Our Melissa Crolla and Nicola Roy had the chance to catch up with Declan Welsh ahead of his sold out Glasgow gig at Saint Lukes!

Here’s what he had to say…

Mel: What was the inspiration behind the new album?

Declan: It kinda came together naturally, we didn’t really plan out to write a concept album or anything, but naturally it’s stories about being young in Glasgow. Or really, being young in a working class place. It could be about Liverpool, Sheffield, the normal places in London that aren’t full of Oligarchs. It covers a broad range of topics, from afterparties to imposter syndrome to palestine to grief. Sonically, it’s indebted to loads of different bands. I think there’s the obvious Arctic Monkeys, Pulp comparison, but if we take individual songs we were listening to a much wider range of things. Do What You Want, for example, started off fast and in major 7, sounding like a Jacque Dutronc tune, then we changed it to minor and started working off a soul basis, listening to some dusty springfield and marvin gaye. It’s dead lounge-y as well. How Does Your Love was me listening to loads of Prince and Rick James. I think we were trying to take a bunch of influences and make it sound like us. Hopefully we’ve succeeded. 

Mel: How do you think the Glasgow music scene is doing right now? 

It’s really great. It’s cool to see a bunch of really new bands come through. Swim School, Spyres, Roly Mo, Walt Disco, Joesef and that. We were like the “class of 2016”, where ourselves, The Ninth Wave, Van Ts, Lapelles, Vegan Leather and that all played the last ever T in The Park. Us, TNW and Vegz Legz all have albums coming out this year. Shows ye though, for anyone reading, that overnight success takes about 3 years. And even at that, we’re still in the very embryonic stages of being a band. We have a lot more in the tank, it’s gonna be an exciting 2020. 

Mel: What’s your favourite Scottish artists / bands at the moment?

I really don’t like doing a big list cos you’ll then forget someone and we have so much respect for loads of bands cutting about at the minute. I will just focus in on one band that I really think are just hitting out with banger after banger: St Martiins. I honestly think Katie and Mark are geniuses. Lyrically impeccable and the sound they’ve created is right up my street. Jazzboy is on heavy rotation for me 24/7

Nicola: Any musicians / bands out there at the moment you think can make a real difference and why?

I mean the one guy yer looking at who seems all set for world domination is Joesef, right? Does it all himself, great stage presence, amazing voice. And the backing band behind him are as good as any band kicking about the now. In the band sphere, you’ve got folk like the Snuts and Gerry going a bit supernova the now. Then I suppose there’s Us, Dunts, Ninth Wave knocking on that door. I’d love to see one of us break through, cos I really think it’ll help everyone out. Eyes are already on Scotland, if one of us really breaks through into the mainstream then I think you could see a proper wee movement. 

Nicola: Drinking and going out culture has been the backbone of your latest releases this year or rather the worst part of it but what’s your ideal Glasgow night out?

Haha, well I actually think How Does is a total love letter to suburban nightclubs. No Fun is more of a send up of after party chat. My ideal night out in Glasgow… well it used to be a lot more mental than it is now. I’ve probably went from a club guy to a pub guy. I’ve just moved to Shawlands in the South Side, there’s loads of amazing pubs there. I’ll give Rum Shack a shout out because Rum and Ting is the greatest drink of all time. Do not @ me. 

Nicola: Has the political turnmoil this year given you just inspiration to write? And do you think your craft can be used to fight it?

I mean, to quote David Byrne, same as it ever was. People forget Iraq happened. It’s like Brexit is this massive outlier, the worst disaster that’s ever happened, when really it’s just the super rich once again gambling with all of our money because of some entitled jingoistic notion that Britain should be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants. The EU is hardly progressive. It’s about ensuring the smooth movement of money. That’s the reason it exists. So for Britain to leave it because of national pride is so incredibly self destructive and pointless. Nationalism is the worst. I have no attachment to the EU but when we’re talking about gambling with medicine shortages and opening our markets up to trade with Trump’s America, I am clearly of the opinion that we should not leave like this. There’s a song Patriot, that is in our gorbals sound session, that’s a direct response to that. “And as their rounded into vans, won’t you take me by the hand, and we’ll sing God Save that German family”. But I don’t see Brexit, or Trump, or Johnson, as some unpredictable shocking event. This is the bare face of the system we’ve had since the late 70s. Theresa May, David Cameron, Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher – they all attacked workers, they all attacked the poor, they all attacked people of colour. It affects my art in loads of ways living in this. Some productive, some not. 

Mel: How does it feel that your songs get played on BBC radio quite frequently?

It’s really nice. It’s still exciting. Jack Saunders has in particular been amazing. So too Vic Galloway and Huw Stephens. To be played on daytime radio 1 was massive. What’s also great is that, last night for example, You had us, spyres, the dunts and catholic action all on the same radio 1 show. 

You can listen to Declan Welsh & The Decadent West’s debut album, ‘Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold’ here –