Interview with Kiaran Crook from The Sherlocks. With a new line-up & a brand new album what’s next for The Sherlocks?

All words and photos by Rhona Murphy

It's All Indie caught up with Kiaran (lead vocals/guitar/songwriter) from Yorkshire band The Sherlocks and chatted about the new band line-up and recording album 3 at the legendary Rockfield Studios.

The Sherlocks are Trent Jackson, Alex Procter, Kiaran Crook, Brandon Crook

Let’s have a recap on 2020. At the start of March you were just finishing off a UK tour, when did you realise plans had to change because of Covid-19?

We were nearly at the end of the UK tour and were due to go onto the USA a couple of weeks later for some shows. We knew that Josh and Andy (Davidson) had decided to leave the band after the American dates. They both wanted out of the music industry to try different things.

To be honest none of us understood the impact of Covid at that point. We were back home getting ready for the US tour when someone told me the pubs were shut. That’s when I realised it was really serious!

What was planned for America?

We had a little US run, a short tour in a few new venues. We went there once before for a good two months but this was just a short run.

How did you go about looking for replacements for Josh and Andy?

We didn’t even contemplate splitting up or ending the band, not for one minute, we’d gone too far. We’d been going for 10 years to get to that point and there are still people out there who like us, want to see us and enjoy our music. It didn’t even cross our minds that we’d stop. It was just right, we need some more people and we need to get cracking. We didn’t reach out to that many people. Trent (Jackson) was suggested to us first, he was the first person we got down to the practice room and he was really good. We knew Trent a tiny bit because he’d been part of the band crew (backlining) for a few live dates. Alex (Procter) is a friend of our sound guy Nick (Gizzi) in fact they used to be in a band together. 

Nick recommended Alex, he said he was one of the best guitarists he knows. Alex came down to the practice room and straight away I got a vibe he was going to be in the band. He played both guitar and bass the same as Trent. We had one practice with each of them on their own then we met up for another practice with both of them and then agreed that Alex would play guitar and Trent bass. We ran through some new songs off the new album then. And soon after that we headed down to Rockfield Studios.

You’d started the band 10 years before with two sets of brothers, you and Brandon and Josh and Andy so that must have felt like a big change?

When you’re in a band you think you’re going to be together forever and then life just throws funny things at you sometimes. The mad thing about that as we drove down to Rockfield soon after with Alex and Trent and in the 3 weeks we were there we really got to know each other. It was just a good time, from start to finish, the best time I’ve ever had making an album. Rockfield was great, me and Alex staying up all night drinking and with the music blasting. One night we hadn’t gone to bed at all, we just shut the curtains when it started getting light.

Dave (Eringa) the producer came out to shut the music off once. We had a rule that if there were more than two people up no-one could turn the music off. Even on the last night, we stayed in the studio working till gone 7am the next day. The first thing you hear from the new album is the last thing we recorded.

Tell me about Dave Eringa the producer (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltry, the Who, Tom Jones, Kylie)

I think we always knew we were going to use Dave at some point. When we did the first album ‘Live For The Moment’ we used Gavin Monaghan to produce it, all the early singles we’d released like 'Heart Of Gold' we recorded with Gavin. He’s a top bloke and we did some stuff with him recently too. We had also worked with Dave on two tracks which went onto that album ‘Chasing Shadows’ and ‘Will You Be There’. Then we went to Rockfield Studios with Gavin to record the first album. We tried to re-record ‘Will You Be There’ but we loved Dave’s version so every song on the first album is by Gavin except ‘Will You Be There’. Ever since then we always thought we’d work with Dave again. For the second album ‘Under Your Sky’ we went with James Skelly at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and that album has a different vibe.

With the first album we didn’t have enough experience to know what we wanted it to sound like, it was almost like four lads in a room just playing what we’d played at gigs for years and we didn’t over-complicate it. We felt we owed it to the fans as well, we purposely didn’t mess around with the arrangements that much especially with songs like ‘Chasing Shadows’ and ‘Live For The Moment’ whereas the second album was a softer sounding record. I feel like with this third album, we knew what kind of record we wanted to make. Like the first album but with the added experience we’ve got since then, back to the old sound but it sounds so fresh. It’s impossible not to sound fresh with two new band members and they’ve brought so much to the band, both come up with their own ideas.

They’re both good at different stuff. When we got down to the studio they played better than I’d have thought possible given that they were so new.

You wrapped up the whole album in those 3 weeks?

Yeah, all finished. We had demos and we had one tune ‘Wake Up’ recorded already. It’s a 10 track album and we did it in those 3 weeks. We got into a flow smashing down a vocal every day at one point. 

Rockfield is the best studio I’ve been in for the vibe. I feel at home down there. The thought of making another record down there is exciting to me. Not many bands go away for 3 weeks to make a record now. People do it bit by bit and fit it around a touring schedule. I’ve always preferred it this way. This first album was done at Rockfield in Quadrangle, the second at Parr Studios in Liverpool and the third one back at Rockfield in Coach House. I love it, there’s no better feeling than waking up and knowing you’re straight back into making the songs. You’re surrounded by the songs and the people you’re making it with and it rubs off on you. Me and Brandon have got the experience of making 3 albums and for Trent and Alex this was their debut album. Each time you learn little tricks about what works and doesn’t.

You’ve now recorded an extra single too down in a studio in Essex?

Yeah, we don’t want to release the album yet, we don’t know when we’ll be able to tour it. I’ve had this new song a while, and we wanted to get a fun tune out, an ‘in between’ tune. It took two days and we had a laugh really with no pressure. We’re just mixing it now. It’s a bit different to the album.

What are you most looking forward to when you get to play live again?

Looking forward to touring, songs are ready, it’s been nice to get things ready and have loads of time to play with but touring is a big thing for us. I’d love to get the album out and tour it. Now we’ve got 3 albums to choose from. We’ll be playing tracks from all albums. We can have a good long set!

We’ve got loads of potential shows lined up and we’re just waiting for the go ahead. We just love playing live, our gigs are all about the fans, pushing and shoving. Our gigs are just chaotic. That’s what we want.

We’re excited to be back, we’ve never been in a better position as far as being sat on new music. We’ve got this brand new record which I honestly think is our best yet. Sounds like us but there’s stuff in there which is completely different too. And two new band members. It takes us to the next stage. We’re in a strong position. Trent and Alex have come up with some really good ideas and you need that in a band. I’m really looking forward to the next phase of The Sherlocks.

The Sherlocks are...

Kiaran Crook (lead vocals/guitar/songwriter)

Brandon Crook (drums)

Alex Procter (guitar)

Trent Jackson (bass)