Sunday, 23 October 2011

We're Only Here For The Banter - Supermarionation

Any band who name themselves after a form of puppetry made famous by Thunderbirds, Stingray and my own personal favourite Captain Scarlett, are already a step ahead in my book. Supermarionation are three guys from Edinburgh, Dave, Sam and Steve to be precise, who produce punk pop music with a punch. With their debut EP, 'On The Fly', release a little under a year ago to some rather nice reviews, the band have taken a little of their time to have a chat.

Hello, how are you?

Pretty good thanks.

Tell us a little bit about your music and influences.

I never know how to describe our music. “Dave (our drummer) riding a lion in space” is my favourite but it not a useful reference point sound-wise. Punk powerpop is the best description I’ve come up with although we could just be described as a boring old alternative rock band. As a song writer, I think I’m most influenced by people who write good simple songs. I don’t like things that are complicated for the sake of it. Neil Young is a very big inspiration on that front and also as a vocalist. I’m not the greatest singer and he convinced me it didn’t matter.

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

It’s a pretty exciting thing. I feel a bit like a fraud who’s infiltrated a really artistic scene and no one’s figured me out yet. Although I’m pretty old, this is my first attempt at a band and while I’m always questioning whether I'm good enough to be a part of it everyone else is really encouraging, even if they personally don’t like what you’re doing.

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

I think PAWS are pretty up there at the moment although that seems like it’s becoming a clichĂ©. I also like Plastic Animals and Miaoux Miaoux a lot too and I think Adam Stafford is doing some interesting stuff. You should also checkout Lee Patterson, we’ve played with him a few times and he’s just awesome.

What is your songwriting process like?

I just try to polish the turds that come out. I wasn’t a songwriter before Supermarionation and we started as a few mates playing covers. It was only after we did a few gigs that we started to feel it was rude not to have our own material and so I began to try and bash some stuff out.

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

Three men who should be old enough to know better making a huge racket. Or a small racket if you happen upon one of our acoustic outings.
You've had two EP's out, 'On The Fly' and 'Amongst The Northern Lochs'. Plans for a third soon?

I hope so. We’re having some domestic changes in the New Year so things are going to slow down a little or maybe even stop. We’ve got the material and it would be nice to lay it down for posterity but we’re very much amateurs and sadly real life has to come first.

What does the rest of 2011 hold for you?

We’ve got an acoustic show at Edinburgh Unlimited on Wednesday 9th November in Medina (although its name may have changed) and we’ll hopefully get a few more gigs in before the end of the year. Given that 2012 will possibly herald the end and at the very least see activities substantially cut back, we’re keen to make the most of the time we’ve got left.

What's been your biggest achievement so far?

I think still being here. When we started out, all of us were just doing it for ourselves to see if we could and have some fun. At every stage it’s been a great surprise to find that other people are into it too and don’t mind if we continue. For both our EP launch nights, we’ve managed to get some mainstream press too. I’m not sure how exactly, but it definitely counts as an achievement in my book.

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

I farmed this one out to our bassist Sam who likes a joke or two and he came back with this bad boy:

I phoned the local gym and I asked if they could teach me how to do the splits. He said, "How flexible are you?" I said, "I can't make Tuesdays or Thursdays."

Check out more of Supermarionation on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

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