Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Liverpool band Courting to find out more…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Sean Murphy-O'Neill (vox)
Michael Downes (guitar)
Sam Brennan (bass)
Sean Thomas (drums)
A few of us have been friends since we were kids, the others joined later on through friends, and friends of friends. We're from Liverpool, and we're named Courting due to the fact my nan consistently asks me if I'm courting and technically now I can say "yeah". She's very glad that we named the band after her influence.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Personally, I was a massive fan of Cheryl Cole but collectively, there's been fans of Linkin Park, and My Chemical Romance. These days, we listen to a lot of post-punk and noise stuff but realistically we enjoy a bit of everything throughout the whole band. To be specific, recently I've been listening to Connan Mockasin and King Krule a lot, but we've also got a shared appreciation of black midi as well as some other upcoming UK groups.
How would you describe your sound?
It's quite hard to confine your own music to a genre or a sound, but we want to explore a lot of different sounds and make sure that we keep our style interesting rather than just trying to blend in with the mainstream indie rock sound which is constantly being revived. We've recently been discussing trying to incorporate some elements of dance music as well.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our latest single is called Not Yr Man. It's inspired by the same thing which has inspired a lot of artists recently, which is toxic masculinity and what it means to be masculine in the modern age. We were trying to rally against the pressures of being a man in a way which wasn't so serious and bleak but more so by discussing the more trivial and stereotypical aspects of the issues at hand like haircuts and carrying excessive amounts of shopping in one trip to appear manly.
What’s your local music scene like?
The Liverpool music scene is interesting, there's a huge thriving demand for dream pop and indie-pop bands so it's quite hard to fit into the mainstream. But it's good because we all get on and there's not that much rivalry. There's also a lot of more interesting bands coming out of here right now like Chinatown Slalom who just released their debut album which we love. It's fun to be part of a scene that doesn't really care what genre you are, we've played with pop bands and we've played with metal bands and it all just seems to work really nicely.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We have more songs wrote, and we're hoping to get back into the studio to record some more as well as hopefully start playing more shows outside of our home city and hopefully manage to piss off gig reviewing journalists all over the country, rather than just the local ones. We'd love to start playing more festivals next year as we're yet to have played an outside gig and I feel like that would be great.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Our drummer Sean would love to work with Foo Fighters and I personally would love to work with Kevin Parker. On a more realistic level, I personally think It would be fun to get some musicians who can provide us with some unusual instrumentation for our newer songs. Would love to have a full talking heads esque set-up live on a little tiny stage in Liverpool.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Our live shows have been slatered before but we just try to have fun with it. We've recently been getting people on stage to play cowbell with us. It's always great to have the cowbell on hand because you never know when the set will call for it. Someone once wrote that our live show made him want to start smoking again and honestly we think it's shocking how large our reach of influence has grown over the past year.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I think we'd like to say that we hope to never become complacent or boring, so that anyone who decides to listen to us can expect different things from us with every release. We're hoping that whatever audience we have is as interested in changing things as we are.