‘Try and make a living out of touring around, pushing albums out and anything to prevent getting a normal job really.’
Yorkshire band ‘The Sherlocks’ frontman Kiaran Crook spoke with me over the phone about touring in Japan, supporting Liam Gallagher and how he wrote his songs for the new album ‘Under Your Sky’ which was released on the 4th of October of last year, along with plenty of UK tour dates that were rescheduled earlier this year.
How are you because things at the minute must be quite hectic, announcing tours and a new album. So what have The Sherlocks been up to in the past month?
Just playing festivals really. I think that’s like the main focus at the minute and just promoting the new single ‘Magic Man’. The past few months really have just been getting a few new tunes out for people to get into and just playing quite a few European festivals this year. We just played a festival the other day in Durham and pretty much a bit more of the same, a few more festivals until that quietens down and then we’ll be going on tour and obviously the album coming out.
It must be really good, I mean it’s Leeds and Reading festival this weekend and obviously you and The Sherlocks were there back in 2017. You announced your top ten debut album, what was that like?
Yeah that was special for us when we did it and obviously the timing of things meant that we found out as chart position on the day of playing Leeds. I remember we were sat on the tour bus before we came on and told we were at number six and it was surreal really, none of us expected even a top ten to be honest, we were getting updates regular but yeah, even if we’d scraped a number ten, no one around us not even the record label, expected it to do as well as it did. We were buzzing.
Wow, it’s just incredible. As a band, you’ve mentioned that you’ve kind of bonded over a love of the same kind of music like The Stone Roses and Oasis, so what was it like supporting Liam Gallagher on his European tour?
Yeah, class. It’s one of them really, when you’re growing up, obviously everybody’s heard of Oasis whether you like them or not but I think Oasis were that big of a band, you just grow up with it, we aren’t even thinking about music, even if you’re into music you know them songs like ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and stuff. Following what happened, they’re both going their own separate directions, doing the solo thing so when the opportunity came for us to support him, we were just over the moon and I think we’re especially happy because we knew he’d chose us and we’ve gigged with him and he’s only got a small group of people around him but we just knew that he had to oversee it and say yeah I wanna take Sherlocks on tour with him, It was special. Playing the gigs and going travelling all around Europe and meeting him a few times and having a drink with him, it was pretty mad when you think you’ve been going on tour with Liam Gallagher and having a party with him and stuff.
It just sounds really amazing, again in terms of shows, you’ve played many festivals throughout the summer of last year you played; Kendal Calling, Tramlines, Y Not and Neighbourhood festival. What festival for you, has the best atmosphere?
I don’t know because Leeds fest, we always seem to have a blast there, that’s always like a mental gig. We played a new festival this year, we’d never done it before called ‘Bearded Theory’ and that’s smaller than Leeds fest but it was still a good vibe and stuff and then we played ‘Summersonic’ in Japan and that were just insane but for different reasons, just how they look after you and stuff. In answer to your question, probably Leeds fest has got a good vibe. One of my favourites to be honest.
Yeah, obviously you’ve mentioned playing ‘Summersonic’, what’s it like playing in Japan, what’s the audience like there?
It’s just different really, when you imagine a Saturday night in Glasgow, everybody’s just drunk and it’s just mental but for all the good reasons but it’s just completely different. We’ve played in Japan three times now, we’ve done our own show and then the second time we came back we played ‘Summersonic’, where you play two gigs but the crowd’s just more reserved, they’re not massive drinkers, I think it's not part of their culture to turn up to a gig smashed where as like some places in the UK it’s just standard, if we played in Leeds on a Saturday night you’d expect quite a bit of the crowd to be drunk which is good but in Japan it’s not really like that. I remember when we played our first show in Japan in Tokyo, I didn’t really see anybody drinking and they were all pretty reserved like not bouncing around but at the same time you could tell they were all listening to us and still engaged clapping and cheering. Different but a good place to play.
It sounds great. You’ve released many singles that are all really great. ‘Live For The Moment’, ‘Escapade’ and ‘Will You Be There?’, they’re the most popular ones but you’re most recent single ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’ was played by Annie Mac on Radio 1, how was that?
We never get used to hearing ourselves on the radio or finding out that we’ve been played on the radio. I don’t think we ever will to be honest, we really appreciate when anyone tells us ‘We just heard you on the radio’ or especially a bigger station like Radio 1 or Radio X. It’s nice to know you’ve got support as well from the likes of Annie Mac and Gordon Smart he’s been hammering us on Radio X and stuff so, yeah it’s cool.
