Exclusive Interview: Sertraline on “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines”, Crowd Funding and more!

Leeds, Manchester and formerly Stoke based Progressive Tech Metal quintet Sertraline have been running the boards over the past six years and are now on the verge of releasing their third studio EP. Single “Inside Out” and a hilarious behind the scenes clip from the video shoot have landed on our virtual door mat and so we asked them some choice questions about what’s changed this time around…

You’re crowd funding your third EP “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines” so what made you choose that model as opposed to going the more traditional route? How have you found the reaction to it? So it’s actually just the merchandise that we’re crowdfunding – the EP itself along with music videos and other associated costs have been funded by ourselves. We wanted the merch to pay for itself so it softened the blow on our bank accounts haha. The reaction has been absolutely amazing, especially considering the current climate! We’ve raised 82% in 3 weeks so we’re feeling really positive about reaching the target. It’s an incredible feeling to know that so many people are excited about the new music! – Lizzie (Vocals)

How have you found Kick Starter? Do you have any tips for any other bands looking to go down the crowd funding route?
Kickstarter has been really simple to use – we would definitely recommend it to other bands. You don’t feel like you are ‘begging’ for money because you offer rewards for pledges. Kickstarter creates a really nice community – you can update your backers as you progress with the project and also message them directly if they have any questions. It’s really good to work towards a target too. – Lizzie 

You’ve had two years between the first two EPs (“Bury the Ghosts” in 2015 and “Guilty” in 2017) and now three to “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines”. How would you say that your writing and recording recording process has changed over that time? The biggest change in writing and recording has been that we now put far more of each song together in smaller groups, rather than in full band rehearsal-style sessions. This wasn’t the case with the first EP, where we’d generally all meet up at our old space in Stoke and bash out ideas until something started to come together. For ‘Guilty’, this changed as members were replaced or moved away (I moved in with Tom in Manchester and Lizzie moved further north), so it made sense to write more music before meeting up. Part of the reason for this is that we now live further apart from each other; so now for example, Tom and Lizzie will meet up regularly, I’ll head to Tom’s for two or three day stretches, Simon (who joined after the first two EPs were recorded) enjoys putting almost complete songs together himself, and once or twice a month we’ll meet up as a full band to rehearse a particular set and give the new material a crack. It’s not a very fast method, but we’ll incorporate pre-production into the process, so we can practice tracking the songs and refining them for when we want to play them live or take them to a recording studio. – Mike (Guitars)

Your last EP “Guilty” received some critical acclaim from the likes of Metal Hammer – what has been your proudest career moment to date? Over the past couple of years we’ve done things that make us go “that’s the best show we’ve ever done” or we achieve something that blows our mind. I think winning Metal to the Masses and getting a slot at Bloodstock is definitely up there. But then we played UK Tech-Fest last year which was a tick off the bucket list. Personally, my fondest and proudest is the European tour we did back in May 2018. It was hard, a real grind but so much fun. I think I can speak for all of us when I say this is one of the proudest moments we’ve had as a band. The graft required to pull something like that off is endless and you have to give your all every night, you’re on new turf so you have something to prove every single night. After the show, you could be hitting the road for hours and hours of travelling in a van, that takes it’s toll on your body and mind, the old cabin fever kicks in and you start getting the crazies. I really think pulling a tour like that off at such an early stage is definitely something to be proud of. – Hendo (Bass)

Your planned tour run in support of Derange has been postponed but if you had the opportunity to follow a band (any band!) around Europe for a run of shows, who would you pick and why? If you imagine a Sertraline Venn diagram of our minds, in the overlap you’d definitely find bands such as Northlane, Monuments, Tesseract, Periphery, Spiritbox, Jinjer, Thornhill, Erra… that list just goes on… I’ll spare you. Sticking to the rules of the question (being the lawful citizen I am, stay indoors) I think we’d all be happy to agree on Polaris. Having seen their incredible set at Tech Fest last year, they utterly blew us all away! (Pretty sure I have a video of Si losing his goddamn mind in the pit to their massive tune “Lucid”.) Yeah, if we could tour with Polaris around Europe, we’d be quite happy to say the least. – Tom (Guitars)

If you met someone who’d not heard of the Sertraline before, which one song from your discography would you pick to show off your talents and why? Our new single “Inside Out” – The first song to be released from our upcoming EP “Clouded Minds and Silver Lines”. It’s the perfect example of the direction we’re heading in. We wanted to create something precise, heavy and catchy – and we personally think we succeeded! This EP is a collection of our strongest earworms yet and we’re so excited to release it! To paraphrase the great Miss Trunchbull – Our sweat and blood went into this EP. (“The entire confection!”) Although 2020 will forever be an odd year for everyone, we hope that “Inside Out” and the rest of the EP will be a much-needed pick-me-up! – Tom (Guitars)

We’re in a Metal World flooded by guest appearances of late – so if you could have your pick of anyone to appear on a track of yours, who would you go for and why? I’d love to have Jon Deily from Northlane as a guest appearance. I think his work on the album “Alien” was phenomenal and as a fan of drum and bass and electronic music, to have someone of his ability and his creative input on just a couple of tracks would really complement our sound. I admire the way he manages to coalesce the typical genre conventions of guitars, bass, drums with electronic styles, either flourishes in tracks such as “Bloodline” or more obviously in tracks like “4D”, pushing the boundaries of the genre. – Si (Drums)

If you want to get involved in the Kickstarter campaign or just check out the perks that Sertraline have to offer, then here is where you’ll find out more.

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