Brighton-based quartet Submariner make soaring alt-rock; the kind that leaves an emotional trace thanks to ambient guitars, spine-tingling refrains and euphoric peaks. With the band set to bring their high octane live show to CloseUp Festival 2018 – a pick n mix of exciting new music at London’s Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen – we spoke to frontman James Herrity about their formation and future.
How did Submariner start out?
“After being in bands throughout my teens, I wanted to go away and play on my own. I wanted to strip everything right back and then build from there. I figured that getting as good as I could on my own was the first step to building a good band. Eventually, I wanted to be in a band again so I got in a room with some friends and after a few line-up and creative direction changes, here we are! We gigged endlessly in the first year and a half or so, I just really wanted to go out, play the music and see how people responded. Last year, things really started to pick up for us with tours and major festival slots rolling in. We’ve always set ourselves goals and worked our fingers to the bone trying to achieve them and we’ll carry on doing that! We’re in a nice position this year where we have a bit of a stronger following and we’ve taken some really nice bookings for festival season so we’re able to really push the limits with our music. Since the band started, we’ve been in motion, constantly getting material ready for the road. We’re looking forward to really digging in and seeing what we can create now that we have a little more space to breathe. I honestly think we have barely scratched the surface.”
What inspired your name?
“I wrote a song in 2012 about a man trapped in a submarine under the sea. He eventually resurfaces and finds the world to be in a mess, so he goes back under the sea. I was talking to my dad about it and he pointed about the correct term for a man in a Submarine is a ‘submariner’. Always liked it, so when it came to forming the band, I named it that with no discussion – we had fought over names lots in the past!”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“Very tricky question, because we’re all influenced by different things (although we do share similar interests). Me and Alex (guitar) share a love of ambient post-rock. I also love more lo-fi stuff like Pinegrove and Elvis Depressedly, Billy (drums) listens to and creates a lot of electronic music and Ben (bass) loves everything from Radiohead to ABBA, so he’s quite easy to please. Just to give you a snapshot of what we’ve been listening to lately: Bon Iver, Tame Impala, This Will Destroy You, Pale Waves (mostly for the production) and The War on Drugs.
Any other new artists you have played with and would recommend?
“Wild Front and Arcade Hearts are smashing it at the moment – they’re very good pals of ours too! Also, GLASS PEAKS, Fine Creatures, Alex Tracey and RISCAS to name just a few that we have played very recently. There’s so many out there right now!
And finally, what does the future hold for Submariner?
“We’re going to showcase a more diverse range of material across festivals this season and then release some new music towards the end of summer so that we can tour throughout the autumn. We’re sitting on quite a bit of material and we now have the luxury of being able to show that to people and see what they think. In terms of dynamic, our sets can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride which is something that we love, it keeps things fresh and interesting!”