Some time ago, I used to publish a new interview every Friday here on these pages. I got out of the habit and it has taken something very special to bring the Friday Interview back. Glasgow’s Casual Sex are one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from Scotland in recent years. And they will be at SXSW in just a few weeks.
The Guardian newspaper has described Casual Sex as “the best Scottish indie band since Franz Ferdinand”, and there is already a lot of ‘buzz‘ that they could ‘blow up’ at SXSW 2014 in the same manner that Franz did exactly 10 years ago. Apologies for the clichés in that last sentence, but there is nothing clichéd about this band. They are weird, they are cool, they are arty, but not in wanky way, they have a vision, and they have followers. I expect that very soon they will have many more followers. Vocalist and guitarist Sam Smith was kind enough to answer our questions:
Where are you now and what did you do last night?
I am in my work room at home with a nice cup of tea. Last night we were rehearsing ’til half twelve then caught last orders at Stravagin before bed.
Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?
Yes job avoidance is high up on the list, but probably more so hearing Bowie’s Speed of Life in my dad’s car after saving up my pennies and buying Low on tape cassette. A similar thing happened in hearing the opening clatter of Roxy Music’s first album similarly on Saturday job money tape cassette. One of those cant really put into words ‘Now that is what I want to do’ moments.
What is your favourite song of yours to play right now?
There are ones I probably fear more than others. At the moment I’m enjoying North and working on Nothing on Earth which is fiendishly tricky to pull off, but I like a challenge.
Your heading out to Austin soon for SXSW, have you played there before and are there other places you’d like to visit?
No this is our first time. I would very much like to travel as extensively as fortune permits with the group. Japan is high up on the wish list.
Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?
When your known as ‘that English bloke’ it doesn’t really make you feel very Scottish, though actually I am, I just spent a lot of time down south as a kid. Never crosses my mind really what nationality I am. I do miss Scotland when I’m away, I still think its landscapes are the best. Saying all that I actually think I’m from ******.
Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
My favorite guitarist is Magazine/Siouxsie and the Banshees/Visage’s John McGeoch, who hails from Greenock. Then there’s all the Fast Product/Postcard bands. Scottish lovers rock, still not found any of that.
What will be your first words on stage at your SXSW showcase to an audience of fans and industry types?
(Adopts Viv Stanshall-esque accent) Hello everybody it really is great honour and a privilege to be back in the country, in the words of the late great Lord Rockingham’s eleven ‘hoots mon there’s a moose about this hoose’.
What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Atmosphere by Russ Abbot.
What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Making comedy vegetable masks on my own after playing the Orpheum theatre in Boston, and every time I’ve had a sip of cold beer after a good show.
And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?
I’d like to go back to the Orkney Islands, so long as I can get somewhere warm and sunny for the bleaker months.
Casual Sex will play the SXSW Scottish Showcase on Friday March 14 at 10pm. More details on that gig here:
Photo Credit: @houdi_