Calum- Mostly just for something to do, it felt right once I had learnt to play an instrument and began writing songs when I was around 15-16 to find a way to put them out there. Starting a band is the easy part and continuing it and keeping it feeling as fresh as when we started has been really difficult at times, but that’s what makes it so rewarding. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Jamie- I’m Jamie, my musical journey started when I was around 8/9 years old, I started piano lessons. Between then and age 12/13 I’d started learning drums, bass and guitar. By this point I was pretty serious about music and started playing in school bands. Age 15/16 is when I formed my first out of school band which was a royal blood tribute with no singer. From that to an oasis style rock band called SWIFT then finally I was asked to join the Shoals in late November 2017.
Calum- I’m Calum, my musical journey started in first year of high school when I first hopped on a drum kit, I got lessons in drums up until my fourth year where I met Jack for the first time, that’s when I first began to learn guitar and sing and i’ve been doing both ever since. In first year of uni I developed a passion for synths and music production and started to learn how to use Ableton to further my skills and musical knowledge.
Jack- I’m Jack, my journey started in sixth year of high school when I took music as a subject and picked up bass and guitar as my instruments. I met Calum there and we got put into the band that would play the end of year show.
Daniel – Hi I’m Daniel, I started my musical Journey when when I was 13 I was just finishing up my 2nd year and decided to take up music with absolutely no experience playing any musical instruments I took up keyboard and guitar and spent most of my 3rd year trying to learn the solo Steve vai plays in halo 2s mjolner mix and failing miserably at that. I eventually started performing in some school formed bands, one of which me(bass) and Calum(drums) covered dani California by the red hot chilli peppers with other pupils.
Matt- I have been an avid music lover since I was young due to my dad having music playing constantly, this sparked my musical journey at around 13 when my uncle began teaching me how to play songs I enjoyed listening to on bass. Fast forward to about 16, Jamie and myself began jamming together but both of us played bass. I then found an old guitar in my house and decided to start learning songs so we could jam some together. I eventually met Jack at a houseparty in our final year of school through some mutual friends and a couple months later he hit me up asking if I’d like to join him and Calum in their band. They also needed a drummer and I recommended Jamie as I knew he could play.
It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?
Jamie – Music, movies and games
Jack- I’ve watched Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on repeat and i’ve made some of the worst soundcloud beats you’ve ever heard.
Calum- Making the 2nd worst soundcloud beats you’ve ever heard and listened to an ungodly amount of jazz and movie soundtracks (particularly the ‘Hereditary’ soundtrack)
Daniel – Mostly jamming over backing tracks on YouTube and looking at funky scales.
Matt- Youtube videos on guitar gear and forever deciding on new pedals to buy.
How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?
Jamie – It’s been uplifting knowing we’re getting closer to normality, so I’d say more positive but not quite overjoyed
Jack- Right now I feel much the same because lockdown makes you lose all sense of time but if we can get a warm summer I’d be a lot happier.
Calum- We have a long list of things we want to do in 2021 so that’s always reassuring, if we get to accomplish even a couple of them I’ll consider this year somewhat a success
Daniel – it’s good to see things are getting gradually better and the hopes of getting back to practicing and jamming with the band are keeping me hopeful.
Matt- Pretty much what everyone else said. Very optimistic to see what 2021 will bring.
How has 2020 effected your mental health?
Jamie – Honestly, it’s not been great but trying to stay optimistic and looking forward to going back out and of course playing live music
Jack – I feel like i’ve slowed down, if that makes sense. It takes me longer to get up and longer to do any work I have to do.
Calum- Pretty rough if i’m honest, trying to stay busy with whatever projects we can come up with has helped a lot but optimism is in short supply at the moment, as I’m sure is the same with a lot of people.
Daniel – it’s not been very good, it’s been a lot of staring at computer screens and while that’s fun in moderation, day in and day out it gets a little tiring.
Matt- Not super well to be honest but the prospect of getting to see the boys and enjoy things keeps me going.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?
Jamie – Black and Blue – Velvet. Excellent song, excellent band!
Calum- If I had to pick one it would probably be Morpha by Franky’s Evil Party, I think they are something really different and refreshing in the scottish music scene
Jack- I’m liking Garden State by New Routines right now. We toured with them and they are class lads. That song is very dreamy and you get lost in it when it comes on.
Matt- Heroin by Permo, fellow Falkirk band and also on the same label as us.
Who is inspiring you at the minute?
Jamie – The Physics House Band, Their music just blows my mind every time i listen to them, arranged so well
Calum- Isaac Wood from Black Country New Road, I think he is the best lyricist in the country right now and his work is constantly inspiring me to think outside the box
Jack- I’ve listened to a lot of Nick Drake recently. There’s something about the sparse music but complex lyrics and chords that I find really interesting.
Matt- Cleopatrick from Canada. For a 2 piece their music is very full sounding and Luke’s creativite ability to give the illusion of simultaneously playing lead, rhythm and bass parts with one guitar is very inspiring. (See “The Drake” & “Family Van” from Live @ the mercury lounge). NRM!
If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?
Jamie- Take your socks off and dance on your feet.
Calum- Surprisingly down to earth and very funny
Jack- Never kill a seabird
Daniel- the complete lack of any coherent sentences
Matt- Can You Play Gold Digger??
What useless talent do you have/ party trick?
Jamie – I can move my arms from behind me, over my head to the front of my body without unlinking my hands
Calum- I can fall asleep any place, any position, any time
Jack- I can do the hustle
Matt- I am literally Kirby (Small, round and can inhale ungodly amounts of food).
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Calum- During the final improv jam at our headline in Audio, we thought of the basic rhythms at practice on the morning of the gig and being able to pull it off like we did was a great feeling.
