Kith & Kin

February 16, 2012

KITH & KIN/Glasgow

If you like _ and _ then you will like Kith & Kin. Fill in the blanks.

(Liam Cairns, vocals/guitar): If you like Fleet Foxes and Midlake then you will like Kith & Kin.

How would you describe your sound in at least one sentence without saying the words ‘and’, ‘is’ and ‘it’?

Non-scottish accented, Scottish folk/pop…

What has 2012 got in store for Kith & Kin?

 Hopefully some EPs, new songs and bigger shows.

They say there’s a time and place for everything. So when’s the best time and where’s the best place to listen to Kith & Kin?

The best place to see and hear us is live! We’re playing on Saturday 18th February at The Captain’s Rest supporting Randolph’s Leap for their album launch.

Who else in the Scottish music scene is floating your boat at the moment?

Well we’ve been listening to a lot of James Yorkston and King Creosote, and in regards to newer bands, we really like Open Swimmer, Song of Return and Admiral Fallow.

And finally, who is the most important member of Kith & Kin?

Bit of a shit question there. I write the songs but everyone helps to arrange all the parts and create the final sound that distinguishes the band. Ultimately everybody is the most important member.

Check out Kith & Kin on Facebook

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The Holy Ghosts

February 2, 2012

THE HOLY GHOSTS/Edinburgh

If you like _ and _ then you will like the Holy Ghosts. Fill in the blanks.

 If you like rock and roll then you will like the Holy Ghosts.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?

Chuck Berry having a threesome with Janis Joplin and Keith Richards whilst Johnny Cash has a quick peep through the keyhole. Blues and country meets good old rock n’ roll.

What has 2012 got in store for the Holy Ghosts?

Getting some tracks down is our main priority – we actually hope to start recording this weekend. The songs have been around for some time and we are ready to go balls deep. Fire it up! After the success of our first DIRRTY BLUES night we have agreed to start our residency slot at The Fiddlers Elbow in Edinburgh, showcasing some of the best blues, country and rock n’ roll music on the Scottish scene. We have quite a few Scottish dates lined up including a visit up to Shetland along with dates in Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh and a few others still to be confirmed. We also have a few gigs in Ireland including Dublin. Hopefully we will get a few festivals and gigs in England under our belt by the end of the summer. Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page for updates.

Jack – you recently left Edinburgh band The Stagger Rats. Do you leave with fond memories?

I leave with a damaged liver and hazy memories! Yeah, glad to have done it but wouldn’t rush to do play bass again anytime soon. Having way too much fun doing this. This feels like a natural progression. This definitely butters my crumpet.

They say there’s a time and place for everything. So when’s the best time and where’s the best place to listen to the Holy Ghosts?

Anytime and anywhere baby. We’re cooking with gas!

What’s the favourite lyric you’ve written for the Holy Ghosts?

Gotta be ‘Keep running wild through hills made from stone, you’re lost honey child but your fate it is your own, we sailed the seven seas on a boat made from skin, you know it’s all a dream, a dream that we are in’. Don’t ask what it means cause we are still trying to figure this one out.

And finally, your guitarist Jon is the singer of tribute band the Complete Stone Roses, who have played many massive venues across the country. But if you could play in any tribute band, what would it be and why?

He has recently left the Completes actually! Taking him a while to adjust back into normality after all those years of being Ian Brown…only just stopped wearing Adidas tops and walking like a Mancunian. Tribute bands? Mmm, that’s a tricky one…well it would have to be a tribute to a band that no longer exists. Someone like The Cramps or Eddie Cochran, possibly The Velvet Underground or Wham!. No…ABBA, that’s it.

You can catch the band at:

Nice n’ Sleazy, Glasgow – 9 Feb
Dirty Martinis, Kilmarnock – 11 Feb
Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – 17 Feb
The Fiddlers Elbow, Edinburgh – 18 Feb
Electric Circus, Edinburgh – 19 Feb
The Royal British Legion, Lerwick, Shetland – 7 April
Hoots, Inverness – 13 April

Facebook/Twitter/YouTube


Young Aviators

December 8, 2011

YOUNG AVIATORS/Glasgow

If you like _ and _ then you will like Young Aviators. Fill in the blanks.

(Declan McKay): If you like Weezer and The Beach Boys then you will like Young Aviators.

You’re from Ireland, but now live in Glasgow. Why did you come over?

We had to escape the sectarian tribalism of Northern Ireland, so we decided to move to Glasgow. Grim jokes aside… we basically came to Glasgow to attend university and partake in the city’s sparkling music scene.

You’re releasing a new EP soon with a gig at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy on 13 Dec. Why should people come down and check it all out?

