Sam sings for the band Shanghai Treason. He also answers questions on their behalf for random online publications… Thanks, Sam!
Hi Moshville Times, cheers for having us, we’re five Yorkshiremen, our bands based in Sheffield, that’s where we rehearse and most of us now live. Originally as individuals we’re from Sheffield, Stocksbridge, Barnsley, Huddersfield and Rotherham.
How did you meet?
We’ve kind of been in numerous Sheffield bands between us who have often crossed paths sharing billings in the past so we were aware of each other but hadn’t really sat down and had a pint or anything until we started putting the band together. It all happened quite naturally I (Sam) got talking to TJ (Guitar) at a gig he was playing at about whether he was into Celtic Punk, his performance that night hinted he might be and he mentioned he’d tried to start a band like that in the past too which I said that had always been an idea of mine to. We slowly roped in other members over the course of a year writing before launching late last year.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We played our first gig supporting Buzzcocks at Gorilla in Manchester in December 2019 but we’d been writing for a good year before that, trying to get the final line-up of personnel together took time and we didn’t rush that, we took our time honing in on the sound we wanted for what felt like many months.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We had thrown around a lot of band name ideas; Bleeding Heart Liberals and Dresden Drydocks are two that I remember discussing. At somepoint I can’t remember when the idea of naming the band High Treason came to mind but there was already a number of bands called that, we just flipped it and made it Shanghai Treason, it felt right and seems just stuck really.
What are your influences?
Personally I’m into all sorts, as a band we are often compared to the likes of Flogging Molly, The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys and Roughneck Riot.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
You won’t find many Yorkshire based Celtic Punk inspired bands, they typically pop up in the Celtic nations, mainland Europe and the states. It’s punk with added folk instrumentation; Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion etc…. We try and bring Yorkshire dialect and Yorkshire tall tales to the table in the lyrics to bring an interesting northern flare to proceedings.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Typically our songs end up falling into three major categories; love, drinking and politics haha, some are just about lifes lessons in general. You wouldn’t necessarily notice at first listen what the songs actually about because it’s all metaphors and storytelling, you have to let people put their own spin on things.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We try and arrive onto a stage with high energy fast tempo punk music, perfect for beer drinkin’ and jumpin about with ya mates. As mentioned we’re quite a new band but we have been getting around, we’re Sheffield based but have already played in Bristol, London, Birmingham, York & Edinburgh to name a few that come to mind.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Wildest thing I’ve done onstage, I was in a band once where the stage set on fire during the gig, that was pretty nuts, a halogen light had heated up and amp and it could a blaze, the landlord had to come and firehose us down haha.
Wildest thing I’ve seen….hmmmm…. I remember seeing Capdown in Manchester, the singer front flipped from some height into the crowd and then went straight into a sax solo whilst crowd-surfing, it was completely mad!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I’m the worst person to ask this as I’m only the singer, I just rock up and as for a mic haha. We have the usual drums, bass and guitar but what makes us abit different is our mutli instrumentalist Hardy who can be seen playing banjo, mandolin, accordion, bouzouki…even owns some bagpipes.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have only just released our third single ‘Can’t Even Hang A Man Right’ into the world, it’s been quite mind blowing actually so far to see the response as mentioned we’d been in a lot of bands in the past but not celtic punk inspired bands, that genre has a real die-hard community that’s been very welcoming towards us and our music! Check it out: https://youtu.be/r8Rnp4CesnE
What are your plans for 2020?
Most of them have fell to the wind haha. We had a UK tour booked in July which we’ve postponed for now, might pick it up again, we just don’t know when cpvid-19 lockdown will lift so it’s tricky to plan ahead to far. What we do have 100% in the pipeline is a E.P release, we were halfway through recording our debut album, with the final sessions booked in to complete the thing but we won’t be able to get in there to finish it for months now so we’ve decided to release what we do have as a E.P, should be coming soon, we’re just figuring it all out.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
What a great question, the guys are huge Ferocious Dog fans, playing main support to them would make for some very happy band members. Many drinks would be drank for sure. Maybe someone like Roughneck Riot, Black Water County or The Lagan to open, my god ticket’s would fly out for that! Cheers for having us Moshville Times!