Last year saw indie quartet Sarpa Salpa firmly establish their place on the county’s music scene, releasing two singles, playing dozens of shows and picking up new fans across the country.
We spoke to guitarist George Neath, singer, guitarist and synth player Marcus Marooth, bassist Ethan Whitby and drummer Charlie Doe about 2017 and their plans for this year.
Q – Sum up 2017, it seemed a very busy year for you guys.
Ethan: “2017 was a great year for us. A chance meeting with new management in July really helped push us forward on both the live and recorded front. We’ve played over 30 shows including two festival dates as well as spending time in the studio trying to define our sound. As a band I feel like we’ve achieved more in the past six months than in our first year as a band and am very excited to show people what we’ve been working on.”
Q – Was there a favourite gig last year?
Marcus: “Definitely our She Never Lies launch party at the Roadmender in November. We were delighted to see so many people come down to support us at our first ever sold out show. It was amazing seeing people dancing and singing along and was a great way to round off the year.”
Q –She Never Lies and Across the Water were both released last year, were you happy with the reaction and the feedback from them?
George: “It was quite nerve racking when we released Across the Water because it was our debut single and we weren’t sure what people would think. Fortunately, it was met with positive feedback which helped take off a lot of pressure when we went into the studio to record the follow up. She Never Lies was an important track for us, despite it being one of the first songs we wrote as a band, it had gone through so many iterations to get it to a point where we were finally happy with it. The reaction so far has been our best yet and has helped open a lot of doors for us, including a live session with Lal at BBC Introducing in Northampton which was a lot of fun.”
Q – Run us through a few things which influence Sarpa Salpa.
George: “There are a few shared influences for us as a band but I think generally we all have quite varied music tastes. Marcus loves Tame Impala and The Beatles, Charlie is really into Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, Ethan is influenced by the Hoosiers and Noah and the Whale and I’m big on art rock like Everything Everything and Bloc Party. I guess Sarpa Salpa is some kind of franken-sound of all that.”
Q – What are your thoughts on the Northampton music scene currently? We’ve got a lot of people doing great things at the moment.
Charlie: “Definitely, the music scene in town is the best I’ve seen in a long time. There’s so many great bands around at the moment like Century City, The Barratts, Fox Chapel. Too many to list them all. It’s exciting to be a part of it and seeing so many people come out to support local bands, hopefully 2018 is going to be even better.”
Q – What are you plans for 2018? What are you currently working on?
Marcus: “We’re kicking off the 2018 by diving back into the studio to record two or three new songs. We also currently have an unreleased recording of live favourite Circuits from our last recording session which is due to be released in the new year as either an EP or as individual singles. The new tracks follow an indie-dance/rock type aesthetic. We’ve been messing around with a bunch of new guitar and synth sounds which we’re excited to debut on these tracks. We’ve also just secured the services of one of the UK’s top radio pluggers so 2018 is looking very exciting at the moment.”
Ethan: “We are currently busy lining up shows for 2018. We’re playing a couple for Independent Venue Week, first over at Bedford Esquires opening for INHEAVEN as well as at the Craufurd Arms with S.G Wolfgang. We’re also very excited to be heading over to Marburg, Germany to play MaNo Musikfestival in March representing Northampton as part of Twinfest. We will also be returning to the Roadmender for another headline show on Saturday, April 28.”