It’s going to be a great night. It’s our first gig in Glasgow after coming back from tour and we really love playing Sleazy’s, as punters seem to have a better ‘all-round-night-out’ than some other venues in the city (that will remain nameless). It’s also probably the last time you’ll be able to purchase a hard copy of our EP as they’re nearly sold out.

A lot of bands speak about their influences, but who would you say is Young Aviator’s quintessential anti-influence?

Anything bland…Snowplay or whatever they’re called.

Do you ever wear Aviator glasses?

I do actually own a pair of aviator glasses, but have yet to wear them on stage. I’m waiting for that perfect rock ‘n’ roll moment when everything just falls into place and an unsigned band playing in front of four people can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors.

Who is the best member of the band?

I am. Obviously.

And finally, you butter both sides of a slice of toast. Which side does it land on?

I’m not sure if we’re talking literally here, or if this is some type of wider metaphor for life…or if it’s just inferred that the toast then falls off a table? I’m going to go for the literal option and go try it out in my kitchen [He returns from kitchen] It fell directly on its side, wobbled for a few seconds and then my cat came and licked the butter off. Now, there’s a metaphor for wider life-experience.

www.facebook.com/youngaviators


The Recovery!

October 27, 2011

The Recovery!/Glasgow

If you like _ and _ then you will like The Recovery! Fill in the blanks.

(Jawn McClenaghan, guitars): If you like heavy riffs and silly live chat then you will like The Recovery! Or, if you like (musically) Every Time I Die and Cancer Bats then you will like The Recovery! (So we’ve been told).

You mix heavy music with a bit of melody too. What’s more important to you?

I think the most important thing is having a good balance of both. We want our heavy sections to be as heavy as they can be within the song we’re working on, but we also want to create lots of hooks and melodic choruses. We all like a whole range of bands and we know how important it is to have parts of songs that people will remember even after one listen. But yeah, a heavy riff is just as important to us as a catchy chorus.

What is the best time of the day to listen to The Recovery!?

The morning time for sure! A lot of people have told us they listen to our songs on the way to work or uni/college to get the morning rage out of their systems or to wake them up a bit. I reckon anytime you feel angry or pissed off, get the tunes on and vent!

How has the Scottish music scene treated you since you started?

It’s been pretty good so far. It’s a lot different to the days of our old bands (dbsixtyeight/Mistake Us For Friends). We’ve only played a handful of shows so far as The Recovery! but they’ve all been pretty busy and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback. We got 200+ people through the doors for our first gig, supported Title Fight at King Tut’s for our second gig and also just got played on Radio 1 last weekend, so things are definitely off to a good start for us here in Scotland.

What’s the secret to a good song?

I think, as we mentioned before, hooks and choruses are a big part of any song writing. I think sometimes people can try and over do certain parts of a song, which takes away from it. As long as it’s memorable and has good dynamics, you can’t go wrong. Heavy music is always at its best when there’s a lot of passion encapsulated in it. A lot of that time that’ll come through live, but you can usually hear it in someone’s music or vocals.

Panic At The Disco used to have an exclamation mark at the end of their name, but then dropped it. Is yours here to stay?

To be honest we have no idea. We have talked about it before and for now it will stay. We’ve spoken before about dropping it and dropping ‘The’ from the band name altogether, but at the moment we’re just going to stick with it. We originally chose it to enhance the name, as if it was an order rather than a band name.

And finally – are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what as?

Sadly we don’t have any plans for Halloween. We had a gig booked but it recently fell through. If we were going to, we would dress up as members of Still Game!

www.facebook.com/therecoveryuk


The Rich Gordon Band

October 20, 2011

THE RICH GORDON BAND/Fife

If you like _ and _ then you will like The Rich Gordon Band. Fill in the blanks.

(Rich Gordon): If you like Joe Satriani and Frank Zappa then you will like The Rich Gordon Band.

Why should people take the time to listen to your music?

That’s a difficult question and not one I can answer easily without relinquishing the humility I usually conduct myself with.

As the band, I like to think the three of us offer something unique. We’re not really one ‘type’ of band – we alternate between lyrical and instrumental music and within that jump around between genres. Each of us brings something fantastic to the arrangement. We obviously do love the music we play, but we’re more focussed on creating something unique and inspired at the time of the performance, rather than just playing live renditions of songs. In essence, our focus is always about the musicality rather than the adherence to the recorded versions. Therefore I’d like to think this was appealing to music lovers who wanted to see a band playing for the love of music.

As for me, as a solo musician, I couldn’t really offer a sensible reason for anyone to take the time to listen to my music. I’d like to think people can appreciate the musicality of it, and I’d hope that the arrangements on the recorded versions, plus the mixing of genres, playing techniques, textured sounds and anything else on the non-musical front would be alluring. Mostly, I’d hope that the melodic/harmonic aspects make for great music!

