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.




Musically 'living' in Scotland

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