Posted in glasGOwest

Susie from Olympic Swimmers

Apple and Pears, the lead off from single 2, is one of the loveliest pieces of song-craft, I’ve heard in a while. What is the inspiration for the song?

“Personally when I’m listening to music, I prefer not to know the exact details of where the writer drew their lyrical inspiration, because it allows me to interpret it in my own way. So in explaining my thoughts behind this song I’d like to leave it as open as possible so that a listener is able to make it their own and add their own meaning to it.

In my head there are two voices in the song – one is a person escaping a past that they want to leave behind, and the second (the chorus) is a person in their present who is accepting of them and that past that they have experienced. It  is directly inspired by some people I met through a job I used to work in, but it wouldn’t be fair of me to say who or where I met them!”

Over a year old, it seems to be the most recent release; I just read that you are quite along towards your first full length. What can you tell us about it? Will Apples and Pears make it on?

” We recorded the album over the summer and we’re now finishing mixing it. We were lucky enough to be get some help funding it from Creative Scotland (formerly the Scottish Arts Council) which has really helped us to do as good a job as we wanted to on it. We’ve recorded it with Iain Cook producing (The Unwinding Hours) (which answers your other question!) who mixed our ‘Two’ single. We recorded it at both Chem 19 and at Cook’s own studio in Glasgow. We’re hoping to have it finished soon but we haven’t decided on a final tracklisting for it. We’ve recorded 13 songs and have re-recorded Apples and Pears but there hasn’t been a final decision as to whether it will go on the album or not! I’m really pleased how all the songs we’ve done for the album have turned out, and there has been a couple of surprises with songs that I think I’d initially written off! It’s been a really lovely experience getting the chance to record it, and especially having someone like Cook to guide us, challenge us at times and also encourage us to do the best we can with it.”

I see that Jamie Savage is also in the band. I had the pleasure of meeting him and buying him a drink once. In return, he and his road crew introduced me to Frightened Rabbit. It has to be a uniquely Scottish thing; a long day, a show and hours later the main topic is still music and other Scottish artists.

“Jamie Savage and his Road Crew (maybe we should have called ourselves that!). I think the ‘road crew’ you mention was probably Jonny Scott and Graeme Smillie (who are 2 of the other members of Olympic Swimmers!). Graeme, Jonny and Jamie all play in Emma Pollock’s band – which I think is who they were out playing with when you must have met them. Graeme, Jonny, Simon and I were starting/thinking about starting Olympic Swimmers around the time that Graeme started playing for Emma. Through playing with her, Graeme met Jamie who was also playing in her band and we asked him if he’d be up for starting something new with us, Jonny also later joined Emma’s band.”

Do you have a hat-tip toward  someone else we may probably not have heard of yet?

” Happy Particles are pretty special. Beautiful atmospheric shoe-gaze type stuff with totally spine-chilling tear-jerking vocals. We’ve played with them a couple of times and Steven played with us in his side/solo project Tesla Birds, everytime I see them I feel this intense relief that they exist! They’re just finishing their first album as well at the moment. Other than that I love Holy Mountain: rock, roll, sweat, riff, sweat. Also soon releasing their first album…”

What is it that makes the Glasgow music scene so special?

“I know someone who has recently written a 20,000 word dissertation on this subject, so I’m not sure I’m able or qualified to answer it! I’ve mostly enjoyed living in Glasgow and playing in a band here, I found it pretty easy to meet people who were into the same things and most importantly that were into playing music that I liked, but I also think that you might find some folk who find the tight-knit nature of it claustrophobic, cliquey, incestuous or alienating, and occasionally I’ve felt like that about it. I think the legacy of musicians that have emerged from Glasgow or made their base here naturally leads to it being an attractive place for aspiring musicians to come, which in turn obviously makes it a more fertile ground for like-minded people to get together. The most ‘special’ feature about Glasgow for me (and I doubt it’s unique to Glasgow) is that there is such a vast array of different types of music but that they all seem to somehow fit together, play on the same bill together, often socialise together, work together, make music together, sleep together! So you’ll get a similar crowd regularly going to see Holy Mountain or Desalvo as you might get going to see RM Hubbert or even us, and you’ll get folk playing in vastly different sounding bands (like Jonny playing in both Olympic Swimmers and in Take A Worm For a Walk Week).  I don’t really know whether that’s because there is a shared ethos with a lot of the bands, or whether there is just less concern with genre and more concern with what is good!”

