What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
“Personally speaking, I was inspired by my family to appreciating music and being able to play an instrument. From my Dad playing Pink Flloyd on the school run, to my Grandfather playing the piano after our Christmas dinner. I just listened and certain sounds, certain types of music made me excited to learn how to play.”
“Again personally, if I never had such a musical family and got brought up with the music that I had, I think I would have been more into sport, football etc. As this was another passion of mine. I guess music took over in the end, thank god it did.”
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
“When I am not playing music, tough one, I spend most of my spare time socializing with friends and family. I love going out, drinking, and talking about the world. I suppose this does influence my creativity and does lead to many of songs. Peoples experiences, their perspective of the world, I’m always writing notes on my phone, doesn’t matter where or what time, if I have a lyric/ idea it gets wrote or recorded there and then.”
How long has your band been around?
“The band has been a five piece for around 16 months now, however, Neil and I have been writing songs together since 2013. Steve, Adam and I have been in the same bands from a young age and Glenn had also been in a band previously. We haven’t been together long, but we believe our first year has been an achievement.”
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
“We are all from the town of Sunderland, four of us north side of the wear, and one from the dark south side, I won’t name any names. With the majority living with meters of the river and the old shipyard, we came up with the Docksuns. Sunderland had been famous for the docks and ship building, so we wanted to kind of have this as our ethos. The music as heard in the lyrics, resembles working class, no place like home etc. vibe, influenced by our working-class families.”
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
“As mentioned above, the name came from the area with live in, it basically means we are sons of those working-class people who worked in the Docks of Sunderland, putting our city on the map, and we would like to do the same, with our music.”
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
“Best show we have played, hands down for me, was our first EP launch at Independent in Sunderland. The venue has two rooms, a 120-capacity room and a 350-capacity room. We had set ourselves the challenge to sell out the bigger room, which we did. The pressure was on for us to deliver our best set to date, and we did just that. I can’t remember the band dropping a note.”
“The worst show was a gig we played through Newcastle. There was a number of things we weren’t happy with before we even got there. There were five bands to play, 20 minutes sets each, with a turn around of 5 minutes between bands. A recipe for disaster. The venue/ stage was tiny, the promoter had no idea of planning, it was simply getting lots of bands on and make him lots of money. We played as if we didn’t want to be there, and I think it showed in our performance.”
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
“Favorite venue for me is Think Tank, Newcastle, simply because the room has a great layout, the stage is large enough for us five big lads and the sound is great. We have many places we would like to play and we would be here hours listing them all. Newcastle’s O2 academy, Jimmy’s in Liverpool and among them”
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
“Any show, with any line up….. Docksuns, Liam Gallagher, Queen.”
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
“If you are just starting a band, all I would say is stick with it, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, don’t get frustrated at the industry, enjoy writing and playing and go from there.”
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Pretty much similar to the above, I had a break from music for a few years to concentrate on my football career, which never proved successful. Stick with music, there can never be too much music. The greatest song every written is probably not even out yet.”
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Dancing on the Radio, due out 5th June, I would say has the most meaning to me. It includes and backs up everything I have said so far, don’t compare yourself to anyone, there is no place like home and basically tells a story of working-class people against famous people.”
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“This is the Last Time is possibly my favorite to play, it has dynamics throughout, it keeps the crowd interested, most of fans know the words. It also includes a bit ‘kick off’ we like to call it, at the end of the tune which goes into the chorus. Always nice to play.”
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
“We have three song writers in the band, James (me) being the main song writer, however, Neil and Steve will turn up one week at practice, with an absolute anthem. Normally the process includes me writing a song at home in my music room, sending an acoustic version to the lads, we then work on it in the practice room. It could take hours, it could take weeks to perfect but if we believe in the song, we make it work. I don’t believe that the best songs are wrote in 5 minutes, as that is too much in the moment, you have to allow for new ideas, new ears. This can take weeks.”
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
“Again, the messages we tried to send across with our music, is just be yourself, don’t compare, know where you’ve came from. We want people to relate to our music, we want people to feel something, or influenced by the lyrics. I want people to be able to answer the question in 20 years’ time, where are Docksuns from.”
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
“Disagreements? Every week, we are five individual different minded people, you would not have put us together, but music brought us here. We disagree on things in a really healthy way, everyone likes to have their say, I would hate to be in a band where one member ruled the roost and no one else had an input. How can you enjoy that?”
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
“Plans for the future have took a major set back due to this lockdown/ pandemic situation, however the plans haven’t changed. We still have dates booked in the studio, we still have a catalogue full of tunes that are ready to go, we want to tour the north east before venturing further a-field. Leeds, Manchester, London, Bristol, Liverpool, there is people all over that need to see these songs played live. We have a single coming out that has been recorded before the lockdown, called, Dancing on the Radio. We are very pleased with the way this has turned out and will do everything in our power to get it in as many ears as possible. OUT 5th JUNE.”