Following the great success of their single ‘Rhythm’, which made BBC Radio 2’s playlist, along with live sessions on the station and BBC 6 Music, and an incredible couple of years on the live scene with sold-out headline shows across the UK and Europe, festival appearances including a headline set on Latitude Festival’s BBC Introducing Stage, and opening for the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, Bruce Springsteen and Ward Thomas, among others.
GIGsoup caught up with the exciting act CC Smugglers to get the lowdown on their latest single ‘Dirty Money’, everyone of their long list of influences and playing shows to 10,000 people in Belgium.
Can you tell us about the lyrics behind “Dirty Money”?
“In the writing of our new track Dirty Money I tussled with my own and everybody’s constant struggle for money and happiness. It’s a reminder to myself more than anything that those two things are separate.
A point the consumer driven lives we lead and the industry we work in, would easily have us forget these things.”
If you could sum up your musical influences, what artists would you choose?
I’m quite proud of our wide range of influences – From Muddy Waters, Django Reinhardt, the Andrews Sisters, Willie Nelson, to Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Hosier to Pokey LaFarge, Old Crow medicine Show, Seasick Steve. There are so many more.
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Being from Bedfordshire, would you say the location helped you shape your sound at all? With the people around it and memories at all?
I’d say so – I live right in the country surrounded by fields with 5 apple trees, two plum trees and until recently about 50 chickens. I always felt a bit of a connection with Old American folkmusic that came from the south. I also grew up without a huge amount of friends around me, access to a very small music scene that I had to travel 5/6 miles to access small venues. It is in this way that I grew up writing songs on my own since I was a small boy. The process of collaboration is therefore still not hugely natural but provides interesting challenge and results.
Also the bond formed with the musicians in our band who all grew up in this area is very tight, because we knew what it was to only have each other, there really were no other options, few gigs to be had, fewer bands to join.
We knew if we wanted to create something we were going to have to work hard. We knew what it was to be able to practise through out the night because we could play in a cabin by the fields away from neighbours. All things it’s easy to take for granted really.
Most memorable show to date?
There’s been a few absolute corkers. RockWerchter in Belgium was pretty surreal. We managed to get 10,000 people to sit on the floor, and jump up at the same time on the big drop of our finale. Supporting Bruce Springsteen was pretty epic too. Headlining stage 2 at Wilderness Festival was great, headlining a stage at Glastonbury also amazing. We’ve been so lucky to have been able to play so many dream shows.
Can you tell more about the recording process? Who produced it?
It was recorded and produced by Gethin Pearson and Trevor Steele. In two separate sessions in London and Manchester. The first session w elaid down the orginal arrangement, and then in the second session we rearranged it and jammed around with some ideas which we loved.
Is there an album or EP on the way soon?
We are working on secret plans…
How would you describe CC Smugglers in three words (not including your name)?