I have not heard or read anything about the next musical outing for  Lord Cut Glass, would you possibly have an insight into that?

“I think you’d have to ask him that!”

Your links page lists The Unwinding Hours.  Are you just friends/fans or is there some collaboration going on as well with either Craig or Iain? Are you authorized to tell us what the B stands for? I didn’t have the nerve to ask directly.

“All five of us followed Aereogramme throughout their career with love, admiration and awe, and we developed friendships with them through all the various paths that cross in Glasgow. Graeme actually ended up guitar teching for them. When Iain and Craig started The Unwinding Hours they asked Graeme and Jonny to join their live band. As I mentioned further up, Iain mixed one of our singles (“Two”) and has produced our album.  I hold Craig as one of my favourite and most inspiring vocalists/lyricists and if he wasn’t my pal, and I didn’t think he’d give me abuse for it I’d probably tell him that…

B is for B”

Lastly, we’d love it if you asked glasGOwest a question.

“When is Lord Cut Glass bringing out a new record?”

Mustering all resources and the clout a Scottish music blog from San Francisco has, I can only say that we are working on it. At this point, enquiries to someone potentially in the know have been sent out and we might just have a Happy Particles post next.

T&P

Posted in glasGOwest

Luke Joyce from The Gothenburg Address

It has been around 2 years since the self-titled debut. Is the second album a continuation  or is this incarnation of the band a substantial ‘reboot’ ?

” The new line up has certainly injected more energy into the music. The live sets contain a few favourites from the début album and the addition of an extra guitarist has meant we can add that evasive punch that I always thought was missing before. There wasn’t a concious plan to start the band again, but situation, circumstance and pure fate meant that some things need to be given a chance and I’m glad that I did with this.”

My first exposure to ‘post-rock’ was from some American band whose name I am forever trying to remember. It was interesting – not my cup of tea – but listenable. Then Mogwai came on. It was a revelation. One of those rare moments where everything is seen/heard from a whole new perspective. I can only assume you have a ‘Mogwai’ story or two.

” Mogwai are a huge influence on myself and the other guys. I think there is no avoiding their influence if you are playing this kind of music. I still argue the fact that just because we have no singer means we are some how hanging on to coat tales, but it comes with the territory. I saw Mogwai a few times when I was growing up, and then around the end of the 90s I saw them supporting the Manics on a UK tour. I think I went to every date on that tour just to see them and that was definitely a week in my life that moulded all those to follow. I came away from those shows with peaked emotions every night. I knew that was my building block, to make people leave the normal for an hour or so and just immerse.”

Your teaser promos are almost vague about the music. Is this intentional? In terms of generating excitement it has been very effective. Always interested in the recording process, can you share any technical tricks Mabel (the cat) had you perform in the studio?

“The vagueness was very intentional. I remember that I saw an interview with Billy Corgan once where he was explaining their approach to generating interest in to what ever they were releasing at the time. He had one very basic rule and that was all about keeping the outcome at arms length. Its really just the old cliché of ‘leave them wanting more’. Instead of a gentle gradient, we want to feed the snippets out to those who are interested and then hand over the eventuality in a sudden moment.

Recording began with myself recording demo’s in my home studio. We then considered recording everything ourselves but the realisation that we just didn’t have the skills meant that we did the wise thing and sought out an engineer. Robin Sutherland has been making a real name for himself working with bands such as Verse Metrics and Stapleton and we were all in agreement that he was the man for the job. The way he works is really refreshing, mixing as he goes along so you can hear the final record forming as all the pieces are put together. This was also our first experience of re-amping, which is just a god send for finding that perfect sound.”

What can we expect from a new full length? Do you have any single release details yet?

” The new single ‘The Hessian’ Is coming out in December with ‘All These Bad Judgement Calls’ gracing the b-side. We are planning on releasing a mini album in Early 2012.”

Certain media blurbs mention ‘Ex-Arab strap’ members. I always chuckle when I read that because I seem to see it a lot. I think it is approaching the point where stating that we were not in Arab Strap might be more meaningful. Nevertheless, where any of you in the band when they played 2 nights at the Café Du Nord here in San Francisco?

