For those who don’t know you, how would you sum up your music?
Breezy, poppy, melodic, bright and positive is what we try to go for.
Who’s in the band and what do they play?
Ross (McQueen) sings, plays guitar and does a lot of the writing, Conor (McBay) plays lead and also writes, Rory (Strathie) plays synth, Sam (Walker) is the drummer and James (Swan) has just joined on bass who is class and also writes stuff.
What’s the reaction been to your new single Closer?
Ross: Yeah it’s been pretty positive I think, we’ve had a few people get in touch. Random stuff like getting played at half time at a Kilmarnock game has come off the back of someone getting in touch after the song was released and liking it. It’s good to just have stuff released again because it’s been about a year since Spark came out. We’ve been doing a lot of work
behind the scenes and gigging a lot over the past year so to it might seem like we’ve not been doing anything but we’ve got some more release plans over Christmas so it’s good to be having more stuff coming out.
What’s the song about?
Ross: It started off with an instrumental that Conor wrote that he sent in that was heavily inspired by 80’s/New Order musically. The name was completely ripped off from the Joy Division album and someone kindly pointed out our lack of originality in the comments section of the video.
Rory: We hope he likes our follow up single Unknown Pleasures.
Ross: It took a bit longer to write vocals over it than usual because it was something a bit different from what we usually do, or the songs I usually write. The dynamic changed a lot when the vocals came in. I’d say it was about general confusion and overthinking stuff.
Conor: Being overwhelmed.
Ross: Yeah, it’s kind of like doubting everything you do and struggling to make sense of the world around you but at the same time being completely immersed in it. I wanted the chorus to be quite anthemic and I think ‘So come and live in my world’ is quite an inviting lyric which kind of sums up the whole song.
You recently supported Walt Disco what was that like?
Rory: I think seeing probably one of the best bands in Scotland at the minute upped the bar for us a bit in our minds. They were so polished live.
Ross: Yeah it showed me what you can do with a live performance, everyone I spoke to after was pretty blown away by it. I certainly was. They go up there and make a point and you know exactly what they’re about.
Rory: It’s definitely something to aspire to. Seeing Echo Machine perform in a similar way got us thinking about it too.
Conor: Probably the best gig Dundee’s ever seen.
Who were your influences growing up?
Rory: I think Ross growing up with Oasis probably bled into his song-writing style.
Ross: I’ve always liked music whether it was pop-punk or whatever (I loved McFly). Then it was The View who were a huge thing then I fell into Oasis and The Stone Roses and that’s when I started to think about song-writing and stuff like that. More recently it’s been more electronic based influences.
Rory: I think there’s a lot of influences within the band that make their way in.
Conor: I listened to Slipknot.
Ross: Yeah Conor was quite a metalhead back in the day as you can probably tell from our sound. Rory likes The Smiths.
Rory: Everyone likes The Smiths now. Dreampop stuff like Horsebeach is quite a big influence on the sound I think. Bands like JAWS and Swim Deep are probably bands that we’re closest to in terms of the sound we’re going for.
What’s your plans for 2020?
Rory: Yeah I think it’s just to release more music, play more around Scotland, play outside Scotland and just make more people aware of us really.
Ross: We’ve got a single lined up which will probably be out by the end of this year and then more recording at the start of the next year. We really want to start getting on festival bills next year, that’s the aim. Just start getting our name out there.
Rory: Given we were all in our last year of uni, I think we still managed to make progress last year. I think we’re all in the same boat now and we’ve got more time to just focus on this.
What’s your favourite Scottish artists / bands at the moment?
Ross and Conor: Lucia, The Ninth Wave, Walt Disco.
Rory: Those three bands seem to be making a lot of noise at the minute.
Ross: Man of Moon are great
Rory: I think from Dundee Drainpipe stand out. Sahara as well.
Ross: Beta Waves
Conor: St Martiins, Echo Machine, Declan Welsh
Ross: I think the Scottish scene is really thriving. As much as I can remember anyway. I don’t know if its just cause we’re involved in it a bit now we’re noticing what’s going on more.
Conor: The Roques as well.
Ross: Dundee’s doing well and Glasgow’s absolutely smashing it.
Rory: I think Glasgow’s always the centre but the range of stuff in Dundee is amazing. Got bands like St Martiins and Beta Waves then can go to Echo Machine and so many others.
Ross: Lewis Capaldi, America’s Sweetheart!
What’s your favourite venue you have played at so far?
Conor: I think it’s pretty obvious. King Tut’s.
Rory: Yeah that was obviously amazing and quite surreal when it was still relatively early days.
Ross: That was quite a big goal and to hit it so early out of nowhere was unreal.
Rory: Yeah it was unexpected, it wasn’t something we were thinking about.
Ross: Sitting at Uni writing dissertations then getting an email through from DF asking if you want to play King Tut’s was mad. Then to end up headlining playing alongside bands like The Roov (by the way, one of the best bands in Scotland).
Rory: I think Sneaky Pete’s was quite a good one as well, was our first time playing in Edinburgh. Oran Mor too. Shame there was nobody there.
Ross: Oran Mor was cool.
Rory: We’d plan on playing there again one day. And for it to be busy.
How would you sum up 2019?
Rory: Pretty mixed I think.
Ross: There were a lot of good milestones. It felt very stop/start and we didn’t release all the music we were wanting to but over the summer we had a really good run of gigs.
Rory: Stuff like playing King Tut’s was great, we played outside Dundee quite a lot which was something we wanted to do more of.
Ross: I think a big positive was how far we’ve come on as a band. We’re writing much better stuff now collectively.
If you could cover one song, what would it be and why?
Conor: Purely cause I was just listening to it, Girls on Film by Duran Duran
Rory: Ross was wanting to cover a Whitney Houston song a while ago
Ross: Ah yeah which one was that?
(All sing through the lyrics of How Will I Know by Whitney Houston and all fail to get the title)
Ross: I still think we should do that, I’d love to do that
Conor: Then do Girls on Film
Ross: Really wanted to Girls and Boys by Blur once but we tried it and it was an absolute disaster.
Rory: I don’t know. Ready for the Floor by Hot Chip
If you could play at one festival anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Rory: Carnival 56
Ross: T in the Park. Bring it back.
Conor: I’m just gonna say Glastonbury
Ross: That’s fair
Conor: Outside of the UK probably Primavera
Ross: Yeah I was there in the summer and it’s definitely somewhere I’d like to go again. The vibe was great.