(Answers provided by Noel Yeo)

1. Why play music?

I enjoy playing music. As I’m sure some people enjoying riding bicycles, driving cars, shooting pigeons. It’s just something I enjoy doing.

2. Who are your influences?

Teenage Fanclub and all of its power pop brethrens. There are so many. Big Star. Matthew Sweet. Badfinger. Some not so obvious. T-Rex. Boo Radleys. Hefner. God, I miss Hefner. I also enjoy Pavement a great deal. It was really punk, the attitude of not really caring. Not caring that you’re wearing a buttoned-down collared shirt.

3. What is success?

Success is being able to express yourself fully. No reservations. No self-censorship. No hang-ups. No fear of reprisals. When the music in your head plays the same as when it’s out in the real world, that’s success. That said, often times the music changes because you’re in a band, so it gets better; that’s another form of success!

4. Why should people buy your music?

It’s hard to say why anyone should do anything. But let’s just say we’ve kept the music as honest as possible. It really reflects what we love doing as a band. We get ourselves into a state of euphoria sometimes when we play. We hope it comes through in the record.

5. Who do you love?

You mean besides wife, family and all that? I don’t actually have an idol. “Kill your idols” is a popular phrase amongst writers, and I find that to be true in almost all aspects of life. No one is that important you can’t take a piss on. But if you’re talking about just people whom I generally admire, I admire anyone who seems to be living their lives without internal conflict. By that I mean anyone who does what they want to do without holding anything back. Morrissey seems to do that. The late Steve Jobs. Ricky Gervais. Larry David. Simon Amstell. I love stand-up comedians. The good ones. Think they show the way.

6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?

There is no agenda beyond getting the music heard. I don’t think there’s much else you can do as a creator beyond creating that piece of work. Sure you can help promote it, but what happens after is beyond your control. The only thing you can control is the work and the quality of the work. And hopefully, if it’s good enough, it’ll be shared.

7. Who comes to your gigs?

Friends! Past, present and future.

8. What is your favorite album?

Of all time? There are so many, but if you held a gun to my head and force to me to state one, it’d be The Beatles’ “White Album.” It’s an opus from a band I love so much I one day woke up crying because in my dreams they had somehow reformed, all members were there playing, and I was there. It is also an album about a band being broken. Each wanting to do their own thing. But as an outsider, you see them as The Beatles more than ever.

9. What is your favorite song?

“In My Life”. Although I certainly don’t want that at my funeral. That’ll be too obvious. I don’t actually listen to that song a lot. Or any other song. I don’t replay much of any music. There is so much new music out there I can barely keep up. Better to listen to new songs. I love new music.

10. How did you get here?

How very zen. Everything in my life, all the left turns and rights, all success and failures, got me here. Not even sure exactly where here is.

Shelves’ eponymous debut album is available now.

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