In this exclusive interview, we dive into the world of Sea Girls, an electrifying rock band that knows how to make you dance and cry simultaneously. With their infectious sound and captivating performances, Sea Girls have been making waves in the music scene, captivating audiences at renowned festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds. We caught up with Sea Girls drummer Oli Khan, ahead of their upcoming Community Presents gig, to discuss their musical inspirations, standout shows, and their vision for the future…
Sea Girls Interview | Student Pocket Guide
For those that don’t know you guys yet, please introduce yourselves, your music and sound…
Hi! We’re Sea Girls, a rock band that plays rock music! We play music that you can cry and dance to at the same time.
How did you come up with the name Sea Girls?
It’s based on a misheard Nick Cave lyric, it’s meant to be City Girls but maybe there was a bit more magic in Sea Girls.
Who inspires you musically?
Everything we can get our hands on really! We grew up on a diet of 2000s indie which definitely makes its way into our sound but we love a lot of pop and singer-songwriters too. Lana Del Rey fronting Kings of Leon through our indie prism.
How has the summer been treating you so far?
Pretty good! We’re a couple festivals in at this point and it’s been great to get back on stage, the gap between tours and festivals always feels gigantic so it’s nice to be able to play our tunes in the sun.
We see you played at Alexandra Palace in London not so long ago. That looked epic, and you’ve also performed at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals! What’s been a standout show for you, and why?
I think the first time we played Reading and Leeds was a big one for us. It’s a festival we all used to go to, and to play it felt like being given the keys to the city. It’s a privilege that we’ve kept coming back and crept our way up to the main stages.
Do you prefer the bigger live gigs like the ones mentioned above, or the smaller intimate shows?
We’re doing a couple of warm up shows this summer and I feel like doing a small show before a big festival is the perfect balance of it for me. I like a smaller show where you have everyone in the palm of your hand, but there’s also something exciting playing to a festival crowd and feeling like you have something to prove. So that’s a copout, but both!
What are you most looking forward to about performing at “Community Presents” in Crystal Palace Park, next week?
The lineup! All these bands were in very heavy rotation when we were younger so it’s actually a bit mind boggling to be playing alongside them. We’ve also started playing some new songs, so it’s always great to put yourself out there on the biggest stages possible, it definitely ups the stakes a bit.
We’re right in the heart of the festival season with plenty of shows coming up! You’re playing the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals again this summer, alongside the likes of FOALS! As friends who met at school, did you ever imagine you’d become a hugely popular band playing these kinds of gigs?
I don’t think it seriously crossed my mind. We started playing music because we love it so much, everything else has been a bonus! We’re probably not the best at taking stock and letting it sink in, we’re always restless for the next challenge. That being said, I have a feeling there’ll be a few ‘f*ck me!’ moments this summer!
If you hadn’t pursued the band, what would you all be doing?
I’m sure we’d still be doing it but playing to no one, sneaking out from work early to go and practice. Music is so intrinsic to our lives that it’s hard to contemplate doing anything else!
In terms of your discography, which song are you most proud of and why?
One I always come back to is Call Me Out, it was our first single and I still think it holds up. We must have played it live literally hundreds of times and I still get that same excitement from it as I did playing to 100 people in dingy rooms. I guess it kickstarted all of this so I’ll always have a fondness for it.
If you look at the music industry from a bigger picture, outside looking in, and your position within it, where do you see yourselves today, and in the future – what is your vision as a band?
It’s always a funny one that, it feels like such a hard thing to quantify when you’re in the thick of it. There’s so many metrics to compare yourself to other artists these days that you’ll always find something to make you worry, but ultimately we just want to keep writing the best songs we can and playing the best live shows we can muster. I think if we can keep writing songs that people relate to and want to scream along to in a field then we’ll be satisfied. We’re grateful to have so many people care about this band and we’ll keep playing if they’ll keep listening!
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt as a band so far?
To enjoy ourselves. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the best we can, but at the end of the day we’re doing something we love. We’ve been friends for so long and to get to travel and play these shows with our mates is a privilege.
We hope to see you live and catch up with you again sometime, have a brilliant summer! Can we finally ask if you have any upcoming releases or exciting projects beyond the festival season you can let us know about?
Oh there’s a lot in the pipeline! You’ll catch some new music if you see us this summer and we’re always working away on new music. It certainly won’t be a quiet summer from us!
Sea Girls are performing at Community Presents (@communityLDN on Twitter and Insta, #CommunityPresents) at Crystal Palace Park, Friday 7 July.