Hey Bengal Lancers! How are you doing today?
Lead singer Harry Sullivan: All good thanks! Think I’m very much settled into lockdown mode now – My beard has grown out, I can’t remember the last time I put on a pair of pants and I don’t know what day of the week it is, but you know what; I’m staying indoors and I’m safe, which is the most important thing isn’t it?
Please introduce yourselves to our readers:
Harry: We’re Bengal Lancers – four friends who write guitar music. If you’re a fan of cathartic indie music about regretful hangovers and trying to understand your own emotions we’re your guys!
What’s your new single I’m Still Here all about?
Harry: It’s all about focusing on the positive during times of crisis. Whilst I definitely wasn’t thinking about a global pandemic I think there’s a huge importance at the moment around focusing on the positives.
I’ve always been a natural born worrier but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to better understand the power of perception in terms of your own happiness. This song is about recognising your place in the world and the fact that we’re all just humans making our way through it with ups and downs along the way.
Describe your sound in five words:
Anthemic, honest, heartfelt, cathartic, cheery
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Harry: I would have loved to have collaborated Prince – his guitar work was outrageous. If you haven’t watched the rendition of “while my guitar gently weeps” he takes part in for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I highly recommend you have a watch. Out of this world.
Alive? Matt Berninger of ‘The National’ fame would definitely be first choice – that man has an exceptional voice and just brings warmth to anything he touches.
What are you doing to keep yourself entertained during lock down?
Harry: I wish I could say that I was being super productive and writing loads of music, but honestly I’m seeing this as a bit of downtime at the moment and maybe room to crack on with some other hobbies.
By that, I mean playing a disgustingly shameful amount of playstation but I haven’t been all bad; I’ve also been smashing out the Duolingo Spanish lessons and getting back into running as it gives a great opportunity to get some fresh air.
I have just cleaned up an acoustic guitar that must be about 30+ years old and it sounds absolutely beautiful, so who knows – maybe I’ll eat my words and get some writing done as time goes on.
What is your songwriting process like?
Harry: Usually, I’ll write the skeleton of a song with a basic concept of the lyrics – I end up writing scraps all over the place; sometimes it’s just a single line or the full song. I might even come with an acoustic version of what I initially have in mind.
But as soon as we play it together as a group, it becomes a totally different beast – it’s a very collaborative song writing process where everyone is involved in the final product. Sometimes one of the lads will come with a riff and it just fits perfectly with some of the lines I’ve written down and it moves on from there. I’d say it’s very organic in how everything grows together.
Who are your biggest influences?
I’m a sucker for the alt-rock/folk-rock scene: Augustines, Frightened Rabbit, Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks; basically a lot of Scottish indie bands! Very cathartic high energy music that translates into a fantastic live show.
What’s the first thing you’re gonna do post-lock down?
Harry: If I’m completely honest – sit in a beer garden for about 10 hours and drink my bodyweight in Guinness. But once I’ve got that out of my system, I’d love to play a gig with all of our friends and family in a nice local venue – have loads of people collaborating together and just make an evening of it to celebrate making it through.
Where can we find you online?
Harry: You’ll find all of our tracks up on Spotify, so that’s definitely a start! Otherwise, you can head to our website www.bengallancers.co.uk – we’re also quite active on instagram at the moment given there’s nowhere to go, so drop us a follow on @bengal_lancers
Any last words?
Harry: Thank you so much for the support, hope you like the track – we’ve got plenty more on the way so keep your eyes posted. We’re also planning some isolation-shows from our own homes now that I’ve found this acoustic, so check our socials for more on that front. Stay home and stay safe!