” Ok let’s get this sorted for the record. The previous line up had two members who both used to be in Arab Strap around 2005, I think . Initially, what was thought a good idea ended up being quite annoying as it seemed to be the main thing the band was associated for. It helped with getting the name out there but even today its still there peeking around the corner. Even getting a member of the Smashing Pumpkins to play on the record didn’t seem to trump the ‘strap’ connection. The new line up has no connection what so ever.”

I’m intrigued by the name choice. I’ve noticed that at least half the population of Sweden is either in a band or has a relative that is. Are any of you secretly Swedish?

” HA! No. The story goes like this .. I received a postcard in the mail one day and the picture on the front had no connection to the text written on the back. So after much confusion in my head,  I noticed the postcard was peeling away from itself. It turned out that it was two cards stuck together and the hidden address underneath was for a house in Gothenburg. Voilà!”

 Are there any realistic prospects of seeing an America tour in the future? (realistic – meaning not just the east coast)

” We are all desperate to get over there to tour. Its why we do what we do. Drawing experience from my own aspirations to get over to America with my solo project, I am well aware that the process is fraught with struggles. The costs of visas etc. is just too out of our reach right now as we do everything DIY with no outside help. Here’s hoping.”

What are your Scottish influences and do you have a hat-tip toward someone we need to go and check out immediately?

” There are many bands that are always talked about during rehearsals etc. Here’s a few – Bronto Skylift, Your Neighbour The Liar, Verse Metrics, We, Light Guides, Mogwai. I recently saw Light Guides play in a small shed up north, and for a first experience of their music, it was a mightily blinding one. I think special mention needs to go to the  Glaswegian band Trapped In Kansas; who have just released their new EP. It’s easily one of my records of the year and essential for any music lover.”

We’d like it if you’d ask glasGOwest a question.

” I recently went into Greggs (bakers) and discovered a haggis pie. Much like the macaroni pie, it was a perfect spherical piece of pastry about 4 inches in height and contained equal layers of Haggis neeps and tattys. If you could order any kind of Pie, what kind of pie would you order?”

I’m going to have to reach for the Frank and Walters for this one. “Bake a sad sweet cherry pie. A song that makes us cry and weep and wonder why.” To answer it literally, I think this is one area that America just might have the upper hand: an apple pumpkin pie (with enough cinnamon).

Posted in glasGOwest

Elaine O’Connor from the Scotsman Radar

Several years ago I constructed a myspace page (see the link) to keep track of ‘my’ bands. A large portion of the newer Scottish acts all came from the Scotsman Radar. In particular, Elaine’s name became indelibly linked with most of the bands I liked. If she mentioned them, I’d check them out. I thought it would be a nice change of pace to speak to her directly for a blog post.

Having read your October 31 post, I see that we just missed you in San Francisco. Did you catch any shows?

“My friends got us tickets to see Boris at the Regency Ballroom for our wedding, which was pretty great; but we didn’t manage to catch any local groups. We did spend quite a bit of time in Amoeba though, which was so good I could have cried. I know you’ll probably tell me there are a million more wee music stores which are better or something but hey, I’m a tourist.”

I see that you referred to Craig B’s tweet about the nature of the next Unwinding Hours record. I humbly refer you to our October 26 blog post for the ‘actual scoop’ on that story. Kidding aside, back in the myspace days, I was able to construct a mighty ‘friends’ list of bands. The secret was pretty simple. I essentially went through every band on the Radar’s artist list and ended up following around 2/3 of them. It almost seemed like cheating. Having had the time to explore Scottish music a little more deeply, it is pretty obvious that not just anyone makes that list. What are the criteria? Who decides?

“I really enjoyed your post with Craig B! At Radar, I can only speak for myself, but I tend to think submissions work best if it’s a band you just can’t help talking about. A lot of Radar’s profiles come from this – suggestions from contributors themselves about someone they’ve just heard or seen and liked. I like that because we listen to lots of different things and I love discovering new stuff from the other writers.

At the other side, editor Nick Mitchell sends us all a list of possible bands for profile. In terms of criteria, usually it’ll be that they’ve done something interesting, sent us something good, or just are coming up a lot in conversation. For me the key is, if it’s not someone who you geniunely think is a decent band, it’s not worth doing.”

