We spoke to Lemonhaze ahead of their single launch on 30th October 2017...
TCR - Firstly, what music are you all listening to just now? Do you all like the same stuff?
L - We are all into different music but nothing too far removed from your usual guitar based stuff. At the moment, we're all digging Neon Waltz debut album - Strange Hymns. Thats had a few spins recently. Theres another band we all cant get enough of, they're called Cigarettes After Sex... The music is so chilled out and perfect for getting stoned to.
TCR - We haven't heard any new music since the brilliant 'Mercury' from last year. What have you been doing since then?
L - At the start of the year we had a bit of a reshuffle of the members in the band. Since then weve been writing, rehearsing and playing lots of gigs and festivals. Above all that we have a new Single MORNING SUN out on 30.10.17. Which will be accompanied by a music video.
TCR - When we released 'So-Called Facts', Lemonhaze were a four-piece. Has the line-up changed since then?
L - As stated before, the reshuffle happened when Steve's brother Robert left. Now we have Gav, who plays rhythm guitar and backing vocals. We also parted ways with our synth player. Ged takes up that role now as well as singing and is doing a great job!
TCR - Who writes the songs in the band and how do they come to fruition?
L - Steve writes the majority of the songs in the band. Including the upcoming release, MORNING SUN. With past releases its been a collaboration between Ged and Steve and theres a few tunes where all members have had an input in writing the lyrics and melodies. The tunes come to fruition after spending a few rehearsals going over an idea or a demo that Steve has recorded at home. We try to critique each instrument and vocal to ensure its purposeful and intentional.
TCR - What is it that motivates you to do what you do?
L - All of us are eager to pursue a career out of this band. We have faith in our style of music and the tunes we produce. We've stumbled blindly through our first few years, with no real insight or guidance into the workings of running a band, recording or releasing professionally produced music that competes with our peers in the Scottish music scene. That being said, we still have no guidance however, We've come this far, made a few ripples, played a few massive gigs and are still up for it!
TCR - Are you happy with the state of the music industry in 2017?
L - If you are referring to the fake, mass produced, shoved down your throat by the media, Ant & Dec shambles of a music industry. Then no. It's horrifically S**t.
The REAL music industry... and we dont exclusively mean the part of the underground indie industry we are in... (which funnily enough, should be shoved down our throats). We mean the music industry that produces bands that inspire us to keep going, reminds us that its not all about fame and fortune but, about creating good music that feeds the soul.
That industry is and has been a thriving success in 2017. Theres so many great labels with great bands on them. Bands that put in the hard work, go on tour and do what they love. Another bonus is the resurrection of vinyl and cassettes. It has helped existing bands re-sell previous releases on a different format and at the same time, its opened up another avenue for up and coming bands to make the money back spent on recording, artwork, travelling and rehearsing. As opposed to relying on download sales.
TCR - You played the famous Oxford Street venue 'The 100 Club' last summer - tell us about that experience?
L - It was one of the best experiences as a band we've had. We supported The Close Lobsters, it was a sell out! It was full on from start to finish. The gig was on a Saturday. We headed down to London on the Friday. Everyone was p**sed before we even hit the border. Somewhere between the hours of midnight on Friday and 5am on Saturday our rhythm guitarist at the time (Rab) booked a flight to Glasgow and flew home.
We were a man down for the show... It was hilarious then and still is but, that didn't stop us putting on a great performance that night!
TCR - Do you have any plans to tour next year?
L - We are filling up our diary for next year. As always we are trying to spread our wings and venture beyond Scotland.
TCR - In Edinburgh, at Hogmanay 2016 you arguably played your biggest live show as a band when you played with Paolo Nutini. Can you tell us a little bit about that day/night? Was it what you expected?
L - Again, it was a brilliant experience from start to finish. We were treated like kings. It was everything we expected and more. The gig was immense and the fireworks were second to none.
Our dressing room was next door to The Vegan Leather who are good friends of ours. It just so happened there was a connecting door from our room into their room. That was swiftly wedged open and we partied with them after the gig. Then Paolo came through with a few gifts and invited us back to his "secret" party back in Glasgow. So, thats how we started off 2017. Rock and roll, eh?
