Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New grooves, music memories and lockdown skills - an interview with Seprona

Hitting the scene in 2019, Liverpool’s own ‘hip-shaking’ 5-piece Seprona have made a name for themselves as a band you can count on to raise your spirits and show you a good time.

Undeterred by a global pandemic, 2020 saw their latest singles played widely from BBC Radio 2 to ITV’s This Morning, earning them an army of followers eager to see what they will do next.


Their new release ‘Phone Me Back’ is a barn-storming return. Featuring their signature blend of infectious beats and bright guitar riffs, it’s a track tailor-made to get you on the dance floor.


Inspired by a lover’s quarrel outside a gig, the evocative lyrics will strike a chord with every listener. With an eye-catching pop art style cover image, ‘Phone Me Back’ is the perfect soundtrack for our return to those messy crowded nights and hazy morning-afters.   


We grabbed frontman Daniel Badger to find out what the band have been up to, and what’s coming up in 2021…


- For anyone who hasn’t come across you before, can you introduce us to the band and tell us a bit about how it all started?


My name's Daniel Badger and I sing and play guitar. Me and Chris have known each other since primary school and Niall was in literally in the school next door, we kind of met back up again properly when we were in college. I originally started Seprona with other people but it wasn't really working out and we didn't really have an identity, so I got in touch with Chris and Niall to see if they would be interested in playing again. Chris was up for playing bass but Niall was travelling in Thailand at the time so he couldn't quite make it back for the first gig we had! We needed a guitarist and Chris was mates with Louis from Uni, so he came along. Then Niall came back from Thailand and joined playing keys, and finally we met Adam and he fit right in to place playing drums. 

- What’s the story behind the name Seprona?


Haha, well... Me and Niall were in the same Spanish class in college and we were learning about the environment and stuff, and the word Seprona just sounded really nice to say and stuck with me. I thought that it was like the noise police in Spain as well, which seemed interesting too. So, a few years later when I was trying to think of a band name I remembered that and just went with it. It turned out that it was actually the environment police in Spain though, I should definitely have paid more attention in that class haha. We do sometimes get messages from confused Spanish people. 


- What are your first music memories?


The first thing I can properly remember from when I was young, I would sit in my Nan and Grandads house with a load of their old Beatles records. They still had a kind of old-fashioned record player and I would just put them on and I would just listen to them from start to finish, I think that probably had a big impact on me wanting to actually play music as well.  I remember just being really drawn in to the songs and could have listened to them all day. My big first musical performance came in one of my mum's friend's back garden though, where I sang Wonderwall on one of those old karaoke machines haha. I must have been really young but maybe I just knew that I wanted the limelight from early on! 


- It’s been a long and difficult year for us all, how has the pandemic affected the band? Do you think your music has changed?


It has been really hard to navigate as a band. Just the uncertainty of not knowing what to do. When to try and book things for or when to release music or whatever. Luckily, we managed to get some songs recorded over a few weeks late last year in Parr Street Studios. We had to kind of change the way we do things a bit. I have a bit of a home set up to record some of my ideas and sent it over to the rest of the lads to listen and have a think about which ones we wanted to record in the studio and for them to think of ideas too. I think we are confident in how we sound now, so even with the limitations we had we still managed to get the songs to sound how we wanted them to. We really enjoyed making them and just being in a room together again was really comforting after so long away. 


- The first lockdown hit right in the middle of your live tour - how are you all feeling about getting back on stage?


Yes, it was literally halfway through the tour. It was a shame because we felt like we were playing really well after the first few gigs. Our last gig was our biggest ever sold-out headline show in Liverpool, so all we wanted to do was keep playing really. We started to notice that wherever we played, more people were turning up to see us and it was really exciting. I think we are all very keen to get back out there again and just to pick up where we left off really. It definitely feels like we have got unfinished business. 


- It’s been great to see the playlists that each of you shared on your social media! What tracks/artists have helped you make it through lockdown?


Thanks very much, we thought it would be a nice idea to share what we have been listening to with other people too. There have been quite a lot of artists I have really enjoyed throughout the lockdowns to be honest. I listened to Alexandra Saviors - The Archer quite a lot at first which is a boss album. From then I have also been in a few phases, like I played Scott Walker quite a lot. Then I listened to The Strokes, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Blossoms, The Gipsy Kings and probably loads more too. I think listening to music has been a massive help in getting through it to be honest. 


- We’ve all seen the lockdown trends for banana bread and Tik Tok popping up on everyone’s feed - have any of you discovered a new or unusual skill this year?


Hahaha, I haven't attempted to make any banana bread yet as I can only see it being a complete disaster! We have got a TikTok page now though, we felt like we were missing out so we got one. I am not sure that it's a skill because I don't think I am very good at it but I have definitely started to enjoy cooking a bit more. Rather than throwing some nuggets in the oven or something. I am trying to cook proper meals and make them taste nice, I did once set some spaghetti on fire though, so there have been mixed results haha. 


- Looking forward to brighter times, what’s in store for Seprona for the rest of 2021?


We have got this single to be released and then we have got a few singles lined up ready to go after that, which is exciting. Our plan is to just keep releasing new music and to keep trying to reach more people with each new release. Then we want to play some gigs and festivals when we can too. The future genuinely seems really exciting for us so we just want to get out there. 


- The anticipation is building after you dropped a teaser of your new track! What can we expect from  ‘Phone Me Back?’


I think Phone Me Back is a bit different to our previous singles, it's got a bit more of a groove to the tune, still with a similar energy and what we think is now the Seprona sound. I think the song is about something I think everyone will have been through at some point.  The first line 'I hear the silence talk more lately' is kind of referring to just being sat at home through the week and having that feeling of what have I done when you think about something that happened on a night out or something. Which I feel like is something we can all relate to. 


- Coming from a city with such a stellar music heritage, do you think Liverpool’s musical history has an influence on your sound?


Of course, I think that it definitely must play a part in how we write music and play our instruments. Like I said earlier, my first memory of music is listening to The Beatles so it's always been there for us. I definitely picked up a guitar in the first place to try and play Beatles songs. Coming from Liverpool is boss, we get to hear all these great bands and it's almost just ingrained in the identity of the city and as a result of that, it's part of our music too. It would be boss for us to contribute something to the city's music and we hope that we can help continue to progress that legacy for the future. 


- The importance of the arts has been a hotly debated issue throughout the past year - what would you say to fans wondering how they can best support their favourite musicians in these strange times?


Yes, it has been extremely difficult for artists throughout this year. In my opinion, just buying things directly from artists will be the biggest help. Buying merch or even buying their songs rather than just streaming them. Although it may seem like a small gesture it genuinely makes such a huge difference to the artists. Without people buying our merch we probably wouldn't have been able to record these new singles. so it really does make the difference. When gigs are allowed to happen again, I would say just go out and see bands, buy tickets for their events and gigs. Obviously, that's providing people can afford it themselves. If you can't support your favourite artists financially, simple things such as liking, commenting on or sharing a post can help us reach so many more people and I don't think people generally realise how much it does actually help. 

Kate Relton

Image: Provided by PR


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