Lyndsey Craig Q&A

Lyndsey Craig

With the imminent release of her debut ep ‘Blue Jays’ and a forthcoming launch night at The Counting House in Edinburgh, Feast caught up with Lyndsey Craig for a chat.

How long have you been making music?I’ve been making music since the age of 8. My dad taught me ‘Twist And Shout’ on guitar and ever since I was hooked. I started writing much more serious songs at 12 and that’s when the YouTube channel was set up.

Who are your musical influences?
My Dad’s music taste really rubbed off on me as a kid. I grew up listening to rock n roll- Hendrix, Clapton (the lads.) But like any other musician I’m sure, my music taste changes daily. For example, I am absolutely loving Lorde and Disclosure right now.

What process goes into the way you write songs?I wish I could say I had some sort of recipe for writing a song but it’s all very random. I go through periods where I can’t write anything at all and then all of a sudden I’m writing a song in 10 minutes. Those creative times are when I abuse my guitar and songbook the most!

What can people expect from your live shows?
I adore playing live! My gigs are usually pretty intimate and end in me chatting and getting to know almost everyone there which i think is really important.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?
My big sister crying. Literally every gig of mine she comes to she has tears in her eyes because she’s the only person who really knows what the songs are about. It’s quite adorable but I find it hilarious!

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
2014 is a busy year for me. I have the launch of my debut EP, ‘BLUE JAYS’ 7.2.14 with the launch at the Counting House at 8pm. I’m playing numerous gigs around Edinburgh during February, March and April including playing alongside Natalie Reid at Sneaky Pete’s on the 28th of February. I also have a potential studio recording with an amazing artist who I won’t name just yet! She’s a big influence of mine and has a massive online following though- hint hint! Then just gig gig gig till summer and that’s when all the excitement really begins!

The Winter Tradition Q&A

Winter Tradition
At Feast, we like our local music. So Leah Curtis at Feast had a wee chat with Mark Morrow, guitar and backing vocals for “The Winter Tradition”.

What got you into music?
I was brought up in a very musical household. My dad was a drummer in a rock band, and his Dad played trumpet for a big band at the Glasgow Barrowlands. My uncle played guitar and I was always fascinated with it. I started playing when I was 7 and always wanted to start a band, even from that age!

Who or what inspired you to do so?
We first started a band when we were young at high school. I think around the age of 13/14. We used to listen to a lot of fast pop punk bands and always loved the idea of being in a band! We started playing our favourite songs together and gradually started to write out own.

What’s it like playing on stage? Do you get nervous?
Playing on stage is great – our band loves playing live and we are always trying to better our live show and production with each gig. We don’t really get nervous as such, is more of an excited feeling. Before we go on stage, we’re in our room doing vocal warm ups and generally trying to keep our excitement level stable!

Do you get recognised walking down the street?

Haha, I wish we did! We sometimes walk down the street and see the odd person walk past wearing our t-shirt. It’s a strange but good feeling!

If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

Good question! And one question I spend lots of time thinking about! I think I would chose the power of flying. No reason really – just think it would be fun to be able to do.

What advice would you give aspiring musicians and/or bands who are starting out/wanting to start something?
Being in a band is hard work and covers a wide range of jobs. Writing and performing music is quite a small (but most important) part of being in a band. When you start out, you are acting as manager, booking agent, press contact, driver, roadie, merch seller and lots more! It’s very fun but can be quite intense sometimes! Put in the hard work and you will start to see what works and what doesn’t!

The Winter Tradition are on tour during Jan/Feb. Tour dates are as follows:

29th Jan – The Cookie Jar, Leicester
30th Jan – The Hop, Wakefield
31st Jan – Upstairs @ The Garage, London
6th Feb – King Tuts, Glasgow
7th Feb – Tolbooth, Stirling
8th Feb – Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen
9th Feb – Madhatters, Inverness
10th Feb – Heriot-Watt University, Galashiels
11th Feb – Duke’s Corner, Dundee
15th Feb – Twa Tams, Perth

New Single ‘Departures’ out 10th Feb on iTunes and www.thewintertradition.com .
Posted by Leah

Let Love Rule Q&A

Let Love Rule

Currently rehearsing for their headlining show at Sneaky Pete’s this Sunday (22nd Dec), I caught up with Edinburgh band Let Love Rule.