Truthfully there is nothing especially unique about the music I write – I’ve yet to do something truly original. My music is simply another incarnation of stuff that has been done in the past. That said, I am particularly proud of most of the music I’ve written and sometimes find myself saying ‘Wow, I wrote that!’. That’s what keeps me listening to it anyway…

I think effectively my music is mostly targeted at guitar lovers who can appreciate what’s happening. It’s more of a guitar nerd thing, truthfully…

Who else in Scotland is floating your musical boat at the moment?

I worked with a band called Stuntman Mike recently – they came to play at the festival I organised and were fantastic, not just as a band, but they were also very personable guys too. Another band at the festival, called the Dirty Keys, were brilliant too, and I’m working with my best friend’s little brother – Robert Smith – at the moment. He’s an acoustic singer-songwriter. His music is fantastic and he has a natural talent on stage to be a great entertainer. Lastly, but by no means least, my very good friend Robbie Fleming is also a highly talented delta blues player and I’m helping him to record his first album. He’s very much inspired by the great slide and blues players – Robert Johnson, Rory Gallacher, etc. – but he has written some great and original stuff. I’m very excited about how that will pan out.

You’re a multi-instrumentalist, but best known for your virtuosic guitar work. What would you say to people who think that kind of music is over-indulgent?

I’d ask ‘What music isn’t over-indulgent?’. All music has a central focus: most mainstream music focuses on the vocal prowess of the singer (Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, etc.) or what the words of the song are (anthemic numbers such as those by Coldplay, etc). Dance music is all about the beat, etc. I don’t see that as being any different to instrumental guitar music – it’s just the focus has changed to another instrument. I think people get too hung up on what is ‘acceptable and unacceptable’ in music, mostly due to what is defined by the vox populous. People forget that music is an art, and art by its very nature is the vision of the artist, and therefore we should be more accepting of what the artist’s vision is instead of trying to compare and pigeon-hole their music.

The guitar is generally regarded as being a ‘rhythm instrument’ in mainstream music and only rarely makes an appearance as a lead instrument in some songs – probably leading to its stigma of being an indulgent instrument (c.f. the hair metal bands of the 80’s). It’s easy to forget that in itself is a very beautiful and highly versatile instrument, probably the most versatile of all instruments given the seemingly limitless technology available for it now. We should let go of this concept that a lead guitar is meant only for people wanting to show off. Of course we still have people like Yngwie Malmsteen who can’t actually write anything without indulgent shred being a core theme, but he has always held true to what he loves – the guitar. He’s never tried to be anything other than Yngwie Malmsteen, and that’s something I really respect.

I do enjoy shredding at times – it’s a creative release and for me it represents an emotion I’m trying to convey in the music. I admit that I enjoy being able to do so from a ‘showing-off’ point of view, but the focus of my music more recently has shifted from technically challenging playing to interesting melody and unique composition. There will always be a place for speedy guitaring in my music, but that’s not what my music is about.

Truthfully, my music is a niche market – it will only appeal to a small demographic of people who like that kind of music. I’m fine with that because it means I get to write what I want and be who I want to be, musically, without worrying about what people think. It also means that those people who like and buy my music are doing so because they genuinely like it for what it is, not because it’s some sort of fashionable accessory which I feel more and more is where music is going.

If after that, people still think it is over-indulgence, then I’d probably say they should listen to something else because they’re in the wrong place!

You have also run your own festival, RG MusicCon 2011. How did that come about?

A friend of mine, Johanna Crossley-Zels, who lives in Sweden, contacted me earlier in the year saying she’d like help with booking shows in Fife as she was arranging a tour for herself. She invited me to put other acts on along with her, and from there the idea grew arms and legs and became a festival. I’d have compacted the nine dates into a shorter period but I wanted it to coincide with Johanna’s performances.

The festival’s main focus was to encourage live music in Fife – in itself live music is very limited here, mostly due to there being a lack of dedicated venues and a lacklustre enthusiasm to stage it. Hence why we find ourselves playing outside of Fife more often than in it! Where there are established venues or clubs, it tends to be very cliquish. I was hoping to encourage people to help promote music here and give smaller bands a chance to perform. I’d like to think we went some way to achieving that but we have a long way to go before it becomes a rip-roaring success.

The festival has opened up a new ‘leg’ of my business which I’m calling ‘RG Musicom Presents:’. This will be a means to promote live music events and hopefully continue helping bands and artists to find an audience. Also, with the recent shift in power in the music industry, I hope that in doing so we can help bands to be more empowered to forge their own careers and put opportunities on their doorsteps.

