Grantham Journal Big Interview: Big Bash will launch Shrives album recorded in California

The Shrives.
The Shrives.

Grantham band The Shrives are releasing their first album this month, almost three years after they recorded it in California.

The album is called Back in the Morrow and was produced by Billie Joe Armstrong of rock band Green Day, which in itself attracted a lot of interest from the music press. But it has been a struggle to get the album out. At last the band is to release the album with a launch gig at Rough Trade in Nottingham on Saturday, February 18. Here, frontman Matt Grocott tells us about the album and why it has taken so long to get it released.

The Shrives new album Back in the Morrow.

The Shrives new album Back in the Morrow.

How does it feel to finally have your first album 
coming out and how will you launch it?

It feels incredible to finally have it coming out! We all feel very happy with the outcome of what we have produced and are very proud of it. We are going to launch it with a big show at Rough Trade, Nottingham, on February 18. We have our Grantham friends ‘The Varletts’ supporting us too, so I think it’s going to be absolute chaos.

I believe it’s three years since you recorded it in LA. Why has it taken so long to release?

When we came back from the US, I felt a big pressure on myself to make this album do well. To get signed to a label, to use what we had done to accomplish the things we want to do. We had a few people interested but things kept falling through. We’ve learnt over the last few years things don’t go according to plan and the music industry is a very weird and fickle place to be, so now we’re releasing it on our own and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The Shrives new album launch.

The Shrives new album launch.

How would you describe the music on the album?

All the songs on the album are a little different from one another. They’re influenced by bands like The Kinks, The Jam, Green Day, Johnny Cash...I think it’s very retro. Early punk played a big part in these songs as I used to listen to that music a lot when I wrote them. There are some in-your-face catchy punk songs like the singles ‘Turn Me On’ and ‘Madnight’ to bouncy hints of country and ska on the tracks ‘Kick It’ and ‘Wondering’. The album is rammed with intensity, angst and frustration. It’s a complete contrast to the 
incredibly comfortable 
surroundings of Jingletown Studios where we cut it in a week.

Are you touring to promote it?

Yes, we are playing as many shows as we can fit in. We have just had a show in London and Sheffield recently, we plan to break into the Nottingham scene this year, so we’re going to be playing there a lot. We have shows coming up in London, Nottingham, Swansea. We plan to hit Ireland and Scotland in the summer, too.

What are your plans for the future?

We’ve got a lot of songs stored away, old and new, so in mid-April we’re going to go back into the studio to record a new EP. It’s going to be a little different to the album as we’ve changed our sound slightly over the past few years, but I can see it being a progression for us musically. So that means new music, new merch [merchandise], more gigs and having more fun.