Posted in Bands We've Chatted With

Nicky McManus from ‘There Will Be Fireworks’

glasGOwest’s first full month

Firstly, an inspired name. Consciously crafted? External inspiration? Or just a happy accident?

“Thank you, I’m not sure if I even like it! It is what it is. I suppose it was consciously crafted whilst externally inspired by alcohol. No one quite remembers who came up with it or why but we all woke up with it saved in our phones so there may have been a reason. But since we can’t remember, it may have been a happy accident.”

Any thoughts on a ‘proper’ opening track for a record? As clichéd as it probably is, I’m partial to the short instrumental track. In the case of your debut, I got stuck on Columbian Fireworks.  I’ve listened to it at least ten times as much any other song on the record. For me, that might have been too good a choice.

“Hmmm… I think it depends on the album. Some that instantly spring to mind are the opener to The Twilight Sad’s first album (sets the tone brilliantly), Thunder Road on Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run (because it’s a tune), The Vowel’s, Pt. 2 on Why’s Alopecia and I really like the opening track on Iron & Wine’s last album but can’t remember what it’s called. And the first track on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”

” For our first album, Colombian Fireworks felt right for some reason. It has the monologue by Kevin MacNeil and I think that would have interrupted the flow if it had been elsewhere on the album. I think it sets the scene quite nicely in terms of the guitar sound and the whole quiet/loud thing.”

How’s the recording going? It was nice of you share some of that with us. Is the process any different for you this time round?

“It’s going really well. We’ll hopefully get some more videos up over the next few weeks. We’re getting there with the album but plan on releasing an EP first so we are re spinning a few plates at the moment! The process has been almost completely different. We’ve been writing differently – much more in the studio with all of that freedom and flexibility (in terms of recording whilst we write, having lots of instruments to hand); whereas we used to write almost exclusively in a practice room. We’re still writing a lot of stuff whilst all playing in the room together live, but I think we’ve taken a more measured approach this time. We’ve also been recording differenly and that’s been the biggest change. The first album was recorded almost completely live (with overdubs for vocals and other bits and bobs). For the new stuff, we’ve taken the time to track everything properly and experiment with sounds a bit more rather than just going in and bashing out a few tunes. So totally different, but that’s why it’s so fun!”

Do you plan to release the new record on vinyl? Are there any other details you could let slip? Our readership is such that it wouldn’t really qualify as an announcement, more of a nod and a wink.

“We do actually have a tentative plan/opportunity to release the new record on vinyl. Nothing concrete yet, but hopefully. Other details I suppose would be that we are planning an EP for before the album and that once that’s released we will lock ourselves in a mixing room fiddling with knobs (…ahem…) until the album sounds good!”

We are always interested in any Scottish bands you either admire or consider to be influences.  We’d be especially grateful for a hat tip toward something we may well not have heard of.

“We are good friends with LightGuides, who have just released a brilliant album, and Endor, who released a brilliant album last year. I think all of us have been influenced to varying degrees by Mogwai. Not a band, but I love John Martyn. Used to listen to a lot of Biffy and Idlewild when I was a young’un. I also listen to Frightened Rabbit, The Twillight Sad, Belle and Sebastian, Meursault and Withered Hand, but you will have heard of all of them.”

“In terms of tips, you should check out Friends in America and People, Places, Maps. We’ve announced a show with them in Glasgow in December and they’re both awesome. Check out Over the Wall too.”

Although it is hard to tell from afar, it seems the current musical landscape in Scotland is richer than it has ever been.  Do you think that is an accurate observation or is it just this generation’s version of what has always been?

“Not sure how accurate this is. Growing up in Glasgow, it has always had a vibrant music scene. I think the internet has probably made it more visible and the success (especially Stateside) of the three Scottish bands on Fat Cat has probably created a lot more outside interest.”

We’d like it if you asked glasGOwest a question:

“What’s your favourite crisps?”

Apparently, only available in Canada: Dill Pickle.

We’ve had our first full month. All in all, it has gotten off to a much better start than we could have possibly imagined. The bands we’ve contacted have shown their  generous spirits in replying to these odd requests to send questions from afar. Although I had a hunch that this would be the case, the depth and quality of the responses went beyond expectations. I’d like to thank Matt Riley, yet again, I think he set a pretty high bar and established the tone we hoped to get right on the groundfloor. Knowing what is on hold already and the answers yet to come, next month should be as good, if not better. The first Monday of the month is blog meeting night at the Edinburgh Castle here in San Francisco. We will heartily raise our glasses to all.




Musically 'living' in Scotland

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