DAYTIME TV: Photographed by Caitlyn Ebsworthy
We caught up with lead vocalist of Daytime TV Will Irvine, just off the back of their first ever headline European and UK tour, the Scottish band are making waves with their brand-new releases, with singles such as “Jessica”, “Block Out The Noise” and most recently “Waves”. After their success with their debut album “nothings on but everyone’s watching” last year, the band continue to be on the up and are making an impressive name within the industry. Will talks to us about the support from the new singles, new music, stories from the tour and influences from growing up in the Highlands.
Hi Will! Could you give a quick introduction of yourself and the band?
“My name is Will Irvine, I’m the lead singer of the band Daytime TV, the genre thing we struggle with on a daily basis, but we’re sort of a guitar, synth, indie, alternative, rock, pop thing. We’ve just came off the back of our first European headline tour, and we’ve just released a new song called Waves.”
Thank you! So I wanted to ask about the new music, last year you’s released your debut album “nothings on but everyone’s watching”, after you finished a big project like that, did you get a new creative spark? are you approaching the new music in an alternative way at all or taking a different creative direction?
“Yeah I think there is, I don’t think it’s a conscious thing, coming out the back of the album it’s like everything that was in your brain at that period of time is now gone, so it now makes space for the new stuff. Alongside that we’ve started working with a new producer called Ross Hamilton, his approach to our music was really refreshing and it felt like with the way music is consumed now, we really wanted to be at the forefront of that and we were relying on a producer coming on board that was going to turn the dial for us in terms of the sound. Ross has helped us define a new hybrid sound; in the studio we call it music that sounds like it’s from the future. So yeah, we are taking a different approach to everything, with the newer stuff we are questioning every decision which is coming up with more interesting results, we’ve done a lot of masking guitar sounds as synth sounds, we’ve been using a vocoder quite a lot as well which doesn’t really feature in rock music, so we wanted to take these new elements we love and feature them in our songs. We’re just loving the creative process of it all and being completely free with it, we are fighting the “second album” thing though, obviously we have a fanbase that really loved our first record, so you have to question will they like the newer stuff and just hope that they will!”
Do you find it harder then this time round, by trying to change up and better the music, but also trying to stick with the same sound that the fanbase clearly love?
“Yeah, it’s an internal battle in what is “better”, so for me, better is something that we love, it would be easy to go write songs similar to our first record, but the challenge and what makes it interesting and what makes me feel more like an artist, is to really go deep and go “how can we do something that doesn’t just sound like everything else?”, as in everything else from ourselves. We want to be the band that other people are referencing, and in order to do that we need to start pushing boundaries and taking risks, but that’s what makes it exciting for me. Our label are really behind us in trusting our artistic view, we feel very lucky and supported, and that’s what’s allowing us to actually do our best work and releasing songs that we’re really in love with.”
With your most recent release “Waves”, how have you found the support so far?
“Really amazing, when we wrote that song we instantly thought, if we produced this right that it could be something really special that connects with people. But yeah, I didn’t think that we would instantly get on Radio 1 with it, or instantly on all the big Spotify playlists that we wanted, so it’s awesome and we’re super lucky to have that, it genuinely feels like hard work has been paying off for us. We spent a lot of time in the studio with Ross making Waves what it is, it was a slight departure from what we had been doing and because it was a change for us, we were aware we basically had to make sure it was shit hot. Waves is one of many songs that we’ve written over the past 9 months that it was just ready to go, and there are songs from the studio right now that I’m hoping will continue the momentum from Waves. We just feel really lucky to be in a position where we have a fanbase that are engaged with our stuff, we have support from people like the BBC and Spotify, it’s a lot of box ticking. All the things that we always wanted when we started music, we now kind of have, so we just have to use the platform we’ve built and regularly release good music, we’re going to try our very best to deliver on all fronts.”
Speaking of newer singles, one of your recents “Jessica”, the music video involved a collage of clips of your fans and crowds at shows and festivals. Do you’s prefer playing festival sets or your own gigs? What differences do you find with it?
“There is a big difference, we always see a festival set as a big challenge in a positive way, a lot of the people in the crowd won’t know us but a portion of the crowd will, so our goal by the end of the set is to have the whole crowd jumping, and for everyone to walk away loving us and being their new favourite band. Sometimes it works and sometimes it kind of works, and when it only kind of works we get a little annoyed as we feel like we didn’t perform our best version of ourselves. It also completely depends on who’s playing before or after, for example this summer one of the festivals we went on after Dick and Dom, and everyone in the crowd were a bit older having this nostalgia trip watching these childhood icons, which is obviously so not like our scene, so it felt like a really weird time for us to go on while everyone was in this sort of whacky vibe, but that’s just an example where the scheduling just didn’t do us any favours. But for the most part we’ve been really lucky with festival stuff, it’s gone really well, but I will say, there is no substitute for a headline show. When people who are specifically into your songs have spent hard earned money to come and watch you, it’s such a responsibility to deliver, and it’s my favourite thing in the world to do. When you look at someone or the whole crowd and they’re singing the songs back at you, it’s an amazing thing the energy between you and them. Like I’m a massive fan of music I go to loads of gigs, and I’m the guy in the crowd screaming the words at the band, so when I get to be the band and the words are getting screamed at me it feels like a great privilege and it’s a testament to our fanbase for being a bunch of total legends and showing up and blowing the roof off of places with us.”