 

 

 

How long have you been making music together?

We formed earlier this year and have been gigging since June.

Is there a story behind the name?

Yes, it’s actually the name of Lenny Kravitz’s first album! It’s also represents a kind of attitude about letting your passions determine your ambitions.

Who are your musical influences?

Jeff Buckley, Karnivool, Deftones, John Martyn, Jamie Woon, Palms, Sigur Ros. Also a lot can be said for more local acts and friends who share similar ideals.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I write the chords and vocals, and a have a general outline of where the song needs to go. And then I’ll take it into rehearsal and the guys are so creative in their own right they always add so many more dimensions and take it to another level.

What can people expect from your live shows?

We are still refining our sound, so we cover a few different elements. We always try to create a big atmosphere though by building to climaxes in some songs, but always having them rooted in layered, spacey melodies. Our next one is going to be the best yet!

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?

Our gigs are usually very sombre affairs. Handkerchiefs, tubs of Haagen-Dazs, and communal tear jugs are a regular feature. We are working on this though, and have a slapstick routine lined up for the next one! 😉

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?

We are going to be recording early next year and will have a single out by spring, with an EP coming out in time for summer. We are also in discussions with some summer festivals and are hoping to get plenty of gigs up and down the UK around the same time.

Let Love Rule play at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on Sunday 22nd December, 7pm.

 

Posted by Paul.

 

 

GoodCopGreatCop Q&A

GoodCopGreatCop

Currently in the middle of a Scottish tour to promote their brand new single “Stuck Amongst The Details”, I caught up with Perth based band GoodCopGreatCop

 

 

 

How long have you been making music together?

As a full band about a year and a half.

Is there a story behind the name?
We’re a fan of four syllable band names, American Cop shows and The Naked Gun 2.

Who are your musical influences?
Foals, The Gaslight Anthem, The National, The 1975, The Xcerts, Brigade, Twin Atlantic, Biffy Clyro, really any band which has worked hard to be in the place they are today

What process goes into the way you write songs?
Well, one member of the band usually comes up with an idea or a template for a song, once we’ve got something solid, we play around with rhythms, vocal harmonies and try and develop some kind of interesting structure. We originally wrote songs to try and be different in terms of structure but recently we’ve found our poppier side which is probably better for a wider demographic. Our vocalist and guitarist Andy usually writes most of the lyrics while the general bass, melody and rhythm parts are written by everyone else.

What can people expect from your live shows?
We’d like to say fireworks, dragons, dancers and a monkey riding on a Segway whilst downing a pint of Jaeger but unfortunately we’re not financially stable enough in order to provide our audience with such perks. Instead you can expect a lot of energy and some half decent loud pop/rock songs, chants and maybe the odd ginger.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?
Either, having to pay to play for a competition that we won through a voting system OR getting Glasgow’s 13th Note to “dae the bouncy”. We may have promised every member of the audience a pint if they were to do so…….

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
Hopefully, lots of gigging including festival slots, a brand spanking new EP released before new year, some radio play, hopefully more interviews like this and our general enthusiasm and love for this band.

And finally, do you have any advice for up and coming musicians?
Well, since we are basically up and coming ourselves all we can really say to bands starting out is don’t be afraid to approach everyone, these people may be promoters, A & R’s, talent scouts or they may just generally know someone of use to you. There’s no point in starting a band unless you’re able to speak to folk and seem approachable yourselves.