TCR - What do you think the chances of your hometown (Paisley) being voted as City of Culture 2021? Have you offered to write the official song for their bid?
L - We are confident that Paisley will win their bid for City of Culture. Paisley has always been a buzzing hive of culture. However, this bid has set the stage and really helped the poets, musicians and artists come out the woodwork to show off what is characteristically engrained in the people of the town.
We have had involvement with the 2021 bid and have been asked to feature on the official 2021 album but sadly, due to our workload at the time we were unable to submit a song for the project.
TCR - Where can we see you live before the end of the year?
L - We will be playing The Garage in Glasgow on the 10th of November to launch our new Single - MORNING SUN. Check out our TWITTER and FACEBOOK for more details.
More than 3 years after Twin City Records released the bands debut EP, we caught up with Stephen from 'The Apparells'...
- Whats the current line up of the band? Still a 4-piece?
We are now a five piece. Lee - Guitar/vocals, Stevie - guitar, Jay - drums, myself on bass and the addition of Rod Spark on Hammond which has added a new dimension to the band and creates a whole host of different textures to our songs.
- What genre would you like to be labelled under?
Thats tricky as we are always progressing our sound as we go.
I suppose Psychedelic indie rock just about sums us up at the moment.
- You played a few dates in America last year - how was that?
Yeah that was fantastic, after the initial scare of being refused entry due to visa issues. We played two nights in Philadelphia before heading to Atlantic City then up to New York. It was great to play in front of different audiences and we noticed that most folk at the gigs were there to enjoy the full night of music, and really took part in the whole occasion. We were made very welcome by all the bands and the crowds enthusiasm really made it a memorable trip. Only bad point was when I thought I was having a cardiac arrest after running up the rocky steps at the Philadelphia museum of art. I'm sure theres a video somewhere but thats for a later date, haha.
- We see you played the famous King Tuts again last month and you hit Glasgow next month playing Nice N Sleazys, do have any other live shows lined up this year?
Nice N Sleazys on the 21st Oct is the only date we have penciled in at this point. Its an important gig for us as we will be supporting 90's indie band Thousand Yard Stare on their UK tour. I caught them live when they reformed last year for a couple of gigs and they were fantastic. You won't want to miss this one.
- We haven't heard anything new since Matter Of Taste EP last year, do you have any new material in the pipeline?
Yes we are currently in the studio recording and hope to have an EP out pretty soon with our debut album and tour to follow not too far behind. We are really excited with the progress so far. Our aim is to improve with every recording and we feel we will have achieved that with the album. Watch this space.
- Were you happy with reception you received from Matter of Taste?
It done ok, considering that the release was rather low key. It was a transitional period for the band as well with Paddy leaving and Stevie who had recently joined on keys then moving on to guitar. We then performed it live on STV Glasgow and it took on a new lease of life. First song Behind the Lines featured on Real XS future classics in Manchester and was also included in the March of the Mods charity CD for the Teenage Cancer Trust, so we were pleased with that.
- How do you feel about the current state of the music industry in Scotland?
I think the Scottish music scene is as vibrant and healthy as its ever been, so many gigs of all genre's to choose from on a weekly basis, some fantastic bands at the moment. More folk are listening to music than ever before, the hard part though is switching them on to new independent music rather than only whats being pushed by the major labels. There are more and more local radio stations playing unsigned acts as well as loads of small festivals giving acts a stage to showcase their talents. So it bodes well for the future.
- What are you and the lads listening to right now? Do you all have the same taste?
I've been listening to the new abums by Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub and Augustines. I'll also check out a lot of unsigned bands, mostly just singles though as they release them. Not sure what the other guys are listening to but we all have different tastes which I think makes for a good mix when we are writing our own songs.
- Finally, where can your fans buy/listen to your music?
You can buy Reflections and Matter taste EP's on all the major online stores, iTunes/google play/amazon. Also stream on Deezer/ Spotify .
you can also like us on Facebook to keep up with any future releases, live dates etc.
The Apparells play 'Nice N Sleazys' in Glasgow supporting indie favourites 'Thousand Yard Stare' on their UK tour on 21 October 2016. Tickets available from the band or via Ticket Scotland.