Monday, July 23, 2018
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Interview: Harry Jennings of SHVPES

Catching Harry from SHVPES after the release of their highly praised debut; Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair. was an absolute pleasure (the title track can be heard below). Waiting for him in the main area of The Roundhouse in London, all the members of Trivium slowly congregate on the stage as they prepare to soundcheck. That was quite a surreal moment.

When Harry arrives and we head out past the merch and down to our interview space we both jam out to Trivium’s set opener “Rain” and it is evident that he is just as much a fan as I am and that reflects just the kind of band SHVPES are. They aren’t faking this. As we wander around to find seats we talk about their eventful night before in Glasgow, I gather they had a raging night! Before we get to the details, the official part begins.

How’s the tour going so far?

It’s going really well man. We’ve been on the road exactly a week today so we’ve just been getting used to it. We’ve never been on a bus before so we’re adjusting to that and it’s been really professional and really nice. It’s going great and the crowds have been amazing as well.

Max (Tour Manager) was telling me about your Glasgow show yesterday. How was it?

It was good! We go to Glasgow a lot which is surprising as it’s so far away, but every time we go there we always get a really good crowd and people are always super into it. It’s been a bit difficult because of the kind of people who are into Trivium but by the end of the set they’re on our side of things. Same as all the others though, Belfast, Dublin, Birmingham, all the shows have been incredible.

It was Trivium’s first Irish show in 7 years or something I think.

Yeah, it’s a really long time. We were talking to people in Belfast and Matt (Heafy) from Trivium was telling us that it had been a really long time and we’d never been there before. SikTh haven’t been there in even longer I think so it was new for everyone, pretty much.

How does it compare to previous shows you’ve done with Bring Me The Horizon, Crossfaith and Bullet For My Valentine?

Well the thing with those Bring Me and Bullet shows is that they were one off shows. With Bring Me it was all about that one show and then we went back home to our boring lives. On this tour though, you’re playing to a huge crowd and it’s sick because we’ve got another four weeks of this. It’s also much different in that we’re spending a lot more time with Trivium. It’s 6 weeks and 33 shows with them whilst we only did one show with Bring Me and I think it was just the one with Bullet a long time ago so it’s a whole different experience when doing one-off shows man. We’re getting fully involved with everyone and people can become such good friends by the end of it.

Is there much of a different crowd with Trivium than with those shows?

Much different. The thing with Trivium is that they’ve gained a lot of fans from big metal bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden so their crowd can be a lot older if you know what I mean. There’s still a lot of younger people out there as you can see at the moment, the majority of them are young. When you go to a Bring Me show though, they’re all young.

14 year old girls and stuff…

Exactly and you’ll get the odd older person whose loving it but there’s a much maturer crowd with Trivium so it can be harder to win them over because they’re there to watch the music rather than to go nuts no matter what they listen to. They really listen out to every little intricate thing and it can be a bit more nerve wrecking… but I enjoy it, to be honest.

That’s actually my next question, how do win over a crowd that’s not really having it on the night?

Well to be honest mate, it’s kind of like being out there with it. If you ask the crowd to put their phones up in the air or something and they don’t do it, we start calling individual people out. Talking to the crowd on their level is also good because the worst thing you can do is get up on stage where your ego is bigger than your band. We just get on stage and think “Well this is our thing and if you don’t like it cool, if you do then sweet, we’ll have a great time.” So I think you’ve just got to be fearless and if something goes wrong, you shouldn’t lose your confidence. You’ve just got to go for it and be confident in what you’re playing because if you’re not enjoying what you’re playing then no one will. It’s really just about being confident man.

Balls out.

Yeah man, balls out all over the place (laughs). That’s the way to do it.

Photo (c) Sean Larkin

Are there any bands that you’d still really like to support?

Oooh, probably a band like Linkin Park or someone who’s really up there. Biffy Clyro would be a great one as well. Anyone who’s made a big statement with good shows production-wise, like some of the big guns. I can’t really put my finger on something that I would desperately like to do because my favourite bands are like Funeral For A Friend, Fightstar and stuff that like that which we’ve already done so it’s really weird for me now to think that there are no bands that I used to really look up to that we haven’t supported and I’m really lucky to be able to say that.