The GoodCopGreatCop tour continues:

Friday 15th Nov – Monty’s Bar – Dunfermline

Saturday 16th Nov – The Green Room – Perth

Sunday 17th Nov – Buskers – Dundee

Saturday 23rd Nov – Henry’s Cellar – Edinburgh

Saturday 30th Nov – Bar and fly – Glasgow

ITUNES LINK:   https://t.co/sHETtqozsE

Interview: Average Andy

D Feast Logo (lofi)Alternative rockers (with a punk ethos) “Average Andy” from Glasgow have been blasting your eardrums with music since 2012. Leah Curtis from Feast had a chat with the man who started it all.

Feast – So Andy, you actually started as a solo project in 2011. What made you gather a group of lovely people to play with you?

Average Andy – I started off the Average Andy project in 2011 with the intention of building it into a band. It wasn’t until mid-2012 that I started looking for band members. I wanted my music to have a richer more full bodied sound. Although, I often play acoustic gigs I wanted to play in an Alternative Rock band, and to get that I needed band members. I have been through more band members than Spinal Tap has drummers. This was due to the fact I like to work at a fast rate and a lot of players cannot keep up. I have found that a lot of players have a pessimistic attitude to making it. I have had good musicians play within the band before but the current line-up has been the most efficient and functional so far. Everyone is a top player and I am lucky to have them on board.

Feast –  So, what made you think of the name “Average Andy”?

Average Andy – The name Average Andy came about so I could have a sort of alter ego for the music so that I was more flexible in what I could write and could keep my music and personal life a bit separate. In my opinion the to have people check out your stuff as a musician you have to have a memorable name, it has to be found easily and if you are lucky it sounds cool or is interesting. The later not that important. So I chose Average Andy as my name is Andy, the name roles of the tongue, there was no one in music using the name and the name is rather unique. It also has a punk undertone to it. The Average man doing good. Also, I thought if I called my act Average Andy I wouldn’t have to worry about being flamboyant and people thinking I was egotistical. Surprise surprise, people think I have an ego with the name. Haha! The band is called Average Andy the way Jimmy Eat World etc. have a name in the title. If you Facebook or Google search the name we dominate the first two pages.

Feast – I’ll have to check that out then! Who is/are your biggest inspiration?

Average Andy – The other band members all have a number of their own influences. Mine are David Bowie, Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Cash, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel Armstrong, The Rolling Stones to name a few in the music industry. I take a lot of influence from art, books, and online media as well. A few of my favourite writers are Philip K. Dick, Terry Pratchett, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. I like the work of a number of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Abraham Maslow and Socrates. I like Mark Twain’s work too.

Feast – Sounds awesome! Do you have a favourite record?

Average Andy – Ah…that is too hard to answer. That is like asking a musician do they have a particular air molecule they enjoying breathing. Of the top of my head, a number of albums that are albums I have enjoyed are “Hunky Dorey” by Bowie, “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Trompe Le Monde” by The Pixies, “Rated R” by Queens of The Stoneage and “The Bends” by Radiohead.

Feast – Nice! If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

Average Andy – I like the thought of self healing and anti- aging. Technology seems to be doing a decent job of that just now. Haha. Some sort of mind control that would let me tune everyone’s brain so there was no apathy and greed in the world. Tune in peoples thoughts so they can discuss ideas and come up with solutions that benefit mankind. Failing that the water to booze trick Jesus does. It would be great at parties.

Feast – Sounds cool! And finally, any advice for young people who are just starting off in a band? (Regardless of the genre of music they play)

Average Andy – Number one would have to be write good music. Let friends who are critical but who will not friends who get jealous rate your music. If you get a critical opinion from an honest bundle of friends that say your music is good then you know you are onto something. Let strangers here your music. If they like it then you know you are on the right track. Do not hang around people who are negative towards your music once you know it is good. They will only hold you back.

Second, don’t aim to be similar to a band. Aim to be better than them. It is hard to stand out nowadays and there is no point trying to be the next Paramore, Foo Fighters, Oasis etc. when there are plenty of bands like these about. Make your own sound. Take elements of sound from other bands but have your own sound. Do you want to have limited success and live in the shadow of a band or aim as high as possible?

