The Shires FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview

What would you say was the biggest change you’ve seen in yourselves between Good Years and your upcoming ’10 years plan’ album?

The pandemic has been like a huge reset for us. We almost lost our identity through that time for a while. It definitely made us appreciate how much we love singing together and making music. Even though we feel a lot wiser for the challenging two years, there’s definitely an excitement again to be just able to make music!

While country is at the heart of your music, you also appeal to lovers of pop, rock and soul. Do you ever feel apprehensive when exploring new sounds and genres that you might stray too far from your country roots? 

It’s really exciting for us to explore new sounds. Coldplay have been a massive inspiration for this record and in a song like Plot Twist you can hear a lot of Radiohead. There is so much diversity in Country nowadays, and so many artists are blurring the boundaries of genres so we feel excited to try new sounds.

Your new single ‘I see stars’ is a high octane and high energy powerhouse, what headspace were you in when you first began to create it? 

 I See Stars was written across zoom, in my garden shed in the middle of the pandemic. I wrote it with my buddy Jeff Cohen. It was the first time we’d seen each others faces for so long. By that time writing across the internet felt a bit more normal, and the song just flowed out. The uptempo energy really came from the hope of dreaming that one day we would be out of the pandemic. It’s been amazing seeing the reaction of fans to the song.

What would you say was the hardest track to write on this album? 

The title track 10 Year Plan took a while. It’s a title I had for so long, literally years. I could never fully make it work lyrically for some reason. I was writing late one night across zoom with a songwriter called Sarah Sheldrake. I pulled the title up and even though it was a challenge chasing it, I’m so glad we did.

Did your writing process change this album when compared to your previous releases? 

I definitely went back to being a lot more instinctive on this record and trusting my gut. So many of these songs were just written purely for joy and not with a deadline in mind. I think you can really hear that freedom in the songs.

What are you most excited for this year? 

Our headline tour in April and May is going to be awesome. We have had to postpone it three times so it’s long overdue. There’s nothing like playing with a full band and seeing our fans light up.

What would you say was the most challenging hurdle to overcome on your musical journey? 

Being a UK Country act has its challenges. Trying to convince people to even listen to Country felt like a mission in the early days. There was such a stigma to it, whereas now it’s considered cool by so many people.

If you could go back to the start of your musical journeys and leave yourselves one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Try and relax and trust that everything will be ok. It’s so easy to get so wrapped up in everything and forget to enjoy and take in some of the incredible moments.

 What is your FAULT?

I left the bathroom light on, I always do. It drives my wife crazy.