Interview: VELVET SHAKES

Collecting acclaim from BBC Introducing, XS Manchester, and Amazing Radio, VELVET SHAKES are quickly becoming a band to keep your eyes on. We caught up with the four-piece to find out more.

Legend has it there was a glowing, golden drum kit empty ….

The boys met through uni in Salford, where they were all studying music – a tale almost as old as bands themselves. Josh explains, ‘me & Louie were lumbered together for a project and started to make some tracks. Weirdly, the first track we worked on was called ‘Is This Fate’.’

‘Scott eventually got on board – the result of about 294 pissed conversations saying we were going to do something. And then finally, through a mutual friend, Ant ended up being at one of our first gigs – back when we were a three piece. Legend has it there was a glowing, golden drum kit empty, beside us on stage. He thought it best to introduce himself.’

The band fall into the category of people not actively caring about what genre they fall into. ‘We just make music we wanna make,’ is their simple philosophy. ‘It’s up to you if you want to define it.’ And the band definitely are one of the most difficult to pin down; their genre-transcending sound seems to blend together a love of indie, pop, and disco, to give them a stand-out sound.

They look up to John Lennon and listen to house music; it’s a wide scattering of musical inspiration if you ever did see one. The band also mention Crazy P, who they opened up for recently, and who they’d love to play with again. Hosted at Manchester’s Gorilla, it was unsurprisingly their favourite gig.

‘We Are Not Alone’ is one of the five singles they’ve released, and has a huge relevance to all the band members’ lives. ‘It’s a song written about mental health,’ they explain. ‘Whether that’s with ourselves or people we love. It’s about addressing and owning up to the way you feel, whilst also pushing the message of positivity and trying to give people the feeling of empowerment and togetherness.’

VELVET SHAKES tease that they have another video in the works, which should be released within the next few months. ‘The Love I Feel’ already has an accompanying video, which features a brilliantly unexpected zebra mask, dancing around in a town center near you. The zebra-man hybrid on the night bus proves the group aren’t taking their image too seriously, or in a pretentious direction; they’re here to have fun and make you have a great time while they’re at it.

The band hope to get into festivals relatively quickly; though they formed in June 2018, the boys aren’t taking it slow. ‘We’re already on Focus Wales for 2020. Really positive event for North Wales’, they tell us. ‘We played last year but we’ve a new set for this year’s so we’re excited. We’re also doing another festival which we’re absolutely cock-a-hoop about, but it’s a secret for now so shh.’

Credit: Ianthe Warlow

You can also catch VELVET SHAKES at these dates / venues below:

7th February: Pattern Pusher Presents 2020 – Phoenix, Exeter 
13th February: Soup Kitchen, Manchester (w/ See Thru Hands)

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