Have an aim of where you want to be with the band. Then work back the way figuring out how to achieve this. You want to play T in the Park? Well who are the organisers and the people who will get you on the bill? Impress them. Find out which taste makes and gate keepers you need on your side and go impress them. You will need to work hard and play small gigs to build a fan base. Then play bigger gigs with known bands. Play gigs with promoters who work with the people who get you on to T in the Park and impress them. If you have several people who are respected by the organisers/people who put on T in the Park then they will check out your band and you are in the running for getting a slot.

Build a buzz for your band. At first people will not be interested in you. Keep at it. Keep building your fan base till whoever you want playing your music or writing about you has to do it because you are so popular. If you go to a local radio presenter and say that you have an online fan base of about 3,000 people and these people will probably listen to your show. Then chances are the presenter will play your track.

Build a band CV. Why should promoters, presenters, writers check you out? Good stats. If you have supported a number of known local bands, have a decent sized fan base etc. then these people will check you out and may work with you as you can sell their show, gig, online blog etc. Your band CV has to be better than 10,000 other band CV’s out there to get somewhere.

There are many other pieces of advice I can offer to bands. If you want to ask a question then feel free to PM the band on Facebook or tweet us on Twitter and we will get back to you.

The final piece of advice I will give here is DO NOT PLAY A PAY TO PLAY GIG. It is exploitation. The 90% of promoters that use this practice will not do anything to benefit your career. They actually hinder it as they will be taking away your hard earned income which you can be used to promote your band in a more efficient way. If you want to know which promoters to use around the central belt of Glasgow and the West coast of Scotland then message the band. We will share the info. We are currently working on our network around the North, East and South of Scotland too. If a gig really benefits you then play it for free. If not then expect to have a cut or be paid. DO NOT DO PAY TO PLAY GIGS. The promoter is putting money before your music.

Feast – Wow, thanks for that Andy! I’m sure a lot of people will be grateful for your advice! J

Average Andy – Thanks for the interview!

Average Andy’s upcoming gigs:

16th October 2013 – Supporting ifoundation for jogle 2014

19th October 2013 – Dundee Oxjam

27th October 2013 – Supporting “The Ratells”

You can find the boys on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Average-Andy/141853925872377?fref=ts

 

Posted by Leah Curtis

Interview – Julian Ruppel, Sound Technician

Blazing lights, the stamping of feet, the clapping of hands, the music that gives you Goosebumps. The crowd fixated on the band taking the stage. But what about the people that make it happen?  Leah Curtis at Feast had a chat with Julian Ruppel, a young sound technician from Germany, about what it’s like to work in the job.
 
1. Hi Julian! A lot of people know you as the sound technician for the Stuttgart Metalcore band “We Set Our Dreams”. How did this come about?
 
Hi Leah! Yes, you’re right. I met the boys at a gig that they were playing, and where I was booked to do the live sound. Something sparked between us and since then I’ve been on the road with them and did the sound for them at their EP release show in March.
 
2. Wow! You went on tour with the boys when they released that EP (Humanity). How was it for you?
 

I had a great time with the boys. During the tour, the relationship between us changed from job to friendship. I enjoy being on the road with them. It was nice to see that the time they put into “Humanity” really paid off, it’s a great EP with great songs.
 
3. You created your own Events Company (Stay True), which came about whilst you were still doing an apprenticeship and working part time at a venue. Was it hard to juggle all of these things at once?
It was alright. “Stay True” is primarily a project to be able to show what I can do, to apply myself as a sound technician, but also to be able to put on shows that aren’t too expensive, but still have an amazing line-up. But I spent a lot of my free time on it, so it wasn’t too hard to do everything.
 
