A huge thank you to Glasgow Folk musician, Euan McLaughlin for the interview where we discussed his views on the music industry, Christmas music and the Scottish music scene.
How has the COVID-19 situation affected the music industry, for you?
It’s been a nightmare. We’ve adapted to it. The first few months of it were like “OK, I’m never working again.” Gigs are done. It still kinda feels like that a little bit.
What did you get up to during lockdown?
I’m lucky enough to do teaching so I moved my teaching online and so that kind of kept me going enough until we could start recording stuff again.
How do you think the gig scene will be in 2021?
I mean it’s hard to tell. Everything’s changing so rapidly but I think once things get back to normal everyone’s going to want to be at events they’ve never been to before. So I think there’s going to be an amazing year of great euphoric feeling events. But I also think that the industry is going to take a lot of lessons from it.
How would you describe Scottish gig-goers?
They’re amazing. The crowds are just awesome here. There’s a big love for music in Scotland. It feels so much more special but maybe it’s just because I’m from here.
What are your favourite up and coming bands?
There’s so many of them, especially here in Glasgow at the moment, It’s ridiculous. I’ve been listening to a band called Big Society. I knew the singer from school even though he was a few years older than me. I think he met the guys when he was studying in Manchester. They’re an awesome kind of Indie-Pop Rock thing doing it very very well.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
My favourite Christmas song is a bit of a weird one. It’s by the Loose Tapestries. It’s Noel Fielding from the Mighty Boosh, Serge Pizzorno with Idris Elba rapping. It’s a weird one, but it’s a great tune. It’s called “Can’t Wait For Christmas.” It’s definitely worth a look because their whole back catalogue is brilliant but is really, really weird so you’ve got to be prepared for it.
For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
I find that one quite a difficult question to answer. I mean it’s definitely like contemporary instrumental folk music but there’s definitely pop and rock elements in there as well, bits of jazz too. Contemporary instrumental folk music, probably. It’s based in trad scottish and irish music but it’s mental.
What is the best musical advice you’ve ever been given?
A trumpeter called James Morrison once told me in a masterclass. He came to the school I was studying at, it was a music school in Edinburgh. He came over from Australia cause he was doing a tour and he came in and said to us, “Treat every performance like it’s your most important gig ever because you never know who’s gonna be there and what’s gonna happen.” You never know who’s gonna be at the next gig.
What or who first got you into music?
My parents were and are both musicians. So when I was born, they toured as a job and that’s what they did as a duo so they’d take me on tour and they’d have musicians in the house all the time. It kinda was always meant to be music. They got me into playing music and they got me into lessons and they helped me out alot. So yeah, my parents.
How young were you when you started playing?
I was 5 or 6 when I started playing the fiddle properly cause there had always been instruments round the house so I’d kinda bashed pots and pans for a couple years. I think 6, I properly started learning the violin.
How do you feel the internet has impacted the music industry?
It definitely means that your music is so much more accessible, worldwide, immediately. It’s pretty amazing that you can record your first track in your bedroom, or whatever and then anyone, anywhere around the world can be listening to it, five minutes later. But I guess that takes away from going and looking to find something new to listen to. It works both ways. Spotify is so amazing for finding new artists and for musicians to be found by people who wouldn’t initially discover them before. But it’s a problem because the money side of things is awful. It’s a weird one, isn’t it? And the fact that all your advertising is Facebook and Instagram, it’s strange but it can only broaden your audience, can’t it?
Is there any new content coming from you in 2021? Gigs? Albums?
There’s a lot of plans ready for 2021 at the moment. I’ve been involved with a lot of exciting projects. I’m really thankful that over the last few months in lockdown, you’d expect most people who are doing music to bail out, but i’ve been pretty lucky to be involved in a lot of different things. Looking at bringing out a solo record next year. Bunch of different collaborations and lots of exciting music that I don’t know how much I can currently tell you about but I’m really excited about what’s coming out next year.