And finally, how do you like your steak?

Personally, I like it medium-rare, peppered and with a bit of béarnaise sauce. My brother Chris likes it charred, and I actually don’t know how Niall likes his steak, or indeed if he even likes steak.

www.rgannals.com


A Torn Mind

September 29, 2011

A TORN MIND/Livingtson

If you like _ and _ then you will like A Torn Mind. Fill in the blanks.

If you like Karnivool and Rush then there’s a good chance you will like A Torn Mind!

Progressive music is often regarded as ‘not very cool’. Do you care?

We’re obviously aware of the preconceptions that come along with calling yourself a prog rock band (wizards, goblins, endless keyboard/flute solos). Having said that though, we’re not afraid or embarrassed to use the term and we’d like to think that the music we make has a strong contemporary edge to it and that the songs are ambitious rather than regressive. We’re not really trying to sound like a 70s prog band and we’re definitely not wearing capes and singing about dragons! The new material we have written for our next EP has a more modern feel than our first, but we still approached it with a ‘progressive’ outlook and wanted to keep developing the sound and challenging ourselves. We’re really excited about recording it and putting the new stuff out.

Are you a band that likes to wear their influences on their sleeves?

We don’t intentionally set out to sound like anyone but it’s only natural that your writing is influenced in some way by the things that inspire you. We listen to loads and loads of different types of music across the band, and we write together as a unit so there is space in the writing process for everyone’s individual input and influences to come out in some way.

How would you describe your sound in three words?

Massive proggy tunes!

You’re from Livingston. Is there much of a music scene there?

No, there’s not really a music scene here at all, despite the high number of bands based in and around the Livingston/West Lothian area. There’s been a few different clubs opened and closed over the last five or six years with varying degrees of success in terms of live music, but currently there are only a couple of small venues for bands to play and that’s really the lot. We’re kind of in the badlands between the two big cities so we tend to play Edinburgh and Glasgow instead.

If you had to compare A Torn Mind to a biscuit, what would it be?

One of those tasty snacks that divides opinions! Like a Jaffa Cake or a Tunnock’s Tea Cake. Is it a biscuit or a cake? (We think they’re biscuits)

And finally, what’s been the worst time you’ve had a torn mind?

Our drummer Euan had his mind torn by a careless man who jumped off the stage at a Dillinger Escape Plan show in Glasgow, landed on his head and cracked it open a little. There was blood and everything!

www.atornmind.com


Shambles Miller (via Twitter)

September 15, 2011

SHAMBLES MILLER/Glasgow

The sun has gone to our giddy heads here at The Daily Dose, so we thought we’d do a Q&A with a Scottish music type via the medium of Twitter, instead of bog standard emails. Who did we choose? Acoustic dynamo Shambles Miller, that’s who. It needs to be said that he performed most valiantly against the constraints of 140 characters.

Find out what happened in true verbatim glory below, or check out our respective Twitter accounts – @the_daily_dose and @shamblesmiller.


@shamblesmiller Hi Shambles. If you like _ and _ then you will like @shamblesmiller. Fill in the blanks please

@the_daily_dose Songs and beards.

@shamblesmiller You’re just one man and his guitar. Do you feel vulnerable on stage?

@the_daily_dose No, not really. No more than anyone sharing their music normally would. I have the things that make the noises, y’see.

@shamblesmiller Funnily enough, your real name isn’t Shambles. But what’s the most shambolic thing about your life?

@the_daily_dose (sssh, the fourth wall!) Apart from most of my choices and my general appearance? I’m often running late. And very clumsy.

@shamblesmiller How would you describe your music in three words?

@the_daily_dose Songs I wrote.

@shamblesmiller You’re often associated with being a politically minded folk singer. Is that a fair tag?

@the_daily_dose It’s fair, aye. My stuff’s probly more observational in general; what I see & care about. I’ve a soft spot for protest songs

@shamblesmiller Do you think that as long as there is a Mr. Miller, there will always be a Shambles Miller?

@the_daily_dose That’s the thing about being a solo artist. I can’t split up, just…keep going or stop. I plan to keep going.

@shamblesmiller And finally, one from the people (or @colinbell, to be specific). What’s your favourite webcomic?

@the_daily_dose Apart from xkcd? Well, I recently contributed a theme tune to @JonbotVsMartha, a very funny robot/human divorce comic.

@shamblesmiller Some nice shameless plugging there. Well thank you for your time, and I hope you have fun playing in Ayr tonight.

@the_daily_dose Sham(eless)bles Miller. Think that’s too clunky to catch on. Thanks for having me, it’s been a thing I’ve experienced. Bye!

http://shamblesmiller.wordpress.com