Shanghai Treason – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
ST: We’re a folk/Celtic punk rock band from South Yorkshire.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
ST: We all came together at the start of 2019 with a vision to try writing some folk-punk tunes together. We’d all been in bands for years in and around Sheffield (and had done some shows together in old bands) but never really met until then. We had a few members in the formative stages but when we got the line-up we have now it clicked instantly and we knew we were on to something. We wrote a set list worth of material and hit the road at the end of the same year for our first UK tour. Since then it’s been constant writing, recording, touring, repeat.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
ST: Musically I think we all share fairly similar influences, but at the same time we all bring different influences to the table. For example, we all love folk punk, so bands like Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, the Rumjacks and Rancid are pretty big influences, but from our separate musical journeys we have rock, skate punk, pop punk, indie and loads more that we each bring to the table. It makes song writing a load of fun and it’s rare that we have a session where we don’t come out with at least the basis of a new song.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
ST: I think the dream for any musician would be to be able to do this full time, but the main thing for us is to be able to play as far and wide as we can to as many people as possible and have them all getting into the music and going for it at the shows. When that’s happened at the gigs we’ve played already it feels like we’re living the dream anyway.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
ST: We all chip in to the song writing process in some way, but Sam (our singer) writes all the lyrics, which I think is always a good idea for a singer to be able to connect with a song. Lyrically, Sam would be the best person to answer that question, but no two songs are the same. There’s drinking songs, love songs, politics, the lot. Musically, the songs are all about having a good time, which we definitely have when we play them.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
ST: We’re always trying to keep busy on social media on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, so we use that to keep people up to date with what we’re doing. We’ve also got a community group on Facebook that we (and our friends and fans) like to keep alive. On that note, we’ve got a great and dedicated fan base who also really help us out with promoting our name, music and shows, whether they know it or not.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
ST: I suppose I can see why it’s controversial, but the way I see it is you can sit and complain about it, or you can play the game. Scorning this relatively new way of listening to music won’t change anything, but I think if you engage with how it’s done successfully than it can be really good for a musician. For me personally the main thing is getting people to hear the music, not making them buy it, so if that means that people can stream the songs for free then fair enough, and hopefully they come to a show and experience it live!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
ST: That’s a tricky one purely because I could make a list full of them. The first that came to my head was Hey Jude, because it’s just a massive stadium anthem. I get goose bumps every time I watch live videos of the ‘na na na nanana na’ bit (I think that’s the technical term for it). That part doesn’t have a language barrier so I imagine the reaction and unity when it starts is the same all around the world. So that’s my choice. Obvious honourable mention for Bohemian Rhapsody though.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
ST: Wonderwall. Oh, and people who smack their lips when they eat. How hard is it not to behave like a 2 year old?!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
ST: For me, two stand out with Shanghai Treason. One of them is our first gig, supporting the Buzzcocks no less. That was the hardest thing to keep a secret until the announcement went live. The other is the Sheffield show we just played on our last tour. We thought the hometown show would be a good one and we were all looking forward to it, but I don’t think any of us could have possibly expected the night to be as good as it was. The crowd were going mad and we gave them all we had (just like we do every show!)
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
ST: There’s not a great deal we can do with the current situation, but luckily before all this happened we’d been in the studio recording a few tracks. We’re all still writing, but we have a good bunch of unreleased songs we’re sitting on. Speaking of which, our newest song ‘Can’t Even Hang A Man Right’ is out April 17th.
Shanghai Treason – Can’t Even Hang A Man Right
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
ST: We’ve already got a couple of songs out on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and all the usual places called ‘Devil’s Basement’ and ‘Drowning Heart’, but as I said before, our newest song ‘Can’t Even Hang A Man Right’ comes out on April 17th, and you can pre-save that on Spotify to be one of the first to hear it when it does!