Pleasure Island‘s Sean Ekins has endured quite the journey (as you’ll soon find out).
Beginning his musical journey in Perth, Western Australia with three-piece garage rockers, The Spitfires, the band released their debut album (Songs from the Debt Generation) and toured Australia and Japan, including support slots for The Cribs and British India.
After a spate of line-up changes (which included over a dozen drummers!) Ekins moved back to Liverpool and re-calibrated the project under a brand new moniker. Pleasure Island.
Drafting in Sam Piperpoint on drums, Pleasure Island have released two singles, The Game, and most recently during lockdown, Help Me NHS, as they currently work on their EP which is being recorded at Motor Museum studio.
We caught up with Ekins to shoot the breeze.
1. Where are you and what are you doing and how is that working out?
Sean Ekins: “I’m back working at the chemical plant in Kirkby, after six months off it was good to get back to doing stuff outside the house, though I will miss having a cooked breakfast every day.”
2. How have you been coping with the lockdown situation?
SE: “When the Covid was starting in February I felt it was looking a bit dicey so I went and bought lots of beer, wine, meat and charcoal… pretty much barbecued my way through the whole thing.”
3. I know you guys did a video during the early stages of lockdown. Care to elaborate?
SE: “Yes, we recorded a short set for the Liverpool Digital Music Festival and a music video, too.
“I was very sceptical about the live video to begin with as we were being deluged by all these overly polished clips and I was worried our one wouldn’t be raw enough. We decided to shoot it all in one take and, thanks to not having practised for months it definitely has a seat of the pants feel to it.”
4. When did you last get into an argument?
SE: “I had a good row about whether it was alright to call Angela Rayner a bit rough, with my missus who is from down South and a bit posh… I think it ended with her accusing me of being woke, which is literally the only time anyone has ever called me that.”
5. When did you last shout at the TV?
SE: “Whenever the football was last on, also politicians have been known to elicit loud “fuck offs” when they decide to open their mouths on telly.”
6. When did you last consider quitting social media?
SE: “I’ve never really thought about it, although I do think it is largely responsible for the destruction of our democratic society.”
7. Did you have any hobbies as a kid?
SE: “Yes I spent a lot of my childhood drawing pictures of chemical plants.”
8. What was the first gig you went to?
SE: “Oasis at Maine Road”.
9. You spent some time in living in Perth over in Australia. As an Australian, I know there can be a lot of loose cannon behaviour over that way. Funniest story?
SE: “Yes, I think the funniest thing was when we tried to launch an album but accidentally blew the house up while we were doing it.
“A bit of background, for anyone who doesn’t know Perth is the remotest city on the planet and 1300 miles from the nearest Australian city. As a result it is common for bands that want to tour often to leave Perth and relocate to the East Coast, which we decided we would do on the evening of our album launch show so that we could tour straight afterwards.
“In the run up to the show myself and Paul, the bass player, had quite a few arguments over what to do with a room filled with my old shite furniture at the back of the house. Paul felt that it would cost too much money to ship to Sydney, whereas I thought it may be useful, plus I’d paid for it all.
“After the show I flew straight to Sydney to sort out the new house and start work, Paul stayed behind to pack up the house for the removal men and then drive the music gear to Adelaide for the start of the tour. Early the next morning I was awoken in Sydney by a phone call from Paul telling me he had blown the back of the house up, destroyed the furniture and set his feet on fire in the process.
“He went on to explain that after I had left he decided to offload the Christmas tree in the back room to my ex-girlfriend, so he went and dropped it off at her house.
“Upon his return he heard a loud hissing noise coming from inside the house. He decided to run into the house and to the backroom where he saw a gas barbecue with the gas line no longer attached (We think that in the process of removing the Christmas tree he snagged the gas line and pulled it loose). He managed to turn off the gas valve on the bottle, then ran out of the house just as the cloud of gas ignited. His feet were burned as he was only wearing flip flops at the time the fireball engulfed his legs.
“Shortly afterwards the fire brigade arrived to put out the remains of the fire round the back of the house, as the removal men turned up to remove what they could from the front of the house.
“Alas, my old shite furniture was destroyed in the blast and I lost my rental deposit. Paul managed to bandage his feet up and drove the 1300 miles to the first gig in Adelaide. Our new landlord phoned the old landlord to ask for a reference the next day and was informed that we were reliable tenants right up until the explosion, so he allowed us to move in. I still have a photo of his feet that he sent on the night…”
10. On that subject, I have to ask. Chicken salt or vinegar on your chips?
11. What’s your guilty listening pleasure?
SE: “The Glee cover of Don’t stop Believin‘”.
12. Vinyl, CD, MP3 or streaming?
SE: “Vinyl, but until then streaming.”
13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
SE: “Charcoal barbecues are a lot safer and produce better tasting food than gas barbecues.”