The Sound of Renfrewshire: The Deep Shining Sea
Veterans of the scene, we spoke to The Deep Shining Sea’s Stevie Hillcoat about influences, physical copies and Paisley’s musical rebirth.
How did the band come together?
“Jamie (McLachlan, drums) and I were in a band called Lemonhaze that split in 2017, but we stuck together. I had an album’s worth of demos recorded but we needed a bassist. We’d played with Gareth before but eventually lost touch. Then, as fate would have it, Jamie bumped into him at a St Mirren game!”
You’re following on from a long lineage of acclaimed three pieces. Is a trio the perfect set-up?
“The core parts of the music are all there and it’s great for keeping tight. That being said, having another creative musician onboard would be ideal. For the time being, I sing as well as playing rhythm and lead guitar which has its limitations. However, it does provide a punchier, no-nonsense sound.”
Your demos have sold out on cassette. Is it important to keep physical media alive within the digital age?
“Definitely. They were all handmade on a very small budget and the money raised financed the recording, mixing, mastering and digital distribution of our new single. Most of the time, having music and merchandise to sell at gigs is the only way up-and-coming artists can make money. I also have a slight obsession with tapes, so it was a bit self-indulgent.”
Would you agree that Paisley’s music scene has been prospering in recent years?
“We think it’s fantastic. It’s been a long struggle to get here, but the venue owners, organisations and bands made it happen. For example, the SAMA’s Paisley Takeover didn’t just happen on a whim, it’s the culmination of the work to actively better our music scene.”
Listening to your latest single Girl There’s Something You Should Know, there’s hints of everything from British indie to stateside troubadours such as Mac Demarco. Who would you count among your main inspirations?
“For that track, the vibrato guitar definitely hints towards Mac Demarco. However, I’d have to attribute that style to Connan Mockasin. He’s a big inspiration. As a band, our modern inspirations come from The National, The War on Drugs and Bombay Bicycle Club. With all that aside, we ultimately pull from our old favourites such as Oasis, Teenage Fanclub, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and, as always, Paisley’s finest band, The Close Lobsters.”
Do you envision 2020 as a breakout year for the band?
“It’s all going to depend on how much work and effort we put in. Since January. We’ve been at it hammer and tongs with no intentions of slowing down. We’re just going to keep promoting our music with the hope that everyone will jump in and come along for the ride.”
Follow The Deep Shining Sea via their website. This feature was published in Mill issue 10 September/October 2020.