I keep this basket of signed or otherwise personalized items including the cardboard CD mailer that ‘Open Your Lungs and Breathe’ was shipped in; which has a lovely sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge with a wee Nessie swimming below. As it turns out that sketch, predating our blog, was the spark that first had us envisioning creating a link between San Francisco and Scotland. Not only that, it was also the direct inspiration for our masthead logo. Long overdue thanks are in order. For whatever reason, I’ve never gotten around to including I/R/L on to the ‘roster’ of bands we champion.
Could you explain the band name origin or significance?
“I remember Dave (Our then singer, now guitarist) talking about how we should change things up with the band, the usual “what sort of music we could make?”, “how should we dress onstage?” etc blah. The usual types of things young bands traverse over. He had been talking about the film ‘Sleepers’ at rehearsal for ages, and when we finally sat down to watch it, the name just sort of popped out. We didn’t want a name that would allude to a particular type of music, and more one that well…just sounded odd, but intriguing, I guess. I’ve always thought about changing it, but just never got round to it. I suppose it’s the music we make that matters.”
Admittedly, I have not listened to the debut for a little while. Listening to it now, I’m struck by how much better it sounds than I seem to remember. I’ve spent a bit of time trying to figure out just why Scottish artists are so sonically appealing to me. For I/R/L, it seems to be the case of adding something uniquely yours while incorporating a good deal of what is going on around you. If the band were to have a mission statement what would it be?
“Where we’re from in Scotland (the North-east), plays an important part in what we write about. It always has been I suppose. The idea of home is a thread that seems to run through our functioning as a band, and it’s subsequent output.”
Who would you cite as your musical influences?
“I think all our tastes are quite eclectic, (yawn, I know) but I’ve found that just working with each other, separately, and then all together can been really inspiring. Two of us may meet up whilst others are unable, and can record the bones of ideas in an afternoon sometimes, and then bring to the rest of the guys that same evening. We’re enjoying the pace of things right now! I think it influences each other to have more confidence on material they might otherwise do on their own. I’ve been listening to Dutch Uncles a lot recently.”
Is the song ‘Break Us Both’ one of the songs that will end up on the next record? Do you have any other snippets floating around?
“Yeah, it was pretty much the catalyst for the rest of the material we’ve written for this record. It was written and demoed in 24 hours. We wanted to give ourselves a bit of pressure and write, or rather complete songs quicker, rather than stew over the details for months and months. It’s not a way we’ve worked before, so it was a healthy challenge for us to take on. This record will have much more of human rawness to it. We stuck a new one on a compilation CD a few months back. It was for a small label in Aberdeen called Fat Hippy Records. The rest will appear when the record is finished…”
Since I saw Midge Ure the other night, I’ll ask, if tasked to do so – what Ultravox cover would you do?
“Dave would kill me if I didn’t say Vienna! He loves that song more than life. We lean towards The Blue Nile, so we’d happily cover ‘Tinsletown In The Rain’ instead!”
Apparently, Vic Galloway took notice of our blog about a month ago. I see that you were on his top 50 band list of 2010. For a bit of fun, I looked up your pool from back in 2010:
Miaoux Miaoux, Maple Leaves, French Wives, Pablo, RM Hubbert, Gogobot, Lord Cut Glass, Divorce, Indian Red Lopez, Copy Haho, Drums of Death.
Rather impressive company. Have you heard any of the other releases? If so, what did you think?
RM Hubbert we’ve bumped into a few times, and he’s amazing. Utterly amazing. He’s such a nice dude, and his latest record is still on my stereo. Miaoux Miaoux is also great. We’ve played with him on a few occasions, and he’s a lovely gent. ‘Autopilot’ is a track I listen to on a regular basis.”
What does IndianRedLopez hope to achieve in 2013?
“I think to just finish the new album and try to build a bigger machine to promote it as best we can. A few of us are getting married this year and we’re expecting our first Lopez baby in the summer so we’ll do as much as we can before that hits us. I’m really looking forward to getting the record done and released. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Apparently, Copy Haho are an Aberdeen band as well. My introduction to them came courtesy of the Sky Larkin bassist sporting one of their t-shirts at a SF show. Are there any other ‘local’ bands we should be looking out for?
Yeah, Copy Haho were a great band. We were in the same class at Art School and I keep in touch with Joe. It’s sad that they aren’t still playing. There is a wealth of talent around our area that I feel don’t get the recognition they deserve. One of these is a band called Stanley. They mix orchestral arrangements and make grand pop music, and the singer sounds like Scott Walker. They are good friends of ours, and we owe a lot of what our band is now to them.”
Come to think of it, have you ever discovered a band from someone’s t-shirt?
“Hmmm, good question!”
I’ve written these questions rather quickly, on purpose, to break a bit of writer’s block on this end. How does the song writing process work in the band?
“See what you did there? Our process has largely been a collective effort in a sense that we all write parts that we may not necessarily end up playing live and vice versa. The bulk of the 1st album originated from us jamming for hours, but with the wonders of computers, these new songs have sprung from a snare sound, drumbeat or some fucked up synth noise. It’s amazing how quickly you can capture the essence of the idea and work into it. Things are somewhat more malleable too.”
Is there any truth to the ‘sophomore slump’?
“From where we sit, I think it’s difficult to just concentrate solely on writing constantly, due to the fact that we all have day jobs and other things going on but despite these things, we’ve written just over 75% of the album. This new method of working for us means we can have the bones of an idea much quicker than before, and there’s always something to bring to the table. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan.”
Finally, can we look forward to a release by year’s end?
Naturally our banner is currently in the shop so go and watch ‘Ropes‘.