News Upbringing: Shy Nature

London-based Neu favourites discuss the days before their wild anthemia.

North London’s Shy Nature are two singles in, prepping a self-titled debut EP for 16th September. Debut single ‘Deadly Sin’ was enough to warrant quickfire hyperbolic quips that London might have an arena-ready group on its hands. ‘Sinking Ship’ hasn’t disproved as much. Mystery Jets comparisons swoop in, but there’s also an undying desire - regardless of comparisons - to created something huge.

Tere’s always more to a new band than their first releases. In Neu Upbringing, we find out about the experiences, hardships, eureka moments that contributed to the making of the band. Every group has a story, and it’s usually brought together by choice moments from the preceding years. Will and Matt from the five-piece discussed their beginnings.

What’s the gig that’s had the biggest impact on you while growing up?
Will: The first gig I saw was Blink 182 at the Garage in Highbury in 1999. I had no idea about what happened at a rock concert or the concept of a mosh pit. It was a life changing night.
Matt: I saw Slipknot in Glasgow when I was about 14. It had a similar effect, just with less shorts and more boiler suits.

What are you best / worst studio and songwriting habits?
W: The worst is writing the same melody twice. I quite often write a melody and am pleased with myself… until I realise its the same as a song I already wrote. Best studio habit is probably supplying the band with regular cups of tea.
M: I get caught up in the tea making ritual but mainly use as an excuse to eat some kind of treat. It’s lucky drums are a fairly physical instrument. We develop our songs together as a band, which has played a big part in refining the material and making us all feel personally invested in the sound.

Who had the biggest influence on you beyond musicians?
W: George Carlin. I like his outlook on life and generally make all his opinions my own.

Has location ever had an impact on the way you write?
W: I find travelling around inspires lyrics. As far as writing as a band, the location of our drummer Matt’s bedroom has turned out to be a great creative environment.
M: The room is directly above an Indian restaurant, so we write and rehearse together whenever it’s closed – we’ve put in way more hours there than we could have ever afforded in a decent London studio.

Can you pinpoint the moment you realised you wanted to start making music?
W: My parents bought me a ‘Starsound’ electric guitar when I was 4. It didn’t actually have strings (just buttons that played a tune when you pressed them) but it looked cool, and as an excitable 4 year old made me want to play guitar and be in a band.

Even though it’s early days, what’s been your biggest breakthrough as a band?
M: Supporting The Breeders at The Forum in June was something we couldn’t have imagined back in April when we shared our debut track. Having existed as a band for just over 2 months, playing to a 2000 strong crowd (all there to see a classic, 20 year old album) and receiving such a warm response really reinforced our confidence in our songs and live set. Plus, we live across the road, so we got a pretty cool video walking from my kitchen to the stage in about a minute.

And biggest setback?
M: Before our first show, we made a ‘SHY NATURE’ sign out of a broken wardrobe to make our name visible on stage – a few hours before playing to by far our biggest audience, we realised this had gone missing. We’ll make another, but if anyone sees a crudely painted plank of wood with our name outlined in tip-ex, let us know!

Who’s the most underrated band still around today?
W: Prefab Sprout are still going I think and should be way more huge around the world than they’ve ever been. They have some amazing songs.

If you could be any existing musician, who would you be and why?
W: I would be Phoenix’s touring drummer. He always looks like he’s having a great time.
M: Kenny Loggins in the 1980s. I watched online parody series ‘Yacht Rock’ a few years back and irrespective of how accurate it actually is, I think Loggins had a lot of fun.

The ‘Shy Nature’ EP is out on 16th September on 300 edition limited 10’ vinyl. Pre-order here.

Read the full interview in the new edition of DIY Weekly, available from iTunes now.

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