Do you get out to a lot of the shows yourself? Can you tell us about the last really memorable one? What are your favourite three bands of the moment?

“I’m afraid this year certainly not as much as I would like as, having been saving for a wedding, I’ve not had a spare penny. It’s a shame because I always feel that you can’t really get a full sense of a band until you see them play; so it’s something I’ve really been missing. Although I do get review passes and so on, unless I’m covering something I don’t like asking bands for guestlist places. They deserve either the money or some coverage.

Anyway, now that all the kerfuffle is over with, I’m getting used to the fact I have some disposable income again and am getting back in the swing of things with quite a few to look forward to this month.

Favourite bands at the moment – my favourite thing I’ve written about this year was This Silent Forest’s ’30 Songs in 30 Days’ challenge and I’m really enjoying them right now. I’m also listening to lots of Otherpeople and Happy Particles.”

I once attended a Glasvegas show here in San Francisco (at the Regency as well). A victim of wishful thinking, I fooled myself into hoping that a live setting would bring out the ‘better’ in them. I ended up leaving after the third song. Is the reason they are not in your current ‘G’ section because they are ‘too big’ ?

“On a purely personal level, they aren’t a band I particularly enjoy, and I haven’t got into it when I’ve seen them live. I also hate the term “Glasvegas”. I’m sure they’re absolutely gutted by this news. They probably are “too big” for Radar; but – while I don’t want to speak for everyone else – I don’t think there’s a lot of passion for the band either.”

Clearly, we will need to eventually make pilgrimages over there. If you only had a two week window in which to come to Scotland with the principal aim of seeing as many good shows as possible, when would you suggest? Please keep in the mind that the agony of knowing what shows we just missed and the chagrin of knowing who we almost could have seen would need to be kept in check.

“This is a bit of a difficult quesiton… In years past, I would have said to avoid summer because usually shows died a death in the festival season. This year, however, that was totally different and there seemed to be a lot going on, certainly in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Right now, there’s tons of stuff going on and I think this time of year is often really good for gigs. Or you could come for Christmas to watch Mogwai and Errors at the Barras – guaranteed amazing.”

I’ve had this question turned around on me and been tasked to find out when, and if, the next musical outing by Lord Cut Glass might see the light of day. Have you heard anything?

“I’m afraid not but I’ll keep my ears peeled and you’ll be first to know if I do.”

I’m working on an idea of a monthly ‘music chat’ between ourselves and Elaine. She has graciously agreed. With a bit of luck, we’ll hear from Elaine again in a month.

T&P

Posted in glasGOwest

Campfires In Winter

My Campfire song selection contains 15 songs in total, 10 different songs; from 9 different sources. I’m highlighting these statistics to point out that I’ve gone to a little bit of trouble to seek out your material. Of those, ‘Before the Owl will Fly’ ranks as one of my favourite songs from anyone at the moment.

“Thanks for going to all that trouble. Great to hear Before The Owl Will Fly is one of your favourite tracks of the moment, it’s possibly my favourite Campfires song too. It’s also evident you love Scottish music so much you’ve ditched the Americanis(z)ed English word ‘favorite’, opting for the British ‘favourite’ instead. Nice touch!”

I can already imagine the comparisons the press will make, your evocative voice will inevitably be likened to other artists, but I think they will miss just how much more there is under the hood here. Do you consider yourselves as fitting into this or that genre? Having been tasked to come up with a new genre myself– I’d like to submit my first attempt: post-glasvegas.

” Oh dear. As far as I know, all of us in the band dislike Glasvegas. However, I can definitely see where you’re coming from, though my vocals often tend to be compared to James from The Twilight Sad. I don’t think we really do fit into a genre. I actually have trouble just describing how we sound in general, nevermind what genre we slot into. Someone – I cannot remember who – once told me Campfires sounded like Post-Rock Pop, which I suppose kinda fits to an extent. We quite often have the slow-building soundscape-type-thing going on with an eventual crescendo, all the while remaining melodic, catchy and memorable. Well, we at least try and make it those three things.”

Having seen Mogwai twice in May of ’96, I like to pretend I rank among the first of their North American fans. How long has your band been making music?

“I’m sure you rank among the first of our North American fans now too, I don’t think we have too many! We’ve existed in some form for almost seven years now, since we were all around 14/15. We only became Campfires In Winter in 2009 however, and our line-up changed recently with our old drummer leaving to be replaced by Ewan Denny.”

