Recently, Kettle Mag met with upcoming band Seafret ahead of their gig in Leeds. The duo, Jack and Harry, have gone from strength to strength so far this year. Their single ‘Oceans’ currently has nearly 3 million views on YouTube and features Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. We sat down to discuss their success and how they came together to form one of the bands to watch next year.
Where are you guys from? Has that shaped your musical direction at all?
We’re from Bridlington. I think growing up by the sea had a big affect on us, and then also moving to London a couple of years ago when we got signed. Definitely where we’re from has influenced us; songs, band name, it all comes from there. It’s just where we started, and then a lot of the songs came from moving away and missing the sea.
How did you come up with the name Seafret? It must have had something to do with living by the sea, right?
It all started when we had our first show. Harry and I met at an open mic night. Harry was playing the banjo with his dad in a bluegrass band. He was playing Americana style music. So from there, I saw Harry and I was like, ‘whoa, who’s that?’. His Dad actually came outside after the night started dying down and said ‘you guys should play together’. I went up to Harry’s house a few days after that and we just started jamming and writing songs out of nowhere. Neither of us had ever written songs before. We just went into his bedroom and hid away, and recorded. The first song we ever recorded was ‘Walking Man’, a Seasick Steve cover, and then we brought it downstairs and put it on at Harry’s house, and everyone loved it. This was within the first week of meeting and we hadn’t done anything like that before so it was really exciting.
It all happened really naturally, then?
Yeah, and then we just carried on writing and slowly getting gigs. So the band name came from that first show. We were playing as Harry’s dad’s band’s support slot. We were nervous and didn’t quite know what was going on, and we didn’t have a band name. Before that, we were just known as Jack and Harry because we didn’t ever plan this. So we just sat down at the kitchen table and thought right we need a band name because we’re becoming a band. We live by the sea… guitar… fret. Seafret was born. It was one of the first names we came up with, and people loved it. Then of course it’s down to us to make the music that makes the name.
Who are you listening to at the moment? What do you listen to when you’re on the road?
Jack: Youth Lagoon, Can – that song called Vitamin C is getting played a lot. We listen to loads of Bob Dylan. We like a lot of old stuff. Harry’s Dad showed him a lot of old blues stuff from an early age. [Harry]: Yeah blugrass- John Martin. Bluegrass was always being played at home and that was big influence on me for playing guitar. [Jack]: I had never seen that style before, and I noticed Harry had a different way of playing guitar, he had this weird way of picking and I had never heard of John Martin. My Dad was more on the other side of things with more punk and rock, so people like Tom Waits and The Sex Pistols. So then I took my music up to Harry within the first week of meeting, and he did the same to me so then we kind of understood what each of us were into and I think that helped us with writing songs as well because we’ve never really discussed what we’re going to write. Harry knows how I’d express something in a song, and I get his emotion from his guitar, so that’s the chemistry of it all.
If you could collaborate with anyone for a day, dead or alive, who would it be?
Can we go along to each other’s days?
Tom Waits and John Martin. That’s two good days out.
Have you got anything big coming up in the near future? Anything for our readers to look forward to?
We’ve got this tour, running right up until Christmas. We’re supporting Kodaline in December. The main thing is that this year we’ve got on the circuit a little bit but we’ve mainly been finishing recording the album. Our album comes out on the 28th January.
And you’ve worked with Hozier. How was that?
Yeah it was amazing, he’s such a nice guy.
So you’ve been travelling around for a while now. Any funny tour moments?
Every day is funny. There’s always something funny that happens. Lucas got shouted at yesterday because he got behind a sheep in Wales and that didn’t go down too well. We get into trouble but we have fun. I don’t want to say too much in case my mum reads this!
‘Oceans’ is probably the track you’re most known for. It’s been pretty popular, especially with getting Maisie Williams in your music video. That must have been an exciting time for you. What would you say was your biggest ‘pinch yourself’ moment so far?
Just being able to do it full time. Because it all started the way it did and it’s all progressed, you kind of don’t think about the bigger picture like that. If you’re looking in on it from a fan’s point of view then you might think ‘whoa’. But for us, we’re just writing songs and moving on and progressing all the time. But of course there are moments where you might just be sitting there and suddenly think about it all.
Harry: Walk the Line
Jack: Searching for Sugar Man, or Anchorman!
Would you rather always have to shout or always have to whisper?
Really? We were talking about this earlier and figured most people would say whisper.
Jack: it’d just be funny! Because it’s kind of like Anchorman.
Harry: I’d whisper. I’d whisper, and you’d shout.
Jack: I’d be going ‘what did you say, sorry?’
Anything more you want to say to our readers?
Come see us on tour and keep loving music!
Are you a fan of Seafret? Let us know in the comments below and look out for our live review coming soon!