THE STAGGER RATS/Edinburgh
If you like _ and _, you’ll like The Stagger Rats. Fill in the blanks.
(Daniel Paylor, vocals/guitar): If you like melodies and hooks you’ll love The Stagger Rats.
You’ve got the whole ‘gyspy death funk’ thing going on. For the uninitiated, what does this sound like?
Gypsy Death Funk is sweet, jaggy, soulful, nostalgic, a bit evil, a bit tongue-in-cheek, vibrant, classy and common.
You’ve had tracks appear on the Danny Dyer film Pimp and also recorded a music video for one of them. You had scantily clad females dancing around you in the video. Was this a dream come true?
It was certainly a surreal moment, but then again, we were in the studio all day so it still got a bit wearing, but nonetheless, it was definitely an experience. I would recommend it yeah.
Have you noticed an upsurge in popularity at all from the all the Pimp stuff?
I think in terms of visitors to our MySpace and Facebook pages and also the amount of people coming to our gigs, there’s been a recognisable influx of interest. Even if it hadn’t made as much difference in those ways, I think it’s generally just changed the way we’re being received and also perceived by most people. We feel we’ve gained a lot of valuable experience from it all.
You’ve made many – and continue to make many – trips down to London. Are The Stagger Rats too big for Scotland?
There’s absolutely no way The Stagger Rats are too big for Scotland. We’ve made a lot of progress since we formed last year, but there’s a shitload of things we have to still do in Scotland. We’ve got to raise our profile in Glasgow I think, ‘cos it’s a big town and one of the most important places for music in Britain, and therefore the world. We love playing in Scotland and always will, because it’s almost unanimous amongst musicians that Scottish crowds are amazing for buzz and banter. We enjoyed our gigs in London a lot but we’re simply not as well-known a band there.
You seem to be a pretty style conscious band. How important is image to The Stagger Rats?
I wouldn’t say we particularly follow any trends as individuals style-wise, and certainly not as a band. We each have completely different styles and although they are so completely different, I think there seems to be some kind of cohesion between our separate looks, but I have absolutely no idea what it is. Maybe we should each dress up as fruit or something? It’d be fairly easy to do like an apple or orange or something, so I’d probably go for a bunch of grapes.
According to the MySpace page, each member of the band engages in vocal duties. How important are multi-vocals and harmonies to the band or do you all just like to speak a lot?
We appreciate how important vocals are to a band’s sound so we really put a lot of effort into getting it right. We have two lead vocalists, Daniel and Easter, and it gives us even more versatility – which is never a bad thing – and they have such completely different, yet complementary, voices. The rest of the group do their bit very well. There’s not many bands that can say they have five good vocalists, so we’re lucky in that respect.
And finally, rats aren’t very nice animals, so why should people like you?
People should like us because we’re trying very hard to do something different. Every riff, chord progression, lyric and drumbeat we write, we try to make it our own and uncommon, yet pleasant, which is very hard to do, and although we’re nowhere near masters, I think we’re doing okay so far.