I mean yeah, that must be cool. Again, with the new album, it’s coming out on the 4th of October. How do you feel it differs from your debut album?
I don’t know, it’s pretty hard to say really because we’re involved in it. As far as the writing and the song came about, they’ve all been written pretty much the same way as the first album, just starts with me on an acoustic guitar and then I bring it to the band or I demo it on my phone and just play it and show them how the song goes and we just try and recreate what’s in my head and play it until it starts sounding good, that’s the starting point and obviously when you get to the studio that’s where it takes shape. I think the main difference with the first album, before we recorded it, we were just playing all these songs like ‘Escapade’ and ‘Live For The Moment’ sort of took the shape of our live scene and that’s how the songs ended up how they were through playing loads of gigs. With this album, we can’t play the songs like we did on the first album because everybody would hear them and it’s all under wraps, making songs on this album we’ve been mixing them up on set, deciding which tunes we were going to play from this album, so we weren’t giving too many of the songs away. That’s been the main difference really having to keep things under wrap and then wait until the albums out. I think people will be able to tell it’s us. It still sounds like us, to friends I’ve played it to, they say it sounds slightly smoother than the first album because the first album had like a million guitar tracks on it, we just layered everything up and just put so many guitars on every song, it was like a wall of sound where this one is like less guitars but the guitars are doing more, so rather than having twenty guitars on a song, we just have two guitars, turning them up slightly. That was the main thing we tried going for.
From what I’ve heard from the singles, it sounds like it’s going to be really good. I mean what’s the songwriting process, how’s that changed?
Same old thing really, just starts with me. Everyday I’ll be on guitar wherever I am, usually we meet up most days, I just sit in my back garden in the sun and just mess around really, I don’t drive myself nuts over it, I just started working on an idea and record it on my phone. Sometimes it takes a day or sometimes it takes weeks. Usually, I’ve got about five songs on the go at once, I’m not very good at getting a song and just finishing it. That’s what I did for the first album so continued on with this album and even now, writing songs for the third album and getting them ready, it’s pretty much exactly the same. The main difference with the songwriting process is on this album it comes out in October, I just demoed things a lot more. The first album I didn’t really demo anything. I’ve got this thing on my phone called ‘Garage Band’ and you can record stuff and make a bit of a demo of the song and then play it to the boys so they know what it sounds like.
Talking about songwriting, If you could have written any song which song do you wish you’d had written?
Probably ‘When You Were Young’ by The Killers. I love that tune, I heard it the other week or other day and I think it was on in the car and I just cranked it up and even listening to it now, I’ve heard it a million times, I still feel like I wish I could have wrote that song. Good tune.
What surprises do The Sherlocks have in store for us, what’s the ultimate goal for the band?
To be fair, how things have been going, the ultimate goal for us it to keep on being able to do what we do and keep playing plenty of gigs. That’s always nice to do, when you’re not gigging, it can get a little bit boring. I think we’re at the most happiest when we’re playing plenty of shows and festivals and obviously we’ve got a lot of gigs to go in October. There is no final goal we want to get to really it’s just keep on building the band and building each tour we go on we just want to keep on making gigs bigger, more people to buy the album and as long as the music is doing well and people are buying records, then it’s inevitable all our gigs will get bigger and that’s really it for us. Try and make a living out of touring around, pushing albums out and anything to prevent getting a normal job. Luckily, three of us or certainly two of us like me and Andy have never had a job because we've been busy with the band, so to keep things like this, I’ll be happy.
Yeah, I mean It’s just great. Finally, what’s the next gig The Sherlocks have?
We are playing a festival in Portsmouth, ‘Victorious’, we’ll be doing that on Sunday. In fact we’ve got a gig this Wednesday actually in Grimsby. I don’t know if you follow our Twitter or Instagram but we tried getting a house gig together so trying to do a house party. Just for something to do really, for our own amusement, we like doing stuff like that, it’s ended up in a pub in Grimsby. It will feel a bit like a house gig, same sort of vibe. Just me and the boys turning up with a couple of acoustic guitars.
It was a pleasure to speak with Kiaran and will massively look forward to everything The Sherlock's have left in store for the future. Make sure to listen to The Sherlock's newest single 'One Day'.
Article written by Holly Turner