“Even then it does have its ups and downs, we just finished the tour through Europe and the UK and it was a long tour, and you do have nights where your energy is knackered. Sometimes you do feel totally dead and feel like the last thing you should be doing is going on stage and becoming this performer but then the energy of the crowds always picks you up and allows you to do that. It’s kind of what “Waves” is about, the energy highs and then the dips after which can mess with your mental health quite easily, so you’re just kind of riding these waves of energy and anxiety and excitement and all these feelings, I wouldn’t change it for the world but it is a wild thing to do, but again as we go we are getting really good at it and it’s my favourite thing in the world to do. It’s the beauty of it, you feel like you’re on this mad adventure with your best pals and just feel so lucky to play shows that people want to come and see.”
DAYTIME TV: Photographed by Elspeth Alice
Speaking of the tour, was there any specific highlights for you’s?”
“So really sadly at the end of last year our manager Alan Smith passed away, he was such an amazing guy and the loveliest guy in music, and his favourite city in the whole world was Berlin, and when we were putting the tour together, he was really excited for Berlin and was going to show us around. So when we eventually got to the tour and did the Berlin show, it was just really emotional and felt like he was there, and if there is any sort of afterlife or ability to look down on your loved ones then he was definitely there with us. The crowd totally got behind us and could tell it was a big deal, especially as it was our first headline Europe shows, it felt like it was in his honour and we wanted to do him proud and we definitely went out there and did him proud, so Berlin was a big highlight. We also added a Paris show really late on and had about two weeks for tickets to be on sale so we had really low expectations for it, but when we got there the place was absolutely rammed, I didn’t even know we had fans in France so I just felt so lucky to have been able to sell that many tickets in such a short period of time, it was amazing. And of course when we came back to Glasgow, it just felt like a big party and sort of a homecoming celebration, and also Alan was from Glasgow, so all his family were there, and it just felt like a big special moment for that reason as well. So the tour just felt like this triumphant journey through all these amazing cities.”
DAYTIME TV in Köln on their European tour: Photographed by Caitlyn Ebsworthy
It must’ve been amazing going to all those cities! Am I correct in saying you’re from the Scottish Highlands Will?
“Yes I am! From Achiltibuie”
I find that really interesting as being from the Highlands myself, I feel like the Scottish Traditional music scene is so fierce here, and you don’t hear of many people from the Highlands doing what you do, what made you drawn to the music you’re doing now instead of other available genres?
“Thats a great question and I’ve never really thought about it. People are always taken a back when I say I’m from there because I don’t have a very strong accent, my mums English and after my mum and dad fell in love she moved up there for him, but it’s the best place in the world and I go up there all the time. It feels like, when you’re in the city a lot and it gets a bit much, you know that you can go to the highlands and everything sort of makes sense again, I will always call that home. In terms of music, when I was in primary school you either had to play chanter, fiddle or accordion. But my parents were always into rock/punk music, my Dad brought me up on like The Stranglers, Thin Lizzy and Dire Straits, all like the old classic rocky bands. My mum was really into Killers and Arctic Monkeys and kind of the more modern bands, so I was brought up listening to that. I do love all the Highland and the trad stuff, and I’ve got some pals in some big trad bands. But for me, I like the music that we write to have a sort of element of theatre and danger to it, I always say like when you’re watching a film trailer, the ones that really excite me are ones that feel a little bit scary and dark in some way, but also have elements of light and shade, and it’s kind of what we try to do with our music, some people have actually said that the first verse of “Waves” feels like a Hollywood film trailer, we didn’t even mean for it to sound like that but a few people pointed it out and thought it was pretty cool.”
“But yeah I just always loved that type of music growing up, I did play the chanter but never graduated onto the pipes, and I was always crap at singing, I was one of the kids that wasn’t allowed in the Gaelic choir as I would basically wreck it for everyone else. But I moved from chanter to fiddle which I also ended up not taking too seriously, so my dad ended up asking the school to stop making me play music and basically thought that music just wasn’t for me and I clearly sucked, which I totally did, but once I had gotten that out of my system, I started playing guitar when I was older and playing all the songs I loved like Arctic Monkeys and just thought it was really cool. It just sort of snowballed from there to somehow finding myself in a band that does our own stuff and now here we are!”
Final question Will, here at Discovery Music Scotland we aim to highlight the Scottish music scene, what’s your favourite Scottish venue that you’ve attended, and what’s your favourite Scottish venue that you’ve played in?
“Firstly I just wanted to give a shoutout to the Ironworks in Inverness, I think it’s an absolute joke that that’s getting taken away and it’s just such an amazing place, its where I used to go to shows growing up and we’ve played there as well, it’s such a shame. The O2 Academy in Glasgow we’ve played a few times supporting people like Two Door Cinema Club and Circa Waves, so probably there because for us that’s such a big show and the buzz of getting to play to a room for people like that was really cool. Headline show I would definitely say St. Lukes 100%, I love that place. I think in terms of Scotland, the Glasgow venues are head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. However, we’re doing some shows in December with the View at Caird Hall in Dundee, which I’ve never been to before, but I’ve been told good things, so that might maybe tip the scales.”
Thank you so much for taking your time to speak to us today Will! Really great answers there and some very interesting stories to tell!
“Thank you for having some really interesting questions! and for taking the time!”
All the best!
“Lots of love! Bye”
Get tickets to Daytime TV’s shows supporting The View here