By Tom Groom
The Little Shocks are a teenage band incarnated in the heart of Chichester, the outcome of shifting line-ups in an already-existent band. A bombastic, guitar-driven, post-alternative indie sound gives this band it’s edge, and reminds you in part of a young Arctic Monkeys, with a little bit of Fratelli’s thrown in. The band consists of frontman Tom Herrington, Lead Guitarist Rob Brown, Bassist and backup vocalist Harry Caiger and manic drummer Elliot Jones, who I caught up with to interview about his band’s promising rise of success.
TG: What made you initially decide you wanted to be a musician?
EJ: I used to go to gigs all the time from the age of 11 after playing football from an early age. I picked up a bass first, but I was no good, so I got a cheap drum kit instead. It was all a bit random really.
TG: Who are your idols as drum players?
EJ: Chad Smith, Dave Weckl, Mike Portnoy, Dave Grohl and a bit of Travis Barker, people compare my style to him sometimes.
TG: How long have you known your fellow band members? And how did you meet them?
EJ: I’ve known Rob since I was about 5 years old and I was in a band with him a few years ago, we gig’d around Bognor. I met Tom and Harry in November last year on a music course at college.
TG: How did you guys decide you wanted to be in a band?
EJ: They (Rob and Tom) were already in a band for around a year, but the line-up always changed, and they never wrote much music. They asked me in November last year and Harry joined us in February after a couple more changes.
TG: So how long have Rob and Tom been doing it?
EJ: Since about February last year together
TG: Where do you see yourself and the band in 6 months/ a year?
EJ: Hopefully if everything pulls through we are looking to play some reputable Brighton venues over the next six months or so. We are looking to book a tour for the summer next year, but we’ve got lots planned in between the two, but that’s secret!
TG: That sounds awesome. Your Facebook page, facebook.com/TheLittleShocks, tells me you’re unsigned, have you had any offers yet?
EJ: We haven’t as of yet, but playing at Coalition turned some heads in the right direction. We have things to work on and get better at, it’s something to look forward to as and when it happens. We need to show everyone what we’ve got over the next year.
TG: I, regrettably, couldn’t make it to your Coalition performance, but I saw it on YouTube, you were ace. When’s the next gig?
EJ: It was nuts man, we are doing a minibus every time we go for a fiver each. We are at the Exchange in Hove on the 17th of November and we are waiting for dates from the Prince Albert and the Hope in Brighton.
TG: Who, in your opinion, are the main influences on the band?
EJ: It’s hard to say really, but others say Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Strokes; these are the main ones people compare our sound to. People say a lot of different artists, we all like different stuff so the music and songs are influenced by lots of music.
TG: It’s good that way because you can get the best of everything. What would be your dream gig?
EJ: Yeah man we’ve got some hard-hitting tunes, some have grooves and funky melodies, it’s a nice mixture. Our dream gig would be without a doubt supporting the Arctic Monkeys! Realistically, if we work hard we want to try and get on one of the big festivals next year.
TG: Either of those would be awesome. What’s the best gig you’ve played to date?
EJ: Coalition without a doubt, we blew the roof off and got a good reaction from the judges and other Brighton venues afterwards. Looking back on it, that’s one gig we will remember forever, no matter what happens.
TG: It looked pretty manic from what I saw! You hear a lot of crazy stories about rock and roll guys doing stupid stuff, what’s the craziest time you’ve had personally or with the band in the time you’ve been playing?
EJ: (chuckles) The most rock and roll moment of my life was playing in a mankini with a former band for our last gig. I think as a band, the funniest one was Rob’s birthday, we had a gig that night and he was trollied. We need to have a big night out together when my passport arrives.
TG: I saw pictures of that gig. How difficult has it been to get gigs and attention in a music scene dominated by pop groups?
EJ: Round here we have done well because there’s not much music that’s like ours. At Coalition we were the only band of our kind, so we just have to keep writing massive tunes like we have been, still lots to come over the next few months.
TG: In my opinion, you should keep doing what you’re doing. You have nearly 500 fans on Facebook now, that’s quite a landmark! How useful has the internet been in promoting what you’re doing?
EJ: The main thing is going to bigger places and writing bigger and better songs, it’s all in the name of fun. Facebook especially helps massively – we are looking into other methods including a website in the new year.
TG: I guess half of it is not losing sight of who you are as a band. Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
EJ: The boys are fat fuckers, they get as many kebabs as possible, I just chain smoke! Other than that we just get as pumped as possible.
TG: One more thing, if you could meet any one of your musical heroes, who would it be?
EJ: I want to meet Chad Smith, then my life would be complete. From the band’s perspective, it would be the Arctic Monkeys or Alex Turner for sure.