First of all, how have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
It’s been difficult for everyone hasn’t it. The strangest of times and the sooner life can start again the better. But we haven’t had it bad compared to lots of folk, so we can’t really complain and like everyone, we’re just looking forward to a return to normality. From a band point of view when we released our debut album, which is a monumental moment in any band’s life, we couldn’t celebrate it together with a beer or two. Let alone a gig. And that’s a moment we can’t get back. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only small, but all the same, a missed experience.
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
Live music and grass-roots venues are the lifeblood of the musical world in which we live. The fact they’ve had to close their doors, and some permanently, is genuinely heart-breaking. Some of our favourite venues that we’ve played in the past, like The Zanzibar in Liverpool, are no more. This is the place that gave birth to bands like The Coral and The Zutons and it really hit home that nowhere is safe. I think the musical landscape, especially in terms of smaller festivals and independent venues will change massively, but I also think given time it’ll be back stronger than ever. 12 months without live music has re-affirmed to a lot of people just how important it is.
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
I could use this to go into a huge rant about Tories, the mishandling of every facet of this pandemic, and the sheer incompetence of the people who supposedly govern this country. They don’t speak for me, they never will and the sooner we rid ourselves of these charlatans the better. But I’m not. The answer to the question is No. Not at all. It’s the forgotten industry.
Tell our readers a little about you, how did get into music?
3 of us (Luke W – Vocals and Rhythm / Paul – Lead Guitar / Luke H – Bass) have been mates and musical cohorts for a long while. We’ve messed around, played and gigged under various names, but never released anything and we fell into a comfort zone of writing, rehearsing and going to the pub to talk about football and moan about Tories. We also always struggled to find the right drummer, but just over 12 months ago we stumbled across Rich and he’s like a kindred spirit and ever since it’s been all systems go. We’re completely DIY, so we record, produce and mix ourselves. Shoot our own video’s, create all our own artwork. It’s a really rewarding way to work.
How would you describe your sound? Who influences you?
I think if you asked 9 people out of 10, they’d say we’re quite sixties. Which is sound with us. We’re definitely influenced by that era. I mean it was the best and it’ll never be bettered, but we want to avoid being twee and we try hard to not wear our influences on our sleeves too much. Ultimately if we’re influenced by sixties bands like The Monkees, rather than the Arctic variety, we’re going to sound more like Davy Jones than Alex Turner. All of us individually learnt our instruments with a Beatles chord book in hand so that’s why you’ll find middle 8’s in 90% of our tunes. In terms of actual influences – There’s groups like The Kinks and The Zombies, West coast psych like The Byrds and Love, and bands formed on the banks of The Mersey, namely The Coral, The La’s and Shack etc.
Tell me about your latest release, what’s it about?
Our last single, Dear Genevieve, was released in early December. It’s the first taster for our second album, so I suppose it’s our comeback single, but we’ve never really been away. Luke W wrote it about his daughter, it’s an ode to fatherhood and unconditional love. It’s the sweetest of songs, and we went to town on the arrangement to make it as poppy as possible. We love experimenting with different bits and pieces to see what kind of sounds we can get. So, we used a glockenspiel on this one, as you do. Our new single is out on February the 5th (that might be an exclusive because we’ve not told anyone else yet!) and it’s called There Before Time. This is one of our favourites, and if you want an introduction to The Mariners just listen to this song. Minor Chord Melodies, shimmering guitars and haunting harmonies. We’re suckers for those ingredients.
How much has not been able to play live affected you, do you have any plans this year to hopefully play live?
Probably not as much as it has other bands, we’ve missed it obviously, but instead we focused on releasing music and keeping busy on the socials. We were in quite a nice position as being a completely new band to anyone who heard us. So, we’re in a better place to gig now this year, than we were last. I’m not saying there’s a buzz about us, far from it, but we tested the water toward the end of last year and organised a socially distanced shindig in a little local cellar bar and it sold out straight away. Unfortunately, we had to postpone it in the end because of the 2nd (or was it the 3rd?) Lockdown. This will still happen as soon as we are able to, but from getting our music out there it’s helped people discover us. You’ve kind of got a captive audience on places like twitter at the moment, people are chomping at the bit to go to gigs, so they want to find bands to go and see once the world returns to some sort of normality. Coupled with that, there’s a great community of new music lovers and supporters that have really helped not just us, but a lot of underground independent bands get the exposure they deserve. The one gig we do have in the diary that we are really looking forward to is a night in Manchester in June with Moonlight Parade and Revivalry. That’s a sell out too, and again it sold out dead quick. That’s going to be a great night. And with it being in June we’re really hopeful it’ll go ahead as planned, full to capacity with people bouncing around. How a gig should be.
The Mariners new single, Dear Genevieve, is now available to steam and download via AppleMusic, Spotify and all other streaming services... https://music.apple.com/…/dear-genevieve-single/1541083632