To compliment this weeks Aural Delights Podcast I carried out one of my semi-regular virtual interviews with a band I reckon deserve a wider audience Miss Lucid.
From Aberdeen , based in Glasgow for a while, but now spread between Glasgow, Aberdeen and Brechin, the band has been around since 2011 and took the time and effort to come down to play the Salford Music Festival last year with a blistering and very loud set at The Hope.
Ciaran Thomas (Vocals, Guitars, Lyrics)
Daniel Mackintosh (Guitars, Vocals)
Kevin Smith (Bass, Vocals)
Paul Jamieson (Drums)
You can hear both of the bands EPs on this weeks show and find out what they are all about below.
There has been a bit of a gap time wise between “This Life” and “Feed to Breed” – was this down to “uncertainty or insanity”?
Ciaran Thomas: Probably a combination of both! To be honest, it was mostly down to reasons of finance and timing. It’s been a really busy year for us since the last E.P. and we wanted to make sure that we had built up enough of a following to have a bigger impact with this record. We wanted it to be a step up from the last record, so, naturally, it cost more to produce and being a self-financed band, we had to be patient.
Kevin Smith: When you look back at the time between the 2 releases, “that’s a whole year” you think to yourself, but in reality time flashes by so fast it makes a year seem like 2 months.
Daniel Mackintosh: Before the release of “This Life” we’d only played 2, maybe 3 gigs as ‘Miss Lucid’. After it was out we really just got on with gigging as much as possible through-out the year but always had plans to get “Feed to Breed” recorded and ready for release in 2013. It was an exciting first year as band. Far more happened and was achieved on a personal level than anything any of us have previously been involved in.
Where was the EP recorded?
CT: It was recorded at 45 A-side Recordings Studio in the east-end of Glasgow by one of our good friends Sam MacIntosh. We’ve known him for a long time, and he helped us out in some of our previous bands in Aberdeen before he moved to Glasgow. It just seemed natural to record with him, it proved so and I think it comes across.
KS: “Feed to Breed” was recorded within a short space of time whereas “This Life” was more spread out in terms of recording the parts. “Feed to Breed” was more challenging for us I feel.
DM: It’s such a great studio with amazing equipment. It definitely was more challenging working to a tighter time scale and budget but by that point we knew the songs so well that we could just go in and perform them naturally which I think has helped us create an E.P. that sounds truer to our live performance.
The video is very striking visually…who came up with the story/concept? Where was it filmed? –
CT: It was filmed in Glasgow with another of our old friends from Aberdeen, James Tew. The concept was a collaboration between both the band and James, however, the aesthetic qualities must be credited to James. He was a pleasure to work with and really brought the whole thing to life.
Just listening again to “This Life” I was struck by the “epic” sound you are able to create with just the four of you – I’m thinking “Another Pathogen” particularly – but then a more considered ambient feel on “Hollow” perhaps showing the breadth of the groups’ work – are you aiming for a variety of styles?
CT: I don’t ever think that it’s a conscious decision. Generally, we just write songs, and they end up how they end up. Basically, we just love being a rock band and all interpretations of rock ‘n’ roll are possible for us. But, we don’t want to breach that pretension barrier where we are ‘breaking down the genre walls’. We’d rather be the defibrillator of rock than creating jazz/grunge/a cappella fusion or some sh*t.
KS: We’re a band you’ve heard a million times before…
DM: …but we just do it better. I joke, i joke….. but seriously. 🙂
“Feed to Breed” has a more open feel to it than “This Life” i.e. more space/more dynamic sound – was the intention to create a “bigger” feel to the sound? There’s a bigger bass sound on “Prey for Love” for example, and the vocals have more presence in the mix.
CT: We’ve always wanted to create a big ‘wall-of-noise’ sound ever since, as star-struck teenagers, going to see bands like Mansun, Oceansize, My Vitriol, Cooper Temple Clause, RX Bandits. It was always those shows that left me personally, not only partially deaf and with harmonic tinnitus, but with a sense that I had witnessed something really special. It was as though you couldn’t escape the sound waves being projected from the stage, totally immersed.