Jack- I’d have to agree with Calum on that, the timings all just worked, even though we had never set anything up other than the opening riff
Jamie – I also agree, I just didn’t want it to end
Daniel – this jam was the bomb it was so out of the blue but we all felt so comfortable going ahead with that being the final performance, wouldn’t have finished that gig any other way.
Matt- It was very class.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Calum- At our headline for Hit The Road at the Tolbooth in Stirling the power cut out during the penultimate song, it was horrible!
Jack- At a show where the backline amp was an Orange bass amp. Never again.
Jamie – Going off Calums answer, my cymbal stand fell and the second it hit the floor the power went out so i was convinced it was me that did it.
Daniel- we once gigged at a bar where I had to use a line 6 amp, guitarist hell.
Matt- Can you play Gold Digger??
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Jamie – Calum is a better drummer than i am
Jack- Jamie is a better bass player than I am.
Calum- Jack is a better guitar player than I am
Matt- I am the tallest in the band.
Tell us a funny story from backstage?
Jamie – We played Broadcast with a band called Hangszeres and the singer showed me a trick to cool off after playing a set. He hands me a hair dryer, puts it on cold and says, “you know what to do now” I would explain what happens next but i think you already know. I brought a hair dryer to every gig after that day and i have zero regrets
Playing a headline at Behind The Wall when we rallied flight cases round the bar.
Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)
Calum- Courtney Barnett (Guitar and Vocals), Johnny Greenwood (Lead guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (Bass and Vocals) and Morgan Simpson (Drums)
Jack- Sandy Denny (Vocals), Roger McGuinn (Guitar), Jaco Pastorious (Bass), Dave Mattacks (Drums)
Daniel – Robert plant (vocals), Jimi Hendrix (guitar), Adam Nealy(bass), Clay Aeschliman(drums)
Jamie – Johnny Stevens (vocals and Guitar), Josh Homme (Guitar and backing), Chris Walstenholm (bass),Matt Tong (Drums),
Matt- Zach de la Rocha (Vocals), Johnny Stevens (Vocals and Guitar), Flea (Bass), Ian Frazer (Drums).
Who would you like to work with on the circuit right now?
Calum- Would love to work with Velvet again, Ninth Wave would also be fantastic to work with, maybe one day that could possibly happen.
Matt- I’d say Velvet as well , wholesome boys who share a similar view on music as ourselves.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Calum- I think we all have such different ideas of what the band could be and that makes it really unique, we aren’t really afraid to experiment and constantly change our sound.
Jamie – We;re very open to change and experimentation with sounds. As we all have such different music taste from one another, we end up with songs that don’t sound like what any of us imagined it’d sound like
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus 🙂 )
Calum- The ineptitude of the Tory government (I imagine that will be a pretty common answer)
Daniel- Possible Hot Take, The Snow
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
Calum- almost every time we are together it’s a really enjoyable time, if i had to pick one it would be the time we found the fancy dress box in king tuts (which was Daniel’s first gig with us) we got dressed up in the wigs and costumes with The Capollos and we ended up forming a friendship with them off the back of that, the night out after the gig was also class as it was my 18th birthday weekend and I didnt pay for a drink all night!
Jack- I’d say the same in that every time we are together it’s a laugh. A lot of our headline gigs have been highlights, because all of our friends show up and it’s just a big night of fun.
Jamie – Everytime we meet is a great laugh, gigs, practises, meeting up outside of the band setting. It’s hard to choose one specific story
Matt- It’s hard to choose, it’s always good fun.
Whats your favourite song to play live and why?
Calum- From our most recent set I’ll probably say ‘Therapy’, I love the way it twists and turns through different tempos and it’s always a real challenge which I enjoy. Writing it was the start of a more honest and introspective style of writing which I’ve continued throughout lockdown so I have a personal attachment to the song as well.
Jack – I think I’d say ‘Therapy’ as well. It just builds so well and hits really hard in the break. I’m quite proud of the part I wrote for that because it locks much more tightly to the drums than anything I’ve done before, while still following the guitars really closely.
Jamie – I’d also have to say ‘Therapy’, It’s got a great mix of dynamics throughout and the climax at the end of the song is so full and satisfying to play.
Matt- You can probably guess what my answer will be. It is indeed the most satisfying to play. (Potentially our best tune).
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Calum- It’s a lot darker and heavier than anything we’ve done before, we’ve been playing it at gigs since early 2019 and there have been so many different versions of it played throughout the years, this has gave us the opportunity to look at all these different versions and really fine tune the song to be the best it can be.
Jack- I’ve broken 4 picks playing it live, and my part switches between sounding like Peter Hook to sounding like Geezer Butler.
Jamie – It was a fan favorite back when we were The Shoals. Defo one for the mosh pits
Daniel- One of the most brutal sounds You can possibly think of.
Matt- Plenty of Low End Fuzz
How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?
Calum- Joan of Arc Part 2 which was our latest release was all home recorded and mixed by the band, we sort of stumbled into it whilst making demos and realised that this one was especially well made. So we knuckled down and mixed it as well as we could and then sent it to the talented Luc Grindle to master.
Jack- Everything has been home recorded, which is both bad and good, bad because we aren’t professional producers so we don’t always make things sound amazing, but good because we aren’t professional producers so we are willing to do things to tracks that a lot of them might not think to.
Jamie – Home recorded. It’s great for practising production techniques and exploring how the song should sound when we come to recording it properly at a studio. It not ideal for drums as their all drawn in with midi, nevertheless it’s still fun being able to write and record
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Stay safe, support your local artist’s, check out George Mcfadyen and Angharad Blundell for all your visual art needs. Check out Ryan Cameron for all your sketch needs. Listen to lots of music and watch lots of tv and fall in love with it all, you deserve it!