It’s giveaway time once again at Beyond The Stage, and this time we’ve paired up with indie-pop band Ships Have Sailed. The band has given us access to some absolutely amazing prizes for our readers – signed bass drum heads that were used in the recording of their newest single, “Up”!
To enter, make sure you’re following Ships Have Sailed and Beyond The Stage on Twitter and retweet this post to be entered! And check out our Q&A with the guys below to get to know the band a bit more, along with the brand new single!
- Introduce yourselves and the role in the band!
My name is Will Carpenter, and I guess you could say I’m the main driving force behind Ships Have Sailed. I write and produce our music, and on stage I sing and play guitar. In the studio I’m a multi-instrumentalist, which comes in handy! Our second member is Art Andranikyan… he’s an incredible drummer, and over the past couple years has become an integral part of Ships Have Sailed, both in the studio and on the road!
- How would you describe your music to someone who may not have heard it before?
Imagine if Coldplay, The National and The Killers had a baby… 😉
The longer story is that we have a really wide variety of musical influences and, although we run in the Indie Pop vein, we don’t like to hold ourselves back from pushing the boundaries of that genre. Some of our music can tend more towards Alternative Rock, and some leans more to the electronic side of things. We’ve also been known to strip everything back and reimagine our songs as bare-bones acoustic creations…so we’re very versatile, and we find there’s usually something for everyone in our catalog.
- You recently released a brand new single, what was the inspiration for that?
Yes, the new single is called ‘Up’. It was born from a moment of many conflicting emotions…we had a really amazing year last year (2016), but even as all these incredible things were happening for the project there were little hiccups that would arise and kind of just knock us down and try to kill the momentum. Add to that the political climate in our world, and the fact that, as an indie artist when you gain momentum it kinda means you’re also working extra hard and really exhausted a lot of the time, and it made for this moment where it was like, simultaneous euphoria plus bone-dead weariness, and this music just kinda flowed out of me like an anthem to keep me going…and that’s what became ‘Up’!
- What was the process like recording the new single?
Funny you should ask! We’re actually working on editing down a whole bunch of ‘Behind the Scenes’ footage as we speak, and we’ll be posting it weekly on our Facebook and YouTube channel in the weeks following the release of ‘Up’! Very briefly though, the song was conceived right as we were finishing our West Coast tour in late August, so I started writing in earnest in early September, and I just started with a piano, a scratch vocal and a very simple, but syncopated beat from samples. I very quickly brought Art into the conversation, because the percussive elements in the track are really integral to how it moves, so drums and percussion were the very first thing we tracked after pre-production. From there, I added bass, guitar, cleaned up the piano and added some synths and then started really picking apart the vocal and seeing what else it needed. It was a fairly lengthy process, and we’re looking forward to sharing more of that with our fans so they can see all the effort that goes into a single song!
- What are some of your musical inspirations?
This is always a fun question…I try to answer it a little different every time I’m asked! Basically, I’m just a music fanatic, as long as it’s well written and well created, I’m a fan…of course certain genres more than others, but everything from Classical, to Classics, to everything over all of the more recent decades…light, and heavy and everything in between! This year I’ve been listening a lot to The National and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…great songwriting there, but my taste really fluctuates based on my mood and what I’m going through at the time. I think that’s the beauty of music, is that you can be completely open and just embrace it for what it is and what it makes you feel at any given time.
- What are some of your non-musical influences?
I love people-watching. It sounds weird perhaps, but each of us is the center of our own world, and probably the center of so many others. When you think about the interconnectedness of a single human and how they connect to and effect the world around them and all the humans in their lives, it really is incredible to think about. You can build entire worlds and stories in your mind by just imagining what a person is going through and how their journey is effecting their world and the people in it…and the stories can often become even more fascinating when you actually stop to talk to people also. I would say a lot of the inspiration for my songwriting comes from a fascination with the human condition.
- If you could plan your dream tour, who would be on it and why?
This is such a hard question! I think maybe today I’m going to go with: Walk The Moon, The 1975, Ships Have Sailed. I think that would be just a crazy show to watch, and I imagine it would be pretty awesome on the road as well…who knows, maybe some co-writes and collabs would come out of it…
- What’s your dream venue?
Honestly I’ve fallen in love with The Greek Theater…it’s a perfect size to be large, but still a bit intimate, and the acoustics are incredible for an outdoor venue. Love it!
- You guys have a steady following on social media, why do you think it’s important to connect with your fans online?
Oh how could it not be? These are the people who care enough about what we’re creating to work us into their daily lives and interact with us, not to mention helping to support us by buying or streaming our music and coming out to our shows…they are literally the reason we are able to do what we do, so we love interacting with them, getting to know who they are and why they connect with us, and we couldn’t be more thankful for their support!
- What’s next for you in 2017?
This year is rather open-ended! I think I said in another interview that ‘the goal is to not have goals’ …haha! Sounds funny, but it’s true…I think we’re just going where the wind takes us this year, and whether that leads us back into the studio or back out onto the road I think we’ll be pretty excited either way!
- Coffee or tea?
Coffee if I’m waking up, but tea if I’m getting ready to sing.
- Favorite place to vacation?
- Staycation or Vacation?
Staycation if we’re coming off tour, but otherwise Vacation all the way!
- Favorite Neflix show to watch all of in one day?
Orange Is The New Black or House of Cards
- Favorite song of the moment?
Honestly, with all the excitement around ‘Up’ being released I think I can honestly say that is my favorite song at this moment…kind of like a tribute to last year, and an anthem for this year!