Sparrow and the Workshop have announced a European tour with the unpredictable Brian Jonestown Massacre later this month. The Glasgow based band will also support Idlewild on a UK tour following the release of their highly anticipated second album on April 17. Full details below:

Singer Jill O’Sullivan, originally from Chicago, recently spoke to Euan from the excellent Scottish blog ‘The Steinberg Principle‘ about the upcoming tour and living in Glasgow:

The Steinberg Principle: 2010 is shaping up to be a big year with a UK tour supporting Idlewild and a European tour supporting the Brian Jonestown Massacre recently announced.  How has the last year changed your lives and what are you most looking forward to in 2o10?

Jill O’Sullivan: We were pretty lucky in 2009.  We signed a contract with our label and put out both our EP’s. We also did two full UK tours (with Edinburgh’s Broken Records and Bath’s Kill it Kid) and a few mini-tours with British Sea Power and Idlewild. I guess that all this changed our lives because the band became everyone’s number one priority. In some ways it felt like a natural progression, but in other ways if was getting really difficult to balance work with music. We realized that we just couldn’t do music and full-time jobs anymore.  So I quit my job and got a flexible waitressing job, and Gregor and Nick drastically cut their hours at work. We also decided to all move into Gregor’s flat. It’s really cheap this way and if we’re out on the road it’s one rent between 3 people rather than 3 separate rents for empty flats. This seems like a mundane thing to talk about, but the decision to share a flat is the main reason we have the flexibility to do what we’re doing.  In the end we’re taking risks but the excitement outweighs any other worries. On that note, we are really looking forward to touring the UK with Idlewild and Europe with the Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2010. We’re also looking forward to the release of the album in April and hope people enjoy it.

TSP: I’m not sure if this is a weird statement or not but I find your music to be heavily influenced by the USA (obviously) yet it remains unquestionably Scottish in tone.  How does the writing process work with you guys?  Do you write the songs individually then develop them together or is there more of a group approach to songwriting?

JOS: I usually write the basic parts and lyrics and then we flesh them out and put meat on them afterwards. Its easier that way and the songs sound more coherent that way. Having said that, there are songs that began from a guitar riff that Nick was playing incessantly (usually in my ear through his clip-on Marshall Amp while I’m trying to read or do something important) and it’ll stick and I’ll get a melody outta it, or Gregor will be wandering around whistling a nice melody that would make a good vocal melody that I’ll put over a guitar riff. Once the basics are down, however, we all get together and have fun trying to make the songs sound good. As for the Scottish thing, we have no idea where that comes from…Maybe we drink too much Irn Bru.

TSP: Finally, you are originally from Chicago.  How does Glasgow compare to Chicago in terms of music, venues and atmosphere?

JOS: I haven’t lived in Chicago for 4 years, but when I did I was in a band and it was nice but I definitely didn’t feel as though Chicago fostered the same kind of support networks for bands that Glasgow does. Glasgow’s musical atmosphere is amazing. Also, there are a lot of people here who keep the scene alive by organizing gigs all the time for all the new bands. The promoters should be commended for that, really. Last time I went back home I was shocked to find that my friend’s bands (who are excellent) hardly ever played live. And they were shocked to find that there are so many venues and gigs and bands playing live every day over here. I feel really lucky for that and for having two dudes to play with who are so incredibly talented. There’s the cheese.

For full interview, see Interview with The Steinberg Principle, February 16, 2010.

Sparrow and the Workshop – I will break you


Brian Jonestown Massacre – Anemone (live 2008)


Photo Credit: Skin UBX