Stream the new Sharks album ‘Selfhood’ this week and read a track by track guide to the album by singer James Mattock. Double exclusive!
Selfhood Track by Track - Vocalist James Mattock
"I got the idea for this song while watching Woody Allen's film 'Manhattan'. Where Meryl Streep, his ex-wife in the film, writes a book on their relationship called 'Marriage, Divorce and Selfhood'. That instantly it struck a chord with me and gave me the idea for a song, which ended up being the title of the whole album since there is this ongoing 'personal' theme...self loathing and all that stuff."
02. Your Bloody Wings
"Well this song is kind of hard to explain because I don't want to come across moody or like we are taking ourselves too seriously, but there is a huge sense of dissatisfaction and disappointment in this game. Maybe we're just coming of age and realizing it is all bullshit, either way, it's about dismissing expectations and having fun and being in love with what you have now."
"As in Portland, Oregon. That place just has this really magnetic pull with me and I really would love to live there one day. And that's all the song is about. A simple song about dreams and aspirations. Johnny Marr used to live there too and The Exploding Hearts were from there!"
04. I Won't Taint
"When we started writing for the album, we wrote four songs and scrapped them all but this one. We decided that this would set the tone for the album and the songs that were to come had to be in keeping with this. So this was the first song we wrote for the album. The lyrics mean what they mean: 'You think we know what we are doing here/ You think you know what we are all about'. It's an insight on how people misinterpret our band."
05. The More You Ask Me, The Less I'm Sure
"This one kinda took a bit of restructuring a few times. It's a weird one but I love it. And as proven, we still don't know how to end it so we went with an old school fade out. Oh and there's synths too."
06. Sunday's Hand
"We're gonna do a video for this and it's gonna involve a girl stabbing her boyfriend to death with her high heels. This was originally called 'Selfhood' before I made it into a complete new song. That's why the word pops up in the lyrics."
"In the press release for the album I talk about where I wrote the lyrics to the record. It was above a morgue and I was pretty much squatting there for five months with my fiancee. We lived on porridge and super noodles and the place had no heating, no hot water, and no shower. And at 3am once a week we could hear the arrival of a fresh corpse being delivered to the morgue downstairs."
"One of my artistic heroes is a guy named Billy Childish. He's a painter, a musician and a writer. I was reading nothing but his stuff around this period and he has this very blunt, confessional style to his writing and it was definitely an influence. This song's for him."
"I think this is my favourite on the record. I was really pleased with how turned out to have a The Cure-meets-Lemonheads vibe. It's great when you can just throw four chords together and everything just fits and feels good. That was definitely the case when writing this."
10. Room With A Grey View
"Lyrically this is kind of our 'Headmasters Ritual'. When I hear that song and think about my school years I relate to every word. I kind of mixed that song with another Smiths song, 'You've Got Everything Now' and put my own spin on it."
11. My Wild One
"Well this one we're all really proud of because it's the biggest curveball we've thrown song wise. When people are expecting a punk record they're going to be seriously confused, but we aren't a punk band so we don't want to be pigeon holed. Also, it's the first love song I've written and I think that type of song is the hardest to write. But this was easy because the words are so true, and she adores it!"
Sharks start their 'Selfhood' headline tour a week today, go see the band at any of the following shows:
29 - RUGBY The Vaults
30 - HULL Fruit
01 - GLASGOW 13th Note
02 - BIRMINGHAM The Insitiute
03 - CARDIFF Moon Club
04 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement
05 - MANCHESTER Alter Ego
07 - LEEDS Cockpit
08 - YORK Duchess
09 - LONDON Barfly
10 - SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
11 - EXETER Cavern
12 - BRISTOL Croft
13 - CHESTER The Compass
As the end of the year edged into sight, we had one more round of tour madness before the festival downtime kicked in. Here's what you missed in November (spoiler: contains pop-punk, tears and BABYMETAL)
For some unexplained reason, a bunch of Twitter accounts sprung up recently where people draw pictures of their favourite bands. Except, y'know, poorly. Some are truly crap, others are magnificent. Here's our Top 12 that we've found because it's Friday and WHY THE HELL NOT?