It seems that every Monday when we publish Vic Galloway’s Scotland on Tour listings, Glasgow’s Alex Smoke inevitably will have a gig somewhere exotic. Recently we caught up with Alex in Tokyo and asked him about his globetrotting, his new album and what his first song would be tonight at the DV1 Club in Lyon.  

Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?
Alex Smoke: I am in Tokyo in my hotel room above Shibuya station. Feeling pretty jet lagged after a night on the booze with the promoter.

DS: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?
Alex Smoke: I certainly could never hold down a real job so I’m with him there. It’s really the first thing I felt so passionate about that I could work on it 8 hours a day and just be pissed off I had to go to bed at all……

DS: What is your favourite song to play right now?
Alex Smoke: There’s a couple of things I’m loving this week in particular: a re-released EP by Burning Star Core and the new Fourtet album….

Four Tet


DS: It seems like every week we are listing your shows in different cities around the World. Do you have a favourite city or venue to play?
Alex Smoke: Funnily enough I am currently in my favourite city, Tokyo……for a food lover it’s amazing, and the people and the culture are fantastic. Very hospitable. To play, Glasgow is still the best in all honesty.

DS: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?
Alex Smoke: I’m not what you’d call a staunch nationalist….I feel myself wherever I am and yes, I guess I adapt pretty well to new places. People are the same the world over, and it’s generally people that form my opinion of a place. I’ve just moved down to London and am really missing the mountains, and stravaigin and the patter.

DS: So you’ve got new single ‘Lux+’ out now with the new album ‘Lux’ coming February 22 2010. What else do you have planned for this year?
Alex Smoke: The album has been re-scheduled for March 22nd now (distribution shuffling), and after that I’m working on a semi-classical score for F.W.Murnau’s “Faust” (1926 silent film), which is a big undertaking. I’m also getting together a new album, maybe something more vocal-oriented, although it’ll just be my mumbling crap rather than some diva.

Alex Smoke – Lux


DS: Do you already know what your first track will be at the DV1 Club in Lyon or do you decide just before the set?
Alex Smoke: Yeah no idea, although it’ll most likely be something a bit random and melodic as opposed to a dancefloor banger……..

DS: How do people react when they discover that you are Scottish?
Alex Smoke: The Scots have a good reputation abroad so it’s always favourable. People always ask Celtic or Rangers, no matter where you are, always. I’m no football lover though so they’re always shocked when I say neither. I have to drink whisky for the rest of the night to prove I’m really a man.

DS: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
Alex Smoke: Maybe not influenced, but I’ve certainly been inspired by Hud Mo and Rustie……



DS: What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Alex Smoke: Fuck knows…..I reckon they should all be scrapped. But it would be funny to have everyone sing the Milkman Song by Aphex Twin.

DS: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Alex Smoke: I’m the most boring bastard in the northern hemisphere, and am only rivaled in the southern by a guy in Chile who collects the labels from packs of margarine, so don’t expect any stories of raucous excess. A party at Casita Verde in the hills of Ibiza stands out as being pretty incredible….

DS: 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?
Alex Smoke: In all honesty, Sutherland or Skye, but I know my girlfriend will require a separate house in the sun to make that a possibility!

Junior Boys (Alex Smoke Remix)


Alex Smoke’s third album ‘Lux’ will be released on March 22 on his own Hum & Haw label.

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Photo Credit: David Waldman