INTERVIEW: Shoot The Poet | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Tony Burgum Photography

Hartlepool’s ‘indie rock powerhouse’ Shoot The Poet are gearing up to release the follow up their single Is This Love?, which made Amazing Radio’s top 10 of 2015. The tellingly titled EP #1 is their first since founding in 2013, so I ask lead guitarist Ryan Daley why it has taken so long. “The band has gone through a number of line-up changes through the years, so we’ve never been able to release music with a definite idea of where we’re wanting to go with the band. It’s different now, we’re all committed and ready to push forward with our music so it was the perfect time to release our debut.”

The first thing that strikes me about the EP is the artwork featuring a silhouette of a solitary figure engulfed in the starry night sky, designed by Ryan. “It focuses on one man alone in a vast space surrounded by an explosive night sky. The idea behind it was to tie in with the lyrics in the EP and the one man alone with his problems. The bright and multicoloured sky represents the multiple genres we took inspiration from when writing the songs and the man on his own is the idea behind the name #1.”

The mixed genre influences are pretty plain to hear, and help express the conceptualised spiral into despair can be heard in the punchy indie pop of Feel For You to the more contemplative rock anthem The Mythical Sea.

The EP focuses on a hopeless romantic and his fall from happiness to hopelessness.

“It sounds depressing but it’s generally a ‘feel good’ group of songs!” It is remarkably more upbeat than the description allows, with pounding drums, wandering bass lines and light, crunchy stabs of guitar that have you tapping your feet to the musical demise of the song’s protagonist. The soulful tremolo vocal hooks and euphoric harmonies, perfectly demonstrated on wonderful track Hold, sugar-coat the delivery of such a bleak subject matter.

In addition to crafting their beautifully produced EP, the band have also put a lot of effort into their live performances. “We put a lot of work into our live shows because for so long we’ve had no music available online so the only way to build a fan base was to knock their socks off at our live shows! Now we’ve got music coming out we have to put on a show so that people think ‘that band was great, I’m going to check them out when I get home’.

Now they’ve finally found their recording feet, another trip to the studio is imminent. “We will promote the EP over the summer while recording a new set of songs for our second EP.” With a UK tour also on the cards, it seems Shoot The Poet are finally building on the momentum they deserve.

Shoot The Poet’s EP #1 is launched at The Studio, Hartlepool on Friday 1st April.

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