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The Seamonsters How To Be Famous

A word with Sheffield indie pop band The Seamonsters about gender equality, touring and who gets to sit in the middle on long journeys.

The living definition of girl power, filled with 80s-inspired sounds and hair colours we all wish we could pull off, this six-piece are truly putting their stamp on the indie scene. Childhood friends Naomi, Ella, Lauren, Ciara, Holly and Tassie are bursting at the seams with undeniably absorbing music that is perfect to dance to like no-one’s watching. Coupled with their unrestrained attitude, they are leading the way for women in the music industry. As well as simply exuding confidence and style, there is much to admire about them.

We checked in to see how their tour is going and to have a chat before they play here in Manchester.

How would you describe your sound for people that may not have heard you?

80s-inspired indie pop.

Who are your biggest influences?

We have so many, but being from Sheffield, we’re massively inspired by Pulp, The Human League and Arctic Monkeys.

You have a brilliantly authentic sound and look. Do you ever battle with people trying to get you to blend in with the crowd?

Thanks so much! We’ve definitely experienced this before, but it’s a given really that sacrificing creativity for conventionality is a huge step back. We could be carefully engineered to replicate what sound sells and how the perfect band should be but, as Jon McClure recently established on Twitter, “If you don’t rate yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?”

As a group of independent females in what could be seen as a largely male-dominated genre, do you ever encounter dismissal or struggle?

Definitely. Whilst the music industry is going in the right direction towards equality, we still think there’s a long way to go. At the majority of gigs we play, the promoter will be male, so will the sound engineer, the support band and most other people we encounter. We’d love to see more of a push for gender equality in the industry and for it to be made easier for anyone and everyone to be a part of what’s generally such a wonderful industry.

Your new music seems to have moved away from ethereal indie to have a slightly darker element. Was this a conscious choice and, if so, why did you decide to move in this direction?

We may have made a few conscious decisions while writing new material, but I think the change in our musical style has mostly just come naturally as a part of growing up, listening to different music and maturing as both people and musicians. We were between 12 and 14 when our very early stuff was written, so I think it’s only natural that we wouldn’t still be writing in the same way.

You’ve had a busy summer playing festivals all over the country. What do you enjoy most about playing festivals?

Definitely it’s being able to play to so many new people and the general energetic atmosphere around the event. The amount of other bands that play as well makes for an amazing line-up, I often come back from festivals with fresh inspiration.

Also, you are well on your way through the tour. Tell us a bit about how it’s going?

It’s going great! We had a great start to the tour in Birmingham at The Sunflower Lounge and were super surprised by the amount of people that came out to see us. It’s so nice to put so much effort into something you love and start to see that it’s paying off. Our next gig is in Sheffield at The Leadmill which we’re super excited for as it’s our favourite venue and city in the world and Sheffield crowds are always super welcoming.

Sheffield is your hometown, which undeniably has a rich musical heritage. If at all, how do your roots affect your music?

Soooo much! We’ve all grown up with our parents playing us Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, etc, etc, and that’s now rooted in our own music that we write. Sheffield has been producing amazing music for years and years and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

You are childhood friends so have evidently known each other for a long time. Does the close proximity of touring and working together ever cause fall outs or tension?

There’s always going to be disagreements – especially in the seven or so years we’ve been together now – but our closeness really allows us to tackle things head on and separate the professional from the personal. To be quite honest the worst it ever really gets is deciding who has to sit in the middle for the car journeys – it’s you, Naomi.

You’ve been played on BBC Introducing and This Feeling. How do you react to getting this recognition?

It’s great. I mean, we’ve been a band for so long and it’s so good to finally feel like we’re getting some recognition and being able to take this more seriously, because we’re all pretty set on doing this as our main thing now. We’re very appreciative of the support that BBC Introducing and This Feeling have given us, meaning we can take this project further.

It seems as though you have your sights set on indie stardom. What does it mean to you to have so many people listening and downright loving your music?

It means everything. This is absolutely what we love doing and what we want to do, so for people to actually think we’re all right really helps, and means the world to us. We massively rate the music we’re producing, as we think any band should. What’s the point of making music you don’t love? But to have other people who have never met us before reaffirm the point that it’s good is still the coolest feeling in the world and we’ll never get sick of that.

Aside from the rest of the tour, what are your plans for the rest of the year and next year?

Releasing new music! We’re wanting to get more regular music out there to show the direction we’re going in and honestly just so we can all bop to it in our bedrooms.

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