VELVET SHAKES recently bounced bang onto my social media timeline without any warning. At a high octane, these lads with a Manchester-tag associated to them, were all anybody was talking about – but what was all the fuss? We caught up with the band and quickly found out that like your other favourite bands; it’s all about the music – and boy can they play!
J: So, how did you all end up here?
VELVET SHAKES: The idea was conceived one cold winters night in 2019. Josh invited Louie round to his place, one thing lead to another and a few months later, Ant and Scott were with us.
J: And to clarify – it’s definitely not “The Velvet Shakes”? No definitive article… Like “Doves”?
VELVET SHAKES: Clarification complete. (laughter)
J: Did you always know you’d be musicians?
VELVET SHAKES: I suppose I did (Josh). Although, it wasn’t so much of a conscious decision but more of a happening over time. I think my family were fed up of trying to cook while I was banging on the pots and pans at home as a kid – my dad got me drum lessons.
J: You all studied music, how does that influence the music-making process?
Ant is doing a masters but the rest of us have just graduated. We still try to keep it as much of an intuitive thing as possible because at the end of the day, music is all about expression. But the theoretical knowledge definitely comes in handy when the intuition dries up.
J: Who are your inspirations?
VELVET SHAKES: The people around me. Quite lucky to say that. John Lennon has always shed a light on my life too. Kevin Parker is just other-worldly.
J: What’s your plan for releasing music going forward? Do you have an album deal?
VELVET SHAKES: No album just yet, no. We are going to be getting into a studio with our next set of tracks though. We’re not sure exactly how many tracks we want to take in there yet though. How much the budget will allow us, I suppose. We’ve always done everything ourselves but we want to spend more time on producing the material rather than spending weeks sweating over a mix.
J: Who has produced your artwork so far? It’s psychedelic, man!
VELVET SHAKES: Sarah Walker, man!
J: What are you experiences of playing Manchester’s city centre venues?
VELVET SHAKES: I mean, some are better than others! The city is most certainly alive though, with people that are more than up for coming to check out new bands and support the scene.
J: Can you remember the last good book you read, film you saw and music you listened to?
VELVET SHAKES: Dave Haslam’s book ‘Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor’ was a really good read. I don’t get much time to watch films but the last film I watched and really enjoyed was David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Kate Tempest has scarily blown my mind recently too.
J: As we are a pop culture website, and approach the end of the decade, how do you rate the past 10 years?
VELVET SHAKES: 6/10
Go check them out for yourselves, at Gorilla on Friday 20 December supporting Crazy P – tickets on sale here.