Background Information
Origin Leamington Spa, England
Genre Punk Rock
Years active 2007-present
Label(s) Velvet Scene/Rise
James Mattock
Andrew Bayliss
Sam Lister
Former Members
Adam Lovelock
Cris O'Reilly

Sharks are an English punk rock band from Leamington Spa, near Birmingham, consisting of James Mattock (lead vocals and guitar), Andrew Bayliss (guitar), and Sam Lister (drums).

History Edit

Sharks formed in 2007.[1][2][3] Their name is derived from a song by Gallows, 'In The Belly Of A Shark'.[4] In 2008 Sharks released a five track EP, Shallow Waters, and subsequently played with Gallows, The Ghost of a Thousand, Fucked Up, Babyshambles, The King Blues, Girls, Crime In Stereo, and Lostprophets. They supported The Gaslight Anthem during their 2010 UK and European tours.

Show of Hands (2010)Edit

Shark's second five track EP, Show of Hands, which was recorded at Fortress Studios in London, was released by Best Before Records in October 2010. The first video from the EP premiered on 5 October 2010.[5] Show of Hands received 4/5 from Kerrang! magazine (#1334, 13 September 2010), which described the album as "impressive [...] shimmering, grass-roots, British Punk" and "a revelation from start to finish". RockSound magazine (#141, November 2010) gave the album 8/10, declaring that "writing with thoughtfulness, maturity and skill belying their youthful status, Sharks have quietly put together perhaps the most charming debut of the year."

Sharks were 'band of the day' on 21 October 2010 in The Guardian, which commented that "Sharks are into preserving the purity of first-album Clash" and "giving the contemporary music scene a good old slap in the face, to wake it out of its current torpor".[6]

The Joys of Living 2008-2010 (2011)Edit

As announced on 9 December 2010, The Joys of Living 2008-2010, a 14 track compilation of previously released material (Shallow Waters, Common Grounds, and Show of Hands), plus two brand new songs,[7] was released in the US, Canada, Australia and NZ on 5 April 2011 by Velvet Scene in association with Rise Records (CD, vinyl, and download).[8] As a bonus, the Japanese edition, released on 6 April 2011, also features the three tracks from Sharks' 2009 split with Northern Towns.

The two new songs, 'Sweet Harness' and 'The Joys of Living', were recorded in early December 2010 at Fortress Studios in London.[9] A 7" featuring the two new songs will be released as a single by Coffebreath and Heartache.[10][11] 'Sweet Harness' was made available as streaming audio on Sharks' Facebook page on 11 March 2011, as was the whole album on on 1 April.[12]

Alternative Press magazine (May 2011) gave the album 4/5 stars, writing that "[t]hese 14 songs bristle with a wonderful sense of rock 'n' roll heritage that serves as a tribute to fallen heroes such as the Clash while simultaneously molding those influences into something refreshing and contemporary."

North American tours, etc. (2011)Edit

Sharks supported Social Distortion during their 2011 US Spring Tour,[13] and played their first ever US headline show on 29 May 2011 at 924 Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA,[14] a venue made famous by the likes of Green Day, Operation Ivy and Rancid. Following a headline tour of Canada in early June, Cris O'Reilly was dismissed from Sharks, as announced on the band's Facebook page on 28 June 2011. From late June to early August, Sharks are touring the USA on the entire Warped Tour 2011[15] with their driver Rob Dempsey as a touring member on bass.[16] Sharks will be appearing at the Summer Sonic festival in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan (13 and 14 August 2011)[17] and at the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK (26 to 28 August 2011).[18] Sharks will return to North America in the autumn to join the Alternative Press Tour Fall 2011 (13 October to 26 November), which will be headlined by Gallows.[19]

Future Projects Edit

Sharks told NME that work on their debute full-length album will start as soon as they have finished all their overseas touring.[20] They also said they had "about sixteen songs" and were "almost wrapped up with the writing process", which they had tried to finish prior to their 2011 North American tour.[21] The album will be recorded in Baltimore, MD, starting 5 September 2011, and will be produced by Brian McTernan.[22]

Description and influences Edit

Shark's musical influences have been described as ranging from "the Buzzcocks, The Clash, Nick Cave, Joy Division, Husker Du, [to] Black Flag",[23] while Dan Martin claims that "the Sharks strain of punk is imbued with a blue-collar longing straight out of Shitsville USA".[24] As James Mattock, Sharks' lead singer explains, "I got into [punk] from digging up old records. It was more of an American thing that I discovered from bands like Green Day and Rancid. Then I dug deeper and found their influences and I got my head around the history of the big punk family tree".[25] Mattock also states that he was heavily influenced by his parents' CD collection.[26] Lyrically, Mattock credits Charles Bukowski's poetry with having "quite a big influence" on his writing.[27] Sharks nevertheless say that they "believe in an uncompromised art to be embraced by any one who wants to listen. We don't seem to fit too comfortably in any particular music scene anyway, and we'll continue take it as a compliment and to be our own".[28]

Band members Edit

  • James Mattock - lead vocals, guitar
  • Andrew Bayliss - guitar
  • Sam Lister - drums
Touring member

Former members Edit

  • Adam Lovelock - bass (2007–2008)
  • Cris O'Reilly - bass (2008–2011)

Discography Edit

Albums Edit

  • The Joys of Living 2008-2010, CD & 12" (Velvet Scene/Rise Records) (2011)

Singles and EPs Edit

  • Shallow Waters, download EP (2008) & 10" EP (Swagger City Records) (2010)
  • Sharks/Northern Towns, 7" split (Swagger City Records) (2009)
  • Common Grounds, 7" single (Atticus Black Records) (2009)
  • Show of Hands, CD (Best Before Records) & 12" (Coffeebreath and Heartache) (2010)
  • Sweet Harness, 7" single (Coffeebreath and Heartache) (2011)

References Edit

  1. Thrash Hits interview, 30 April 2009
  2. OC Weekly interview, 26 May 2011
  3. Eyeplug Magazine article
  4. Beatweek interview, 27 June 2011
  5. Kerrang! premiers new Sharks video
  6. The Guardian - Band of the Day
  7. Alt Press track by track interview
  8. Sharks and Rise Records
  9. New Material on its Way
  10. Details of Joys of Living 2008-2010 release
  11. Coffebreath and Heartache (label)
  12. The Joys of Living (stream)
  13. Social Distortion tour
  14. Gilman Street gig details and poster
  15. Sharks on Warped Tour
  16. Sharks - Warped Tour Interview
  17. Summer Sonic festival
  18. Reading & Leeds festivals
  19. Sharks on AP Tour Fall 2011
  20. NME - next album
  21. Fuck Your Senses interview
  22. The Great Leap Forwards - debut album news
  23. Noise Addiction article
  24. The 1-2-3-4 announcement
  25. The Burg interview
  26. Red Bull interview - 'Sharks Invade America'
  27. Songwriters on Process interview
  28. Noise Addiction article

External links Edit

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