Editor Simon Rushworth caught up with frontman and former Winterville favourite Pete Shoulder for another rushonrock exclusive.
rushonrock: Tell us about your summer adventure.
Pete Shoulder: The trip across America was brilliant. It was called Hands Across The Water and was in aid of Childline Rocks. There was me, the guys from Thunder, members of the military and various businessmen. It was a blast. We raised around £20,000.
rushonrock: Did you motorcyle all the way?
PS: Not exactly. Me and Luke didn’t have motorcycle licences so Luke drove the support truck with me and a lad from Classic Rock Magazine in the cab!
rushonrock: So describe the average day.
PS: We would leave the hotels at 8am and we were on the road all day until 6pm. We started off in Canada and crossed the border into Montana and through Silicon Valley and Idaho. Each night we’d get the guitars out and play a few songs wherever we stopped – and there would be a bucket collection for Childline at each venue.
rushonrock: Did you have something special planned for the end of the trip.
PS: The last day we drove into Sun Valley and there was a big outdoor concert organised. It was just a great experience from start to finish.
rushonrock: Had you wrapped up Siren’s Song before you headed over to the US?
PS: We’d literally just finished the new album when we flew out to start the charity ride. We’d only mastered it two days before we were due to leave. We had Scott from Classic Rock with us every day and it was good to have a sounding board for the new material. I think it was the perfect scenario for us to really listen to what we’d done – with those long journeys and all that rolling countryside. And ever since I’ve been making records I’ve always made them to pass the car test! If they sound good on the road they sound good anywhere!
rushonrock: Was it easy making the second record and what’s the reaction been?
PS: We made the new record on the fly. We’ve been so busy since the debut album came out that we were writing the new record while we were touring. We’ve been right on top of it all along the way and it’s a record that’s very close to our hearts. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it until we did the ride across America but it sounded right then and, after three songs, Scott said it sounded brilliant. That was a relief. I’m always nervous when someone listens to my music for the first time – I’ve never lied about what I like and don’t like and I don’t think many people do. But I think Scott was as nervous as me – he was probably wondering what he’d say if he thought the album was hopeless!
rushonrock: The Union sound from the first album is evident but there’s some exciting new twists – is that deliberate?
PS: We didn’t consciously try to replicate the debut album and I don’t think we have. We didn’t worry about genres – if the music excited us we’d consider it for Siren’s Song. I think it rocks harder than the first record in places but the diversity is still there. That’s something I’m proud of.
rushonrock: There’s more of the emotion and passion you get from The Union live on Siren’s Song – do you agree?
PS: The new album is a better reflection of The Union live. It’s not only the fact that we wrote so much of it on the road and the shows rubbed off on the songwriting. We’re a more settled unit now and we’re in a different headspace. That fed into the new record.
rushonrock: With two albums’ worth of material to pick from what can we expect on the new tour?
PS: I’m looking forward to the fact that we can play a longer set. We’ve got twice as many songs and I’m quite excited about settling on the ideal setlist. We have to be a more selective. I’ll be playing guitar all night – I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands otherwise. But there nay be certain solos that I played on the album that Luke might take on in a live setting. If I have to hit a high note that’s the priority for me.