It’s that time of year where we set out to interview as many of the Sophie, New Blood, and Jager bands as we can in the lead-up to one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, Bloodstock. Answering our questions here are Sail who play the New Blood Stage on Friday. Thanks to Charlie Dowzell (guitars/ vocals) for rattling off the answers!
We are Sail, and we hail from deepest darkest Somerset. Some of us are from Devon, but it’s all one big land of farmers and good scrumpy to be honest.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We’ve been Sail since 2016; prior to that Tom, Tim and Charlie had been in bands as far back as 2010…! We must be doing something right.
Where does the name of the band come from?
A coffee shop and a steely determination to not leave said coffee shop without a band name. Following a change in musical direction we sought a more appropriate name, and after months of back-and-forth we filled up on Espressos and went for it. It was a good coffee.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We draw influence from all sorts of mad, wonderful music and I think that’s a strength. Tom will glibly talk your ear off about anyone from Kate Bush to Napalm Death, Kynan’s big into synth music, Tim listens to checks notes basically everything and I’m big into old man blues. It’s an odd mix. But we all love – and seek to write – songs with massive hooks and experimental, interesting, coherent parts and sections.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
Usually it’s loud and there’s a lot of stomping about on stage. I love a good stomp. At the moment we’re all big into loud shirts a la Miami Vice, so no doubt it’ll be colourful. Come see our band. We’re good fun and not half bad.
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
I haven’t but Tom and Kynan have! They’re stalwarts of the scene and we all have a real soft spot for what Bloodstock does for the community. Tom wore a cape and a rose crown and was vibing hard, from the photos I’ve seen. I think we’re on for a goodun.
Which M2tM region did you win, or did you come through other channels?
We won the Somerset M2M; this is our third(?) time of entering. We’ve entered Devon a few times before in previous incarnations with limited success. In 2018 we got to the Somerset finals and played to – I think – everyone alternative and metal-loving in Somerset. It was proper cool.
Can you put into 10 words or fewer how it felt when you realised you were heading to Bloodstock?
Finally! We’re playing Bloodstock. Thank you all. Lit AF fam.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
It’s got a whole bunch of new songs, including our new single ‘Flood’, released the very day we play the festival! How serendipitous. (We didn’t plan that, honest.) It’s loud, big, a bit twinkly, very jagged, and a lot of fun.
Which other bands do you most hope you’re not squished up next to so you can see them play?
I was personally hoping we wouldn’t clash with Conan, and I think we’re good on that front, so that’s great. My friend put me on to a band called Grey Stag who are playing this year, I wanna catch them so here’s hoping we’re not clashing. Clashes. The bane of festival-goers everywhere.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re in the process of writing our next full-length album. It’s been a long time coming but we’ve found a hell of a sound for it and we’re all very excited for it. Watch this space! There’s a lot of singles to come, too – we love recording and releasing singles, they’re always good fun and well-received. Following “Flood” there’ll be a few more singles and fun live sessions – even a Super Secret Compilation Recording (shhh) so lots to come. Hoping a few more gigs come our way, but album writing is the flavour of the year, for sure.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Nothing too crazy I don’t think. I broke 5 strings on 4 different guitars in one set once. Tim played with a broken hand years ago. Kynan’s first gig with us was in a brewery and it was so loud all the bottles came off the walls. So yeah. Nothing too mad.
What drink do you throw back to get yourself fired up before going on stage?
I’m usually driving so a nice water or J2O hits the spot. Then we all listen to “X-Ray Visions” by Clutch and get psyched. It’s a good routine.