I guess a lot of folk read blogs to find something new and exciting and I must admit that before I started the Peenko website I tried to be a bit of hipster. Sadly, the thrill of the chase can be a lot more exciting than the end product. Being able to say you were into a band ages before anyone else can give you a modicum of credibility in the very snobbish world that is alternative music.
Now that I am in a position to be seen to be a tastemaker (in my own head at least), I do find that there is a part of me that wants to be the first to ‘discover’ new up and coming Scottish artist(s), and with the number of blogs that focus mainly on this scene it does feel as if new bands can be hyped slightly out of proportion.
The race to be there first often means that some bands who have been doing the ‘circuit’ for a while are easily dismissed. I guess that Miss the Occupier could fall into this category, which is the main reason why I asked Magnus from the band to answer a few questions for me.
Forming from the ashes of now defunct indie-punk outfit ‘Josephine’, I first came across the band because I worked with their ex-drummer. I remember thinking at the time that they seemed pretty good, then over time they somewhat drifted off my radar.
It wasn’t until Magnus (who also had the misfortune of working with me) got in touch to send me over their new EP, that I realised quite how good they’d become. Their new EP, The Heart Is Deceitful (Above All Things) is an absolute belter and deserves your attention.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Roz plays bass and sings. Magnus plays guitar. Ione plays drums.
How would you describe the music you make?
When we started we were described as “itchy punk pop” but that’s not entirely accurate anymore. The more recent songs are noisier and darker and there’s more of a dance undercurrent to the rhythms from Ione’s drumming.
How did you start out making music?
Collectively, through meeting each other in Glasgow at various points during the last decade. Individually I started playing guitar for Music modules at school when I was 15, which I didn’t pass.
Who writes the songs and what process goes into the way you create them?
Generally I’ll have a basic chord progression or riff which I’ll take to rehearsal and it’ll have vocal melodies, lyrics and beats added to it and be molded into a finished song. For example, Glue Me To Thee originally sounded like Hunkpapa-era Throwing Muses in my head, but it ended up being totally different, faster, and better.
Who are your big musical influences?
Nick Cave, Sleater Kinney, Yummy Fur, Sonic Youth, Kristin Hersh, Kraftwerk, no wave, Detroit techno. Rolling Stones, lots of other things.
What are you all listening to at the moment?
I really like the new Hole single. It’s a shame Eric isn’t in the band anymore, but people are too hard on Courtney Love. Mark E. Smith is probably worse in terms of bad behaviour and sacking band members but he’s seen as a legend while Love is derided for it. As far as local bands go, Oscar Charlie and The Red Show.
Roz and Ione aren’t here but they would probably say Les Savy Fav and techno from the Transmat label respectively.
You have been recording new material with Thomas McNiece (Gang of Four), how did that come about?
Thomas is from Glasgow and has a studio on the south side. He was asked to join Gang of Four a year or so ago after their original bass player quit.
And how do you feel that he helped you with your sound?
Thomas has a good attitude, he didn’t try to change the sound much, as we recorded the songs very quickly in a short space of time, but he concentrated a lot on getting a full sound from the bass.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?
Maybe some remixes of the EP tracks, and we’ll definitely be recording new stuff at some point this year. Next gig is on May 8th at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow.
Miss the Occupier – External Male
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Photo Credit: Terence Chan