‘Before the Owl Will Fly’ should definitely track right before ‘With A Ragged Diamond’ on the first full length. Is there any news on how you are progressing toward that goal?

“Hmm, you think so? They do go quite well together on the recent demo so aye, maybe that’s how it’ll end up. Who knows what’ll happen, eh? As for album progress, we laid down our first few drum tracks a few weeks ago. We’re still writing too, got a few good ideas kicking around at the moment that still need some fleshing out. We’ve a long way to go yet but we’re getting there.”

What Scottish band buttons would we find on your jacket? Assuming that’s where they’d be pinned?

“I’m into Mogwai, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, Arab Strap/Aidan Moffat/Malcolm Middleton, Errors, The Phantom Band, Idlewild, The Unwinding Hours/Aereogramme plus loads more. I don’t think I could list them all. The rest of the guys are into some or all of these bands too.”

In the spirit of some long term vacation planning, what Scottish festival would you recommend? What is your favourite indoor venue?

“Sadly the last Scottish Festival I was at was the now-defunct Connect Festival in 2007. However, one festival I liked the look of earlier this year was Insider Festival. I couldn’t make it along but it looked really nice. Maybe we can play it sometime.

My favourite indoor venue is probably the Oran Mor Auditorium in Glasgow. It’s a beautiful big former church with an interior painted by writer/artist Alasdair Gray. I’m not too keen on the wall with the rainbow but the rest of it looks fantastic. Other notables are The Art Club in Glasgow where I saw Moon Unit in surround sound last year (‘ooooft’ is the only expression I can use to describe how good a gig that was) and the Barrowlands (Barras), of course. My favourite Edinbrugh venue was The Bowery/Roxy Art House but it’s closed now.”

I just checked the Scotsman’s Radar page. There seems to be an oversight. Campfires in Winter is not on the band list. What in the world is going on over there?

“Not a clue, I’ll get them some stuff sent over!”

Do you have a hat tip toward someone else we absolutely need to check out?

” Right this minute I’m listening to theapplesofenergy album which is out in a few weeks time. It’s superb, unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. Just finished listening to the Monoganon album too. Great albums, I’ll be struggling to pick a favourite between them come the end of the year. Moon Unit deserve a mention too, excellent band.”

Lastly, we’d love it if you asked glasGOwest a question.

“Who would win in a fight between an ambulance and a fire truck? (Wee bit of American English for you there)”

” Thanks again for this, really enjoyed answering them. It’s good to be answering questions that are a bit more interesting than the usual stuff you get.”

And there is our reason for existence; to ask questions a wee bit more interesting than usual. As to the contest, as a “Scottish” music blog it shames us to admit that  The All New Adventures Of Us’s song ‘Firetruck’ soundly womps The Scottish Enlightenment’s “Ambulance”. Hopefully this observation doesn’t deter them from sending their answers back.

T&P

Posted in glasGOwest

The Mighty Jetpacks (live)

Circle and Squares followed by Quiet Little Voices sums up my feelings about the 3rd evening spent with We Were Promised Jetpacks. This was the first time seeing them headline and they did not disappoint – three times is still a charm. There is always so much emotionally invested in the first record, for band and fan alike. The place came alive whenever the ‘old’ songs were played with a notable amount of sing-along. My own reaction to the new record mirrors the preference for the familiar. Obviously, it reflects the difference in the amount of time spent with each record. Listening to the record again this morning, it is very easy to close your eyes and see the music in terms of how well it all worked live. I still lean toward the tunes from the first. I clearly appreciated some of the new material properly for the first time and that is a central purpose of touring, but on balance there was a structural and tonal similarity behind the new material, especially stretched over 90 minutes that became noticeable. I find the ‘perfect’ show is one in which you lose all sense of time and your thoughts never wander thinking about things like pacing, set order or your awareness of your level of engagement. The sound at the venue is probably one of the best in town. You just have to look up at the sculpted ceiling to see how much effort was put into the aural dynamics of the place. The overall sound was incredibly clear and detailed and as such the vocals truly shone through. Some overheard banter on the street marveled at the passion coming from the singer and remarked  that he wouldn’t be surprised if Adam suddenly just stopped and gasped; heart and lungs bursting from his chest because so much was given at the microphone. The performance was that powerful.