4. How long have you been doing this kind of thing? What made you want to get into the job?
 

I’ve been doing it for nine years now. Back when I first started it was the technical side and my interest n music that got me into it. I don’t play an instrument, so I started on the mixing desk and found out that I enjoyed it.
 
5. Sounds great! Is it sometimes difficult to work with bands or are there any arguments with members of the gig audience?
 
It’s only difficult when the bands get it into their heads that what the sound guy is saying means nothing and then don’t listen to you. That’s where there’s sometimes an argument. I never really get into arguments with members of the audience, most of the time they just complain about how loud it is (and these are the people who are standing right next to the PA, so it’s no wonder) or they’re just drunk and endanger the equipment with drinks.
 
6. One last question. Do you have any advice for any budding sound technicians?
 
Don’t let anyone tell you how to work. Everyone has their own way and “style” of how the do it.
 
Thank you for your time Julian! I wish you all the best and good luck!
No problem! Was a pleasure and thank you!
 

Posted by Leah Curtis

Interview: Battle of the Zoo

Thisisfeast likes to listen to lots of new music so we were keen to have chat with Battle of the Zoo members Aymen and Mark.

Thisisfeast: Tell us a bit about yourselves…

Aymen: We are called Battle of the Zoo and we are releasing a free EP. We have been finishing off our artwork, and just sort of trying to find roots to release it, like our website, Facebook, and other social media things that people tune into.

Thisisfeast: What’s your music like?

Mark: I suppose we play stuff that we kind of like, and what we would like to buy ourselves; which makes it kind of easier to do and make it far more enjoyable and pretty good fun. For our style it’s hard to explain. We can sit down and do a track that is completely different from one we have done before. But we will really dig it, enjoy it, get into it and see where it goes, and it might end up on the album or on a download. That’s the way we are going to attack things, instead of hitting the same genre or style all the time. A lot of the tracks are really different and I suppose that’s because we like a lot of different styles of music.

Thisisfeast: How long have you been working on your tunes?

Mark: We have got up to 30 tracks we have been working on over a while which we have been whittling down to this 4 track EP that we are going to give freely away. We want to follow it up pretty quickly with a main single with a couple of tracks, and then an album. Over the last while we have been sussing out tracks we really like. We have been trying them live and seeing good responses from crowds which has really helped us choose what’s coming out first, and what’s going to make the album. We have played a couple of live gigs with all the kit, running sequencers, hitting off trigger pads, keyboards, running Reason and Aymen doing all the vocals live. We have been working hard on that to help fine tune, but we knew which ones worked and it’s kind of been confirmed by the crowd.

Aymen: We wanted to test drive some tracks and we played a gig in a place called the 3rd door in Edinburgh, and did one at Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh with Simian Mobile Disco

Thisisfeast:  That all sounds good. On another tip, I heard you got a remix with Paul Weller, how did that come around?

Aymen: We sent our demos away to some labels. We ended up meeting someone who works for one of the record label. We gave him the demos, basically he was asking what we were up to, and he liked the stuff we were doing. We sent him some original tracks; we had a few chats and strong meetings with him; just some good general conversation from these guys in London, sort of bigger label guys. Off the back of that they asked us if we would be interested in doing some remixing. So from there they sent us the stems for Paul Weller next single. Bearing in mind they told us, it was more than likely that they were not going to accept it.  But we finished it, they liked it and Mr Weller had it played to him and he liked it too. From that we have been asked to do some other remixes, but at the moment we are just trying to concentrate on our own stuff.

 
We have been given access to the new tracks from Battle of the Zoo. Have a listen to them and next time your see their name, go check them out. Enjoy and look out for the ‘FK the DET’ E.P out on Monday the  5th of November

 
FKDET – Battle of the Zoo by Thisisfeast

Turn a Blind Eye – Battle of the Zoo by Thisisfeast

Interview – The Asps

We had the Asps in the studio at Jewel and Esk a wee while ago and thisisfeast managed to catch up with Paul to check what they have been up to since we last hooked up.

thisisfeast: For those who don’t know, who are you guys?

