RGM Introducing – Usual Affairs

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to start the band?

Cal (Bass) and Ben (Drums) have been pals for years and toyed with the idea of starting a band for a while.   When the first lockdown happened they got talking and decided it was time to get it underway. 

Scotty (Lead Vocals and Guitar) had supported Cal’s old band as a solo act a few times in the past so thats how him joining came about. 

After a few practice sessions as a three piece it became apparent we needed a second guitarist to achieve the sound we wanted.  Luckily, Jack agreed to join and share both rhythm and lead responsibilities with Scotty, and that completed the lineup.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?

Scotty – Started off being introduced playing music from about the age of 6 by my Granda, but never took a great deal of interest, was more interested in football.  When I got a bit older I started playing Bass and Singing as two of my pals wanted to start a band and went from there.  I taught myself the guitar with the basics my Grandad had taught me and knowledge from bass playing and eventually got half decent. When I left school I played as a solo act with Guitar and Vocals and did a little bit of session work as a bassist before giving it up for a couple of years.  Then the opportunity to join the boys came up and I was looking to get back into it anyway so it came at the perfect time.

Ben – I played drums for around 3 months at school when I was 14.  I always used to get in bother at school for drumming with my pens which was a proper nightmare.  I started properly getting into music when my Mum was playing “I Am The Resurrection” in the back garden and loved the sound and so my parents put me onto all sorts of other tunes from there.  Me and Cal got talking one day about music and liking the same type of music, so I decided then to start playing drums again so we could start the band.  

Jack – I first picked up a guitar in first year of high school and started learning then.  After a while I got into DJ’ing and focused on that instead of playing the guitar, which I still do.  Most of my experience playing live comes from DJing in clubs and bars all over the place.  I was drinking with the boys when the lockdown restrictions were eased and picked up Cal’s guitar and had a play.  He got in touch with Ben and Scotty and said we should get him along, so they asked me and I thought why not?

Cal – I started playing bass age 16 and was in a band until the back end of 2018.  I played all over Scotland and the UK with that band and thats how Scotty and I met.  I never really thought about joining another band or starting another band until Ben mentioned he used to play drums.  Because we are into the same music it made sense to get something going again because I was missing playing.  

It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?

Practice as much as possible, write as many tunes as possible, and get in the studio as much as possible as far as cover has allowed.

How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?

As a band we are feeling fairly good.  Our debut single “She Knows” has just been released and has had a decent response so far.  The hardest thing will be trying to find new ways to get ourselves heard, due to the fact that we wont be able to gig any time soon.  But aye, overall we are feeling positive.

How has 2020  effected your mental health?

Scotty – I think like everyone, I have had my ups and downs, but I think I haven’t had it bad at all in comparison to a lot of folk.  Joining the band has given me a new focus and gas acted as a bit of a distraction from all the shite that’s going on at the minute, so I feel pretty fortunate for that.

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?

Jack – Anything recent from Vistas

Ben – DMA’s – Play It Out

Scotty – The K’s – TV

Cal – Affleck’s Palace – Forever Young

What support is out there for new artists in Edinburgh ?

In terms of fans, or local people listening to our tunes it’s class. All our pals have been quality for sharing our stuff and we’ve had a really good response so far from those that it has reached.  There’s a really good community backing behind us which we are chuffed about.

However, just due to circumstances at the minute theres not a great deal of support in terms of promotion and gigs.  For example if we were gigging we reckon we’d find it a lot easier to get on the books of promo companies and that – which live music is something we all need to work hard at to get back and keep alive.  Theres a few local music blogs and stuff, which are really decent and we can hopefully catch the eyes of them too.  Like anybody in the industry though, we are having to work hard to make our own opportunities, which is something we see as motivation rather than a barrier to our success.

If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?

Our gigs being bouncing (when they happen).

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

Scotty – Can play guitar while doing keepy uppies 

Jack – Quoting The Inbetweeners or Still Game lines 

Ben – I am the king of Call of Duty Warzone

Cal – Dunno 

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

We’ve yet to play live together!

What was the worst experience on stage?

Obviously as a band we’ve not had any, however Scotty got thrown on early in the line up after selling more ticket than the touring band he was supporting in Glasgow, because they weren’t happy.  It meant that he was playing to his old boy and the tour manager and none of his crowd showed up until his set was almost over.  Nothing worse that playing to nobody.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

Ben – I’ve mentioned it already, but I am basically learning drums from scratch again as we go, having not played for long before, and that being so long ago.

Cal – No idea

Jack – Lived in Dubai for half my life

Scotty –  I can play the fiddle/violin

Who would you like to work with on the circuit right now?

Scotty – Paul Weller or The Snuts

Ben – DMA’s 

Jack – Catfish and The Bottlemen

Cal – Paul Weller or Noel Gallagher

What makes you stand out as a band?

High energy, relatable tunes

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 

No gigs and no draft pints.

Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?

When the lockdown restrictions were eased and the pubs reopened – we sat in the pub beer garden on the Friday afternoon from around 1pm onward.  We had a practice session booked that night at 7.  By the time we got to practice we couldn’t play our instruments.

Whats your favourite song to play live and why?

We can’t say yet for sure but we are confident “She Knows” will be class live.

I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?

Scotty – It’s a song I wrote a couple years ago when I was about 17/18, first going on nights out.  Its more an observation of the culture in clubs on George Street in Edinburgh; about the exclusivity of it all and its superficiality. 

When I brought the demo to the boys it needed a few tweaks but the core of the song needed tweaked but the core of the song and the lyrics stayed the same, as well as the energy.

How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?

Recording “She Knows” and other tracks was fairly easy as the studio we recorded in was big enough to maintain social distancing at all times. 

However, now that the rules are slightly blurry, getting into record will most likely be a struggle in the coming months.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Aye,  “She Knows” is out now on all major platforms.  Buy it, stream it, share it, do whatever you want with it.  All the support is appreciated.

Finally and perhaps optimistically, what are your plans for the year ahead

We have a couple of singles ready for release in the coming year, so we want to just keep releasing music, and hopefully sooner rather than later we can get playing live. 

Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.

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