Sea Girls psyche themselves up to return to “stomping ground” Reading & Leeds

Reading & Leeds Festival can make or break a band. It’s where rising stars become the next generation of festival headliners and icons plan their victory lap.

Sea Girls are definitely in the former – with the London band hoping to use the festival as a springboard to indie stardom. Here, we caught up with singer Henry Camamile just to find out how the bloody hell they’re going to do it.

What have you been up to recently then, Sea Girls? 

We played a club night at Barcelona last weekend, which was awesome, quite rock n’ roll. It feels like we’ve been doing festivals basically every weekend this year and we just keep getting amazing reactions. It’s been so cool to see who is listening to our music. We’ve been pleasantly surprised each time.

Speaking of Reading and Leeds – every festival is a great opportunity to reach people who you probably wouldn’t have played for before.  What can people expect from your set at Reading and Leeds?

I think it’s just going to be really exciting! We’re going to put some new songs in it and are just going all out really. It’s what we’ve been looking forward to for years – in 2012 we said we’re not going to come back until we play it. We sort of set ourselves a bit of a challenge mentally.  

Festival crowds have been awesome – Reading and Leeds is our kind of demographic, it’s all about the music we love hearing, and we want to play the music that’s in our psyche.  We’re a real Reading and Leeds band – our roots are in indie music. We’re just going to put absolutely everything into it, it’s going to be awesome.

Big Reading & Leeds fans, then?

That was our stomping ground; we used to go from band to band, from like 1pm through till the end and watch it all. There’s a really exciting atmosphere – kids and people who just love their bands. I remember when I went, there was so much excitement, it’s just something special. The crowds are really rooting for their bands and there’s a really exciting vibe there.

Lots of chaotic memories?

Yeah, we used to race around to watch everything too. I seem to remember in 2011 we wanted to watch Klaxons playing at the same time as Guns N’ Roses. We were like 5 rows back or whatever at the Guns N’Roses set, but we wanted to watch Klaxons on time. It got to ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ and then we just crowd surfed it out. We did the most awkward crowd surf ever to get to the front of the Radio 1/NME tent, where the Klaxons were, and we just thought it was the quickest way.

Just pure commitment to the Klaxons, but we really pissed everyone off. It was quite an experience – not many people crowd surf during ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’.

You’ve got a new single coming out soon – tell us about it.

It’s called ‘All I Want to Hear You Say’. I wrote it a month ago and it’s about seeing an ex-girlfriend. My ex-girlfriend lived in Manchester at the time and I was thinking about her coming along and the emotions between two people who used to be in love, and still wanting to impress them. Knowing that there’s still something special, I think.

Was there anything that you were thinking about when you were writing & recording it?

I wanted to push the vocal, it’s a bit more challenging for me and right at the top. The song feels pretty on edge. I was a little bit mad when I wrote it in my head, actually I think I had concussion. The vocal definitely sounds a little bit more mad. We wanted it to be direct, like with everything that we do, we wanted it to feel instinctive and to grab your attention – you want to listen to it all the way through to the end. We wanted to get that message through.

Seems like there’s a big Strokes influence on this one…

Yeah, I agree with you about The Strokes. I didn’t really care too much about getting the notes right, I just wanted to push the message with the vocal really. I didn’t matter if it hurt my voice, I just wanted the vocal to capture the mood. I think there’s something slightly unstable about it – in the lyrics there’s a sense of wanting to prove yourself, there’s something a little bit desperate about it. I didn’t worry about whether it sounded beautiful or not.

Sea Girls play Reading & Leeds on 25th & 26th Aug 2018