Interview: Floodhounds

Floodhounds is a fantastic new band from Sheffield, bringing their own brand of catchy indie-blues-punk- rock to the masses. Their song Psychosemantics really captivated me, and I have high hopes for the band’s future in the music industry! Find out more about this enigmatic rock and roll group from our interview with Jack below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a single titled Psychosemantics. What can you tell us about the single?

This is our favourite song we’ve released so far. It’s just got such a stomping groove, and then when the riff drops it’s so heavy and fun, it’s a blast to play live.

We recorded Psychosemantics with producer Gavin Monaghan, at the Magic Garden Studio. He’s produced some bands we love like Kid Kapichi, The Blinders (both of whom we’ve supported) and Stone. We knew he’d get the sound we wanted and this worked out so well. We had a chance to experiment with synths and electronic drum samples buried in the mix. We added this crazy swooping sub-bass drop, which makes the riff hit so much harder. When you put it on a big sound system, you can really feel it in your bones.

When I wrote Psychosemantics, I had the sounds of retro spy movies in the back of my mind. I wanted it to sound a bit mysterious, with those creepy chords dripping with tremolo. Chromatic sinister guitar solo melodies give it this freaky, indie noir vibe.

The lyrical theme explores how we can deal with the external chaos that sometimes surrounds us as we get thrown in without warning. For example, the line “Get me out of this! Why’d you get me into this?!” really sparked it off and that’s the genesis of the whole song. I followed it up with an uplifting chorus, reminding the listener that sometimes a bit of space to breath is all you need.

How has the reception to Psychosemantics been so far, and where can the track be purchased?

We’ve all been so pleased by the reaction! It spiked our Spotify listeners with far more plays in two months than any of our other releases. It made Apple Music’s editorial playlist New in Rock and had multiple plays on BBC Introducing Sheffield – with really nice comments from the host Christian Carlisle who’s been a long term supporter of our band. I think it helped us get picked recently out of over 1.5k bands who applied for a slot at the official Tramlines Festival 2023. We’re playing on the BBC Introducing curated Library Stage on the Friday. We’ve played the Fringe for several years, as it’s a great chance to get our music out to new audiences, but it’s really nice to have some official recognition too.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Yes! We’ve got a second track due out at the end of the summer, also recorded at Magic Garden. I’m really excited to get this one out, it’s clocking in under 3 minutes but manages to squeeze a hell of a lot of action in that time, from our trademark bombastic heavy riffs, to some jangly psychedelic British invasion guitar parts, and some killer backing vocals from Loz and Anna. It’s a complex song built on a simple riff, but it’s nasty and super catchy.

Are there any plans to release a full-length album or an EP?

We’ve certainly got more than enough material to do that. Funding recording and promotion is the bottleneck for a larger project, but I’d love to record and release some more tracks as an EP. I think our sound has really developed over the last two years and I’d love to get it out there to a wider audience – hopefully that’s on the cards for 2024.

Your music has an indie sound mixed in with a bit of rock. What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

I think the biggest influences for us over recent years has been the likes of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Kid Kapichi, Royal Blood, Strange Bones, Snayx, Calva Louise, Tigercub and Demob Happy. I think the way these bands combine incredibly catchy melodies with malevolent punch-you-in-the-face energy is the most exciting place to be, and they’re the most fun songs to write and perform. When we need a break from all the chaos music, driving in the van, we might chuck on some Michael Kiwanuka, Gaz Coombes or Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

Yes, we’ve got a few festivals, like Lakefest, Blackfest and Tramlines, which will all be awesome, then we’re planning some gigs for September & October to support the new single.

Loz and I will be off to Glastonbury in a couple of weeks. I’m a music photographer in my spare time (@jackflynnphoto) and I’ve managed to swing an official Glasto photo pass, so I’ll be busy snapping bands and soaking up inspiration for the next band practice.

You’re from Sheffield. How is the local music scene faring at the moment?

It’s recovering from the pandemic, which saw venues close and bands give up across the UK, hitting band incomes they need for recording. As you may have heard, there is a campaign to keep our iconic Leadmill venue open and save it from an unwanted takeover:  http://leadmill….bject/

Tramlines Festival, Official and Fringe is still going strong, and there’s still a lot of great small live venues. We recently curated our second headline show at one of our favourite venues, Sidney and Matilda, and we regularly call into our favourite muso pub The Washington.

BBC Introducing is a vital part of the South Yorkshire unsigned scene and we are quite worried about rumours of national cuts – it’s one of the ways smaller bands can get heard and the support they give really gives you the encouragement to keep going for example. Getting a Track Of The Week or similar is something you can use to interest promoters.

There are so many great Sheffield bands doing the rounds at the moment, like Ten Eighty Trees, Harri Larkin, Life Aquatic Band, Nervous Pills, Femur, BlackWaters, Rogue Siesta and Luxury Goods. Sorry to those I forgot, too many to list!

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

Tramlines Festival – 21st July
Blackfest – 6th Aug
Lakefest – 13th Aug

More dates in September + October TBA.

What can people expect from a Floodhounds show, and why do you think people should come and see you live?

I feel our live show is the best and most important part of what we do. We want people to feel energised with hard hitting tunes, but we also want them to get that tune stuck in their heads so they are humming it on the way home.

We always have our powerhouse of a drummer, Lauren Greaves, open the set with a drumming call to arms that vibrates through the floor and lets everyone know something is about to go down, then we slam into a new one called Skin & Bone with is driven by Anna’s outrageously crunchy bass tone thumping through the room.

Even though we think we’ve perfected a track in recording, you don’t stop developing every time you play live, so sometimes the live version is very different and really reflects what we are right now. There is a real pleasure matching our sound to an audience’s reaction. We want our set to be action packed, so we work hard on keeping the momentum escalating up and up right to the end. And we almost always update and adapt the songs over time, adding juicy little extras to wring that little bit more rock ‘n’ roll out of the track.

Any last words for the fans?

Online music is great and I couldn’t live without it, but keep supporting new bands and your local venues, go to live shows – you’ll hear and experience so much more than you would online, and you’ll be keeping your local music scene and the next round of new artists going. Come and have a chat with the band afterwards (if they are not carting equipment out the door – it’s hard to chat when you’re carrying a heavy amp) and let them know what you think, it really helps to hear that.