KS: Bigger sound doesn’t always mean louder sound, we’re always looking to blend our sound in a way it feels bigger… in both our live shows and recordings.
DM: It’s important to produce a sound that suits the way the songs sound when played live which I think is what has been done on both “This Life” and “Feed to Breed”. Obviously part of the joy of recording is you can colour the songs in many different shades but it’s still important to not over do it by scribbling past the lines so when people hear us live they mostly hear what’s on the recordings.
Are you touring/gigging at all soon? And will you be heading south of the border again at any time?
CT: We’ve got a good few shows coming up over the summer, mostly in Scotland. But we are playing our first Inverness show, which we are really excited about. And we are also hoping to secure some more shows in England. We’ve applied for the Salford Music Festival again, so hopefully see you again in a few months Bob!
Any plans for an album?
CT: Yes, most definitely! We have 30+ songs, and the album is basically there, although, once again, it comes down to finance and time. But we are hoping that we can have an album ready for release next year.
What’s the music scene like in Aberdeen? Are you able to gig regularly. Any other local bands you want to mention that are worth listening to?
CT: The Aberdeen scene is surprisingly vibrant! I mean, like every other scene in the country, it’s hit or miss but for a city its size it has a very healthy music scene, even if the punters aren’t always there to see it. A good source of local music is Captain Tom’s Studio’s and their label Fat Hippy Records. They release a sampler every year with some of the best local acts that are going in the area, usually about 20 songs on each sampler CD. But, having lived in Glasgow as a band for 4 years, it is obvious that Aberdeen offers things that other places don’t in certain respects. Maybe its just cause its our home and we’ve been going to Captain Tom’s since we were about 14. That’s a good 15 years! Christ! Just realized how old I am! Some bands to definitely check out from Aberdeen would be: Indian Red Lopez, Cielo Rosso, Forest Fires, Stanley, GutterGodz… Oh yeah, not technically an Aberdeen band, Song Of Return. They are from Glasgow, but the singer is from the North-East and a good friend of ours from school.
DM: The promoters in Aberdeen such as Ross Calder (Aberdeen Gig Promotions), Brian Youngson (Fudge Aberdeen) and as Ciaran mentioned Tom Simmonds (Captain Toms/Fat Hippy Records) for years have constantly provided opportunities for local and touring bands to play some amazing gigs in this grey, windy city. They all share the opportunities with love between local bands and friends, there’s not too much “cliquishness” around. There seems to be a general vibe in Aberdeen of bands and promoters who enjoy helping out others and do it all for a genuine love of music. As for bands to listen to, I’d have to add my good friends in Audiockicks to the list. A 3 piece that play some very innocently quirky pop rock for no other reasons than the joy of creating music with friends. You can also listen to the two latest Fat Hippy Records Sampler CD’s on Spotify, just search “Fat Hippy Sampler”.
Any key objectives in the next 12 months?
CT: Get a major record deal, only £1million plus advance (any offers welcome) and take over the world.
DM: As always, continue to better myself as a guitarist and the craft of making music in general whilst having a lot of fun. But mostly, what Ciaran said…
What are you all listening to music wise at the moment?
CT: I still listen to the same stuff I listened to 10years ago, or new releases by those bands! So, I’m probably not the best to ask!
KS: I’d rather not admit to what I’ve been listening to.
DM: I’ll tell you! Ciaran still listens to his collection of Busted, McFly and Avril Lavigne albums and Kev loves a bit of Frank Ocean, he’s obsessed. I’m not even joking about the Frank Ocean obsession. I could name loads, but of very recent I’ve been listening to a lot of The Dear Hunter, Ben Folds Five, Super Furry Animals, David Bowie, Young Legionnaire, The Mars Volta, Circa Survive, Daft Punk’s latest album and with the arrival of some sunshine a bit of Kula Shaker has certainly not gone amiss.