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We stumbled upon a couple of The Shimmer Band lads as they were getting ready for the This Feeling – Alive Tour launch at The Monarch last week. With Tom on vocals, Willz on drums, Babsy on guitar, Kuras on bass and Schmidt on synth and guitar, their explosive psychedelic rock is out there and making waves up and down the land. While their stage presence is huge and flamboyant, Tom and Schmidt were rather quiet and reflective ,which was most probably due to them landing back in the UK after a successful Barcelona gig the night before. We spoke to them about life on the road, single releases and friendships made along the way. It’s always great to meet bands who play the part on stage so brilliantly – yet have humility and gratitude for the support they receive and the progress they’ve made so far. 

Kate: This year’s tour is going to be the biggest nationwide tour ever embarked on by This Feeling. Twelve shows stretching up and down the country. What’s your personal This Feeling story?

Tom: Yeah – so last year we got invited to play the Isle of Wight festival and it was all very exciting for us.

Schmidt: It was our first nationwide festival and it was really good fun –

Tom: Yeah it was – Mikey loved it and from there he just got us involved.

Kate: Do you have a story we can share from your adventures on a previous This Feeling tour or gig?

Tom: It’s been the festivals for us really.

Schmidt: Nambucca at the beginning of the year –  it was just after Christmas in January and we thought it would be really quiet but it was one of the wildest gigs we’ve ever done! It was wacky.

Tom: Wacky.

Kate: What’s it really like being a part of the This Feeling family?

Tom: I think the most important thing about this – regardless of music and what the type of music you’re in to and the people you’re involved with; it’s just really good and really amazing to have someone being really positive about the music. That’s the main thing for me.

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Rachel: Do you reckon there’s a bit too much negativity at the moment?

Tom: Yeah definitely –  it’s like the industry just needs that positivity and for someone to say ‘Yes this is good!’ There are good bands out there.

Schmidt: There are – there is some real great talent out there.

Rachel: Something is happening though – radio stations and big sponsors are getting more involved to support new music, it’s all positive I reckon….

Schmidt: Yes definitely – and a lot of that’s down to Mikey. He’s getting a lot of these people involved and the attitude he has to it all and the hard work he puts in and it’s starting to pay off.

Tom: It’s all coming together. I’ve got no doubt that it will all keep going in the right direction.

Rachel: For someone who hasn’t seen The Shimmer Band what can people expect to see?

Tom: Linking what I just said actually – I think we are quite a positive band – we want our music to be uplifting and euphoric, big and epic because as you know there’s plenty of shit going on at the minute and I think people want a bit of hope and a bit of light in their life you know? And I like to think we can offer that to people in some way.

Schmidt: We want our tunes to galvanise people and while they’re watching, forget about the shit that’s going on.

Rachel:  Five singles out? Where do you find your inspiration?

Schmidt: Yes that’s right.

Tom: I don’t know really – they’re not literal songs. I mean we’re not a kitchen sink band telling a story, you know, or anything like that. It’s more like conveying a feeling or an emotion.

Rachel: And having a good time – I mean that’s what I get from you.

Tom: Yeah, it’s more about being a bit uplifting for those 30-40 minutes really.

Rachel: Is there an album on the horizon?

Schmidt: Yeah – we’re demo-ing an album now.

Tom: We’ve got all the songs for it and at the end of this tour we’re going to start recording and get that done and when we’re all happy it’ll be out next year.

Rachel: Are there any creative differences in the band?

Tom: No we’re pretty good.

Schmidt: We’re all on the same page to be fair.

Tom: We’re all in to the same kind of music – we’ve known each other our whole lives – we went to school together and we’ve lived by each other our whole lives so it’s all good.

Rachel: What music do you listen to outside The Shimmer Band?

Tom: Well we’re big fans of – our main influences are Creation Records. Bands there that Magee signed in the 1990s – Super Furry Animals, Primal Scream, Jesus and Mary Chain. We played a few gigs for the Mary Chain at the beginning of the year and they were brilliant – their new stuff is really good. Amazing band and super super loud. That’s the foundation of the music we listen to but we’re in to everything really.

Kate: This Feeling TV is taking the world by storm, your on the next episode how was did you find it?

Tom: Yeah it’s just good fun! It’s good to speak to, watch and listen to other bands – I mean we did it last week with The Amazons and we were talking to them.

Schmidt: We played some gigs with them last year and we hadn’t seen them for ages so it was great to see them.

Rachel: They are doing really well which is great –

Tom: Yeah you’re right – they are doing really well. They put their album out and since them they’ve just been smashing it.

Rachel: I think you guys will do exactly the same as you’ve got some great tracks. Do you think once the album is released it will be a turning point for you guys?

Tom: I think that seems to be the way now at least for the past couple of years. To be fair we’ve been doing it as well, just slogging it and slogging it and slogging it like that but really you’ve got to get your album out and show them what you’ve got and go from there.

Schmidt: People know what you are about and they know your agenda.

Rachel: Your literally just back from gigging in Barcelona. What were you doing and how did that go?

Tom: We were playing a gig at Razzamatazz in Barcelona – a fucking great venue – I think Paul Weller played it last week.

Schmidt: We were headlining it and we were really blown away – they loved it didn’t they?

Tom: Yeah yeah – we were blown away they treated us really well, gave us loads of really nice food and free drinks! Although we did get trapped in the airport for fucking hours but anyway – it all worked out. I drank two bottles of red wine there so I was fucked. It was really good as we got these free vouchers and that was the cheapest drink with the highest alcoholic percentage.

Kate: So how do you guys prepare for a show? Or even for a tour as there’s a lot to prepare for –

Tom: Yeah  – it’s funny as I don’t really think about it – I do feel like I should be doing something for it…

Schmidt: Well we do just carry on with rehearsing – discussing set lists, order and all of that but getting through the actual twelve dates will be it for us.

Tom: Yeah – as long as we come out the other side alive, then it’ll be all good.

Get The Shimmer Band‘s new single Ya Ya (Uh Oh) here: http://geni.us/rhlwz

… or catch them on any of the This Feeling – Alive tour. Tickets at www.thisfeeling.co.uk 

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KATE O’BRIEN AND RACHEL BROWN

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