Paul: Well we are the Asps, and I am the singer – my name’s Paul Dourley. I also play rhythm guitar, the lead guitarist is Chris Simpson, and we have a synth player Michael Barry, the drummer is Lewis Hutchison, the saxophone player is Graeme Renwick and the bass player is Craig Renwick, both brothers.

thisisfeast: Why did you call yourselves the Asps?

Paul: We got the name from the song “Man on the moon” by REM. One of the lyrics is – Egypt is troubled but the horrible asps. It’s always a lyric I enjoyed singing and the word itself is phonologically pleasing.

thisisfeast: I like the use of phonologically, I might have to look that up later. What have you been up to since we last saw you a few months ago?

Paul: We have been working away on stage set-ups and working on our new tracks, this month we are quite busy. We are playing BT London Live in Hyde Park, we are expecting a quite a busy crowd and quite a lot of exposure. We are also playing at Victoria Park for an hour on the same day, so we are very excited about that.

thisisfeast: How did you get the gigs in London?

Paul: We got it through Live Nation which is part of a thing called Live Connection, who we got in touch with last year. They are kind of reaching out to unsigned bands. You submit your music and they troll through the music and they pick you to become part of different events. Live Nations have been dealing with high end bands for a long time and I think that they want to reach out and offer unsigned bands a bit of an opportunity as well.

thisisfeast: I want to talk about your songs a little bit. Who writes your tunes and what does it involve?

Paul: Usually the main substance of the songs, well certainly with Microchip and Learn to Fly, is written by me and Michael Barry on keyboards.  He usually comes up with some music and I come up with the lyrics and melody, and then the rest of the band add their magical icing to it.

thisisfeast: I been listening to the mix of Microchip over the last couple of days and its sounding great. I was just wondering what the song about?

Paul: It’s a love song to the microchip. Lots of things would not be possible without the invention of the microchip. One of the main lyrics is ‘Computer subordinate we need Microchips invented’.  It’s harking back to a time when computers where pretty rubbish, you know all they did was calculate things and how frustrating they used to be, although they obviously still are. It’s really a love song to technology. (Paul texted me a later “its really a love song for robots”)

thisisfeast: What are you up to in the future?

Paul: Well, we recently signed a publishing deal with Sony and we are in the middle of re-negotiating, because they’re quite interested as we are making an album with Ron Nevison next year in San Fransisco and they kind of picked up on that. (Ron Nevison has worked with The Who, Led Zepplin, Bad Company, Kiss amongst others)

thisisfeast: How did the recording with Ron Nevison come about?

Paul: It was through reverbnation – we submitted our music to a competition. They got in touch with us about a month later and out of 9500 entries they chose ours, which was crazy.

ThisIsFeast@soundcloud
Microchip – The Asps
Engineered by Gavin Whyte & Hubert Aniolek
Mixed by Stuart MacLaughlan

Little Doses


Mark McClelland, ex bassist of Snow Patrol speaks to Feast  about `Rock, Riot, Soul´ the debut album of his new band Little Doses.

When you listen to Little Doses for the first time you could feel your soul touched. The band was formed in Edinburgh two years ago by Mark McClelland songwriter, ex bassist of Snow Patrol. Mark is joined by Kristen Ross (vocals); Chris Alderson, Mike Skinner (guitar) and Michael Branagh (Drums, percussion and vocals). The band has been compared by the critics to a diverse range of bands including Arcade Fire, The Raconteurs, The Eagles, Blondie, of Fleetwood Mac, among others. Feast Records caught up with Mark McClelland to talk about his band, the debut Album and their music.

Why did you decide to start Little Doses?

M. M : I love making music, playing live and recording. I had a set of songs written and demoed in my flat which I was proud of and wanted to take further so I started looking for members for a new band.

How would you describe your new album, Rock Riot Soul?

