INTERVIEW: Shanghai Blues


 Shanghai Blues


THERE are a lot of bands out there; most of whom are described as…

PHOTO CREDITAnt Adams Photography

‘promising’ and ‘worth your time’. This can, in a lot of cases, by hyperbole and myopic. When it comes to Shanghai Blues; those words would fit them comfortably – I have no doubt they will make strides very soon. I talk to them about the single, Those Three Words, and what it is all about. They tell me how they have developed as a band and the importance of East London as a base.

Looking ahead; the guys discuss their plans and gigs; look back at the artists that have made an impact on them and provide a couple of names we should be aware of – those musicians that will be making an impact very soon.


Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?


Loving the reaction we're getting for the new single.

For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?

We are just four guys from East London.

We drink beer, eat chicken and play really fuc*ing loud.

You have been around for quite a few months now. How did you all come together? Can you remember the first song you laid down as a group?

We all met at school but played in different bands growing up. We decided, last year, to all come together and give it a go - and we're-super excited about how it’s going. Some of those early songs are not worth remembering!

Sick was one of those very early ones that made it out there!

Where does that band name, ‘Shanghai Blues’ stem from? Does it hold cultural and personal significance?

It’s homage to a dingy Chinese restaurant that is, sadly, no longer with us. That’s about as significant as it gets.

Those Three Words is your new single. Can you tell me about the origins and what compelled the single?

The song revolves around a broken heart reminiscing (of) ‘when things were easier’ - when it was just the protagonist and their partner. All the songs we write are very personal to us but this one, in particular, was written from a broken heart within the band.

How easy was it putting the song together? Did it flow naturally or was it assembled over a course of days/weeks?

Once we had the main guitar part down; all the other instruments fell into place - as well as the lyrics - so it was one of the more natural songs we've written.

Oz Craggs produced and mixed the song. What did he bring to the recording in terms of guidance and talent?

Oz is a fuck*ng gun.

We always have so much fun with him in the studio. One thing he did bring was a sweet new sofa. Anyone who's been in with Oz knew about the bench. Haha.

Aside from that, we always find him so easy to work with and everything happens very naturally. He gets us and our sound.

Working with him has influenced a lot - down to what guitar pedals and amps we use.

Your social media numbers are growing. Your fans seem to connect with your music. How much does that mean to you?

It means so fu*king much!

I don't think we really knew what to expect when we started the band – but, to see the reaction from so many people, from all over the world, is great. 

We've always got time for the fans so hit us up!

Critics are really pushing the music. That must be humbling getting such acclaim, right?

It's great to have a positive reaction to the music - whether its critics or not. We just want to make music we enjoy and, if other people enjoy it, too, that’s even better.

Is Those Three Words the catalyst for an E.P. or album? What do you guys have planned?

We may or may not actually have another single coming veryyyy soon.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Can you reveal the sort of bands and artists you grew up listening to? How important was music to all of you during childhood?

I would say we all have a pretty eclectic selection of music that we grew up listening to - from Grime to Metal.

Nothing is ever set in stone and I think that’s been a big influence on our style and music.

How inspiring is East London – where you are based – to your creative drive? Is it providing a lot of gig opportunities for the band?

I think East London has influenced us and inspired us in different ways.

We all grew up and still live here, rehearse here; get battered here. There isn’t much of a music scene here to be totally honest - but you’ll always find little hidden gems now and then!

What kind of tour dates do you have approaching?

Can’t give away too much, but we’ve got a massive show that we’ll be announcing soon - going to be our biggest one yet!

PHOTO CREDITAnt Adams Photography

Who are new acts you recommend we check out?

Our boys in Glass Peaks are slayyyying it at the moment.

Obviously, if you haven’t seen what J Hus has done - you should deffo check him out.

IN THIS PHOTO: Glass Peaks/PHOTO CREDITAnt Adams Photo

If you had to each select the one albums that mean most to you; which would it be and why?

Reece: Probably Grace by Jeff Buckley

It (just) has so much feeling and emotion.

Mike: Never Mind the Bollocks… by the Sex Pistols

The first record I ever owned and, the second I put it on, I knew that all I wanted to do was music.

What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?

Keep going and don’t give up. It’s a long, hard journey that we’re only just starting out on ourselves - but it’s so worth it.

Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).

Reece: Jay Som - The Bus Song

Mike: Nilüfer Yanya - Keep on Calling


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