tall ships band

Tall Ships

Brighton indie rockers Tall Ships have spent the last five years since their debut record on the musical high seas. Lead singer Ric Phethean lets us in on the highs and lows...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 2 Mar 2017
  • min read
Brighton indie rockers Tall Ships have spent the last five years since their debut record on the musical high seas, honing their sound for their second LP outing, Impressions.

Following the critical acclaim of their debut Everything Touching in 2012, the band found themselves without a label and management.

It didn’t deter them though, and now they've now returned with a corker of a follow up, released via their new home FatCat Records.

It’s an explosive set brimming with soaring guitars and melodies, and has lost none of its urgency through its various demo stages.

For the next week, fans around the UK will be treated to its first proper airing, see the live dates below.

Here, lead singer Ric Phethean talks us through its creation, their years away from the public eye and what’s in store for the rest of 2017…

What was the thinking behind your second LP Impressions?
The title came from the idea of all the pressure that we’re put under and the knocks we receive at various points during our lives. The impressions are the marks and dents that left within us. The album explores some of these experiences

People always say the second record is harder to make than the first – did you find that?
Definitely. With the first album we had lots of old songs to pull from but with this we were starting from scratch. We definitely agonised a bit more over the finer details which we didn’t with the first. It was harder but more rewarding upon finishing the album

This is your first record in five years – what’s been keeping you busy in that time?
The album took a very long time to take shape with us demoing most songs up to four or five times so the writing and recording process was pretty drawn out. Alongside that it was mostly working and playing in other bands. A couple of us were ill for a period of time too so all these things got in the way of recording.

You recorded and engineered Impressions by yourselves – what was that experience like?
It was pretty intense working as just the four of us but it was very enjoyable. We were recording in Devon during the bits of time off we could get from work so it’s always felt a bit like a holiday escaping down there. It was nice to have the space and time to do it at our own pace and explore different avenues and ideas thoroughly!

Did you go DIY out of necessity or for aesthetic reasons?
It was necessity. We’d hoped to be able to afford to work with a producer on this album but we couldn’t.

What was the writing process like? Has the band dynamic changed since the first record?
We demoed the most of the songs numerous times which is something we didn’t do on the first album. With Everything Touching we wrote most of it in the studio whereas with this album we had a much clearer sense of what we wanted the songs to sound and feel like. In terms of a band dynamic there wasn’t too much of a shift from the first album. I think we all had a stronger sense of what we were trying to say with this album so it was good to all be pushing creatively in the same direction

How has signing to FatCat changed things for you, if at all?
They’re a great label to work with so it’s great having them at the helm. The main thing I suppose is having a little bit of money for tour support, artwork, mastering, to make videos with etc etc. It’s allowed us to realise creative ideas that would have otherwise been unachievable

You’re out on big tour soon – how do you feel about that?
We can’t wait! Playing live is one of our favourite parts of being in a band. It’s always great to be out playing songs and we’ll be playing newly released songs which is exciting.

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
More touring, festivals and writing for album number three!

Live dates:
2 March – The Bullingdon, Oxford
3 March – The Cookie, Leicester
4 March - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
6 March - King Tut's, Glasgow
7 March - Deaf Institute, Manchester
8 March – Omeara, London
9 March - The Louisiana, Bristol