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Questions Answered by Daley Smith
You've been through extensive head-lining touring, the release of your debut album, and had your music break the Top 40. What has your reaction to all this success been?
Personally my reaction is to constantly strive to do better, whilst doing one show you're thinking about the next and so on. It's kinda like "I definitely won't do that tomorrow, or tomorrow I'm gonna do that instead." Same with recording and writing, you are in constant consideration of the next destination.
What brought the band together to start The Sunshine Underground, why start a band?
We were all in different bands before TSU, we were at college one day and just ended up in a room together with our instruments, we were lucky enough to do a college course that afforded us to have a lot of spare practicing time. We all just felt that nobody was making music that we wanted to hear. We basically thought that we could be good.
How did the band get launched from the local scene into the national eye?
I don't feel that we have been launched anywhere, for us to get noticed it has taken a hard slog of loads of gigs and promo. Even with the Leeds scene we played loads of gig before anyone took notice, then a few more people would show up, then a few more I feel like we are still going through that nationally.
What was recording Raise the Alarm like?
Recording the album was the favorite period for me last year, we were locked away in a house in Brixton, it was a really relaxed atmosphere; we all really got on, us the producers and the studio staff. We would generally work from 11am until we were finished with what we had set out to do that day, which would be anywhere between midnight and 2am. We all ate together, played foosball together, had BBQ's and worked together it was great.
In hindsight, is there anything in the album you wish you could change or tweak?
Not really, for me once an album is on the shelves it's done, we are thinking about the next record. We have added bits to the songs whilst playing live but that’s more for the live show.
What do you hope to achieve in 2007?
I hope to write another album I'm really proud of, keep making the live show better and better, just to keep going really. It's all about progression.
Thinking at all about the ominous second record? Any ideas on how it may turn out?
As we speak I am writing this from my bed in a cottage/studio in the middle of nowhere in Devon where we are holed up for a weeks writing retreat. I'm really optimistic about the next record. We have few new toys and new sounds to play with. We already had one solid song before we came out here, we've been listening to a lot of new music. I'm excited about it.
What has been a more enjoyable experience for you and the band: recording or touring?
For me it's recording, with recording you can physically see the progress you are making in front of your eyes, it can be very rewarding. With touring it can be the most amazing thrill of playing to 1000 people then the next night to the disappointment of no one turning up because Razorlight are playing down the road in the only big venue in town. But you can't beat the excitement of being on stage. So can I say both??
Could you see yourself with The Sunshine Underground in, say, ten years?
Sometimes it's hard to see that far ahead at all and sometime I can't imagine doing anything else. As long as it's still a good experience for everyone involved then I'll keep doing it.
How would you describe the music scenes in Shropshire and Telford, especially when compared to those in Leeds and even London?
The music scene in Shropshire is growing I am pleased to say, obviously it is small compared to London or Leeds, but those places are cities with large populations. But I think Shropshire and the midlands should be proud of pulling itself out the heavy metal trap it was stuck in few years back. I was out there over Christmas and had no CD's or an iPod with me, so had to listen to the radio a lot, I had it tuned to radio Shropshire which in the evening had a local music scene radio show and all these acts had sent in their demo's and music. You had everything from bands to glitchy/tech Thom Yorke style stuff it made me reconsider the music scene over there. The thing holding it back is the lack of venues.