town. Best kept secret.

IM: Finish this sentence. What I miss most about home is….

Sharks: Marmite….its this incredible English yeast extract bread like vegemite, but ten times better and you guys don’t have it here and we miss it buttloads. So yeah, marmite.

IM: Anything else you’d like to add?

Sharks: Please go and watch The Dance Party, whatever you do. It’s such an experience. Honestly, just go and watch The Dance Party, that is it. And always wear suntan lotion when in the sun. Don’t try to be brave, and manly, just wear it, because you’ll fucking regret it.

IM: Excellent closing words. Thank you very much, guys.

Sharks: You’re welcome, thank you.
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PostSubject: Alternative Music Hub Aug 5 2012   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 pm

Set to head to Australia this month with Pennywise and The Menzingers, Sharks took some time to talk to AMH about the tour as well as their debut album No Gods.

Sharks are set to head to Australia for the first time with Pennywise and The Menzingers. How excited are you to get down here and play?
We are so excited, Australia is always one of those places we wanted to go to but we never thought we would get to, so this is a huge thing for us. It’s going to be awesome.

Have you been told any certain things to check out by other bands that have toured here?
We mainly want to do the standard tourist stuff, see koalas and kangaroos and try to visit the beach. We want to meet lots of Australians as well.

Is this your first time playing shows with Pennywise and/or The Menzingers?
We did Warped Tour with The Menzingers last year and we became great friends with them, I considered them to be one of the only good bands on that line up (laughs). We are yet to play a show with Pennywise.

Did Pennywise have much of an influence on Sharks?
Not overly to be honest. They weren’t really a band of my era growing up but I have tremendous respect for what they have achieved in their career and I will be checking them out before the tour. Being from the UK we kind of missed the whole skate punk scene.

What bands would you say did help influence Sharks?
I guess bands like At The Drive-In, The Stranglers, The Ramones. Really it was the real accessible punk bands along with some Brit Pop as well.

Your Debut album No Gods came out just a few months ago, how happy have you been with the reception to the album?
We were beyond happy with how well received it was. We haven’t had much of a chance to tour it much which is a bit disappointing. We did a small UK tour just as it came out which was a lot of fun and from what we could tell the reception was really good. We are our own toughest critics so we have left ourselves a lot of room to develop but we are happy with the record and the reception.

Did you set yourself any goals when you went into the studio?
I remember getting to record a debut full length was our five year goal. It has been five years in the making so it was a great feeling to get into a studio and finally lay down the tracks. We wanted to make the best record we could with the songs we had.

Do you expect the set list for Australia to be fairly heavy on material from the full length?
We haven’t thought much about it yet but we are hoping to do a 50/50 split between older and newer material. Maybe a little bit more towards the newer songs.

You haven’t toured the album a whole lot yet. Are you planning to get another UK and possibly another USA tour done before the year is out?
Yeah we toured the UK in the past just as an opening act then we did a few months in the USA last year trying to lay down the foundation for future tours over there. We did out first UK headline run this year which was outrageous (laughs).

We you worried at all that some people may take issue with the album title No Gods?
Not a whole lot really. I guess people will take it how they want to take it. It wasn’t set out to be anti-religious or anything. It has many different meanings and we are hoping that people would understand that there is more depth to it and it isn’t just a catchy slogan or an attempt to cause a stir.

You work with Brian McTernan on the album, how did that come about?
Brian is friends with our label (Rise Records) and we had been impressed with his past work so we managed to hook up a phone call with him and had a chat and it kind of clicked. He did it really cheap and we got to go to Baltimore to record it which we felt was the best option for us.

Did he have much of an influence on the sound of the album?
He put in his input for a few tracks. We recorded the album as a three piece but we are usually a four piece which meant we weren’t able to track it live which is how we prefer to record. But yeah it was easy to track it separately and we took any advice he gave us and if we thought it would fit we would use it.

You are working with Rise Records, how did your partnership come to be?
It’s been a great relationship. They made offers back in 2009 but we politely rejected it because their roster at the time I didn’t know a single band on there so I thought it was a joke. We didn’t know that they had kept in contact with our manager and they kept saying how they loved us so we were like ‘fuck it, we need a label’. We came to find out that the label itself was only three people who love music. They gave us the chance to tour America and since signing us they have expanded their label to include bands similar to us as well as some that move away from their standard sound.

You were one of the real first non ‘metalcore’ bands to be signed to the label which is a big step for both parties.
Yeah no doubt. Just seeing how much they have expanded and grown is amazing.

