I am such a fickle chap sometimes. For ages I turned my nose up at Aerials Up for no reason other than they seemed to get a lot of gigs supporting Snow Patrol. What makes me even more stupid is that I actually really like the ‘Patrol, which I guess loses me several indie street cred points, but fuck it I don’t care.
Thankfully though, my stubbornness was worn down and I can now hold up my hands and admit that Aerials Up are a great band, with some of the catchiest pop songs that I have heard in ages. Having won the Emerging Talent Award at last years Tartan Clefs, the band have just released their new Superglue EP, an infectious pop record that delivers on their early promise. I caught up with Kemy from the band for some Scots Way-Hay action, so here’s a wee insight into the world of Aerials Up…
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hi I’m Kemy from Aerials Up, I sing and play guitar.
How would you describe the music you make?
We always try to make music that makes an impact. Recently we have been trying to hold back a bit a leave the best part till the end, also trying to simplify the writing. A song like ‘all your mothers daughters’ was hard to write because it kept wanting to grow and expand, but the key to that song is that it really only changes twice in about 4 and a half minutes. With seven people in the band, the options are endless in terms of adding parts and hooks, we are trying to write songs that grab people, and if they turn out to be catchy then great!
How did you come together as a band?
I got offered an arena support with Snow Patrol with an old band, but for ages I’d been feeling really unsatisfied with the music we were doing. I had a hard drive full of material but didn’t have the band to do it, so Murphy met Cat at a gig and asked her to play strings, luckily she agreed and introduced us to Ruth. Neil was put in touch with us through some other contacts and he slotted in so well, everything really clicked when he joined. Me and Murphy had been in The Ads before so we were really trying to build soothing around us that we felt could be special. Then when Debbie and Chris joined it became that. Chris new Cat from a previous band and we found Debbie through another contact. We checked her out online and her solo stuff was amazing, she agreed to join and Aerials Up were complete!
How did you start out making music?
I started writing punk stuff in college, I was a huge pixies fan, also stuff like Talking Heads, Magazine, Television, mostly post punk stuff. I tried to copy Ian Curtis buy never really cracked it. When I got a job in a record shop I got exposed to a lot of new music, especially from the classical section. I grown up playing piano buy never really appreciated it, so I guess the mix of strings and heavy guitars is what we are all about.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
I normally sit at home and write the songs then bring them to Cat and Ruth, we then sit and figure out where the song will go from there. Then Murphy and Chris add the spine of the song and Neil just sprinkles the gold! The lyrics normally take a while, I used to just write what ever popped into my head, but a few things have happened recently that I want to give proper respect too. So in trying to focus more heavily on what in saying, not for any kind of catharsis, its just what I feel the most involved with right now.
Who are your big musical influences?
I would say we all bring a bit of our own personal taste into the band, for me I love bands like Talking Heads, the Pixies, a little prog stuff like early Jethro Tull, I’ve borrowed a few ideas from Wish Bone Ash too, just now in quite into Miike snow, and the latest Feist album.
What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?
I think the things I am writing about just now could happen anywhere to anyone, so geographically I don’t feel constrained or too heavily saturated by my surroundings. Though saying that the last song we just finished is about trying to get away. But I love that I can get on my bike and be out in the country in about ten mins. Admittedly East Kilbride wouldn’t top many people’s wish list on places to see, but I wouldn’t have my friends or fiancée had I not lived here so I wouldn’t change it. My dream is to live way out in the sticks though with a couple of dogs.
What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?
They can expect some honest decent music with no pretence. I couldn’t care less about ‘ the scene ‘ and the cool kids can keep doing what they are doing. We write solid songs that have something worth saying. We love it and if the audience can feel that then we have done our job.
Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?
Our recent Celtic connections show at the Arches was great! It was a little rough around the edges but it was all the better for it. Bellahouston park was incredible. 25,000 people is pretty intimidating but the sun came out and people actually listened. I’m really looking forward to a festival down in Wales this year and Tuts next Saturday.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?
We are releasing our first EP Superglue and we have also organised our own UK tour. We will go back into the studio in August for another release in September.
Aerials Up new EP ‘Superglue’ is available to download now on iTunes, Play.com, Napster and Tesco Digital, to name but a few.
You can stream two tracks from the EP on Soundcloud
Check out the bands website for future live dates.
More from Lloyd at Peenko