Music interview – Shame: ‘The record was definitely a gamble for us’

Shame play at Brudenell Social Club in April.
Shame play at Brudenell Social Club in April.
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South London band Shame are set to tour the UK in April, with a sold-out Leeds date at Brudenell Social Club.

We spoke to guitarist Eddie Green about their influences and highly acclaimed debut album Songs of Praise.

Your debut album has been a huge success in the short time since it was released. Had you any idea it would receive the response it has?

The record was definitely a gamble for us in some ways. It’s essentially impossible to second guess how successful any release will be but it’s certainly been surprising. 

One Rizla is a huge red herring of a song, comparatively, to the rest of the album; it is more of a radio friendly track. Was that a conscious decision and at what point in the writing and recording of the album did it come about?

It was actually the first song we ever wrote and I guess it channels a few of the things we were listening to at the time. We definitely didn’t go into writing that song with the intention of making it a radio friendly hit.

The UK gigs have always been amazing but since the release of the record it’s gone up a notch for us.

Eddie Green

The theme of the album is quite dark, and has drawn comparisons with The Fall and Joy Division. What are the band’s influences and again did they influence the sound as a whole?

We’ve definitely drawn influence from a multitude of different genres but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where those influences come through. I guess The Lick is in some ways a Fall-esque song.

You are all quite young and yet write with the confidence and the swagger of a band that have been around for 10 years or more. What do you feel gives you the edge over other bands that are starting out?

I don’t think we’ve ever thought about it that way. For us, the way we conduct ourselves on stage has always been the way it is. For some people it comes with experience but for us it felt like a natural way to perform.

What is the meaning behind the farm theme, seen in both the One Rizla video and the Pet Sounds style cover of the album?

Honestly that’s little more than a coincidence. We had so many ideas for the album cover, many of which weren’t practically possible, so we settled for pigs.

For a debut, the album is very well produced and a strong album throughout. What are your plans for the next album and have you any parts already recorded?

The production on the record is something we thought long and hard about. Having worked with many other producers we knew exactly what we were going for. The next album is in the works and I wouldn’t be at liberty to give any further information.

The band are touring extensively at the moment and are supporting Protomartyr in the US, who are also an incredible post-punk band. If you could cover one Protomartyr song and they could cover one of yours, which would it be?

I’d cover A Private Understanding and I’d be interested to hear them cover Concrete, that might be cool.

How have the UK gigs been received so far and where have you enjoyed playing the best?

The UK gigs have always been amazing but since the release of the record it’s gone up a notch for us. A homecoming show in London is hard to beat.

You will play the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on April 10. The venue has quite the history. What are you expecting from the gig and what are fans going to experience?

Brudenell is a great venue, we’ve played there once before. Fans can expect square dancing tutorials and knitting workshops with Josh.

You are also heading to Leeds Festival this year in August. Have you played any festivals so far and what’s your best memory of a festival you’ve attended as a fan?

We’ve played many many festivals over the last two years. As an attendee the best experience has to be Glastonbury 2017. The size of it was exciting enough.

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