SSHH are a group that you can’t categorise. A fusion of drummer-turned-guitarist Zak Starkley (son of Ringo Starr) and frontwoman Sshh, their sound captures slivers of punk, thrash and straight electro.
Genre-benders and aggravators through and through, they’re a duo you can’t pin down with any one label. What you can be sure of is that they have fuckin’ attitude.
On the eve of their high-octane new single Rising Tide, we catch up with the powerful electro-punk duo known as SSHH.
Ahead of their newest single Rising Tide (due out tomorrow), SSHH have found themselves in Australia for some time. Officially they’ve been supporting Primal Scream on their Oz tour, but unofficially the country holds a special place for Zak and Sshh, as it’s where they first met.
“We met a gig many moons ago, brought together by a mutual love of MC5 at the Coogie Bay Hotel”, says lead singer Sshh.
“When we first started playing music together we wanted to be like The Creatures. And for a while that’s what we did. But we changed and evolved into the monster of musical mayhem we are today. We love all kinds of music – as long as it’s good! And we try to pay homage to that variety whilst keeping that original vein of punk rock ethos.”
Aside from Zak’s lineage, the high regard to which SSHH holds their idols can be seen in their 2016 record Issues, a collection of cover songs featuring their original performers (members of The Sex Pistols, Pearl Jam and The Wailers to name a few).
Not to mention Primal Scream of course, who along with Liam Gallagher remain the most recent stagemates to SSHH.
“Well it’s great to know that there’s a great band on after us and that we’d better kick it too!”, exclaimed Zak after Bobby Gillespie was mentioned.
“And good to see old friends and have a hang. We haven’t been home to the UK for almost a year so it was a reunion of sorts and the Primal Scream audience seemed to get us which was great.”
Upcoming single Rising Tide, though it may come across as a conventional dance floor burner, actually holds its deepest roots in the love SSHH share. Birthed during an argument between Zak and Sshh, the track became an emotional catharsis for the pair when they took it to the studio. According to Zak:
“Rising Tide is a true story of me being an asshole and Sshh still loving me anyway. She may have changed her mind! It’s a good song and everyone who heard it wanted her vocal for remix – hence six remixes.”
The result is a belter of the highest regard, calling in the rhythms of house music, Zak’s tremendous guitar chops and Sshh’s own punk presence. It’s a jam that’s sure to hit clubs and stages alike, so be sure to keep your ear to the ground for it.
To cap off our chat, we had to ask Zak about the Aussie music he’s vibing on most, before he trots back over to the UK.
“The Saints , AC/DC and The Chats.”
Much like The Chats, SSHH are the future. Look out for Rising Tide, our March 2nd on BMG.