The Fisherman & The Sea
The Fisherman & The Sea are an indie folk-rock group you won’t want to miss out on. The Fisherman was planning to record his debut studio album before suffering a near complete physical breakdown from pneumonia which served as a wake-up call for the singer-songwriter. He then changed his plans and decided to record the project himself. After forming the band, The Fisherman created his own label for his musical endeavors, Neck of the Woods Records. In August 2017, The Fisherman & The Sea released their debut EP titled, ‘Beggar Princess.’
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
No, not really. The first time I picked up a guitar I immediately started to try and come up with something of my own, even though I had no clue what I was doing. Also, I was afraid that someone might ask me to learn some Metallica, like Enter Sandman or something, and that I'd just suck at playing it, so I just thought – naah man, I'm just going to write my own songs 'cause nobody can tell me I'm playing those wrong, haha!
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Don't know if this is down right crazy, but the funniest thing that ever happened was this one gig me and the guys from The Sea had with our previous band. We'd found this promoter who wanted us to come and open for this huge band. It'd be the perfect placement for us, give us great exposure and there'd be all these industry people there. So we get to this club, and we've been traveling half a day with all our gear and a sound engineer – I mean this city is something like 400 miles from our hometown – and there's one small poster at the door with our faces on it and that's it. No mention of that "big name” band, just us playing in a town where nobody knows who we are. So the promoter comes along and goes "Yeah, sorry guys, the other band had to cancel. D'you think you can fill this place on your own?" 'Course we couldn't. Nobody knew us there and it turned out that that poster on the door was the only promoting this guy had done for the whole gig. I vaguely remember us going into town and putting up some more posters on our own. To no-one's surprise we played that gig to the bartender alone that night. The place was completely empty. But we had fun! We played every single song we knew and the bartender was loving all of it. I think the cook joined her at some point as well. Surreal and crazy, that was. But hey, all our expenses were covered, we had beds to sleep in and all that. Still jeeeezzz.... What a trip!
What has been the high point of your music path?
Probably being featured on the front page of NoiseTrade.com as ’New & Notable’. At first I just thought ”well, this is nice. Maybe somebody will give us a listen.” But then we suddenly had 300 new people subscribe to our mailing list from all over the world and a radio station in New Jersey picking up our debut EP and all sorts of requests like interviews etc coming in. All within the space of a week! That was certainly positively overwhelming and more than I’d hoped for. We were showered with so much positivity that week, damn!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Whenever I have the time to pick up an instrument I try to come up with something of my own. I practically never pick an instrument up to play other people’s songs, unless I have to. I just don’t. Most of the time I just want to have a bit of fun and take my mind off of things for a while. And then something will start sounding good to me all of a sudden and before I know it I’m neck deep into the songwriting process.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Easy: Getting through to the listener. That’s the hardest part by far. Reaching the listener who wants to hear your music but just doesn’t know you yet is a massive challenge. I’m absolutely convinced that even for the obscurest high school Bollywood punk band based in Antarctica there’s at least a 1000 people scattered around the globe who’d listen to that band religiously. That’s just how diverse the planet is, I think. It shouldn’t be a hard thing for any band to find at least a thousand people who dig their music. But look how hard it actually is! You’d think that thanks to globalization, the internet, social media etc the whole playing field would be democratic and everyone could get through to everyone. Instead we’ve got all these gatekeepers and companies blocking the way, certainly making a huge buck out of artists trying to get their music heard, and out of the listeners as well, steering them in the direction of big record company releases. The funny thing is that in the music business, the consumer is actually king. He just hasn’t realized it yet and/or lacks the ways to manifest it. Record companies big and small and various other influencers pay big money just to get their music into your ears. Now if that’s not actual power you’re holding, I don’t know what is. Back in the day you had to pool all your money and make a kickass demo hoping for someone to take notice and ultimately land a record deal so you can get your music out into the world. Wishing upon a star. Now you can record at home and release your music to the world for a fairly small amount of money. And that’s great. But you still haven’t reached anybody. So you’re still basically wishing upon a star, to catch that lucky break, like being featured on a prominent Spotify playlist or a TV show. At the end of the day, I think the direction it’s going is the right one. And for anyone keen enough on investing their time into it, you can discover some amazing music on the internet that you’d have had zero chance finding back in the day.