I think I have started to notice a pattern to these posts, I have a tendency to find myself having back to back posts from bands of the same geographical areas. Last week I had Highland duo Bronto Skylift, and this week I have gone with another band from the same neck of the woods.
Musically they are completely miles apart, but once again we have another amazing band coming down from the north and showing the city kids how it’s really done.
They are a band that I have wanted to feature for a while now, so I am pretty damn chuffed that I can now share them with you. Their ethereal sound blends elements of Sigur Ros, Mew and there are even certain parts that remind me of a less bonkers Beta Band. It is really epic stuff, their self titled debut EP came out back in April (I think), I would urge you to hunt it down, I promise you won’t regret it.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
I’m Jamie. Also in the band are Andrew, Joe and my brother Martin.
How would you describe the music you make?
One review described our songs as “Highland Glacial Pop” ha ha I quite like that
How did you come together as a band?
Martin and I met Andrew in secondary school back home in Inverness. We met Joe through the folks in Glasgow band Barn Owl.
How did you start out making music?
I was lucky to have piano lessons from quite early on, from about 5. We had a bit of an old banger of a piano at home. Martin had lessons too, and it wasn’t very cool going through school, but it was definitely the single best thing that ever happened to us. It was our first taste of Beethoven, The Beatles, Elvis, Elton, Simon & Garfunkel, Abba, all of that. Later on, Martin and I used to just muck around with the upright piano at home, taking the front cover off it to make it more atmospheric, using ANY part of its structure to get sounds and stuff like that. When we first started playing together with Andrew, it wasn’t really to ‘start a band’ as such, it was something to do and we liked being experimental even early on. We used to have this old Fostex four track thing we’d make loops and things with, great fun.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
Sometimes apart and sometimes together. A lot of trial and error. There can be rows, tears, the occasional fight and inevitable apologies. We’re always striving to make something sound as good as it possibly can be. We don’t have a set format for writing songs really.
Who are your big musical influences?
Right now: Annie Lennox, Sigur Ros, Radiohead.
There seems to be quite a lot of great bands like yourself who have relocated down from the Highlands to Glasgow, was that a deliberate move on your part to get the band more recognised?
If we’d started a band back home we’d probably get more exposure, as there aren’t too many up there. I think the idea of bands moving down to Glasgow from the Highlands to get themselves recognised is a bit of a myth, especially nowadays with the internet, facebook etc. For us, we all moved down separately to start jobs, uni, college etc long before we ever thought about doing something with music. We do still see ourselves as Northerners though, certainly.
Are there any plans to play gigs outside of Scotland or possibly even the UK?
We’ve been down to London, Manchester and Liverpool for gigs and things, but we only really go down there if it’s worthwhile (e.g can we cover our petrol!). We had an invite for SXSW last year, but were unable to secure funding. It was a shame at the time, but I think as an event it’s probably a bit saturated now and geared towards bigger, more establish bands with a bit of label backing behind them. We’ve played abroad once before, at the Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik. As enjoyable as that was, we’ll probably focus on the home front for now.
If you could support any band you liked in a venue of your choice, who and where would it be?
We saw Bon Iver at ATP last year, blew us away. Venue… Probably the Barrowlands please!
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?
We recently released our first EP and had a few dates around Scotland (including launch nights in Glasgow and Inverness). For a lot of people who haven’t heard of us before, it’s been a well received taster of what’s to come. The Belly of the Mountain label was something we set up this year to be an outlet for the band; there’s an idea to put out a 7″ single before the year is out, with the song Breathe being the likely A-side.
We’ve started writing our album, which we hope begin recording later this year to have out early 2011.
Call To Mind’s debut EP is available to download from the Dear Scotland Shop or through Amazon, it comes highly recommended. As of the moment the band don’t have any gigs lined up, if and when they do I will make sure that I’ll let you know.