No one listens as intently or sternly as I do. If you were to go by the look of my face you might mistakenly think I’m not even enjoying the show. I listen to records by staring at the speakers to give you some idea how intently I listen to the sound. Perhaps my formative teen years spent behind an 8 channel mixing board has something to do with it. The beauty of the Jetpacks is subtler than most American audiences are used too. At times there is undeniable breathtaking musical beauty and at other times it much more deeply hidden and subtle. I should try to come up with some Scottish winter landscape reference or other, but I’ll just say some of that beauty and majesty does manage to find its way into the soul of the musicians and music. Was it perfect? No. As a comparison – seeing Frightened Rabbit for the 5th time at the Fillmore, I’d say it was. The 3rd time at the Independent not so much – in fact, I’d say the Jetpacks stole that show. It was grand and majestic. A little more thought and practice on how to fill that much time will go a long way to making it so, as will a larger catalogue to draw from. I’m still on the fence about album two. Rave (and justifiably so) reviews aside, I’m still of the belief that it is a sophomore record that promises that the best is yet to come. I can’t wait to hear them when they eventually tour the third.

For one night at least, we didn’t wish we were in Glasgow or Edinburgh (to be more precise).

T&P

Posted in glasGOwest

Islander Phil from Prince Edward Island

I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a record as much as “This Day is a Good Enough Day” in quite a while. It is my constant drive home music and inevitably with each listen, I marvel at how well-crafted it really is. How long did it take to record and finish?

Well, ta very much.  Bloody forever. That’s how long. Being possibly the worlds laziest band we don’t tend to rush into these things with the excitement and enthusiasm we should. More a slow crawl and a general feeling of discontent. I think all in it took us 5 years to get it released, but I’m not sure any of us would ever consider it finished. Problem is there’s always a new distraction to not get excited about.”

Since I first heard of you from Kowalskiy, I’m reasonably sure that you qualify as a ‘Scottish’ band. Where exactly is everyone from?

“I’m not sure what the official qualification is but there’s at least one of us puts on a half-decent Scottish accent. The others tend to vary theirs to suit the venue we’re playing / how much they’ve had to drink. Faye’s is a mix of geordie/cumbria/fyfe……the poor girl. And we have an aussie knocking about at the back.”

Hailing from Canada myself, I’m hoping that you would be so polite as to explain the origin of the band name.

“We get asked this more than anything else which is probably a good enough reason in itself. To be honest it was either PEI or Pocket Grandpa.”

I read the quip that the band’s inception came after the realization that admiring each other’s Chemikal Underground records was not enough. Other than Arab Strap, what other C.U. artists do you like?

“As a label I don’t think they’ve put a foot wrong yet and I’d happily listen to most of their roster. But a world without Arab Strap or The Delgados would be hard to stomach. They taught us everything we stole.”

While crossing the Golden Gate yet again today, I focused on your clever word play. It reminded me of a more subtle and literary Carter U.S.M. Do lyrics come easily for you?

“Bad sex, booze and failed relationships is a gift that keeps on giving. However, I refer you back to question 1..”

Beep Beep Beep. Whose idea was that? It is unbelievably effective.

“It was an ad-libbed studio joke that just hung on in there. Besides, Faye’s at her best when she works with words of two syllables or less.”

I bought the emusic version of your record (for the instant gratification) and stumbled across and downloaded the new John Mouse record at the same time. Other than his incredible backing band and label, is there a deeper connection?

“Nope, there’s nothing deep about the Mouse – you are aware he’s from Wales?

I think originally Faye stumbled across him on MySpace. This was in the days when people still used MySpace which should give you some idea how long we’ve known him. The truth is they share the same surname and that was the only real connection at the time – the friendship just kind of grew from there. We do ‘band lies’ better than most and tried to develop this into a strange ‘Jack & Meg’-type back story but no one ever really bought into it. I think the incest turned them off. Except perhaps in Cumbria. Still we’ve had some great times out of it – you still can’t shut us up about The Radio 1 session at Maida Vale or Green Man. It’s funny where the seemingly most incidental of contacts can lead you.

To be honest, most of the time we just feel sorry for him.”

Lastly, we would love it if you asked us a question.

