They recently released their 5th single ‘What Is Mine?’ and just finished the This Feeling Alive Tour with BlackWaters and Bang Bang Romeo, The Shimmer Band are on their way to be huge. We had a small chat with the frontman Tom for their date at the one and only Electric Ballroom in London.
UpKoming: Can you tell us a bit more about yourself, who were you before the band and how did you become The Shimmer Band?
Tom – We’ve all known each other our all lives, we went to school together, so we’ve always been doing music and playing the guitar, stuff like that… and we just decided to start a band called The Shimmer Band. We put our first single out in January last year, ’Sugar Baby’ and then put a second single out: ‘Freedom’ in the summer, and then it’s just sort of been growing from there.
When did you decide to start the band?
Tom – Probably two or three years ago now… So 2014?
And since you have a few singles out, do you have something bigger planned now?
Tom – Obviously we got the five, six singles out, after this tour, we’re going to work on doing an album. So we’re going to spend, hopefully, November and December working the album, and doing a brand new album. Hopefully getting that ready for the next year.
So you still think it’s about albums? Because quite a lot of people in the industry say that the concept of albums is dead.
Tom – No no it’s still totally about albums, I know that they might not see it, but it’s definitely still about albums. I mean, I still like albums, I still listen to albums.
Talking about live, do you prefer the intimacy of a small gig or big stages?
Tom – We like big gigs, we like big shows, the bigger the better. Because our sound, we got quite a big sound, so it works, translates better on a bigger stage. Also it’s fun to do little shows, in terms of the band and the music, it works better on a bigger stage, so that’s where we belong.
Since you talked about your sound; when you write them, do you think about how it’s going to sound live or the recorded version?
Tom – I think every song is different, they are always different because certain songs start from different places, some songs will start with a bass line, or some will start with like some chords, or a melody or lyrics, so they’re always different, but I think the one common thing is that they are all pretty big, euphoric, uplifting…
So you don’t have a proper writing routine?
Tom – It’s always different. The next batch of songs that we’re currently doing, it’s been different to the ones that we did before, we’ve had a different approach, we’ve been doing a lot of demos this time, doing a lot of recordings that goes straight in my computer and starting from there, while with our older songs, we were in the practice room, like sort of jamming mic, rehearsing loads, playing loads, with this one we have sort of gone just straight onto the computer, we’ve been demoing them, recording like crazy and we change them as we go, write them as we go, doing it that way.
Did you decide to do it that way?
Tom – I think it just started happening and then I think we just noticed that it was happening that way so we continue to do it that way. It’s quite an efficient way of doing it, you can be quick and you can see pretty quickly if a song if going to be good or not.
Do you like it better that way?
Tom – I don’t know, it’ll probably going to change again, but for now yes.
Isn’t it hard to work all together and agree on the same things all the time?
Tom – Well yes, that’s part of being in a band, you know working together is the same as any job, doesn’t matter what you do. If you want to achieve something or get something done you’ve got to work together as a team, you’ve got to respect other people’s opinions and ideas.
Is that difficult being 5 of you?
Tom – Difficult, I don’t know, not really. We’ve known each other so long, that we don’t think about it too much either, it comes pretty naturally I think. We like the same music so if someone doesn’t sound right, we’ll probably all think that it doesn’t sound right, and if something sounds good, then chances are we’ll probably all think it sounds good you know.
So you all have the same influences? You like the same music?
Tom – Yeah we’re big fans of Creation Records. Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, like all those like 90’s Creation bands, they are a big influence on everything we do.
Is that what you’re listening to at the moment?
Tom – Oh no, like obviously we listen to everything, we’re trying to listen to as many new stuff as possible you know, like The Horrors new album. Whatever is new, we listen to everything, I mean it’s important to be as open as possible.
What’s your favourite memory as a band?
Tom – We supported Stereophonics at Cardiff City Stadium, so that was pretty, that was big, it doesn’t get bigger than playing in a stadium, so it was pretty magic. It was a good day. Also when we played Barcelona a few weeks ago, it was real fun.
Was it your first time?
Tom – It was our first time in Europe.
Are you planning on going to Europe for a tour?
Tom – Yeah I think next year.
If you had the choice between going back in time to one of your favourite musical period or being able to see the future to see how music is going to be in a few years, what would you choose?
Tom – Well I’d look forward because I’d know where it’s going, and I could be rich. I look back every day, that’s what Youtube is for.
Did you have some big challenges to face since you are a band?
Tom – Well, not really no. We don’t think about it too much. They’ve been a lot of ups and downs, but we just concentrate on our music, like right now we’re obviously on tour, well we are coming to the end of the tour now, but now all we are thinking about is the album, so we don’t really think about anything else. Thinking about songs, new tracklist, writing new songs, you know making sure that we can make the best album that we can possibly make. That’s all we want to do.
Do you have enough material?
Tom – Oh yes we’ve got loads, but you need to write loads you know? You’re going to need 20 or 30 songs and then take the best 10, or whatever you know. I think most bands do that, most good bands do that.
The last question is something I ask to every band because I think it’s very important at the moment: What do you think about the link between social media and bands today? Is it a good thing? Is it important? How can you use it and how do you use it?
Tom – I think that’s a good thing, I think what’s good about it is that you can use it in different ways, you don’t have to be, like some bands are really full on with it, do stuff every day, lots of things. Some bands just post a couple of things like a week, it’s good in that sense. You can tailor your voice to who you are. To be honest I don’t think we know, I don’t think anyone knows yet if it is a good thing or not. It might well be, or it might not be, I don’t know. For now, I think it’s a good thing.
In what way?
Tom – Just being able to, it’s so instant, you can communicate with anyone all over the world you know. And like every day we talk to our fans on Twitter, we can communicate directly with them, which is pretty cool, and yeah I mean I’m not really big on social media personally but in terms of the band, I think it’s a good thing.
Interview by Laurine Payet & Jessica Piochon.
Article by Léna Villari & Laurine Payet.