Interview with Sarpa Salpa

Ready to meet a band with a bloody bright future carved out ahead? Enter Sarpa Salpa. They’ve been recognised by Jack Saunders on BBC Radio 1, they’ve just announced an ace 2021 tour and they’ve also hopped aboard the Record Weekly interview train for a chat.


Hello hello, how are you all?

Hey! We’re doing well thanks! At this point, we’re pretty much used to lockdown, which is weird to say. We’ve written a lot of new music and started rehearsing again together this week, so I (George) am really looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Let’s get properly acquainted. Tell me a bit about yourselves and how you formed. 

Myself (on guitar) and Marcus (vocals/guitar) formed the band a few years ago now. Our previous project had slowly come to a stop and we felt like we wanted to take things in a different direction. So we bought a few synths and started to create electronically-driven indie together. We then recruited Ethan (bass) and Charlie (drums), and started to write fully-fledged songs as a four-piece.

After we released the first few tracks, we decided that the songs we were writing in the studio would require an extra member. Meg joined the band on synths in August 2019 and helped bring the sound we had in the studio to our shows. 

From which artists do you draw your biggest influences?

Honestly, we all listen to a lot of different music and genres, so on some level, there’s influence from metal, folk and pop music. But I suppose the artists who we collectively draw the biggest influences from would be Foals, Tame Impala and Friendly Fires. 

Three solid choices! I’ve already let slip to you that I’ve been rinsing your indie-dance tunes recently, which includes your latest single, ‘Forwards Backwards’. As this was released during lockdown, did you have any difficulties with it? Has it been well received since?

Thank you! It’s definitely been a different experience. Up until now, we’d developed a schedule of releasing a track and then putting together a run of shows to support it. For obvious reasons, we’ve not been able to play any shows, so it’s been very different trying to promote the track.

Fortunately, we’ve had some really great support from BBC Introducing, who put us on their virtual Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and also from Jack Saunders on Radio 1, who made the track his ‘Tune of The Week’. Crazy!

Plus, even though people haven’t been able to come to shows, they’ve exhibited so much support for us online and it really goes a long way. 

How have you generally been muddling through during lockdown? Has this been a time purely to concentrate on more material or have you fallen victim to Netflix documentaries and cake baking?

I think a bit of both really. We definitely were all very into the Tiger King hype at the start of lockdown, which feels like a distant memory at this point! We’ve also written a lot of new material, which we think is our best yet, so we’re glad to be getting back in the studio.

I’ve been chatting to a few musicians lately about the impact this pandemic has had on gigs. However, you’ve recently announced your 2021 tour, which includes a date at Oporto, Leeds! How pumped are you for this already?

Oh we’re absolutely buzzing! I’m pretty sure by the time those shows come around, it will have been a year since our last show, which is kinda insane. We’ve been playing together for four years now and this is by far the longest we’ve gone without it, so we’ll have so much pent up energy. I think those shows might be our most exciting yet. 

In an ideal world, the summer festival season would be underway by now. What did you have lined up, both professionally and personally?

We had a lot of festivals booked that we never even got to announce; some of which we will be on the line-up for next year. I think our biggest disappointment is that we were due to be playing The Great Escape Festival alongside some amazing bands, so we’re gutted to have missed that.  

Do you think you’ll head away on a break somewhere later in the year or just stay put?

I’m not sure to be honest. I have a feeling the second wave will hit a lot harder so not booking anything yet haha.

Now, I’m not one to ruin surprises, but can you leave any parting teasers? 

I would say that people reading can definitely expect a new song in the not-so-distant future…

Image credit: Sarpa Salpa

Put Sarpa Salpa firmly on your radar ASAP by following them on Instagram and popping a like on their Facebook page. You can also buy tickets for their 2021 tour here, which swings by Leeds’ Oporto on 11/03/21.

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