On Monday evening I caught up with Perth based, and very talented, alt-rock band The Sandemans.
The Sandemans consists of; Lead Singer Dean Whyte, Lead Guitarist Sean Hodge, Rhythm Guitarist Thomas Jackson, Ciaran Sinclair on Bass and Perth’s very own Johnny Cash look-alike on Drums, Liam Moran. Having just released a video for new song ‘Set The Fire’ it now looks like they are off to big things in 2018 with a debut album and several big Glasgow shows. Having risen to popularity so quickly and yet being so mysterious I thought it was about time we had a chat with The Sandemans.
- So let’s start with something easy, how did you all meet?
Dean: Sean and I have been writing horrible tunes together since we were like 13, 14.
Sean: At school we went into the music room and said we needed a drummer and the teacher was like…
Dean: We’ve got a fine young man who looks a bit like Johnny Cash!
Sean: So we invited Liam along for a practice
Ciaran: And Liam and I were at school together.
Liam: And Thomas is my uncle…
Dean: Before The Sandemans Sean and I actually wrote a song called ‘School Boy Error’
Sean: It’s a horrible song, so horrible.
- And where did the name come from then?
Dean: Sandeman Court! It sounds like a cool name and it’s from Tulloch. I was going through Google Maps and I zoomed in on every court in Tulloch until I found one…
- When did you form?
Sean: It was about September 2016 that we got a proper band together.
- What would you say your biggest influences are – as a band or as artists?
Sean: I write a lot of the stuff for us so personally I take a lot of influence from Kasabian, David Bowie and The Smiths as well.
Dean: When I write my influence comes from Primal Scream and even sometimes the likes of Otis Redding. I know we sound nothing like him but it’s good to take influence from everything and not just be limited.
Thomas: For me it’s got to be Arctic-
Sean: I knew you were going to say that!
Thomas: Monkeys with their wee catchy tabs. *Makes guitar noises* and The Beatles as well.
Ciaran: Oasis are my favourite band.
Liam: I’d say Oasis or The Beatles as well
Sean: Liam I didn’t even know you listened to music I thought you just played the drums and that was it!
- Do you get a lot more attention now that you guys have kind of exploded in the past 6 months?
Thomas: I went in to McDonalds after the gig in Methven, and some random woman came up to me and asked if I had played there – she said we were really good!
Dean: It doesn’t matter where we go people always shout ‘Sunny’ at us. We went to Wetherspoons and just sat down and straight away a group of girls shouted ‘Sunny’ at us.
Ciaran: Even sometimes just walking down the street.
Ciaran: If we don’t get big it is going to be stuck with us forever.
6. Talk me through the creative process…
Thomas: We’ve changed how we write songs recently!
Sean: Some songs I used to write on my own and they would add their own bit to it and then I would give Dean the words-
Dean: Or we would come up with the words at the same time at the studio.
Thomas: But our new method is better. We muck about and put words over it.
Sean: We’ll play a tune now, like anything, and Ciaran will come up with a bass, Liam with drums.
Thomas: We always have stuff we never do as well, we come up with a lot and nothing happens with it.
Dean: Tyskie, All Around & Lose Control were all made up on the spot, that’s why the words are so weird.
- Do you guys argue a lot?
Sean: Dean and I – all the time.
Dean: He says I am bad at Fifa!
Sean: We usually just scream at each other. Say I write a song and I’ll say to Dean that I want it sang this way, he will still say I am wrong, my own song is wrong. Then he will shout at me.
Dean: I usually can’t sing it that way!
Hollie: And the rest of you guys just sit quietly and watch it unfold?
Ciaran: I stopped it once, it was a 3 hour practice and we were all hungry.
Dean: Ciaran is always hungry!
Sean: Liam sits quietly, Thomas tries to keep the peace but when that happens all annoyance goes from Dean and I to him.
Dean: Thomas will say something like ‘Try and trick your unconscious mind into believing you are okay’
Thomas: I’m too open minded for them.
- So what’s happening in the future? You guys have just released Set The Fire and a video for it, any more songs?
Dean: Well we have a collection of songs coming out.
Rest: An album!
- Have you got a name for this new collection of songs?
Dean: You know that Eric Clapton Album, we’re gonna get a picture of Sean’s grandad in a denim jacket for the cover and call it John.
- So you’ve got the 24th of March in Glasgow at Audio – anything after that?
Sean: A few other gigs coming up in Glasgow and The Revivals on Easter Sunday at the Twa Tams.
Dean: Barras 2021.
Thomas: Maybe getting our own studios.
Sean: yeah right – in like another 10 years!
- Well I think that’s it guys, any last minute words?
Thomas: At the end of the day, it’s night.
A huge thank you to The Sandemans for having a chat with me! Be sure to check out their new video for ‘Set The Fire’ on YouTube.