When I first started blogging, I really didn’t know where I was going with it, there was no real plan other than to try and introduce some of my friends to good music that they might have missed. It’s not like I set out to promote Scottish music, it was just something that I found myself being drawn towards.
If I was to try and pinpoint the two most important moments that led me to where I am now, then the first one would be my inability to find a copy of a live Frightened Rabbit recording, which in turn led me to recording radio sessions. The second would have to be an article I read on the Line of Best Fit about today’s band: ‘Over The Wall’.
I had what I can best describe as a ‘Eureka’ moment, crossed with a touch of ‘how the fuck have I managed to let this band pass me by’. It was then that I started to realise just how much great music was out there in my own backyard.
Anyway, that’s enough about me, I should really get on with introducing two charming young men called Gav and Ben, collectively known as Over The Wall.
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I like my music to be fun. There’s a lot to be said for a band that can put a smile on your face. These guys have me grinning from ear to ear when I see them live, they genuinely look like they’re having the time of their lives every time they’re on stage.
They’re one of my favourite bands to have emerged from this country in many a year, their lo-fi pop sound just exudes contagious energy.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Ben: Hello there! Ben from Over the Wall here. Happy New Year?
Gav: Pleased to meet you, I’m Gav, also from Over the Wall.
How would you describe the music you make?
Ben: We make pop music. That’s not to say that it’s that popular, more that we seem to like writing triumphant euphoric tunes. Some of it is more electronic, some a bit folky. I guess it sounds the way it does because of the instruments we have at our disposal, so it’s a hodgepodge of guitars, keyboards, beats, trumpets and anything else we can think of.
Gav: I usually just say euphoric pop. If you listen to really good pop music, and I mean often quite commercial chart music from through the decades, it’ll always have bits of everything thrown in. We have strange bits thrown in that reflect who we are but at it’s core it’s pop.
How did you come together as a band?
Ben: We both met in the fair city of Glasgow and realised we shared a love for rom coms. I guess I would be the John Cusack to his Tom Cruise, though he may not be too happy about me getting to be Cusack. Since neither of us can act it was only a matter of time before we resorted to playing music together. Gav had already started playing solo gigs around Glasgow and I would come round to his flat and we would both chip in bits and pieces to each other’s songs. We were both involved in a night that we put on called Over the Wall. By the time we stopped the night we had already played a few gigs together so we decided to commandeer the name for ourselves.
Gav: I could never afford to be a Scientologist, even taking into account the amount I’d save on prescription drugs. We did come together over a shared love of Cameron Crowe films though, as well as the type of music that Cameron Crowe likes to use in his films.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
Ben: Usually one of us will have been playing with some hook or melody. Then we will see what we can do with it.
Gav: We still don’t really think of ourselves as a band and that helps in that our roles aren’t particularly well defined. If this is a band then it consists of two frontmen and nothing else, but that’s definitely to our advantage. Either of us could come up with a part for guitar or keyboard or trumpet or whatever and we’ll just work from there.
You always look like you’re really enjoying yourself when you play live, do you enjoy that side of it more than recording?
Gav: You’ve caught us at a point when we’re mixing our album so right now I’d love to not be in a studio and just be playing to people, but then if you’re on tour you just want to slow down and come up with new ideas. The grass is always greener. People often mention as something unusual that we enjoy ourselves when we play live – what a sorry state of affairs if most bands don’t really enjoy themselves when they play. I think it’s more likely that they want to look like they’re not when they actually are. And that is worse. I don’t at all mean that you should have a grin on your face when you’re playing a sad song by the way, it’s just about honesty. There’s often more honesty in clowning around than in staring at your shoes and trying to look like you don’t want to be there.
Ben: You can indeed. We will be bringing our album out this summer through Motive. Before we do that we are bringing out our new single Settle Down on the 5th April on 7 inch and download. We’re really glad to be bringing something out on vinyl. Whenever we go and watch bands it’s always the record I want to buy rather than the CD. It’s bigger and much harder to lose.
Lastly, what can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?
Ben: We are going on tour late March/early April. Dates are still being added but they are all up on the myspace. It will be fun because we are heading out with Three Blind Wolves who really can make some noise.
Gav: Then there’s the album in the summer and more imminently the single, out on 5th April on 7 inch vinyl and on iTunes and the like. Did we mention we have a single coming out on the 5th April? We’ve been working on the album for a while trying to get it right, and we’re starting to get pretty excited about it now. Hopefully it will be worth all the hard work. I think I might as well exclusively reveal the title to you actually – it’ll be called ‘Treacherous’ (Peenko – this was an exclusive a few weeks ago, sadly I missed out on that front, but hey it made me happy!).
Over the Wall’s new single ‘Settle Down’ was released on 7 inch vinyl and digital download on Monday 5th April through Motive Sounds Recordings.
Over The Wall – Thurso
Over The Wall at T in the Park (original version)
Over The Wall at T in the Park (censored version)
Photo Credit: David Forcier