Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Alistair Sheerin

Alistair SheerinIt’s a pleasure and delight to introduce everyone to Alistair Sheerin. With all the buzzing about NEXTBiGTHING group over the last few months, we are privileged to bring you the first NBT artist. This talented, young musician from Middlesbrough has been described as a “fucking genius” by Tom Clarke from The Enemy. Melodically affluent and rhythmically dynamic, we are just catching a glimpse of what Alistair has to offer. Alistair Sheerin is an artist everyone should be looking out for, so have a read below to get acquainted with the next big thing!

AMBY: Hey Alistair, please introduce yourself to AMBY!

Alistair Sheerin: My full name is Alistair Sheerin, I’m a 21 year old solo artist from Middlesbrough, north east England.

AMBY: How would you describe your music in three words?

Alistair Sheerin: Rocking, groovin’ and honest! To be honest it’s quite a hard thing for me to give such a ‘compact’ answer like that. I wouldn’t describe myself as indie I wouldn’t describe it as pop. I think for things like that you have to ignore what people label you as and just go on what you feel in terms of sound and lyrical content. For example I like to keep the music groovin’ like Motown would or a classic 60s track. It’s certainly honest as I write about things that are true to me and experiences that I’ve been through in everyday life. I feel it rockin’ all the time because I feel good every time I perform and sing these tunes and I can feel the electricity from it in the blood!

AMBY: You have a wide variety of influences, so if you could sit down and have dinner with any three, who would they be?

Alistair Sheerin: I try to listen to as much music as I can mainly because there’s so much good stuff out there when you get past all the shit we get thrown at us. That’s not me trying to sound trendy or anything I just think that there is so much good music out there and I feel like I don’t want to miss out on any of it! Tom Clarke from The Enemy would have been in there but I’ve shared a Greggs with him so I’m lucky I can tick that off the list! I suppose if I had to narrow it down I’d sit down with what I see as my ‘old faithfuls’ in terms of influences and go with Tom Petty because he seems like such a cool, interesting guy, Noel Gallagher because I think he’d keep it witty and Ray Davies because I think that he’d have some great stories!

AMBY: The teaser for I Don’t Need You is brilliant! What was the recording process like?

Alistair Sheerin: Thanks for the kind words, it was a lot of fun making that. The full video will be going out there soon so keep your eyes peeled! It was a really easy, relaxed recording process. I took my backing band with me and went in a studio in Sheffield with George Moran who plays in Miles Kane’s backing band. We recorded two tracks, one of which was I Don’t Need You, in two days. We just blasted through them and got everything pretty much in two or three takes, everything was really smooth and George was a really relaxed producer which always helps. We finished early on the second day and began mixing, it’s always nice to be ahead of schedule because you feel like you’ve worked your arse off ha! In the video we are actually recording, it’s not staged or anything which I think is cool, again it’s honest. The guy who filmed it just blended into the shadows like he was Batman, we didn’t even know he was there half the time! I guess that’s why we all look pretty relaxed in the video.

AMBY: Between the haircut, music (and information on your Facebook page) we can tell you’re a fan of The Beatles. If you were a character in a Beatles’ song whom would you be?

Alistair Sheerin: The Beatles for me are the ultimate role models, which I think they will be for a lot of people. If you look at albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver onwards, their sound constantly evolved and there was always something new. I think I’d have to be the character Nowhere Man. Mainly because it’s on my favourite Beatles album, Rubber Soul, but also it has the line in it ‘Nowhere man, the world is at your command’ which isn’t a grand statement or anything but with the rest of the lyrics I get the feel of someone who just does their own thing and doesn’t care about what people think and if you apply that to real life, if you stay true to yourself and do your own thing eventually people will listen.

AMBY: What was your reaction like when NBT got in contact with you?

Alistair Sheerin: It was funny actually because I was doing a gig at The Enterprise in Camden and I just finished sound checking and I got a text but I didn’t know who it was off. So I text back asking who it was and the reply said ‘Sorry mate thought you had my number its Tom Clarke, Enemy’. So at this point all sorts of things were going through my head like ‘is this the real fella?’ but he said that him, Chris and Gaz wanted to meet with me in Middlesbrough. So we arranged a date and then next thing you know we’re sat in this little working man’s club in Boro talking about NBT and me etc. So by this point I was like ‘yeah, fucking rock ‘n’ roll!’

AMBY: Speaking of NBT, what’s the experience been like so far?

Alistair Sheerin: It’s been great,  we’ve only had a couple of sessions so far where I’ve been working closely with Tom but it’s been really in depth and quite nurturing which is one of the things missing with record companies and artists these days. Everyone just wants to get the product out there and make money as fast as they can, where with NBT it’s been nice to just relax and have time to develop as an artist. Lots of work to do yet though and I can’t wait to get on with it!

AMBY: When will we get to hear some of the new recordings?

Alistair Sheerin: Well we’re just demoing at the moment getting all the songs spot on and ready to go and record them properly. However, last session we managed to get through loads in a very short space of time so things could be ready for everyones ears a lot sooner than me and everyone has anticipated. That’s another thing with NBT, when I’ve been in the studio it’s been fast working which I like. It gets a bit of a drag when there’s loads of hanging about, but there’s none of that.

AMBY: What do you have planned next?

Alistair Sheerin: Well this year I’m going to be working closely with NBT so for me it’s just to carry on recording and developing as an artist. I’ll be doing lots of gigging in between though because obviously live is where I feel at home and love to be. I’m doing a small tour which includes a festival called Stockton Weekender, a gig in Hull, Sunderland, Middlesbrough etc. The best thing for me to say is just for everyone to keep an eye on my Facebook (facebook/com/alistairsheerinmusic) and Twitter (twitter.com/alistairsheerin) and keep up to date with me and my gigs because there’s always something going on!

AMBY: Who is your must follow on Twitter?

Alistair Sheerin: Gok Wan for all the latest tips on how to look good naked…ha! Nah fuck that! Erm, that’s a tough one because there’s so many so I’ll probably go for Jeremy Clarkson because he’s always having a pop at Pierce Morgan which is a good read because he just does everyone’s head in that fella!

AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?

Alistair Sheerin: Working with NBT and doing stuff behind the scenes and gearing up ready to release it on the world! The return of guitar music most definitely, lots of new music coming out and playing to new audiences.

AMBY: And last but not least, what’s something about Alistair Sheerin that nobody knows yet?

Alistair Sheerin: Hmm tough one because I’m a pretty boring lad to be honest with you. I don’t think many people know about my clothes and tea addiction. I’m right into clothes, I love shopping and the fit of stuff has to be just how I like it, it’s a bit obsessive sometimes ha! I can drink so much tea in the day as well that it’s a bit of joke sometimes. Never mind cocaine, heroin or any of that give me a pot of Darjeeling and some polka dot trousers any day!

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Thank you Alistair, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia & Yaz Atout

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