SXSW interview: Tall Ships

Tall Ships make the kind of complex guitar music often labelled math-rock or experimental. Poly-rhythms and asymmetrical time signatures drive their songs to crashing finales, reminiscent of Battles, Shellac or Slint. We caught up with them to find out more.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 18 Mar 2013
  • min read
The Brighton-based trio released their debut album Everything Touching last autumn after busy summer of festival appearances, including a slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds. They take to the road again this spring for a string of UK dates.

We spoke to them before they headed off to SXSW to find out more…

What are you looking forward to most about SXSW?
Everything! Good food, free beer, loads of music but probably most of all the weather. Can't wait to finally see sunshine again and feel warm.

Do you approach showcase gigs like SXSW differently to regular live sets?
With all our shows we try and approach them as positively and energetically as possible. With these showcase festivals though there is definitely that sense of feeling like you have to prove your worth, stand out against a huge number of bands so we'll fill all our sets with the more snappy, energetic and powerful songs.

What do you hope to get out of going this year?
Alongside a good suntan, we're looking for a booking agent and a label to release our debut album which has already been out in the UK for a few months!

How important was the British Music Abroad funding to your trip?
Essential. Without the funding we simply couldn't afford to get out to the states, let alone afford to get the visas we need to play out there! As a band all the money we have comes from merch sales and gig fees so we just couldn't afford to go without the funding.

What gigs are you looking forward to catching at SXSW this year?
Rhye for sure. Their new album is so beautiful and I cant wait to see it performed.

Where can we see you performing back in the UK?
We've just finished a short tour so we've only got a few before festival season starts. The next big show will be at The Great Escape so that'll be fun.