Tuesday, 7 August 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Algernon Doll

The forlorn figure in the above picture is Ewan Grant, who under the pseudonym Algernon Doll produces fantastic music.  Lo-fi, melodic and full of raw emotion he has recently released his album 'Camomile'.  Have a read below at what Ewan had to say when he popped in for the banter. 

Hello, how are you?

I'm good man, hope you're well!

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

I just want to portray an honest and very real portrait of who I am, from my, sometimes crippling, depression to the odd things that make me smile and hold that quirky beauty.  My attitude is strongly influenced by the values of the punk rock community who have always made me feel welcome and inspired me.  It's more trying to capture feelings and atmospheres than trying to emulate a band or artist that I admire.  You're always going to be second best at being someone else.

What's your song writing process like?

With this music I tend to just take it out of a time and place.  It sometimes feels like songs are there to be plucked out of the ether and it's all about experiencing life till one falls into your lap.  I can definitely say that, recently, it's been a lot more natural.  Maybe a bit too natural as I have like 240 voice memos on my phone and I'm not going to tell you that the majority of them are gold!

What could we expect to see from a live show?

I'm currently doing acoustic shows with some pedals and a cool copper mic that just seems to feedback.  It's a bit Elliott Smith-y, I'm told, and I think that's down to me trying to be as passionate as possible.  I find a lot of plain acoustic shows quite samey so I do what I can to engage the audience.  I'm also putting together a band to do the louder tracks right now.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

I hope it won't!  I was really honoured to play Book Yer Ane Fest last year in Dundee.  It's a 3 day event with bands from all over the globe to raise funds for SafeTay, a charity close to my heart.  I'm also pretty proud of my album, "Camomile" which I've released online and almost ready to release on 12"!

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

I'm in the studio now with Tom Mitchell (Tom Mitchell Productions) working on an album I'm really excited about, so that should be nearing completion.  Also, gigging hard with Struggletown 15 at Bloc on the 9th of August, Franz Nicolay in Dundee on the 22nd and Esperi and Lovers Turn To Monsters on the 23rd at NiceNSleazys!

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

It appears to be thriving!  The guys in the Make-That-A-Take collective and the Struggletown records guys have always been really good to me.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Hmmm, right now I'm listening to the new Citizens record, it's a belter!  Kaddish, I feel, are always under-appreciated.  I love Aidan Moffat but I'm sure the readers will be well schooled in his antics!

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

Cheers Neil!  Oh dear....

Right, there's three polar bears sitting on an iceberg. Wan says, "Ah've got a tale to tell!"  The wean to the left says, "Naw! Ah've got a tale to tell!"  And the smallest polar bear on the right says, "My tail's told!"

You really, need to be doing the accents that I'm doing in my head for that!  It doesn't quite translate to writing but it's my mum's favourite!

Check our more from Algernon Doll

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