Time On Their Side: Tall Ships Interview

9 Nov

Norwich Sound & Vision was not the first time Tall Ships had visited our fine city, not even the first time they had come to play at what they called ”possibly the best small venue in the country. None of their previous appearances are likely to have been so anticipated mind you, coming just five days after the release of their long-awaited and near universally acclaimed debut album, Everything Touching, they are on almost everyone’s must see list for the festival.

”We thought we’d written a good record so I guess we were quietly confident but the reaction’s been incredible”, explains Jamie Bush (drums and designated primary spokesman). “It’s been slightly overwhelming to be honest”.

They are warmly welcomed by fans and friends alike and seem in good spirits but the day has not run smoothly so far. Their arrival in Norwich was delayed and soundcheck too ran late, thanks in part to a monitor blowing before they even got to start. The venue bar is quickly filling up with eager fans while the guys are still on stage and to top it all off, when we catch up with them they still don’t have anywhere to stay in the city once the show is over. Sitting down with us then, in a room stacked high with more chairs than is strictly necessary, is probably the last thing they want to do at that moment.

Collectively they are considered and intelligent, almost reserved, with Jamie and Ric (Phethean, guitar and vocals) interchanging their responses. Answers are not just thrown out and you can tell they prefer to take their time to say the right thing than to just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a trait that is found in Everything Touching, which was originally planned for a much earlier release, but as Jamie notes, “We didn’t wanna rush the songs or how we could approach them live, we wanted to make the best we could”. Ric elucidates further. “It took as long as it needed to really cause the writing process is very very slow and we did a lot of work on the songs in the studio”.

We experimented a lot

Indeed this is the first time the band has recorded in a studio, their second EP was recorded in a shack on a sand dune, and they admit it did take them a while to get settled in this new environment. Once comfortable, they found more benefits than just the set-up. “It was lovely having the luxury of time which was something we hadn’t had on the previous records,” says Jamie. ”We’ve chosen to take two songs off the previous two EPs and actually expand them to what we originally would of liked them to sound like due to the fact we had all this time and time in the studio to really play”.

With time came freedom to play how they wanted and try sounds out. It is something the band has been blessed with throughout their career so far and Ric acknowledges how fortunate they have been. ”We’re lucky ‘cause we’ve always been able to do what we want to do really. In fact there were no expectations of what it would sound like you know? We’re not just a straight up guitar band, we can kind of do what we wanted. Yeah, we experimented a lot”.

Jamie agrees, “No-one’s ever told us what to do. Our record label, the guy who runs it, he’s great. When we went in, he was like ‘can you record 10 songs?’. That was the only quota we had, so it was great”.

Though it took a long time, they give no indication that recording was in anyway stressful, which may explain their eagerness to return to the studio. With the tour in full swing and plenty of hullaballoo surrounding the release of the album, you’d expect them to want to take some time to soak it all in and relax. Not so Jamie says, a fire has been lit within them and they want to crack on. ”We’re quite hungry to write our second record cause we’ve been sat on this for almost [all] of this year. So I think we’re really ready to write, and after being in the studio for so long I think we’re gonna be a lot more comfortable going back in. We’re really excited about writing some really massive songs”.

Time is a luxury they have been afforded throughout their career but for now, following a day of delays and mishaps, it has run out. Elsewhere in the venue sets are starting and the guys must leave the room of chairs behind them and prepare for their own. As they rush off to get ready we are minded of their apparent rush to get on with recording new material as well as the rapidity with which their debut has been embraced and championed by fans. Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of things speeding up for Tall Ships.

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One Response to “Time On Their Side: Tall Ships Interview”

  1. name not supplied November 15, 2012 at 21:50 #

    this is quite nice, jolly. Imagining The Smiths with anti-depressants when this played.

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