Tall Ships

Craig Broad 01/10/2010

Tall Ships are a band who after blowing the heads off music fans in Cornwall, have been snapped up by Big Scary Monsters and have gone from strength to strength since. I caught up with them to dish the dirt on the new EP and all the touring they've been doing.

Hello guys, firstly could you introduce yourself and explain
a little about who Tall Ships are and how they came to be?

We are 3 brothers who met at university down in Falmouth and bonded over our shared love of Cornish pasties and Craig David. We started to play a bit in this tiny room in Rics house, busting out these pompous jams for a giggle. Our mate Seany was putting Tubelord on at the University bar and asked if we were up for supporting them to which we said yeah.
So within 2 weeks we kind of had to reel in our extended silly
instrumental ditties into proper songs. Then we played them. And to our surprise people actually enjoyed the songs as did we performing them. After that we wanted to play again, and again and again.

You spent a lot of time in Falmouth, gigging around Cornwall, do you feel your experience within Cornwall has impacted the way you write, if so, how?

It definitely had a real big impact on how we kind of grew as a band. Every gig we played was in front of our friends and just loads of fun, which gave us the chance to figure out what we wanted to do with it. Falmouth itself is real isolated and full of extremely talented artists, writers, illustrators, designers and to exist within that creative bubble was real great. Cornwall as a place is just completely unlike anywhere else. The attitudes of the people and general way of life is just so much more friendly, accepting and relaxed which definitely fed into our music. Although, the 6 hour drive to play a gig (full backline in a toyota corolla) anywhere else was a bit of a ball ache.

Big Scary Monsters seemed to take hold of you guys quite
quickly, how important do you feel they have been to your progression in the industry?

Kev Douche is an absolute legend. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. BSM has released some real amazing stuff before like Tubelord, Pulled Apart By Horses etc , so it was lovely to have him to release the first EP. Alongside BSM it was also co-released by the beautiful Simon Morley AKA Blood and Biscuits whom release Three Trapped Tigers. So it was great to have two people behind us. As for our 'progression' within the industry, it meant that we instantly had people who would
listen to the EP purely because it came through these two labels. This exposure to a new audience was great as we hadn't played many gigs so it got the name out a bit. It also meant we could play more gigs which is what we love doing.

You've played with some great bands, including one of my personal faves Minus The Bear, how has the experience been, have these bands shaped the music on your new EP in anyway?

Yeah we have been incredibly lucky to play with bands that we have such as Tubelord, Dananananakroyd, 65DOS, though the Minus The Bear shows were unlike anything we had ever done before. To be watching a band that you just absolutely love from the side of stage after having just played yourself was incredibly humbling and surreal. The crowds were stupidly big too which was something we had never experienced before.
It definitely made us realise that 'shit this is actually happening'
and our schoolboy fantasies of being in a 'proper' band were starting to be realised.

With regards to shaping the new EP, Tubelord have
definitely influenced us a great deal. We have played so many shows with them and they have such interesting ideas musically that the various jams and discussions we have had whilst on tour definitely have had an effect. Jamie Field who plays keyboard for them also recorded and produced the EP so he had a massive effect on the whole thing.

Your new EP 'There is Nothing But Chemistry Here' contains more vocally than your previous self-titled effort. Was there a conscious effort in adding the vocals or did it occur naturally and how do you feel this has impacted the songs on 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here'?

Vocals were always a funny one for us. When we started we agreed that we wouldn't sing at all on any of our songs but that just changed. The addition of more vocals was very much a natural progression for us.

Words are a much more instant way of connecting with an audience and allow us to express ideas more directly than through just pure sounds.

They also allow for more involvement and exchange with an audience in a live setting which is really important for us. We want everybody who comes to our gigs to feel a part of the whole thing rather than just a spectator and words are the easiest way to connect. But it was also definitely a confidence thing too. Before, we were nervous and quite self-conscious when it came to singing but after playing so many shows and the response to the vocals on the first EP, we just grew some balls and did it.

With regards to impacting the songs on T.I.N.B.C.H, it definitely ties them together quite well which is something we felt the first EP didn't quite have. They feel like songs which belong together both thematically and musically; a body of songs which all explore a similar concept and are vehicles to explore the notions behind the statement 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here'.

You have a tour planned to coincide with the release of the new EP which sees you play alongside the likes of Tubelord, and also dates in Europe with 65daysofstatic, how do you prepare for gigs now that they are getting bigger and what are you most looking forward to in your tour cycle?

Our preparation is always much the same really. We still very much feel like we are just inflicting our bedroom hobby upon an audience so we aim to go out and have some fun and hope that everybody else watching will to. This rings true in front of 10 people or 1000 really. We are unbelievably excited to be going to Europe with 65daysofstatic. It was one of the things we have dreamed about doing as a band. To visit a whole host of places we've never been too, get travel costs covered, play music we enjoy in front of new people we can hopefully meet, it's just the best.

After the tour and release of the new EP, what does the future of Tall Ships consist of?

Well definitely more and more shows. We're planning a headline tour for December which is both exciting and scary. We won't be able to suck off the popularity of the headline band like the leeches we are but rather will have to (hopefully) play to people who actually have come to see us... Apart from that well, we're going to do a cheeky single sometime soon and then we shall have to face up to the rather worrying notion of producing a collection of songs which is longer than 18 minutes.....

Tall Ships second EP 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here' will be released on October 24th through Big Scary Monsters and Blood And Biscuits.

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