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I could literally name dozens and dozens of bands. But there’s not one particular band that stands out, sorry, haha. I just love sharing a stage with other people who’ve poured their heart and soul into their own music, no matter if they’re a household name or an obscure indie band. I consider both to be a privilege, honestly. But okay, since this question is also a bit about our influences, I’ll just direct you to our Youtube channel where we’ve just started releasing our cover series ’A Sea of Heroes’ in tribute to all the bands and artists that have inspired us. So far we’ve released songs by Oasis, Midlake and The Beatles. Round about the time this interview comes out we’ll be releasing ’Gamma Ray’ by Beck. There’s 14 covers altogether, so do check it out! We’re adding a new song every 10 ten days.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We put the kettle on, play a few tunes in my bedroom and see what’s what. No, seriously! That’s the way it goes. We only play with acoustic instruments and the drumset’s actually just a cajón on steroids so we just practice in my bedroom in an apartment building. I’m lucky with my neighbors, mind. We’re only playing cafés, bars and small clubs at the moment so our current acoustic set-up’s perfect for that. But I’d love to play a few bigger club gigs at some point and unleash the whole sonic palette of our band with all the keyboards and electric guitars you hear on our records.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I usually only struggle with lyrics, not so much with the music. I used to write all the lyrics to a song in one sitting and often found that somewhere during the second verse the lines just started getting more uninspired. But I didn’t give a shit because I’ve never been a huge lyrics geek myself. Now with these Fisherman songs though, I’ve found that I’m unable to bullshit myself through a song like that. I instantly realize when I’ve hit that point of not being inspired anymore and instead of trying to force something out I just let the lyrics be and come back to them when I have a new idea where to take the song lyrically. It’s definitely a slower process, but it gets better results in the end. There’s this song called ’Stuck With A Rhyme’ which is the title song of our next EP coming out in December that I just couldn’t finish the lyrics for. Funnily – or ironically? – enough that song was initially about writer’s block. I was just unable to wrap the lyrics up and our first gig was approaching and I’d just been freestyling parts of the lyrics in rehearsals. So the night before our first gig I suddenly had this idea of the song not being only about writer’s block – because, I mean, who gives two craps about that except for writers – but that it’s actually more about you being stuck with yourself. And suddenly everything fell into place and I had the final lyrics to belt out the next day!
What's coming up in the future?
Well, while we’re still busy trying to win over fans one by one playing gigs and trying to find different ways to get a bit of exposure (Thank You 10 Questions, you rock!) for our first release, we’re also hard at work on the second EP I just mentioned. We’re shooting the music video for ’Stuck With A Rhyme’ this month. I’m pretty sure the 4 new tracks are going to surprise some people after what they heard on ’Beggar Princess’. But in a good way. I like the way it’s shaping up. It’s a more complete body of work than ’Beggar Princess’, I think. It’s got it’s own flow, it’s got more edge and it definitely expands on what people have come to expect of us after ’Beggar Princess’. Can’t wait to release it! It’s scheduled for mastering in a couple of weeks and it’s coming out at the start of December, I hope. We’ve got two more EPs and the album planned, so there’s plenty of music still coming from The Fisherman & The Sea. And then there’s obviously ’A Sea of Heroes’ that I mentioned earlier. There’s still 10 more songs to come after ’Gamma Ray’ by Beck. So yeah, we’re keeping busy.
Where can fans can access your music.
The easiest way is always going to be our website, so just go to www.thefishermanandthesea.com/music and you’ve got yourself the perfect All You Can Eat buffet by The Fisherman & The Sea. By joining our mailing list you can even get your hands on totally exclusive music that you can’t get anywhere else! And if you’re a more day to day kind of person about information, you can hook up with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefishermanandthesea Thanks so much for this and a whole lotta love to you all!