INTERVIEW: Sarpa Salpa

Armed with infectiously catchy melodies and an underlying self-assured swagger, Sarpa Salpa are rising up through the indie world with a run of fresh new singles.

Their latest – Casanova (due for release on 14th Feb) – explores the trials and tribulations of modern day romance, and is accompanied by a sardonic music video that feels like a mash-up of a boxing match and episode of Skins. I had a chat to the band to learn more….

Hey guys! Tell me a bit about yourselves and how you formed as a band…

Hello! We are a 4 piece indie-pop band from Northampton, with Marcus on vocals / rhythm guitar / synths, George on lead guitar / synths, Ethan on bass and Charlie on drums.

George and I (Marcus) were in a football team together when we were younger, so that’s how we initially met! We soon realised we had more of a connection when it came to music tastes over football – forming bands together since 2011 and leading us to start Sarpa Salpa in late 2015.

A chance meeting in a local pub resulted in us finding our drummer Charlie, with Ethan joining us a few weeks later – from one of George’s side projects at the time.

Sarpa Salpa’s a hallucinogenic fish, right? Where did that name come from?

It is indeed. I wish we could say we got the name from a wild night with the dream fish, for want of a better story. It was actually just Marcus and a wild night on Google, learning interesting facts about fish!

You had a busy 2018. What were your highlights?

It was an amazing year. We were the busiest we have ever been as a band – playing 62 shows and 20 festivals – so that just makes it even harder to choose the highlights!

I’d say for me personally (Charlie), my highlight of the year was going over to Marburg, Germany to play a run of shows for some of the most enthusiastic crowds I have ever seen! Definitely something I will never forget.

Your new single Casanova is set to be released on Valentine’s Day. Can you tell me about the story behind the song and video?

The track is focused around somebody chasing their idea of what love is, yet their high expectations always fall short to their reality. The video shows a girl seeking her Casanova, yet refuses to see it in anyone she meets (although sometimes for a good reason!) and continues her cycle of expectation vs reality.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

We all listen to a variety of different music with different artists influencing all of us, but a few that we all share in common are Everything Everything, Foals & Tame Impala. All three are incredible bands and they inspire us in many ways to write the way that we do.

If you could play any venue in the world, where would it be and why?

If we were being optimistic and unrealistic, a show at Radio City Music Hall in New York would be right up there on my list! Failing that, Alexandra Palace wouldn’t go amiss!

What’s coming up for you this year?

This year is going to be just as manic as last year as we travel further away from home to play shows to new crowds, to new places that we’ve always wanted to play.

Here’s the next couple of shows we have lined up for 2019;

West Street Live, Sheffield – 17th Feb

Verve Bar, Leeds – 23rd Feb

And plenty more to be announced soon!

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