How did you come up with the band’s name?
Michelle: It’s my middle name and the name of my grandmother’s sister, who my mum was really close with. That’s why there’s a ‘h’ at the end of it, which confuses a lot of people.
What is your genre of music?
Michelle: Now that’s a tough one. We usually just say that we fit in the “Alternative” category but that’s a bit of a cop-out. It’s kinda like if NAO and Paramore had a baby and Florence was the nanny.
Give us a little introduction to yourselves as a band and individuals.
Michelle: So I’m Shell, the lead singer, and we are 4 piece band from Liverpool who are currently based in London. Our guitarist, Alex, and I tend to start the tracks and bring them to George, drummer, and Tee, bass, to bring them to life. Alex and Tee produce everything together and we then we bring out the concepts for the visual after that. Visual story telling is something very important to us as a group.
What made you go in to music?
Michelle: For me it was definitely Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac as a whole, but we all come from different backgrounds. Tee had more of a gospel upbringing where as George and Alex were more into heavier Rock and film music for Alex. It’s easy to see how each of us got into music when you consider how involved those kind of backgrounds are, whether as a fan, audience member or someone learning.
You released your new single ‘Infinite’, tell us more about it.
Michelle: Infinite is the second single of our trilogy, The Mind’s Eye, a visual concept trilogy that has each single with a video alongside it so build on the message of the song. Each video follows a female artist, this one a dancer who is attempting to fly. The feathers around her signify how many times she has tried and failed as each feather hits the floor, until the last one.
What was the writing process like?
Michelle: The music was actually lost somewhere amongst a load of old logic sessions that Alex had written and then binned off. But when we had a listening session, Tee and I loved it so just had to turn it into something more. From then on out everything just flowed, from the lyrics to production, it just seemed to work, especially as we started playing it live.
What was the recording process like?
Michelle: It was a little disjointed to be honest as we were in the process of moving to London at the time, but whenever we did have sessions it once again just flowed. We hit a few walls with trying to make the chorus pop, but we had a various perspectives on it which was really helpful to pass it down the line when one of us had a block.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the single?
Infinite is the second single of our trilogy that focuses on the hidden lives of artists and in particular the struggles with mental health. We wanted to focus on the idea that creative journeys can be endless, or at least seem like it, and that the struggle behind some of the most beautiful things ever created often far out ways the end result…the audience just rarely sees it. It’s a paradox, the ugliness gone through to create something beautiful.
Describe the track in two words.
Will we see a EP or Album this year?
Michelle: The trilogy is a kind of EP, so when that is finished with the final instalment in November that will be a collection of tracks. No designs on an album, though, just more trilogies to tell more stories in this way.
Do you have gigs coming up or a tour in planning?
Michelle: We’re hopeful of a couple of tours towards the end of the year, although we can’t say anything about them just yet. But we’re supporting friends of ours, Demons Of Ruby Mae, on the 4th October at The Black Heart in Camden and that should be an amazing night.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Michelle: Absolutely, we love writing with other people, and do it quite a lot. We’ve written with friends of ours, Little Grace, on their upcoming single, and XamVolo hopefully for something next year. If people want to get in touch they should just hit us up on our Instagram , and we’d love to sort something out.
Who are your influences?
Michelle: It varies for all of us, but collectively we can definitely say NAO, Florence, Dark Rooms and Submotion Orchestra…and films, to be honest.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Michelle: Through personal experiences, through films, books and even short stories that we make up ourselves, about people we met for a moment or imagined lives of people we barely know. We use all that to tell stories of our own.
Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Michelle: Touring and writing with our friends and peers, hopefully. But, one massive goal would be to regularly write music for Film and TV, similar to what Trent Reznor and Mogwai do. It would be nice to be some way on our journey towards that same place.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Michelle: Tee produces and co-writes with a lot of people, as does Alex. As a collective we’re always writing and working on new ideas, but when it’s not music, for me, it’s art. I love to paint and sketch, often as an escape from real life and for something completely different.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Michelle: Quite possibly I Get Overwhelmed by Dark Rooms. It took a while for us to find our place in the industry today, but that track, coupled with the film we saw it in, gave us new direction and made us realize that we could do what we wanted to do.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Michelle: Don’t rush. The race is long, but ultimately it’s with yourself.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Michelle: Don’t rush. Some of the biggest mistakes and learning curves we’ve had has been because we felt too much pressure to just get something out there. We’re lucky that those things haven’t defined us, but not everyone will be so lucky. Get to know yourself and take your time.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Michelle: Wear sunscreen.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Michelle: In Liverpool? Well, The Baltic Triangle is an up and coming area that is doing amazing things, so I would say there, especially if you’re into art and quirky warehouse spaces. However, I know that Alex would say FACT, a cinema/gallery that always has amazing stuff going on.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Home. There’s something so comforting about where we are these days. I’d need my own bed.
2/ Who do you see first?
Probably Alex’s mum, I think all of us would need a dose of Jo to look after us after a stint on the road.
3/ What do you eat first?
Tour is rough for eating, so something super healthy, like the greenest thing I could ever buy.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Michelle: 1. SPD Drum Pad 2. Headphones for the SPD 3. Stand for the SPD 4. Cables for the SPD 5. Drummer for the SPD.