‘We can’t have people thinking that we’re dickheads before we’ve even accomplished owt,’ says Liberty Ship guitarist Jack Eddison, who decides against making mock-gangster hand gestures proclaiming the band’s S35 postcode moments before the camera starts whirring. Though many would argue this is a slightly disingenuous comment with regards to a young four-piece who’ve toured the UK with the likes of King Charles and Reverend & the Makers – not to mention playing the Ponderosa Main Stage at Tramlines Festival last year.
In fact, the lively rock and roll outfit have more than shown their potential and look set to deliver on it, with debut single ‘Learning to Fly’ receiving high acclaim from the airplay it’s enjoyed ahead of release on April 1st. Before giving them the In Session treatment, Exposed joined the lads for a gargle in The Bath Hotel so we could get to know each other a bit better.
So, chaps, what tracks will you play for your live Exposed session?
Jack: We’re going to do the new single, ‘Learning To Fly’, and… well, we’re not reight sure on the other one yet. We’ll decide later.
Considering you’ve been around for a few years now, I was surprised when I heard that Learning to Fly will be your debut single. Why the wait?
Kierran: I think it’s about making sure you’ve got the right track. If you were to listen to us for the first time, ‘Learning to Fly’ gives a good perception of what we’re about as a band.
Lewis: It shows off our vocal harmonies too – and that’s quite a strong point for us.
James: The track felt like a bit of a turning point for us. It’s the first thing we’ve done together since we got Ost [band manager] on board, so it just felt like the right tune to kick off with.
The name is quite apt for a first release, too.
Jack: Yeah, the track itself is about our transition as a band and how we’ve grown and progressed. We’re a bit older now, got a few more hairs on our chest and the new tracks give off the right message.
And the single is accompanied by some great artwork from Kid Acne. How did that come about?
Jack: Yeah, it was great to get him on-board. He followed us on Twitter a while back, and we’ve seen his stuff all around Sheffield – obviously he does things all around the country as well – and we love his stuff.
James: It’s good to keep it all local and interesting too. There’s the standard way of doing it, ie getting a picture of four lads stood together trying to look cool and sticking it on the cover, but we wanted something that was a bit different.
Over the last couple of years you’ve played alongside some respected artists – King Charles, Reverend and the Makers and Joe Carnall in particular. Is there anyone in you’ve learnt a lot from?
Jack: We’ve definitely learnt a lot from Jon McClure, especially from touring with Reverend and the Makers. He’s been there and done a lot of it so has plenty of good advice for us.
Lewis: He told us to write for ourselves and not anyone else, which we’ve really taken on board.
James: Personally, I think I’ve learnt a lot from Joe Carnall. He’ll happily sit down with you and give you his time. I respect the way in which he’s branched out with his music and tried different things since Milburn – that’s what being an artist is about.
Being a young indie rock four-piece from the High Green area, many would instantly expect to hear the typical Arctic Monkeys brand of guitar music – but there’s more of an old school, soulful style of rock and roll going on here.
Jack: I think a lot of that comes from Lewis’ voice – it’s got a lot of soul to it.
James: Obviously it’s very easy for Sheffield bands to quickly get compared to the Arctic Monkeys – and for some it’s justified. But we wanted to stick to other influences and develop our own sound.
Kierran: We definitely play for each other rather than just ourselves. I think it would be weird playing music with anyone else.
I think that sense of chemistry and, more than anything, enjoyment shines out in the music.
Jack: Definitely. Like, I know it might sound right big-headed or whatever, but I actually think we’re mint! I wouldn’t bother doing this if I didn’t think we were good. What’s the point in that?
James: We might make mistakes and stuff when we’re playing live, but usually we’re having such a laugh onstage no one really notices.
So, going back to what we were talking about earlier with regards to who you’ve toured with, which band or musician would you most like to tour with?
Jack: To learn from or go on the piss with?
Lewis: Maybe Rolling Stones… but like forty years ago.
Jack: I adore The Stone Roses, but I’m not sure how much I’d actually learn from them to be honest. I know it’s not the trendiest thing to say, but we could definitely learn a lot from the Monkeys. There’s no other way about it, we wouldn’t be in a band if it wasn’t for them.
Kierran: You get some Sheffield artists that are ashamed to say it, but as Jack says, we grew up with their albums and it would be mental to tour with them.
James: They definitely gave a lot of young lads the inspiration that they can start from the bottom, get in a band and make it big. So much talent has come from it.
What are the main lessons you’ve learnt so far?
James: Being patient is a big one. If it was up to us, I think we’d have just released our first single ages ago before we were good enough.
Time for some quick-fire questions. Where would you like to be in 12 months’ time?
Jack: Headlining Glastonbury.
James: Smashing it at Wembley.
Kierran: Are we being realistic here?
Jack: Oh, we’re being realistic? Reight then. I’d settle for being back in here, having another pint.
What song do you wish you had written?
Kierran: There She Goes – The La’s.
Jack: Free Bird – Lynrd Skynrd.
Lewis: Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers.
James: Bohemian Rhapsody.
And one song you’re glad you didn’t write?
Jack: Her. That Friday song. What’s her name now? Erm… Black? Rebecca Black! Yeah, she’s fucking terrible. Just get in the sea, love.
If you could invite one person along to a Liberty Ship gig, anyone at all, who would it be?
Jack: I would say Bob Marley, but it’d break my heart if he thought we were shit.
Kierran: It’d be good if Bez came along to one, but he’d have to bring his maracas.
And finally, in one succinct sentence, try and convince the Exposed readership to buy your debut single.
Kierran: I just think you’d all regret it if you don’t.
Jack: It’s a banging tune and you will like it. If you don’t, then you’re probably not into good music.