So by now pretty much all other sites have finished with their tips for the year ahead. Not me, I like to stretch these things out. Milk it for all it’s worth I say. Next week we’ll be returning to normal Scots Way-Hay action which, admittedly, is  structured in exactly the same format as these ‘Ones To Watch in 2011’ posts.

To finish things off I have gone with Finn LeMarinel, an artist who I have known about for a few years now, but that was purely down to him being the frontman of Scottish ‘math-rocker’ outfit Trapped in Kansas. His solo material is somewhat different to his ‘day job’, in that he is more akin to the legendary RM Hubbert with his ‘tipsy-tapsy’ guitar strumming. Funnily enough, Finn has just signed up to Hubby’s label, Ubisano, which makes a lot of sense I guess.

His debut EP, ‘I’m Through’ which came out last May, clearly shows that Hubby’s post-rock flamenco sound has been a massive influence on Finn. This of course is a massive plus point in my book, add to this his luscious sounding voice and you’ve got quite an amazing sound. Anyway, I think that’s enough of my ramblings for another week, here’s Finn to tell you a bit more about himself…..

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Finn LeMarinel. Human. Male.

What inspires the music you make?

I find inspiration a tough word to link in with my music, I see it more as fulfilment of a need. I see writing music as a way offsetting a sort dull bruise on my skin that continuously makes me aware of its presence with a familiar but relentless pain. I need the bruise and the bruise needs me, sometimes when I’m writing music the bruise will become the antithesis of itself..much like when you invert a picture on photoshop. Suddenly the bruise becomes pleasant like its releasing endorphins. Its a rush. That is why I write music. I sometimes also write about family and relationships..that happens.

What artists do you feel that you have an affinity with?

I listen to lots of music..there are lots of artists..hmm..I sense that I might have to involve a list…lists are boring though. The two artists I’m listening to most the moment are Cast Spells and Joanna Newsom..they are my favourites, I reckon. My dad had (and still has) a really cool c.d mum used to live abroad so I used to tirelessly make her mixtapes by recording tracks from c.d on to tape, I took these mixtapes very seriously..the spaces inbetween tracks where verging on surgical precision..two seconds every time, all the time, no excuses. I planned out the track order of the tapes in my notebook while laboriously listening through every album my dad owned. I loved doing it, I gave every album a chance, and even if the first eleven tracks were utter shit there was a chance that the twelfth track on the album might fit the mood perfectly..I couldn’t guarantee it, but why take chances. It was through this process that I started to realise that all music had value (in that it was worth listening to and taking something from) even if it was manufactured or surface value..It still had value. So to answer the question I feel I have an affinity with anyone who makes music whether they are masquerading as an artist or not. Having said all this..sometimes music just doesn’t connect with me..apart from funk..I only listen to funk..exclusively.

For people out there that have never heard of you, why they should they check you out?

The fact they have never heard of me should be reason enough…people should be curious of new things, otherwise..what’s the point.

What do you enjoy more, playing live or being in the studio?

I’ve been in studio quite a lot recently with my band and that’s been really fun. As for which I enjoy more.. I don’t know..they are completely different reptiles I reckon, if I was forced to go with a particular species it would probably be an iguana for recording and a crocodile for playing live.

Your debut album is coming out on RM Hubbert’s label, Ubisano, how did that come about?

I’ve been a total fan boy of Hubby’s guitar playing for ages..I then met him through Halina Rafia (who is brilliant) and he turned out to a real nice guy. He asked me recently if I wanted to release an album through his label Ubisano, which he runs with John and I said yes please, that would be amazing and..rad. I’m really excited

The music you make with your other band, Trapped In Kansas, is quite different to your solo stuff, do you find it easier working on your own or do you prefer having bandmates around you to bounce ideas off?

First of the Kansas stuff that is available is a lot older, I feel I’ve moved on since then and I think the new Kansas material will show that process, the solo stuff I have recorded is a little bit further down the line..but still relatively old. I find it easier working alone, it’s what I’m more used to. Trapped in Kansas is a beautiful thing I reckon, it’s changed my life for sure and I think it has of the other members to. What we do is very much a group effort and I hope the music we make, disregarding whether other people say it’s good or not, is honest and of course interesting. I feel at the moment I am at an exciting period of time for both Kansas and my solo stuff, I’m excited anyhow. If again someone forced me, possibly at gun point, to assign an animal to each project I would say my solo stuff was probably a border collie while Trapped in Kansas is most definitely an emperor penguin.

Are there any new up and coming artists that you would recommend I check out?

Right for this one I’m going to shirk responsibility and just use a list: Zefs Chasing Cara, Carson Wells, So Many Animal Calls, Pensioner, Vicki Cole (one day she will record her songs), Verse Metrics, Run Lucky Free, The Darien Venture, Its All Happening, I Build Collapsible Mountains, Esperi, Randolph’s Leap (who I have a suspicion you might be aware of), Amber Wilson, Let’s Buy Happiness There’s loads and loads more, my memories a sieve

What can we expect to see and hear from you in 2011?

Music I hope..lots and lots of music.

Finn LeMarinel – Is This All They Are

Finn’s EP ‘I’m Through’ is available to download through iTunes and you can also stream it on Spotify. You can catch Finn playing live supporting RM Hubbert at the Arches on the 26th of February. Tickets are on sale here.


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