This is a real first for my Scots Way-Hay feature, never before has an artist cropped up in two different guises. I guess I’d have to have a pretty special reason to justify doing something like that, so for all of you folk over at Dear Scotland who may have missed my big announcement, here it is again very briefly:
I am launching Peenko Records, and the first release will be with mysterious singer-songwriter, I Build Collapsible Mountains, who might also be known to some of you as Luke Joyce from Edinburgh post-rockers The Gothenburg Address (that’ll be the previous Scots Way-Hay reference then).
Taking a bit of a change in direction from crashing guitars that make your ears melt, it’s now just one man pouring out his inner thoughts backed by the delicacy of an acoustic guitar. Having lived with his songs for quite a while now, I have found that they just get better and better with every listen. So much so that I cheekily asked if he would let me release them. Foolishly he agreed and several months later here we are. Actually that also sounds very similar to how I ended up becoming a dad. His debut album is out now. It’s an intimate melancholic record that I am honoured to have as my firest ever release.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Yes hello. My name’s Luke and I play guitar and sing songs under the name I Build Collapsible Mountains
How would you describe the music you make?
They are like therapy for me I think. A musical diary, that I’m quite happy to share with people.
How did you start out making music?
I spent most of my teenage years locked away in my bedroom teaching myself guitar. My dad gave me a guitar that belonged to my gran. It was a custom made Spanish guitar. I just picked up one of those ‘teach yourself guitar’ TAB books, full of American anthems, and it went from there really.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
I always write the music first, its just how I work. Like I said before, writing music is therapy for me, so I usually have some idea of what the song will be about lyrically. Sometimes I’ll write a few in a day, sometimes I go for weeks without playing a note.
Who are your big musical influences?
During the 90’s, I was a die hard Smashing Pumpkins fan. They were the first band I ever saw live. He’s maybe an egotistical megalomaniac, but Mr William Corgan is a song writing genius. Other bands were on my radar, such as Sheffield’s own Cable (r.i.p.) , who’s album When Animals Attack is still in my top 5 ever. I loved the indie bands also – Marion, Longpigs, Geneva, Echobelly .. say what you want, I loved it.
What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?
I’m not ready to go into details, but lets just say where I come from is …unique? It’s definitely shaped the musician I am today. I write about things that are real, I’m not into imaginary tales. I think you have to experience something to genuinely believe it. If you don’t believe what your singing, then I think it shows.
How are you enjoying the freedom of doing all of this on your own as opposed to being in a band?
It’s good. I like getting on with things. There’s no time constraints waiting for people. If I want to rehearse, I rehearse – all I need to do is pick up the guitar. I miss making the walls of noise sometimes, but this is something I’m enjoying now. If there’s an audience for what I’m doing then I’m happy to play it quiet for a while.
Initially you were quite secretive about your identity, in fact you didn’t even tell me that they were your songs when you first sent them to me. Why the mystery? And why have you decided to step out from behind the veil so to speak?
I think I wanted some genuine opinions on the music to be honest. I wanted to send it to my friends who’s opinions I respected, but I didn’t want any politeness getting in the way just because it was me. Obviously with the live shows it was kind of hard to keep the façade going.
In your own words would you care to share with the kids out there how you ended up being the inaugural release on Peenko Records?
As you mentioned before, you were one of the few people I sent the songs to initially. I think I piled your inbox with a number of tunes and luckily you liked them enough to want to put your name to a release. For the CD to be associated with one of the most popular supporters of unsigned music is nothing short of fantastically ideal.
The songs on ‘A Month of Lost Memories’ were all written over a short period, does this mean that you have already written more songs?
It does! The next record is almost ready. Luckily the songs are coming thick and fast at the moment. I also have separate tracks that I’m going to drop over the pond next year.
You’ve been crazy enough to agree to play at our next ‘Ayetunes vs Peenko’ gig, why should folk make sure that they come down nice and early to make sure that they catch your set?
There’s a rumour I might be getting thorough this set without any mistakes, so that might be something quite special to witness. I think I’m also going to debut a track from the next record that is one of my favourite songs I’ve written to date. And also people should come down and support some great bands and a couple of great chaps doing good things for music. (what a charmer- Peenko)
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?
I’m going to get the next record finished and maybe maybe make a video. I’m also hoping to get a single finished, which will be available here on import. Apart from that I want to just go play where ever there’s people who want to listen.
So there you have it, a wee introduction to the world of I Build Collapsible Mountains, what a wonderful wee world it is too. Having lived with these songs for quite a months now I feel somewhat privileged to hear how they’ve developed. It really is a cracking debut, that really caught me by surprise by how someone could consistently write and record songs of such quality in such a short space of time. Having only seen Luke play once live, when he came in and played a wee song on my Fresh Air show back in August, I really can’t wait to see him play a full live set. Thankfully though I am in luck as he has a few shows lined up in the next couple of months, one of which is with our good friends at Elba, followed by an appearance at the third in the series of our Ayetunes vs Peenko gigs. If you can make it along to one of these shows I’d urge you to make sure you make it along.
‘A Month of Lost Memories’ is available to buy now, it is available in hand made limited edition CD’s (50 copies, plus it comes with a couple of wee IBCM and Peenko badges) and through digital download over on Luke’s Bandcamp page.
30th Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, with Cry Over Billionaires
I Build Collapsible Mountains – Where we go tomorrow