Song Of Return

Contemplating this morning’s scrambled eggs

SONG OF RETURN/GLASGOW/ROCK

When, where and how did you guys first meet?

Craig Grant (vocals, guitar): Well, Chris and I, who make the music in the studio, met in Nice ‘n’ Sleazy about six years ago. He was recording a compilation album for the open mic night there and when he recorded me he asked me if I had any more material. We ended up demoing that material and then remixing some of it which later became some Union Of Knives songs. The guys in the live band I have known from around the scene for the past few years. They’ve become really good friends of mine.

If you’re a fan of _ and _ then you will like Song Of Return. Fill in the blanks.

If you’re a fan of…uh…pretentious posturing art-rock and books about the mid-twenties crisis then you’ll like Song Of Return.

There’s lots of great emerging bands in Scotland at the moment. How are you different than the rest?

I think it’s fair to say we’ve been through the industry ‘mill’ a little bit collectively, so I guess what makes us different is that we have realism in place of eager optimism. We’re trying to create a vibe in order to get funding to continue to create what we love. In that sense, I feel like we operate almost on our own, outwith the Scottish band scene. Shit, em. I’ve just read that back. I don’t mean to sound aloof. We’re not. We just do what we do. Also, I think it helps that we are both producers, so another difference is just how we approach the studio and live processes.

Are you proud to be part of the Scottish music scene?

Yeah. Like I said, I don’t really feel like ‘part’ of it. Even with Union Of Knives, I didn’t. But if people one day regarded us to be of an ilk alongside people like Mogwai, Aerogramme and The Twilight Sad, then yeah, I’d be very proud. I think Scotland’s output is incredible. Something to boast about when we are abroad.

Your first gig was with Midnight Lion a few weeks ago. How’d that go?

Yeah, it was cool. It was way busier than I thought it would be. I mean, it’s a shame our first show had to be a brand-related thing, but I appreciate that it helped us get on our feet. We’re doing a proper launch show in Glasgow in May, so I think by then we will be more uh... ‘ready’ than we were. But on the whole, I think people liked it…?

You are a band that have seemed to come out of the dark with little hoo-ha or self-promotion. Is that the way forward for emerging bands do you think or are Song Of Return a special case?

I think, just with our experience of previous bands, we’re aware that getting people talking about you is half the battle. And if you can get the right people talking about you, then you’ve got a head-start. And, being that we sort of know a lot of people whose opinions are heard, then it felt like it didn’t take a lot of hoo-ha to get the band to even the small stage it’s at now. I think that it would be different for a completely new band because they’d have to just blanket promote themselves to get involved and heard in the first place. I’m saying that I think a lot of the leg work had been done in previous times, so we were lucky. Eh, this time…

Are Song Of Return better than Union Of Knives or is it unfair to compare the two?

I feel like when we finished the second Knives album, we had come into our own as writers and we felt the most comfortable we had done as a band ever. And we felt strong and confident and almost like we could do something that would be uh, ‘important’ even. And then, when we got dropped and all this crazy shit was happening for a year or so, then personally my confidence took a bit of an inevitable knock. So I think Song Of Return is still finding its feet, and, although we’ve written two albums together, the dynamic with me and Chris is evolving again and I think that it will be a process to get back up to the level we’ve known before. Obviously, we’re very much enjoying doing Song Of Return but I think that enjoyment will grow with more shows and writing and just keeping the whole thing ticking on.

When’s the first release due to land?

Good question. I realistically think we could put an album out before Christmas if everything went exactly our way. But I’m also aware how these things work. We are looking into doing a singles club thing or putting out a song or two with an indie in the next couple months. We’re trying to create some interest in London for this, so I guess it’s pretty unknown for all right now. Sorry. We will put something cool out one of these days.

Have you ever cried listening whilst to music?

I think you’d have to have something a bit wrong with you if you didn’t.

What’s your day-job?

Crying to music (whilst working in a stock room). Highly boring and emotional.

And finally, fluffy scrambled eggs or runny scrambled eggs?

Oh man. I think both. It depends. The runny kind makes me think they were made from those cartons you buy in the States, which appeals to me because it reminds me of Mel’s Diner in L.A. Good eggs. On the other hand, the fluffy kind reminds me of my Granny’s place. So, both are good. I generally microwave them anyway so they turn out halfway between both. I’m not really a master of the scramble.

www.myspace.com/songofreturn

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