You could go round with them again I suppose.

Exactly, I’d love that because you make friends with these people in the bands as well so it’s great to meet up with them again and when the time comes, Funeral For A Friend on a reunion tour, even if it happened in 10 years. I would be all over that because I fucking love Funeral For A Friend (laughs) I really do, that would be the dream. It would be nuts but I’d take it (laughs).

Are there any bands that you’d have supporting you?

There’s this up and coming band from Wales at the moment called Holding Absence who are really good lads. They supported us recently on one show and they were such nice guys so it would be great to have them on things as well. There’s also another band called Wars who supported us and they were really good. Usually the bands we want supporting us are bands we’ve done a show with and we think “Ah it would be great if they were on the rest of the tour with us” and there are so many good bands out there, so when we’re doing headline shows we’re looking for more local bands than just a support on the bill.

Ah man, I always get this in the wrong order… how was the reaction to Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.?

There you go you got it first time! We’ve had that name for so long now that it just rolls off my tongue, anyways the reaction has been really good. Whenever we talk to people about it, we get the reaction that every song sounds different but the same in a way. Every song has it’s own tone and character to it.

It’s all in the same vein isn’t it?

Yeah, it’s all the same band. You don’t listen to it and think “Well that could be a completely different band” and so we haven’t heard much negative stuff about it which is a really cool thing. We haven’t had anyone slating it… it will come (laughs). Just for the moment, the reaction for it has been incredible, more than we could have hoped for to be honest with you.

I really enjoyed that interview with the Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair. drinks with Sam Carter.

Yeah he’s cool man, he was so natural when we did those things and he’s such a nice guy as well. I’d love to do more stuff with him in the future. He’s a great guy and he really knows what he’s doing.

Now on the album, there’s a lot of innovation and reinvention of a lot of musical styles and I’m wondering whether your career is going to be one of sticking to that or Trivium style where there’s constant reinvention between albums.

Well, I don’t know because we never like to write in a way based on what other people like. We’ve always kinda written… not exactly what we want but rather what we feel is right. At the end of the day writing music is about passion and as soon as you start doing it as a job you get a bit regimented about it. It’s all down to whatever we’re feeling and I respect musicians who can do something really different like Bring Me The Horizon. They’ve done it massively in bringing out stuff that you’d never have thought they would bring out. I think we take a lot of influence from that frame of mind. If people don’t like it then they can fuck off basically (laughs).

Have you got anything in mind for the next album yet?

Yeah man, we’ve just started thinking about what we want to do. We’ve started writing and there are a few tunes in the pipeline, nothing solid or anything but it’s getting there. We’re starting to think about recording it early next year and we’ve still got a lot of announcements that haven’t gone out yet. There’s a lot of cool shit to come.

Can’t be spilled yet?

Nah, I’m afraid it can’t be spilled just yet mate, I wish I could because it’s eating away at me! Once we’ve finished the tour cycle on this album we’ll really start kicking stuff into gear because we’ve all got jobs outside of the band as well so we’re just fitting stuff around that.

Do you have to take a few weeks of to tour and do stuff like that?

I work in a bar when I’m not doing band stuff, so I’m always getting good time off to do music and they know it’s what I love to do which is awesome.

You formed in 2009 was it?

Yeah although it was under a different name.

So it’s taken a little while but what advice would you give to bands in their early stages to get to where you are now?

I guess just to keep going, we’ve had times when we’ve nearly given up, thinking “Is this really worth it?” while going through dramas and stuff like that, but you’ve just gotta stick in there. It’s the same with the live setting in that you’ve just got to be confident in what you’re doing. Don’t half-ass it, if you want to talk to promoters and agents then you’ve gotta be confident in your product because it is your creation at the end of the day. If you’re not happy or confident with it then I don’t know how you’d expect anyone else to be. So, ultimately just keep at it man, don’t stop bugging people, whenever you think you’re annoying people, you’re not. You just gotta keep pushing it man.

Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair. is out now 

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