Manchester quartet Velvet Shakes (Josh, Scott, Louie, and Ant) recently dropped their latest single BELIEVE IT. So, we hooked up with the cosmic electro poppers so they could tell more about themselves and life under lockdown. Read on to find out more.
How is lockdown impacting the band?
Lockdown has impacted the band to varying degrees, both individually and as a collective. The obvious obstacles are not being able to play, practice and get together as a band. We love playing shows, no matter how big or small, so that’s been a real learning curve in trying to get a bit more creative when reaching out to people. We were all set to play at Kendal Calling this year (Scott’s first-ever camping festival) which under the unfortunate circumstances has been cancelled. Fingers crossed for a reschedule though…
If you could support anyone, who would it be and why?
The NHS. They’ve really hit the headlines over the last few months (not sure why…?) and they need all the support they can get. Though in its infancy stages thus far, we’re planning a post lockdown gig – a few bands – a few DJs and the proceeds going to those heroes in blue.
What was the last album you listened to?
Full Album? It was last week. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day. I was sat on the porch. And the album was The Beautiful Game by Vulfpeck. A big ‘ole chunk of funk, to fill up your trunk, and get you blind drunk with those sweet, sassy punks. Is Joe Dart one of the best bassists of our generation? Quite possibly.
How are the band carrying on during lockdown?
We’ve been keeping in contact via zoom and the usual messenger group chat, talking about important things like the record deal with Sony and who’s going to be producing the next platinum album, definitely not just Peep Show memes and how Joe Rogan’s latest podcast has shattered the very core of our existence once again.
Josh has been hard at work putting together a lockdown live loop session of a stripped back BELIEVE IT, and in the run-up to the release Scott was doing acoustic covers of songs with ‘Believe’ in the title (spot the theme here…?).
In terms of our music, Josh is still able to write and record in his home studio, which is where most of the tracks have been predominantly conceived and nurtured into what we then lay down as a band. So luckily, we are able to still be producing tracks during this uncertain period of isolation.
What has been the best and worst gig you’ve ever played?
Best gig in terms of location was in the main dining hall of a candle lit Newcastle castle, put together by our friends at The Rookery Collective. The best gig for us overall, however, has to be supporting Crazy P at Gorilla in December. It was wild. The worst gig is a harder one to define. I guess the even worst gigs aren’t ever really that bad in retrospect, because there is always something to take away from the experience. We’ve played in some weird and wonderful places, but at one gig we witnessed the ghost of a football hooligan. That’s all I can say on the matter for legal reasons.
Give us a few hints on what’s in store next for the band.
Other than our track BELIEVE IT coming to fruition, we are always working on n,w music and holding out for more future golden gigs and good times with the gang, post lockdown and COVID craziness.
Talk us through the idea behind the new track / video.
BELIEVE IT is about digging up that inner belief when we found ourselves in overwhelming and difficult situations, and harnessing that power to get through it and keep on keeping on. The lyrics reflect a positivity that now, more than ever, we hope people will connect with.
What would be on your band rider?
1 crate of Capri-sun, 6 petit filous (assorted flavours), 1000 brown M&M’s, 1 Peacock Feather (sourced only from discarded feather shed and not plucked from a living Peacock), a badly drawn pencil portrait of Josh (any more than 40% likeness will not be accepted), 4 strawberry flavoured Fruit winders, and a Beurer FB50 Multi-Functional Luxury Foot Spa.
What other bands or musicians do we need to be checking out right now?
Of the Manchester massive – Posh Chocolates, Ronald Raygun, Abbie Ozard, Porij, Paige Kennedy, and See Thru Hands
When will you feel like you achieved success as a band?
I don’t think we’ll ever feel like we’ve fully achieved success. What I mean by that is I think we need to recognise small things as achievements, like writing something new, really nailing a practice session or even something like learning a new part for your instrument. I think there will be definitive milestones in our career that we could call achievements, but in absolute terms of ‘achieved success,’ I think as soon as you start to think that way, you become complacent. The old adage of ‘innovate or die’ is something that, especially in the music industry, is what we all must practice.