Do you feel that there is too much emphasis being put on genres?
Yeah I think a few people do a bit. Not only that but also on record labels. If people went to YouTube and saw Sharks on the Rise channel they’d probably dismiss us as some band with breakdowns (laughs). But yeah I think people need to give everything a try before labelling it. Everything is changing so fast now so the attention span is growing shorter and people begin to dismiss things quicker. But at the same time there is people like yourself and I who like to let everything in and give it a try.

Having played both the UK and USA do you notice a big difference between the two when it comes to the crowds?
I think the UK being our hometown get into it a bit more and is our favourite to play. There is a few shows were the crowd interaction isn’t there and there are some tense and awkward shows so when you play a good show it is a great feeling. The USA crowds tend to be a lot more inviting and happy to get into it a bit more.

What does the rest of the year hold for Sharks?
We are heading to Japan after Australia then we are doing a festival run and hopefully doing a UK or USA tour to close out the year, we aren’t sure which one as of yet but there will be something going on. In between all that we are writing our next album.

Any final words?
Thanks to everyone reading and thank you for the interview.
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PostSubject: Ramzine Aug 10 2012   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:33 pm

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PostSubject: Caught In The Crossfire Aug 14 2012   Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:36 pm

With influences ranging between The Clash, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division and Black Flag, the Leamington Spa quartet, Sharks, are right up our street. We caught up with the James Mattock (lead vocals and guitar) and Andrew Bayliss (guitar) backstage at Hevy Festival before their set to discuss their album ‘No Gods’, signing to Rise Records and their plans for the future…

So for those who don’t know much about Sharks, if you could describe your band in three words, what would you say?

James: God I don’t know….

Andrew: Well, I’m going to go all cheesy and say, ‘Rock. And. Roll’. Sounds so cheesy I know, but it does sum us up quite nicely.

You’ve been on tour with some awesome bands, who would you say are the most inspiring bands you’ve toured with?

James: Oh I don’t know, there are so many… but Social Distortion was cool. Gallows, The Gaslight Anthem…

Andrew: We’ve been so lucky with tours, we’ve had some really good ones. We’ve had a mixed bag, lots of different genres and plenty of big names.

You’re signed to Rise Records, they are currently famous for their metalcore bands, although they do have some sweet punk bands like The Bouncing Souls. What was it that swayed you to Rise Records?

Andrew: They were just very enthusiastic and passionate about wanting to put out our records. We were a little skeptical at first because as you say their roster does lean more towards metalcore, and at the time they hadn’t signed The Bouncing Souls and other bands like that. We were one of the first bands for them to sign that was different to what they had been doing but they were so passionate we went with it.

James: Yeah, we knew of their aspirations to branch out and we were proud to be the band they wanted to branch out with, so yeah, we just went for it! They are a very good label if you want to attempt to crack America. So far they’ve helped us a lot. The only negative thing about signing to Rise Records is that people might see our video on Rise Records Youtube etc and then be a bit confused, like,’Hang on, this doesn’t sound like Of Mice & Men, where the fuck is the breakdown?!’.

Andrew: We were just enthusiastic for people to hear the record, and Rise really wanted to get it out there. We’re pleased to have signed to them.

How has the overall reception been for your latest record ‘No Gods’?

James: Overall its been great! Even these more sort of hardcore kids are into it, I’ve heard they regard it as their ‘chill out’ music, which is a little odd as essentially we are still a punk band! But whatever, as long as people are getting into it, that’s cool!

Andrew: I’m still really proud of that record. We went in with something that is the polar opposite to what we put out, but I think that’s for the best. Brian McTernan, the producer, really helped to reign us in and get a more focused sound, because to start with, looking back it was more of just a jam!

James: I can’t put my finger on it, there’s material that has inspired us from all over. Some really old stuff too. We wrote it over a few years, whereas the current record we are writing over a smaller time scale, like two months! So its hard to say what our influences were when its such a long time span. We were just aiming for a solid debut, a timeless guitar record.

Andrew: We wanted the production raw, we wanted to walk on that line between a nicely produced record and something that is still quite alive. Kind of like The Gaslight Anthem, although they definitely have a different sound, its that kind of guitar record.

Are there plans in the pipeline for new material and tours?

James: Yeah, its going good. I guess we are about half way through a record. We’ll aim for about 20 songs, then cut back.

Andrew: We want to get it wrapped up as quick as possible to keep the positive attitude going and get people to hear new stuff. As much as we like ‘No Gods’ we aren’t going to sit on it for too long.

James: We want it written by the end of the year, and I guess we’ll have to see where we are financially, we might have to record it ourselves. At the moment we are focusing on getting the best songs we can to get out there as quickly as possible.

Andrew: We aren’t on the road as much as we have been, so we are using all this down time to write. Although saying that, we are heading out to Australia soon which we are so looking forward to, and then Japan after that!

James: Hopefully we’ll have a UK/Euro tour soon, maybe November time.
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