Just in time for the release of their Christmas single, CALM turned on some Bob Dylan, put the kettle on and sat down with Will from SHY NATURE to shine the light of scrutiny into his eye (we just asked him a few questions, that’s all)…
Will, how goes it? Thanks for speaking to us. First up, let’s get the important stuff out of the way: Blur or Oasis? Oasis.
Ok, we can continue. So, how are things with you? It’s going well thanks; Shy Nature have been finishing off an album, which has meant a lot of time in the studio. It’s finally done now, which feels great. More recently, we’ve been rehearsing for some upcoming shows. We’ve actually not played a gig since the summer, so can’t wait to get out there again.
Yeah, tell us about that. It’s with Idlewild right? We’re playing a couple of dates on their UK tour. We know the band through our Scottish connection and we played at their Iona Village Hall Festival earlier this year. They asked if we’d come and open at their Wakefield (9th Dec) and Nottingham (13th Dec) dates and we said yes! It should be a lot of fun and hopefully our music goes down well with their fan base.
You were described in the Guardian as “fast-paced, frantic indie with simpering vocals – only good”. How would you describe Shy Nature? The album we’ve just recorded is a bit less fast-paced than some of the earlier tracks we put out – maybe some of the vocals are a little less simpering as well at times – but I would describe Shy Nature as three men who play loud music in their flat together (when the neighbours are out of course).
How does it feel for you to be ascribed to the same musical set as the likes of the Maccabees and Vampire Weekend? It’s quite flattering… I hope we go on to sell as many records as those bands!
2014 was full on for you guys, playing to some big crowds… Yeah it was a fun year playing to lots of people. Felt good to be on tour and getting to properly play out our songs night after night.
We also got to go to South Korea and China for some gigs. None of us had been to that part of the world before so we were all very excited. After a show in China one member of the touring party ordered a £700 bottle of red wine by mistake. I don’t think any of us even got to drink it. That was kinda hilarious but also a little painful…
You marry some pretty upbeat music to downbeat, even dark, lyrics – where does that come from? I like the contrast and find writing overly positive lyrics doesn’t come naturally. It’s easier to draw from tough experiences than good ones I find. No-one writes a song that goes “Life’s good and I’ve got no problems” (unless you’re Pharrell Williams). I want people to be able to relate to a song and not struggle to find meaning in it, so the lyrics are often quite literal.
You’ve got a Christmas song out haven’t you? Yeah it’s called “Christmas Lullaby” and it came out on Monday this week (7th December). It’s the third Christmas song we’ve written and I’m hoping one of them becomes a big hit so I won’t have to do anything ever again. (That’s kind of a joke…)
Will, do you love the festive season or dread it? I like Christmastime and enjoy seeing the lights, trees etc. I try and shut myself off from the commercial side of it and don’t get too fussed about making sure I’ve bought enough stuff. I’m extremely lucky because I have a family who I can be with around this time.
Part of what CALM does is to challenge the notions of what it is to be a man that prevent guys from seeking help when they need it. What does masculinity mean to you? To me, when I think of masculinity I think of strength. Physical strength but also the strength to be able to let your emotions show and not be afraid to ask for help and talk about problems rather than keeping a facade of strength by keeping everything inside.
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