THE SHERLOCKS are on the trail of fresh success with a new line-up – and a new album almost ready to go.
Drummer Brandon Crook spoke to Michael Upton about the end of an era – and what fans can expect from the next one.
Q: You announced on social media last week that Josh and Andy Davidson, who founded The Sherlocks with you and your brother Kiaran ten years ago, when most of you were still at school in Wath, were leaving the band. How did that come about?
A: We just had a conversation earlier this year, just before lockdown where they said they wanted to do something else.
I think they have achieved everything they wanted to with two top 20 albums and wanted to go get a normal job.
We said we supported them so long as it was what they wanted.
They have had enough of being in music, we’ve done this since we were teenagers and they’ve just exhausted that.
Q: Tell us about your new members, Alex Procter and Trent Jackson.
A: Alex is on the guitar and Trent plays the bass.
It has all come from our sound engineer, Nick, who we’ve known for years.
He’s best mates with Alex and said he was a wizard on the guitar. They have been in a band together, too. We said Alex should come down for a jam with us.
Nick has been a teacher and in college he taught Trent. Trent did some guitar tech with us years ago and Nick suggested him - it has worked out really well.
They fit in really well with me and Kiaran - we were never going to get in someone who was 60 - and they can really play.
We recorded our third album over the summer. It was Trent and Alex’s first experience of putting an album together.
We’d only practised together twice but we were really buzzing with them.
Q: You returned to the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales to record the album. What was that like?
A: We spent just short of a month down there.
There are two studios at Rockfield - the Quad, which is the one where Queen recorded, and the Coach House, which the Stone Roses and Oasis used.
We’ve recorded an album in each now, which is quite an achievement.
You can get up about ten or 11 in the morning, start recording and go through to about three or four in the morning.
We’d be finishing about one and Dave the producer would be doing some work until later on, we’d stay up drinking until about four or five, crash out and then get up and doing it all again - it was quite a party.
Q: In the BBC documentary released this summer about Rockfield, Oasis told how they had some wild nights out in the nearby village. Did you get up to no good?
A: We did go down into the village a few times and get smashed. Alex and Kiaran ended up in some farmer’s field and they were digging up vegetables or something!
Q: You recorded your third album over the summer. What can we expect from it?
A: It is more like album one - it’s that album on steroids - it’s really pumping and guitar heavy.
The sounds for the second one was a bit softer and this has more of an edge about it.
You can tell Kiaran has improved as a songwriter because every song is class.
Q: What’s the process for recording songs – and putting together an album? Kiaran said you even have some tracks with a dance feel on it.
A: Kiaran will record these demos on Garage Band and we will play them through in the studio and try out little bits and pieces.
We’ve tried not to change much but to just play it as it is.
You listen to some bands and every song sounds the same but there’s a lot of variety on the album and everything fits in nicely.
It’s a really complete album.
Q: You have been likened to DMA’s, who released their third album earlier this year…
A: We’re really good friends with DMA’s and have known them since 2016 when we were playing 100 or 120 capacity venues.
They did a similar kind of thing to us as their earlier sound was more guitar heavy.
They third album has a couple of dancey ones on, too, and has taken them to another level.
They’re one of my favourite bands and I don’t think they have a bad song - it might be that they have three songwriters in the band so it’s harder to write a bad one.
Q: You’ve always had a loyal live following. How important is that to you – and how much are you missing playing gigs?
A: If you’re with a major label you can get pushed for every playlist, TV or radio spot but you see people with millions of streams who can't sell a ticket
Our streaming numbers may not be huge but we know everyone listening to us will come to the gigs.
We have that connection with our fans and you know if you come to one of our gigs you’re going to have a good time and it’s going to go off.
We’ve had people messaging us - hundreds of messages - saying they miss gigs and we’ve always been one of those bands where everything is about “live”.
We just want to do a gig but I just cannot see when it is going to be. I can’t see how they’re going to let thousands of people in a field.
Q: Kiaran revealed in August that recording of the new album was finished but no release date has been announced. So do you have name – or a release date?
A: There’s no name yet but it will definitely be out in 2021.
We’re hoping to record and put out a single by ourselves just to bridge the gap to the album release.
We feel that strongly about the album it would be shame if we can’t keep that anticipation up.
Q: You’ve always practised in the concert room at Bolton on Dearne Ex-Servicemen’s Club. What have Alex and Trent made of those surrounding?
A: We’re trying to get together for another practice because we’ve only practised there twice. The first time we got together was next to the bar because the big room we usually use was being painted!