Shields – Interview

Posted: July 30, 2011 in Shields

“The North East music scene really is the best it’s been”
“Each time one of the local bands does a gig or records a new tune they raise the bar. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to spur you on.”

Shields have raised the bar to a stratospheric height with their new single “Spires”. Already chosen by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe as his Hype Track in June and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Double GRAMMY award winning producer, for Foo Fighters ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace’ in 2008 and then again in 2011 for Muse’s multi-platinum album ‘Resistance’.) Spires is released on August 1st.

SHIELDS ‘Spires (Adrian Bushby Mix)’
BBC Radio 1 – Zane Lowe ‘Hype Track’ 16th June 2011

Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.

That’s going back a while. We have all individually been playing music since we were kids. The bands that got us into music back then probably are too embarrassing to mention. For me (Luke) live music is the main reason. The buzz of going to live gig is amazing but it’s 10 times the feeling when you play a good gig your self.

For anyone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe it?

Hmmm. Tricky. Layered.

You started off as Pilots. Why the name change?

A few things. There is another band called Pilots based in London so we had to really but it coincided with the addition of a member. It felt like a bit of a fresh start.

You’ve had a good year so far, what have been the highlights and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?

The night we played our first London show we also got our first Zane Lowe play so that was pretty awesome. Making the XFM playlist was also brilliant.
We are really looking forward to shooting the video for Spires next week and playing a couple of festivals towards the end of the summer.

You’ve been playing a few gigs in London. How’s that been going?

Brilliant. The last one we did was a lot of fun. It’s nice to get such a warm welcome when we are coming such a distance

Tell us about your new single Spires. How did the song come about?

Like all of our tunes someone had an idea and we jammed it and played around with it until it was finished. It seemed to get people excited so we went with it.

How did working with Adrian Bushby come about and how have you found working with him as a producer? Have you any plans to work together again?

This came out of the blue and was one of the most pleasant surprises we have ever had. I (Luke) got a phone call from Adrian one morning. He introduced himself and explained that he heard our version of White Knuckle Tight Grip and then asked if we would mind him doing a mix. Ridiculous. We have learnt a lot from him and he is a pleasure to work with. As for working with him in the future, we have his number and he told us to send him new tracks when we have them so…. who knows!

You are about to make a video for the track ‘Spires’. Looking forward to it?

Immensely, the one of the creative teams at Brooklyn Brothers approached us because they really liked the song and sent a few treatments to our management. We absolutely loved one of the treatments that is essentially a homage to the 1956 film, The Red Balloon. If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it. It’s beautiful

Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene? Which bands would you recommend checking out?

The North East music scene really is the best it’s been since we have been involved in it. We are really proud to be a part of it. Generator and Amazing are absolutely brilliant for pushing the scene. It feels like each time one of the local bands does a gig or records a new tune they raise the bar. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to spur you on. It also means new local festivals like Leave me Here and Split have an abundance of brilliant local bands to choose from. We are big fans of Grandfather Birds, Vinyl Jacket, Cauls and Mammal Club,

What influences have helped shape your music?

We like all kinds of music. Currently we are listening to Fleet Foxes, Darwin Deez, Strokes, Everything Everything, Bon Iver, Field Music to name but a few.

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?

Individually we’re often finding new music to share with the rest of the band. My (David) favourites at the minute are Micachu and the Shapes, Tune-yards and Metronomy; which I managed to go see at the O2 in Newcastle and were excellent.

Where can people see you live next ?

Our next show is Club Fandango at the Bull and Gate in Camden London, on August 3rd – there is a list on our website if you miss that one ( ) or our Facebook page

3rd August – ‘CLUB FANDANGO’ : The Bull & Gate, Kentish Town, London

4th August – ‘CLUB THE MAMMOTH’ : The Old Queens Head, Islington, London

5th August – ‘BACKTOTHEFUTURE:CLUB’ : 93 Feet East, Brick Lane, London w/Bastille + GLC DJ’s – FREE ENTRY

14th August – ‘LEAVE ME HERE FESTIVAL’ : Wycliffe, County Durham

17th September – ‘SPLIT FESTIVAL 2011’ : Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland (Time TBC)

4th September – 13th NOTE CAFE Supporting FRENCH WIVES

22nd September – ‘JAZZY LEMON PRESENTS…’ : Newcastle Riverside : Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne w/Mausi + Lake Poets

What’s next for Shields?

Next is much more writing and recording and hopefully a tour.


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