Sheffield-based quartet Gramercy Park have a chat with us so we could find a little more about the band and why they decided to start making music and the release of their new single ‘On The Run’.
Tell us about your aims when creating music, and where does that aim stem from?
When we’re writing we’re usually trying to write songs that will make a big difference to our current live set. Sometimes that can mean writing something that is a different tempo to something we have, or sometimes just writing songs to keep the live set feeling fresh and interesting to play.
What was the catalyst for picking up instruments and wanting to start a band?
It was a long time ago so it’s pretty hard to remember! I think for all of us being fans of music that was band driven was a pretty big reason we started playing. Listening to the classics like Hendrix when we were younger was always a pretty big driving factor to wanting to start a band.
Were you very influential to music when growing up or did you establish your own musical preferences?
It’s hard not to be I think, we grew up listening to a lot of different music, some of which was probably passed down to us by our parents and some of it we discovered ourselves. Over time our personal tastes have probably become more established.
Tell us about what it was like when you first started writing?
Me (Will) and Tom started writing at a pretty early age long before we met rich so the songs we were writing were pretty rudimentary. But over time I think we’ve grown into a bit of a way of writing together. Tom writes the majority of music and then I write the lyrics and we change around structures and stuff together. More recently we’ve been writing just by jamming stuff in rehearsal too and that seems to be working really well.
What’s the music scene like in Sheffield at the moment? Any band recommendations?
The music scene in Sheffield is really diverse at the moment and pretty vibrant, it’s hard to pick out specific bands as there are far too many to mention and we’re bound to miss out someone great. I recommend anyone interested in the Sheffield scene to get themselves to Tramlines Festival, avoid buying a proper ticket and just spend the weekend checking out great local bands at the fringe events.
Have you got any upcoming shows in the coming months?
You can catch us headlining the West Street Live Stage on the Friday of Tramlines Festival in July, and we’re also booked in for Kaya Festival which is a really good line up that we’re proud to be a part of. We’ll also be posting some more info about a UK tour for the end of the year soon.
What and who influences you musically?
We all have surprisingly similar interests in music and find it really easy to put a van playlist together when we’re on tour. We’re big fans of the classics like Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. As well as a lot of more modern bands like The War On Drugs, Paper Kites and singer-songwriters Ryan Adams and Jason Isbell.
What was it like recording your new single On The Run?
On The Run is a song we had been touring with since last year, but it took a bit of work and rearranging before we settled on it how we have it now. The recording originally came out of some sessions we did over at Figure 8 Recording in Brooklyn september of last year.
It was the first time we’d gone into the studio without a producer, and it was really freeing for us to have an engineer there recording us whilst we made the decisions, after the session we took the files back to Will’s studio Junior Park in Sheffield where we did the vocals guitars and finished the track off.
We’ve been through a lot of different stages with this song and changed it around a lot, and after trying to mix it ourselves we drafted in the help of Dave Sanderson a producer friend who gave us some really good insight into how to take it to the finish line and he ended up mixing the track for us. It’s the first song we did this way and it took a while because we were always figuring out the best route forward and trying different things.
Now I feel we’ve settled on a method, so over the next year or so we should be able to release a lot more music, which is really really exciting. A lot of the process including the new york sessions is documented in our new music video along with shots from our shows in the UK and our tour in Croatia last year.
Although you are in a band, do you still have to work day jobs in-between live shows?
Yes although they’re all kind of music related, Tom works in a music shop, Will is a sound engineer and runs a studio and Rich teaches drums!
How would you like people to respond to your music? Do you wish to connect emotionally with the audience or is it just about having a party?
I’d say our music is probably best listened to either in the car or when you see us live, each song is different in terms of what kind of emotion we’re trying to get across, we’re just doing our thing and hoping that people respond to it what ever way they wish.
Do you ever see your sound changing from the style of music you write?
I think it’s a gradual evolution, and it’s constantly changing. I feel like it would be pretty strange for us to suddenly decide we want to change the sound completely, but over time we’re always experimenting and trying new things, that’s what keeps it exciting for us, who knows what we’ll sound like in ten years but I hope we’re still finding ways to keep the music fresh and relevant.