M.M: The record is very varied; many of the band’s influences are touched upon. Definitely based in heavy rock territory tempered with alt country influences, Kirsten’s awesome soulful voice throws another curveball at the mix, no one has been able to summarise what we sound like and I think that is a good thing!

Was it difficult for you to find the right musicians for this band?

M.M: I had just moved to Edinburgh from Glasgow so I didn’t know that many people here, especially the local scene and bands, so yes it was hard to find the right people. I ended up just asking the guys I did know to recommend some good musicians and started there.

When can people see Little Doses playing live in Edinburgh next?

M.M: We just launched our new album in Edinburgh at the start of March and we are back in the Voodoo Rooms on the 21st April headlining the We Luv Musik night.

Are Little Doses planning a tour for this Summer?

M.M: We are hoping to play bigger gigs and farther afield this year and are currently looking for great gigs to play.

Could you speak about the recording process of Rock Riot Rock?

M.M: The decision to self-record Rock Riot Soul came about through organic channels, I hadn’t enjoyed two recording sessions even though they were in great local studios. They felt too rushed, too disjointed, all over the place, there was too much time pressure and too little exploration.

I felt a lot of the charm and interest from my home demos had been lost. I have always loved the production role in recording and was heavily involved in every album I played on, but had never been solely responsible for all aspects of recording before, I had a lot to learn.

So as an experiment, I went to the DIY store and made some acoustic treatment for my walls and windows and bought some secondhand recording equipment from America and created a tiny version of a studio in my flat.

Recording just felt so much more enjoyable there, there was little time pressure (which was good as I had so much to learn) and the first tracks we produced felt a lot more Little Doses, whatever that means. So we decided to stick with this approach.

Before the release of Rock Riot Soul, Little Doses recorded in Jewel and Esk college three acoustic versions of your album track. Why do you decided to record these tracks there? How was the experience recording there?

M.M: Our singer’s brother is doing an audio engineering course at Jewel & Esk and he wanted us to come in and record something to give him more experience. At the same time we realised we needed some video to accompany the album release so a cunning plan began to form.

Originally we planned just to be in the studio and take video of the process and the band playing live, but Ross (Kirsten’s brother) arranged the auditorium for us which looked great with the black background and stage and is still linked to a recording studio in the complex, so we could get great sounding audio and a good looking video too.

It was slightly difficult recording like that as we couldn’t have any headphones and so had difficulty hearing each other, but the end result was great. The songs sounded awesome, modern albums don’t get recorded like this that often, instruments are normally isolated as much as possible. So the sound of everything happening together, it sounded retro, really warm and with an awesome vibe.

I think the college should do this more, it’s a great opportunity for all involved, the audio and video students and the band who can get a great video at the end of it. You learn so much more by actually doing what you’ve been taught instead of reading about it.

What is your opinion of learning music at a college?

M.M: There are so many people wanting to work in the music industry and yet so few jobs that people can’t get apprenticed as a tape op or tea boy at studios anymore. So college can supply those basic skills, the studios in the college are great, much more advanced than my home set up, I was jealous of this cracking opportunity to learn on great gear. The students should grab this opportunity and record as much as possible.

However, you also need to be making contacts for jobs and start working with bands from your first day in college, there is so much competition for jobs you need to be first in the queue, have met every soundman in the city and get your foot in any door.

No soundman I have worked with professionally went to audio college, they are just talented, hard working and driven and knew / met the right person at the right time.

People who are interested in buy or listen to your album could do it through your website http://www.littledoses.com

Do you think that the traditional ways of music distribution are dying? From your own point of view how is the music industry going to change in the next 10 years?

M.M: It’s up to consumers, you decide how every pound in your pocket gets spent. If you want to save your local record store, then buy your records from there. It’s the same with these Xfactor Xmas number ones, everyone hates them but someone keeps buying them and so our music business sees that as a carte blanche to manufacture more inane aural chewing gum. If you buy independant music, more independant music will be commissioned.

