In our final interview before the third Shiiine On Weekender takes place, we talk to Ben Byrne from Starsailor to find out more about their new album ‘All This Life’, their best festival moments and what is in store at Shiiine.
Firstly thanks for playing Shiiine, we are really looking forward to your performance. How are you looking forward to it?
We can’t wait! There’s some great bands from back in the day. I can’t wait to watch the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and obviously Embrace who are good friends of ours.
How did the friendship with Embrace come about?
Our friendship with Embrace came about in the summer of 2015. We got offered a co- headline tour in America and Canada. To keep costs down we decided to share the tour bus and crew. Let’s just say we got on really well from the off.
The first night in LA we found a bar and drank till the early hours of the morning and the rest of the tour continued in the same vein. Great memories, great gigs and great lads!!
Can we expect any collaborations with them at Shiiine?
We’ve not asked Rick (McNamara) yet, but I’m sure he will join us For a few tunes.
Can we expect any covers in the set at Shiiine?
We are going to look at some potential covers for the tour so you never know.
Let’s talk your new album ‘All This Life’ which came out 1st September. For those yet to hear it, can you tell us a bit about it…
The new album is something we’re really proud of. I think fans can expect a good mix of the classic Starsailor sound but I also think we’ve tried to take the music in a different direction with songs like ‘Take a Little Time’, ‘Caught In The Middle’ and ‘FIA’.
This is your first Starsailor album in 8 years. What made you want to do another one with the band at this point of your career?
We got back together in 2014 after being away for 5 years, we had all taken on different projects in that time. James did a solo record and had been writing with lots of other artists, Stel went on to play Bass with Spiritualized (still does) and me and Barry were teaching our respective instruments.
We got offered some big festivals that year including Isle of Wight, V festival and Pentaport in South Korea and realized we still had a strong Fanbase. We got offered a greatest hits record from our old label and embarked on a full UK tour which was amazing. Then Cooking Vinyl offered us a record deal and because of the reaction from the gigs and tour we just thought why not – the time felt right!
Do you have a particular favourite song on the album?
Favourite song, ‘Caught in the Middle’. It’s like nothing we’ve ever done before, really catchy chorus with great hooks and a funky sound.
Can we expect to hear much of the new album at Shiiine, or will it be a greatest hits set?
I’m sure we will do a few numbers from the new album but it will definitely be a greatest hits set on the whole!
You’ve got an extensive tour coming up to support the album. How do you find touring these days, compared to when you started? Have rock n roll all nighters been replaced by green tea and a comfy pillow?
Can’t wait for the tour! No we still like to party a bit. Only when there’s a day off though. The hangovers kill me these days.
You played Isle Of Wight Festival earlier this year to a packed crowd which must have been great. Over your career, what has been your best festival set you have played?
Best festival is T in the Park, they love to party. It was an amazing crowd!
And do you a worst festival you have ever played?
Worst festival – I’ve not really got one- they’re all great!
If you could put on your own festival, what would be your perfect line up?
My perfect festival line up:
- Pearl Jam
- Queens of the Stone Age
- LCD Soundsystem
- Flaming Lips
- Michael Kiwanaka
You had a famous bust up with a certain Liam Gallagher in 2002. Is the feud still going? What do you make of his new stuff?
No not all, we made up at Glastonbury in 2004. I think his new stuff is a real return to form.
Finally, do you have a message for the fans coming to Shiiine?
Were really looking forward to a great show with the fans, see ya then!
Starsailor play the main stage on Saturday alongside Embrace, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Space and much much more. Final packages available HERE