Across the Sea join Sharna Waid to talk about their music style and their upcoming performance in the CleverGreen Unplugged tent at CleverGreen Festival.
Tell us a bit about Across the Sea and how you formed the band?
Hannah: We both attended Northbrook College (now Northbrook MET) in Worthing. I did the Music Performance course and Pete did the Music Composition course. We ended up working on a few projects together and by the time we finished university I wanted to do some covers gigs and Pete was willing to help me out. We did our first gig and we were like, “why don’t we have a go at writing our own songs?”. Then all these weird, amazing ideas came together to form our first song, ‘Wanderlust’, and it just grew from there.
How would you describe your style of music?
We’ve never been able to pinpoint an exact genre as our music is very experimental and progressive. We’ve combined our separate loves of music together so our sound is an eclectic mix of Classical, Pop, R&B, Jazz, Musicals, Metal, Film Music, Rock, Folk, Ambient, a lot of World Music, and some other stuff we aren’t sure about!
What are your music influences - growing up and now?
Hannah: I have never really had any particular influence in any music I do, I kind of take different ideas and techniques from everything I listen to. Currently I like Jamie Cullum’s raspy vocals, Ella Fitzgerald's vocal techniques and amazing improvisations, the emotion of classical singers and actresses from musicals and rhythms from multiple genre instrumentals and 00’s-10’s pop music.
Pete: Too many to list, but here’s a few: Metallica, Iron Maiden, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Pink Floyd, Ennio Morricone, Django Reinhardt, Enya, Bach, Behemoth, Paco De Lucia, Ravi Shankar, Nick Cave, Testament, Myrkur, Tom Waits, Mahler, Diamanda Galás, Slayer, Anathema, Buena Vista Social Club, Mozart, Blackmore’s Night, Fields of the Nephilim, Basil Poledouris, Liszt, Emperor, Vangelis...
What's the highlight of your career so far?
There’s been quite a few highlights but performing aboard HMS Warrior in Portsmouth for last year’s WarriorFest has to be our personal favourite. It’s not everyday you get to play a gig on the deck of 19th century warship with a cannon facing you...
Why is it important to support eco-living events like CleverGreen?
Pete: So many music festivals I’ve been to over the years look like some kind of post-apocalyptic landfill site by the time the event is over. At some of the metal festivals I’ve been to on the continent, there’s a much bigger emphasis on recycling, re-using, and cleaning up after yourself. The result isn’t just better for the environment, it creates a much more pleasant setting to enjoy the music in. If CleverGreen and other similar events can go some way to making this approach the norm at UK festivals, that can only be a good thing. I think it would also encourage people to be more conscious of environmental issues in their everyday lives.
Do you have any quick tips for people who are interested in eco-living but don't know where to start?
The best tip we can give is to go to CleverGreen Festival on July 20th then listen to the talks and speak to the traders - there will be plenty to learn from all of them!
Any fun facts about yourself?
Hannah can play the bassoon. Pete can’t.
Across the Sea will perform in the CleverGreen Unplugged tent on Saturday 20th July at The Level Brighton. Visit their website here.