Counterfeit first met Search Party lead singer, Adam Howarth, after he was brought in last minute for a fundraiser we’d put on. I’d never seen him perform but he was pretty amazing. On this occasion he’d told me how excited he was about the band he’d started with a few friends and said I must come and see them. Wind forward a few months and I catch up with Adam, Ash and John to find out a bit more about the Search Party.
“A lot of people said you see a lot of the same kinda bands playing over and over again. It’d be a bit more refreshing to see something a bit more of a variation.”
Search Party formed at the beginning of 2010, like most bands they were a mix of mates and had previously been in different groups. Their first gig was in February this year where I witnessed an over enthusiastic bunch of lads thrash their wears on stage at the Leadmill. Since then they’ve been gigging, rehearsing and developing their sound. It’s easy to see that they are enjoying this process especially playing live. As Adam kicks us off with out chat ‘this gigging lifestyle is turning out alright, we’re getting some decent gigs, decent people showing up’. He also explains about the support they’ve received ‘we’ve had backing from Black flowers mainly Mark White, the drummer; he’s shown us a lot of support. If they get gigs he’s said do you know any other bands and we’ve always been first on their list. They’re a great bunch of lads. I think their music’s awesome but they’re a bit different, it’s a shame not a lot of people are into that and they’re a great bunch of lads they’ve sorted us out so if we can ever sort them out we’ll happily return the favour’.
It has to be said Search Party, at present, don’t have a high profile like other bands in the South Yorkshire circuit just yet. Over the last few months they’ve been working on new material and streamlining their sound. ‘Our new stuff is quite melodic, we got reviewed quite a lot saying we’re quite punky, we wanted to get out of that’ states Adam. John continues ‘the new stuff’s not fast it’s a big sound. Y’know, lots of reverb on guitar and drums and the like. We’ve had a lot of people say you don’t sound like a 3 piece’. Ash concurs with ‘that’s what we want really’.
They recognise their need for changes as John explains ‘our first gig awesome venue but back then it was more punkier trying to thrash the fuck outta instruments but now its more about music’. Adam tells me ‘that’s one thing we had to sort out, cos we were going on stage I was just snapping four strings out of six at the time and it were like cos I was trying to be the dogs bollocks. We’re trying to get this sound at the moment, which is like not proper indie. In Sheffield you can’t go down the indie route at all’. Ash explains, ‘like after a gig, a lot of people said you see a lot of the same kinda bands playing over and over again. It’d be a bit more refreshing to see something a bit more of a variation.’
Adams influences range from Doves, Radiohead, to old stuff like The Beatles and Rolling Stones. ‘I like a bit of crowded house. I like anything, I listen to everything but when you listen to music you take influences off certain things. Its like my lyrics have gone a bit weird and it’s like listening to Radiohead, cos his lyrics are awesome’. Ash continues ‘it’s like a load of bands are like who they want to be’. Adam explains ‘it’s like we take loads of influences off different bands. We just have a go and if we use that idea and maybe push it to something else. At first all the songs were like 5 different ideas pushed into 1 and it didn’t work, but now we get and idea for a song, we write around the idea then get the lyrics that fit in and if there’s any idea we can change, it’s like a progression or whatever’. ‘Its like at first we all showed off a bit at first’ admits Ash further admitted by Adam ‘it was us being a bit naive about it. We thought we were shit hot and now it’s like we’re not actually shit hot, we’ve more thought behind it’.
The lads also explain that they’ve fell lucky within their rehearsal space alongside Black Flowers across from them Exit Calm practice. Adam tells us that they’re an influence for the band, ‘we listen to their massive sound, cos musically they’re a 3 piece but then they’ve got a singer, but their sound is fucking huge. I talk to Rob Marshall quite a bit asking how they achieve that sound. We’re always asking bands how they do stuff and how do you go about things, just so we can get a decent foot in about moving forward’.
They admit that at the moment they’ve ‘not exactly got our heart set on going bang number one, it’s not about that. We all just enjoy playing and especially live to an audience, cos if there’s an audience there you get a fucking reight buzz of it’. Audience wise they are pulling in friends and a few others, mainly John’s mates. ‘We’ve had people coming up to us after gigs and saying you were the best band on the night, but for them to say that then turn up to a gig again are 2 different things’ Adam tells us. John continues ‘it kind of makes you feel stupid, cos they say you should have been put up higher on the bill instead of first, and when I think of it and I think it makes me feel that’ Adam reiterates his point ‘like we said it’s about playing live and if people like what we do then that’s good’.
Like any new band it’s a struggle at times, they are all at college with part-time jobs and the realisation that money is scarce in local music is apparent. John tells us ‘out of 20 or so gigs, we’ve only been paid for one or two’. Adam finds it ‘a bit daft really cos money could be put into funds to record and stuff like that, but we’re paying off our own back at the minute, it’s a bit of a pain in the arse. It’s hard work.’ Though they do admit it is, early days.
In the mean time they plan to keep on writing take advice from others, though the right kind of advice. As Adam states ‘there’s a lot of people out there who just talk shit and make you believe it, there’s a few people we actually listen to constructive criticism and feedback after a gig take it on and try and be the best band we can be. It’s fucking hard work for us, there’s a lot of amazing bands in Sheffield’.
Adam admits ‘we’re all pretty confident with our instruments, but when I’m on stage I try and act as cool as fuck but I know I’m not and I try and have this image about me sen but I’m just normal run of the mill lad. When I’m on stage I put 110% in so does ash and so does John. We’re all willing to put our lives on the line to make sure the music’s amazing’.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCiHkpU3rcA
It’s refreshing to see a band admit they are still developing and have an interest in the process of the music scene. It is hard out there, but the Search Party’s enthusiastic love of music is the one thing they have which will aid their development. They’re a cracking band at present and it will be interesting to see how they develop in the future. Adam confides in me that ‘we just wanna be in the band. These guys are like my brothers they’re like family. We’re not individuals we’re a band, we just want to get better and keep progressing’. As Ash takes the final word Jerry Springer style ‘to progress you have to gel and be together and that’s the way it happens’.