Interview: The Sherlocks

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Having formed almost 10 years ago and with two stellar albums already under their belt, along with a plethora of sold-out shows, support slots alongside The Libertines, and a reputation as festival staples, Sheffield quartet The Sherlocks caught up with The Indiependent as they prepare to release their highly anticipated third record World I Understand.

After some small changes to the band’s line-up, a football kit launch with Sheffield Wednesday F.C., and the launch of their own IPA, The Sherlocks delve into what inspired their forthcoming album and what listeners can expect from their upcoming live shows – all whilst busily signing the albums their loyal fans have pre-ordered!

The Indiependent: You release your third record World I Understand next year. Tell me a bit about what inspired the album.

The Sherlocks: I don’t think there’s any major themes running through. The songs have been written, pretty much the same as we normally do. There’s one tune that we wrote before our first album. The rest have been written over a period of time. We feel really good about this album though. We’ve got a combination of good songs and we’ve nailed the production side of it. Dave [Eringa] (Manic Street Preachers) has done a great job recording it. And the artwork is a million times better!

The Indiependent: Where did the album artwork come from?

The Sherlocks: Well, we knew we had a strong album but wanted something that would match it. We contacted this guy from Europe because we saw the image and we asked him to make a few changes to it and put the name of the album and date we started it around the feature. We were buzzing when he sent it back!

The Indiependent: Is there an overarching theme to the songs?

The Sherlocks: To be honest, we’ve got quite a lot of different styles of songs on here. It’s a mixed bag but it works. We’ve never done an album like this before, but we think it’s our best yet.

The Indiependent: How is it different from your previous release?

The Sherlocks: Honestly just the songs themselves are better this time. Each time you do an album you think it’s your best stuff. We just hit a good patch with this album in the studio. We felt very confident that the songs sounded mint. There were no arguments or struggles, it all just came together. As soon as we got cracking with a tune, we were all on the same page.

The Indiependent: Where does the album title come from?

The Sherlocks: Well with the first two albums, we named them after a song on the album. So we thought we’d keep the theme going. That one stood out the most especially with the times we’ve been living in for the past year and a half. It relates to the lyrics in the song too. It’s all about spending time with someone else and feeling like you’ve gone into a different world. Someone who gets you and understands how you are. So it was a pretty easy choice.

The Indiependent: Tell me a bit about your song-writing process. Do you all contribute different bits or does one person take the lead?

The Sherlocks: I’ll [Kiaran] start the tune. I’ll take care of the lyrical side of stuff, or the skeleton of the tune. Things change in between the practice room and in the studio. Alex will come up with the guitar parts usually. It’s a long process.

The Indiependent: You’ve had some changes to the line-up since your last record – how did that affect the group dynamic? What do Alex and Trent bring to the table?

The Sherlocks: Some riffs [laughs]. Trent brought a lot to the band and away from it too, looking at the digital side of things. He’s got a good ear when we’re in the studio, he’ll pull us up on stuff.

The Indiependent: You describe yourself on Twitter as ‘the new faces of British rock’n’roll’ which I think brings to mind that sort of 90s Britpop scene. Is that something you’re influenced by or wanting to associate yourselves with? Or is it tongue-in-cheek? Where does that statement come from?

The Sherlocks: Well obviously we’re British. This is our era now and we’re in that sort of rock genre and we feel like we’re one of the leading bands in that lane.

The Indiependent: You’ve launched your own beer – The Sherlocks IPA – how did that come about and why did you want to do it?

The Sherlocks: We always had the idea to do it. A year and a half ago we played a gig in Grimsby. Docks Beers have their own brewery, and we hooked up with them. They were into the idea. We were too. We thought it’d be good to launch it with this album. The artwork for album is the same as the can.

The Indiependent: So if you were going to the pub, what would be each of your drinks of choice?

The Sherlocks: [unanimously] Guinness! Or a Sherlocks IPA [laughs].

The Indiependent: You’re going on tour in February – what have you missed the most about performing? Do you have a favourite memory from a live show?

The Sherlocks: Even as recent as this year we played a show in Manchester and it was one of the best ones we’ve ever done. We’ve been a band for 10 years. It was at the Albert Hall and the crowd were up for it from the first beat. As soon as we walked on it was insane. Everyone was bouncing from the first tune, singing the lyrics and the guitar parts.

The Indiependent: What can we expect from these shows next year then?

The Sherlocks: Hit after hit. It’s the first time we’ve been able to choose from three albums. So the setlist will be very strong. We might throw a few fireworks in. We like to throw a cover in but we’re not sure what yet.

The Indiependent: What song off the new record are you most looking forward to playing?

The Sherlocks: ‘On The Run’ ’cause its rockin’. It’s got a really good chorus, and its quite a dramatic, big-sounding song with really good guitar and drum sounds. We’ve done it in a session but haven’t done it live since. But we really enjoy playing it as a band.

The Indiependent: Do you have a dream city or venue that you’d like to play at or a place you have played that you really love?

The Sherlocks: Sheffield Arena is the dream. Or Hillsborough Stadium (Sheffield Wednesday F.C.’s ground). We’d love to do a big outdoor all-dayer there. Or even Old Trafford.

The Indiependent: You were involved with the Sheffield Wednesday kit launch. How did that come about?

The Sherlocks: Someone who’s become a friend is one of the top men at Wednesday. He asked if we wanted to do it. Being Wednesday fans of course we did! It’s nice seeing all the Wednesday fans get on board and get behind us. It came around very quickly. It were a red hot day. We turned up, the players turned up, we had a couple of beers, smashed this song out and they put it all together. We got a message the next morning saying the video looks sick. It went out and just sort of blew up. We were mega happy with it.

The Indiependent: So, what does the future hold for The Sherlocks?

The Sherlocks: More of the same. Touring, back in studio early next year, start working on album number four, providing we can get out on the road. We’ll do a few festivals and then crack on with album five. We’re constantly writing. Especially now, we’ve been making more of a conscious effort while we have time on our hands when things get pushed back. It’s not the best situation but equally it’s a good time to get back in the studio.

The Indiependent: And finally, can you describe the new record, World I Understand, in three words?

The Sherlocks: Anthemic because it’s a big sounding record. Diverse, because it’s a mixed bag literally. If you’ve never even heard of our band there will be a tune on there for you! And classic. It’s a modern classic.

The Indiependent: Thank you for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to discuss with The Indiependent?

The Sherlocks: We’ve just put out a new single called ‘Games You Play.’ The video is out now too. It was filmed in Sheffield. Check that out. And of course the new album out in January. Today is the first time we’ve seen it in person and it looks absolutely class so thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered it! And if you haven’t yet, do it now – you won’t regret it!

You can pre-order World I Understand by The Sherlocks here.

You can watch the video for ‘Games You Play’ here.

You can buy tickets for The Sherlocks’ February/March 2022 tour here.

Interview conducted by Sarah Taylor


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