Thursday, 8 September 2011

We're Only Here For The Banter - Shambles Miller

Campbell Miller, A.K.A. Shambles Miller, is your friendly neighbourhood singer/songwriter. Shambles hails from Glasgow and has a lovely way with words, weaving between political commentary and humour with ease. He has released two EP's, 'Shambles vs. The Dragonwizard' and 'Shambles Sails The Clockwork Sea', both of which you can purchase from his bandcamp page. Shambles was kind enough to take some time out to take to us here at Scottish Fiction. Here's what he had to say (including compliments as usual!):

Hello, how are you?

Hello, I'm a bit hungry. Are you going to eat that?

No, no, feel free. Tell us a little bit about your music and influences.

Well, some of my influences are fairly obvious, being a singer/songwriter; Frank Turner, Billy Bragg, Beans on Toast, etc. My music is pretty lyric-based, I don't really see that there are things I can't, or shouldn't say in my songs. If I think it fits, or it's worth saying, or if it makes me laugh, I'll put it in. I'm generally inspired to write by anything I really care about and I always say I try to wear my heart on my sleeve with my music. Sometimes that leads to me ranting on political polemic, other times it leads to dirty jokes.

Scotland has a thriving music scene. How do you find being a part of that?

It's good. I like it. Haha, aye it's great, even for someone like me who isn't exactly the most well-known artist, I love that every gig I play introduces me to new bands or songwriters. It's kind of exciting when you're part of a music scene that has lots of different bands and artists trying to carve out their own wee niche. And when you get the recognition of musicians you admire, that feels pretty braw.

Which Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Canny go wrong with a bit of Reverieme or Andrew Lindsay and the Coat Hooks. I also recently played a show with We See Lights, whose songs have got stuck right in my brain. Julia and the Doogans are also braw, so's Little Fire, Where We Lay Our Heads, Loch Awe, Kitty the Lion...I could go on. Will I go on? No? Ok then. Are you- right, gotcha. Zip.

I'vealsobeenlisteningto Stanley Odd recentlyohandLouiefrom Hector Bizerk didaprettycoolfreealbumwith Bigg Taj thatcameoutatthestartofthisyear ok I'll stop.

What is your songwriting process like?

It differs from song to song, but the songs that make it onto my records and into my live sets are usually the ones which come the most naturally; lyrics, melody and chords all arriving at pretty much the same time. Not all of them of course, hence the title of my song "AAARRGGHHH!" (I had quite a bit of writer's block with that one)

How do you deal with the infamous 'singer/songwriter' tag?

Haha, some people are always going to dismiss you because they hear that phrase and think "well, I don't like that sort of thing", perhaps they prefer to listen to bands or rock music or they're not too interested in the lyrical side of things. But they know what they like, so that's fine. For everyone like that, there's someone who is more likely to give their time to your music because it's the sort of thing they DO like. There's a purity to the sound of one voice and one guitar; it's great when people really get it.

What could we expect to see/hear from your live shows?

See: I usually ride a huge tiger into the venue, right up to the stage. As I dismount, I engage the thrusters on my rocket boots and perform the whole gig roughly a foot off the ground, whilst sleight-of-hand magicians and dancing girls circulate through the crowd. Towards the end of my set, a midget dressed like Groucho Marx hands out chocolates and insults.

Hear: Ma tunes. Songs which will hopefully make folk smile. Or at least occasionally laugh then turn to the person sitting next to them and ask "did he just say...?"

Read: Me telling lies about what you'll see at my gigs.

How did the name 'Shambles' come about?

It's a nickname my friend gave me. Presumably it stems from my personality, general appearance and life choices.

What does the rest of 2011 hold for you?

I'm planning to release a single in the next few months, so I'll be busy with that, as well as gigging as much as I can. I'm looking forward to playing the Oxjam Glasgow Takeover again in October as well as my own headline show in November. Hopefully the world won't have ended by then.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

I went to the cash machine today to take out a tenner. The cash machine asked if I'd like an advice slip. I pressed yes and it printed out a wee bit of paper that said "Sort your life out".

You can check out more about Shambles Miller on his blog , on his bandcamp, on Facebook and on Twitter. Wow, what a multitude of options. Also here's a wee video for your viewing pleasure.

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