I don’t have a problem with downloads, from my point of view, having set up a record company Black Ditto Recordings to release the Little Doses record, we can now provide our music worldwide for very little cost. There are no variable costs per extra download and we can even supply cd quality instead of mp3 from our own site www.littledoses.com

The main issue is, everyone can do that, so there is a glut of music to choose from and only the major labels have the financial muscle to advertise their acts effectively, because of this the media and radio (who only want to back winners) choose to deal with the major labels, closing off the only free advertising available. That’s why having people share your music or videos on places like facebook is so important, it’s a level playing field, its a great way to spread the news about a small band you’ve found that push your buttons.

I think the future of music is the middle men. We need cool radio websites, magazines, blogs who stray from the beaten track and introduce new music, have a strong editorial policy so you can trust their recommendations and keep going back to discover your new music.

Another worrying trend is that despite this well advertised increase in people going to see live music, resulting in massive ticket prices for the Murrayfield stadium gigs and of course T in the Park, less people are interested in seeing live music at the grass roots level. More money for the big companies and once again a tougher enviroment for the outsiders. You could probably see 3 local gigs every month for a year for the same price as entry to a festival will cost you, that´s 100 possible awesome new bands out there!

What do you think about piracy?

M.M: Piracy is a real issue, small bands need every penny they can to pay for rehearsals, travel to gigs, recording, maybe advertising. Buying a cd from them at a gig is probably the biggest help you can give them, especially if you play it to your friends.

On a bigger scale, the recording industry needs reinvestment to find and nurture the bands of the future, to advertise them. That approach seems old fashioned now, most acts aren’t given the chance, because of piracy, money is tight so the mantra is, make money or be dropped. And the acts that guaranteed make you the money is the Xfactor, so that’s what we get. They’ve been on TV for 3 months already, do most people question how many millions (billions?) of pounds three months of primetime TV advertising would cost for a band. These guys have a huge advantage, no wonder they go straight to number one and sell more than the Beatles! And instead of paying for it they actually get you to phone in at a pound a time every week, more profit. It’s an incredible business model, I wish I had thought of it, but its a slow death for the music industry!

How could you describe the musical landscape in Scotland?

M.M: Edinburgh has a good scene but for some reason hiring venues is really expensive here (perhaps because of the festival?). Some of the really good ones are now closing or moving their focus as it feels like less people go out to local gigs to get their kicks these days. When the venue is expensive, you can make big losses on gigs when starting off and there is hardly any profit to share amongst the bands and promoter, even when you’ve had a busy night. So less money to pay for rehearsals and to plan gigs further afield, it puts Edinburgh bands at a disadvantage from the off.

The Glasgow scene attracts bands from all over Scotland so it is always strong, has great gigs on pretty much every night and has a strong base of gig goers. However it feels like things are getting a bit too big over there, too many venues, too many gigs happening and the scene is getting diluted. But I definetely feel there is a big advantage starting a band over there, I just don’t like the rain!

Outside of the cities there is still a lot of music, however I don’t have enough experience of it to talk it up. It’s common for emerging bands to tour smaller towns and can have really great gigs there. I’m up for it, if you want to book us get in touch!

From your own experience as bassist of Snow Patrol what is the best and the worst of being part of a successful band?

M.M: The best thing is playing awesome shows round the world and the sheer buzz you get from people loving your music. The first time you hear your track on a big radio station is a big buzz too! A career in music is a rollercoaster ride, an amazing sold out gig in one town, then an empty one the night after, its nice not to have those disappointments once you are becoming successful.

The worst part of being successful is all the people trying to advise you and pull you in the direction they want you to go. Suddenly you have tons of conflicting advice, brand new temporary friends, people wanting you to do them favours and it’s cuthroat at the top.

What advice would you like to give to a person who is thinking of devoting his/her life to music?

M.M: Be awesome, follow your heart, work hard, work harder it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and make sure you enjoy every minute.

Posted by Celia