“Ahh, ok then……….Aidan Moffat or Malcolm Middleton?”

I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing them once. A brilliant show at the Cafe Du Nord. At the end taking cover requests from the audience, I couldn’t help wondering why the hell Moffat woudn’t let Middleton sing one of his.  Something tells me it will be no different at Sleazys on Nov. 17th.  I’m pretty sure Moffat will never beclown himself with us,  so I can safely say Middleton. The tragedy was I didn’t go back the next night, rationalizing that I’d catch them on the next tour. You know how that ended.

T&P

Posted in glasGOwest

The Moth & The Mirror

I’m actually still waiting for a Brother Louis Collective full length… first Admiral Fallow and now the Moth & the Mirror. What happens to my dream if this project really takes off?  

” I don’t know how to break this to you Thor but Admiral Fallow are the Brother Louis Collective. They changed their name before the release of their first album so I’m guessing you have heard it after all.”

Are there any definite plans for another record in the future?

” No definite plans yet, but I know that we are all really keen to do another record. We’ve already started writing songs for it. So fingers crossed.”

Reviews – have you ever purchased something based on one? 

” Probably not purely on a review, but the reviews will make me have a listen and if I like what I hear after that, then I’ll buy the music.  So I think reviews are important as a guide. You have to have reviewers you can trust.”

From an artist’s point of view, what exactly is the point of a review? Do you ever read them?

” I guess the reviews can help with confidence. I’m not a very confident person so I will always be questioning myself and the songs I’ve written.  We’ve had nice reviews so far which I never expected so it’s helped boost my confidence a bit. Some bands don’t need any help of course, they genuinely don’t care. I envy them.”

Trepidation aside, I am looking forward to starting our own Golden Gate Review series. (One week of listening while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, to and from work; review written on the weekend. I usually cross back over the bridge by the 3rd song. That seems as good an acid test as any to guage the strength of the record.)

What do you think distinguishes a good record from a truly exceptional one?

” That’s a nice idea. I love San Fransisco, it’s really beautiful there, lucky you!  To answer your question I think I’m going to go for… time.  A good record will be played for a short time and then creep back out onto your stereo every now and again but a truly exceptional record stays on your player for months and is never far from hand. It should have layers so that every time you listen to it you hear something new.  It will never sound dated and you will never get bored of it.”

Since ‘Honestly, this world’ will be our first ever review, can you share any production secrets that will make me sound like I know what I’m talking about?

” Ha!  Erm, let me think.  Davey MacAuley did a great job of making us sound passable. They are really all of his secrets. There are a few happy accidents on there, some of the crazy guitar noises were accidents we just decided to keep. In ‘Boxes’ Pete played drums with a broken arm, we are also beating fire extinguishers in that song.  I got Maria Taylor drunk in a bar and sweet talked her to sing backing vocals on ‘Closing Doors’ which she did (in the bar).”

I just finished reading that Gary Lightbody said it was a great record to listen to in the car in the LA sunshine. That may well be true, but isn’t it really meant to be heard through the San Francisco fog across the Golden Gate?

“Yeah, that was nice of Gary to say that, but you’re right. Definitely in fog and even better in the dark.”

Speaking of reviews, we’ve got Martin John Henry lined up next. Have you had a chance to hear it?

“Is this the guy from De Rosa? They were a great band.  I just had a listen to a couple of his tracks, it reminds me a little of early Arab Strap and Malcolm’s solo stuff mixed together.  Or like a more aggressive Remember Remember.”

Germany (brilliant single) – I’ve got hand stitched bag 46/50! Why the title? I’m still trying to figure that out. Why not Locarno?

” Thank you for buying that.  Those bags were cute. Maybe we’ll make some more, but a different version when we re-release ‘Fire.’  I’ve never been to Locarno. Do you have a link there?  I’m afraid I can’t tell you why the song is called Germany. It’s a band secret.  I can tell you that the song is about stalking. I hope that makes it up to you.”

Despite the failed attempt at a joke in the first question, I’d say that was a good precursor for our soon to be posted review attempt.  I literally was caught completely by surprise by the arrival of the Admiral Fallow record. It was just suddenly there and I knew my 2 year wait for a Brother Louis Collective full length was finally over. But how did I miss it approaching completely?

T&P