I got the chance to talk to Hamish, Loris, and Cameron from the Edinburgh band, POLLY. Their new track ‘SLUMP’ is set to release on Friday the 21st. We talked about the recording of the track, their views on the Scottish gig scene, and their self-proclaimed ‘Coordinated Cowboy Grunge’ musical stylings. Thanks to the guys for the chat!
You’re releasing your new single ‘SLUMP’ on Friday. Who are your main influences on the track, and overall?
Cameron: At the minute I’m quite into Fontaines DC, I’m quite digging their stuff. A bit of Spaghetti Western, as well. Ennio Morricone, too.
Loris: For my drumming, especially with the new stuff, I’m thinking more rhythmically. Bands like The Police. 90’s stuff like Pearl Jam and Rush are big ones.
Hamish: A lot of Grunge stuff, mainly. Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead, even. Soundgarden, too.
Loris: Nice, heavy and rhythmic stuff.
Do you have any plans relating to the release? Like a music video or a live performance?
Cameron: Nothing yet, but probably. We should probably work on that. I kind of forgot about the other aspects of releasing a song.
When and where was ‘SLUMP’ recorded?
Cameron: It was recorded over a few sessions at our home studio which is in the countryside. Very kind of like Queen. Not that we’re comparing ourselves to Queen. But going off to that farm and using that space.
Hamish: Away from everyone. On a farm. Clear your head. Go on a walk. Come back to the studio and record.
Loris: It was recorded during the month of February.
What or who got you into music?
Hamish: Probably my Dad. He played instruments around me from a young age, and the bands he was in. I also picked instruments up because friends in school played.
Loris: For me it was also my parents playing stuff around me when I was younger. That definitely cemented it for me. I also watched lots of videos on YouTube of bands and then progressively, I started building up libraries of music. Not one singular band but loads of other stuff.
Cameron: That’s kind of the same for me. I’m the only one in my family that plays an instrument. My family would just play music in the car. I would hear it, not by choice, but just because it was playing and that’s what was on. Car journeys with my Dad are what made me a musician.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Cameron: Streaming services paying people more. That’s definitely the big thing. It’s like when people ask ‘How much are your tears worth?’ We actually have a figure. That shouldn’t be okay.
Loris: For Scotland specifically, it would be nice to have more outside gigs.
Who would you most like to collaborate with as a band?
Cameron: I’d love to do a gig with the big Glasgow bands. That’s like Walt Disco, The Ninth Wave, LUCIA. Quiche as well. They’re banging. I love Quiche. They are incredible. If anyone asked us to do anything with them, we’d say yes.
Hamish: Clean their shoes, as well. Probably.
If you had to describe Scottish gig culture in 3 words, what would they be?
Cameron: I was about to say ‘Here we fucking go.’ but that’s 4 words.
Loris: Loud. Sweaty. Pints.
Hamish: Standing in puddles.
Cameron: Being really miserable.
What did you get up to during Lockdown?
Cameron: What didn’t we get up to during Lockdown?
Hamish: More recently we’ve been recording our album.
Cameron: First Lockdown it was all being written. I was stuck with myself and I ended up with a big volume of stuff. I was doing it to not go insane. Now we’ve narrowed it down to tracks that would be cohesive and fit.
Hamish: I practiced so much that I got a sore wrist for weeks. I had to put my instrument down and wait for it to heal. That actually wasn’t due to my instrument, it was due to working at McDonald’s. I don’t know how though.
Who are a few of your favourite acts from Scotland?
Cameron: Walt Disco, Quiche, The Ninth Wave, Yellow Helen, Romeo Taylor.
Loris: Historical bands would be Chvrches, Proclaimers, Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, Jesus and the Mary Chain.
Cameron: I’ve been getting into Cocteau Twins recently. We love all Scottish musicians. All love for Scotland.
If you could have 3 artists headline a festival, who would they be?
Loris: Yeah, I would say us.
Cameron: I would have 1970 The Beatles. I would also have The Smiths, probably. Like 1985 peak Smiths where Morrissey wasn’t racist. Nirvana would be my third, for sure.
Hamish: I would probably choose the bands that played when the Soviet Union broke up. Like the gig in Moscow. AC/DC, Megadeth, Metallica. We watch videos of that and there’s crowds as far as you can see.
Loris: Completely different directions. Chilli Peppers, too. Foo Fighters would be cool.
What’s some songs you listen to and think “God, I wish I wrote this”?
Cameron: ‘Dig A Pony’ by The Beatles is one I wish I wrote. I really wish I wrote ‘Wichita Lineman’ is one I really wish I wrote, too. That is my favourite song of all time. Greatest song ever.
Loris: ‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Supertramp. Lots of Queen and Beatles.
Cameron: The entirety of ‘Breakfast In America’ by Supertramp, I wish I wrote. The album is just perfect.
Hamish: ‘Happy Birthday’ so I could get the copyrights.
What’s an unpopular musical opinion you have?
Cameron: See that kind of Latin beat that was everywhere, like ‘Despacito.’ I hate that. It’s just corny music. It can be good when it’s done properly in Latin music.
Loris: I was gonna say Ringo Starr can’t sing.
Cameron: Ringo is one of my favourite drummers. He changed the game, definitely. However, I understand why people don’t like him.
Hamish: I think Paul McCartney’s solo career. Everyone I’ve met who isn’t into music hates Paul’s solo career. If you’re into music, you’ll see how good it is.
For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
Cameron: Cowboy Grunge.
Loris: Cameron and I were talking about this and we summed it up astonishingly well. Our music is Coordinated Cowboy Chaos.
Cameron: Imagine a Cowboy looking out over a range at nighttime, the wind blowing. It’s just kind of a moody Grunge, really.
Make sure to check out their track, ‘SLUMP’ out on Friday the 21st.
Their social media is linked below, give them a follow!