Answered by frontman Euan Purves
What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I’d say the inciting incident for myself would have to be going to see Palma Violets play at The Liquid Room in 2013. At that point in time, I was already a bit of a music aficionado, blasting the schoolyard staples like Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian at every opportunity. But it was from that night on that I realised what it meant to a true fan of music, experiencing the sanctity of live performance for the first time. The way the band had such a magnetic hold on everyone in the crowd really struck me, so not long after that, me and Ross started writing together with hopes of starting our own band. A few years and line up changes later, we crossed paths with Alan and Lewis in one of Glasgow’s watering holes (probably the Priory) and really hit it off from the start. We’ve been playing together ever since.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
The song was born out of a frustration with the effect the World Wide Web is having on the planet. On paper, we’re more connected than ever; images and ideas can cross continents in the blink of an eye, yet we’re ironically drifting further apart. It’s easy on the Internet to lose your sense of reality and start seeing individuals as mere members of the global conglomerate. In his study Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, Timothy Garton Ash uses the term “cosmopolis” to describe the way that Earth now functions much like a huge interconnected city and we thought it would be an extremely appropriate title for the track.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
We draw from a wealth of different sources; the post punk revival of the Noughties, early garage rock bands (The Stooges, The 13th Floor Elevators) and the pop sensibilities of Motown to name but a few. Additionally, songwriters like Nick Cave and Bob Dylan have had a huge impact on the way that I construct lyrics, both showcasing true storytelling set to a melody. Outside of music, my love of reading has definitely left its mark on our output. Writers such as George Orwell, Irvine Welsh and Franz Kafka have given me a love for a good metaphor, as well as taught me to see the ugliness of life yet rise above it, a sentiment which manifests itself as the tongue-in-cheek tone in some of my words.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
We’re a pop band at heart, taking the introspection of post punk and intensity of rock’n’roll to form danceable tunes worth thinking about. I feel a lot of our contemporaries don’t put the right amount of effort into their lyrics. Sonically, sure the song might have a lot going on, but if the words are contrived and merely platitudes then the whole thing falls apart.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
All Day Music – War
Murder Ballads – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Wide Awake! – Parquet Courts
The Outsider – Albert Camus
The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Clerks – Kevin Smith
Dr Strangelove – Stanley Kubrick
Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
It would have to be playing live, hands down. Although there is something special about recording a track and seeing it come to life piece by piece, it’s really just a means to the end goal of performing before an audience. That’s why we’re all in a band at the end of the day; to stand on a stage and let the world hear our creative output in the flesh.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Last year, we were in dire need of some new press shots, so we headed down to Portobello beach with the fabulous photographer Rosie Sco. En route, someone had the bright idea of us being buried up to our necks in the sand; a good idea on paper but the execution left a lot to be desired. Firstly, we had only brought one shovel, the majority of us had to dig with our hands which obviously took an age. Once we were all in a hole big enough for the four of us, we realised that Rosie at a certain point would have to fill it in herself. This took even longer, to no fault of her own. Now on a nice sunny day, time wouldn’t be an issue, however, we had decided to do the shoot in the middle of February. It was (and I can’t stress this enough) Baltic. It was that cold none of us could muster much more than a grimace. We were submerged in the frosty wet sand for far longer than anyone would have wished, but we did get some cracking photos out of the ordeal. Art is pain as they say.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I would have to say our last single, War & Orange Juice. It’s by far one of my favourites in the setlist and really stands out as an example of where we’re headed in the future. The track obviously takes a lot from punk, a genre that’s really seen a resurgence in recent years, yet combines that influence with more contemporary stylings to really bring it into the modern age. Swooning falsettos, jagged guitars playing off kilter chords and apocalyptic lyrics (relevant as ever) merge together to produce a perfect storm.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
As soon as it is sensible to do so, we’ll be back to playing gigs up and down the country, as many as we can handle. It would be good to get back down south and visit some cities we’ve not had the pleasure seeing yet. North of the border, we’re organising a pretty special show, our biggest to date and a culmination of everything we’ve been working on from day one. We’re extremely excited to announce it, but that’s all I can say for now. And of course, there will be plenty of new music on the way this year and beyond
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
What’s the worst job you’ve ever worked at?
My first experience with the world of hospitality had me doing advertising for a local pizza company. And by that I mean standing next to one of Falkirk’s busiest roundabouts dressed in a giant pizza box. A fanfare of car horns and jeers filled every minute of that shift, though I remember the pay being generous for something that essentially metamorphosed me into a walking talking billboard. I’ve never been as humiliated since and I probably never will, unless people start throwing rotten tomatoes at our concerts.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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