Filmed at Café Totem by Renton Productions, Sheff-based rockers BlackWaters are our latest Exposed In Session stars.
Posted by Exposed Magazine on Monday, 30 September 2019
Adopted Sheffield rockers BlackWaters are looking to kickstart more engagement with the local arts scene in their own back yard (literally). Exposed went to find out more…
First of all, where are you all from?
We are all from everywhere. I’m from Essex, and some of the boys are from Northampton. We all met in Guildford, and for some reason we are here now…
Do you know what the reason was?
We came up here a few times, playing gigs and touring and we just really liked it compared to the other northern cities. Something stood out – it’s not too fucking intense.
Are you touring?
We have a few bits in the bag, but we have nothing announced yet.
Go on, use the opportunity now…
Well, we’ve got Tramlines coming up and we’ve started this Arts Lab project, which is basically trying to get all the musicians together in Sheffield along with arty people. It’s a psychedelic movement from the 60s and we are trying to bring it back and revamp it. There used to be this thing in Drury Lane, and we are trying to bring it to Sheffield and make it a thing. We put it on our back garden! We had like sixteen different acts from folk to psych DJs playings. We are planning on carrying it on; it’s already got some great interest and people want to get really involved. You can do it anywhere! We want people to come forward with their ideas, and slowly but surely it’s coming together.
Sounds great! When’s the next event?
We are doing a cinema night, and then we have an open mic at Barrowboy. It’s just little bits scattered throughout the city so people pick up on it. It’s a closed Facebook group, so you actually have to request to join…
Are you seeing a lot of demand for the arts in Sheffield?
Yeah, it has been strange because we have spoken to a lot of people that are pessimistic about it and they think some people don’t really give a shit, no-one is paying attention to it. I think that’s untrue. If people have an easy space to get together with people then it can work. People shouldn’t need to search hard.
Do you have a favourite space or venue in the city?
We have been spending a lot of time at Record Junkee recently. The Washington is great! There’s this new place we are trying to get involved with, The Cellar. That’s really cool. People just need to know about it. We want to play shows that are a bit outside the box from everything else, not just another gig at the Washington. Organising events like the Arts Lab creates something memorable.
How would you describe your music?
We have definitely got a DIY ethic to our sound, whether that is represented in the music or not I’m not sure. But then again, we are still writing about love, loss and all that kind of shit. I’d say we definitely have a bit of punk in us. But we aren’t a punk band. We have started to tell people we are rock, but then rock is such a wide genre… let’ s go for a rock band, yeah.
What are your influences?
Joy Division, Pulp… I’m honestly not just saying that one ‘cos I’m in Sheffield! Lou Reed, I like the simplicity of the lyrics. That’s something I took from them. You don’t have to sit analysing; it is what it says on the tin. We have similar interests, we all met at university and formed the band. We all live together and have done for four years! It’s hell! I’m joking, we actually get on well. We are quite lucky: we can tell each other to piss off.
You’ll be alright when you have a world tour cramped on a bus together?
I rue the day!
You’ve released a track, I’m Not Your Man, this year. What’s the next step?
We have a load of tunes and singles that we are thinking about how to put out. An album is definitely the next step. But I think we’re going going to focus on a few more singles before an album. There will definitely be something big coming out this year… We recorded the track down south with a chap called Thomas Mitchener, who did a couple of the Frank Carter albums, which is really wicked. We recorded in a little shed at the end of his garden. It was shabby, but we liked that. I would like that for our back yard – but a shed is actually more expensive than you think. I have watched videos already. No, but seriously, it’s probably my favourite track… but that might be because I’m not sick of it yet.
Finally, after moving up and getting to know the place so well, what’s your favourite Sheffield ‘thing’?
I’d probably say the music scene! There are a lot of creatives you can just sit down and chat to here. Also, our Jarr’ed Up Arts Lab! It’s definitely something to get excited about. When people come they walk away saying they had a brilliant time and want to get involved again. If there are enough people doing the same thing then people are going to take note of it. We are trying!