12th October 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
Tide Lines launch the album alongside its brand new single ‘Written In the Scars’. They also reveal details of a major UK tour set for March 2023, which will see them play some of their biggest headline shows to date including Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and London’s Electric Ballroom. Collectively, ‘An Ocean Full Of Islands’ is equally informed by the towering melodic peaks and rousing choruses of rock as it is by the band’s folk heart, with further colour provided with flashes of alt-pop production. Those three elements converge to create a synthesis of three sounds that are rarely unified. And in Robert Robertson, the band possesses a frontman whose voice prospers in whatever context they explore, his rich tone able to reach soaring, soulful highs.
Thanks so much for talking to us, how did ‘Tide Lines’ come about, and growing up, who inspired you to create music?
We got together in 2016 to talk about putting a band together - first of all over a few pints (which seemed like a good place to start!) and then for a rehearsal of a couple of new songs I’d written. I think part of what makes Tide Lines work is that we all had different influences and inspirations growing up. Like everyone else, we probably naturally listened to what our parents or siblings were listening to. Everything from classic Rock, the ’80s, ’90s, and more traditional music. Then, going through school, we all had very different tastes - from harder rock to electronic music and the chart music of the day. The common theme for all four of us is actually the more traditional music of Scotland which is still present, among all these other influences, in the Tide Lines sound today.
If you could describe your sound in 3 words, what would it be?
Uplifting / Anthemic / Honest
What do you enjoy about creating your own material, and are they all blended from your different life experiences?
We do a lot of writing and recording on the Isle of Mull, in the Hebrides, where one of the boys is from. I think we all enjoy getting out of the city and the feeling, for the days we’re there, the only thing we have to focus on is the songs. There are no distractions and I think, to an extent, the beautiful environment and the experience of being up there do affect the lyrics and music.
You reached number 12 in the official album chart with your last album, how did this feel? And how did you all celebrate?
It felt absolutely great! We had vaguely aimed to try and chart within the top 40 but even that seemed like a long shot without a label behind us. I’m not sure we could actually believe it when we were as high as number 3 in the midweeks and finished at number 12. I have this memory of phoning all the lads in total disbelief. The only downside was we couldn’t go to the pub because of the lockdown! So we all jumped on a zoom with a few beers and celebrated that way.
You’ve just released a great stripped-back version of your single ‘Rivers In The Light’ - how does the creative process differ when recording a stripped-back version?
It actually returns it to something more similar to how the song was originally written. It’s funny to think of it like this but I take the song to the lads when it’s in its infancy with just a melody, a set of unfinished lyrics, and some basic guitar chords. The lads then build it up into something much bigger and often barely recognizable. Then, when we put together a stripped-back version, we just take it right back down to how it sounded when we first started putting it together and just add less to it. I find I enjoy both processes equally.
You are going to be going on tour soon, what are you most looking forward to?
It’s a bit of a cliché to say this but I just love going out and exploring new places and meeting new people. Over the next month, we’re going to visit a number of places we’ve never been before, particularly in England, and I think that’s exciting.
Who is the most organized in the band on tour?
Definitely not me anyway. The lads are constantly helping me organize myself. Or rolling their eyes when I fail. Over the years, I’ve left my wallet at a venue, my laptop on a Hebridean island, and even once left an electric guitar at our sound engineer’s house for a full year before I realized it was there!
Is there anything you can tell us about your new album?
We certainly enjoyed putting the new material together and I think we’re really happy with the outcome. That said, there’s nothing quite like the nerves of sitting with new songs you haven’t released yet! We’ll be playing a new song or two on tour so we can’t wait to let audiences hear them live.