Thursday, 29 November 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Flutes

Not enough bands feature flutes these days.  Going some way to address this imbalance are Flutes, some of whom are exiled Scots living in old London town.  They don't actually have a flute in the band, but the though still counts!  Their two tracks released so far this year, 'Auld Archie' and 'Sand' have been melodic stoaters, and their album is released on 5th December.  We caught up with Godfrey from the band for a chat.

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

We write pretty honest, lyrically explicit alternative folk rock music which is influenced mainly by Scottish acts such as The Twilight Sad, Mogwai and King Creosote as well as being informed by non-Celtic bands such as The National, Interpol and The Smiths.  We didn't really consider ourselves folky until we started to write this album and integrated cello and violin into a lot of songs... especially some of the darker ones.

What's your song writing process like?

It tends to start with Rob (guitars) and I spending hours on end in a wee room in West London bashing out ideas until we find something that we hope Alex (drums) and Andy (bass, piano) won't hate.  From there, we'll work the song up as a band and often the original demo Rob and I have recorded will be totally torn to pieces by Alex and Andy... normally for the better.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

We actually haven't played live as Flutes yet.  Our first show will be our album launch on Thursday December 6th in London before we come back to Glasgow on 14th December for a launch at Sleazy's.  We've been working hard recently and have welcomed a new member into the band to play the piano parts. Plus we should have violin, cello, clarinet and a choir for both the shows.  We've always seen playing live as being as important as recording... which is probably why it took us so long to make an album (7 years!)

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

I'd be sad if it ended tomorrow... I don't want to think about it.  I feel like it's only just started.  I'm trying to stay optimistic here.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012 and into the new year?

We've got the launches in Glasgow and London plus a radio session for Edinburgh University and an in-store at Avalanche Records.  We're also releasing our album on vinyl on Wednesday 5th December - I bought a record deck the other day and we all sat round listening to it and inspecting the grooves on the record (aye, we're old and sad).  Oh, and next year we're going to have a big party for Burns' Night on Friday 25th January.   We'll be releasing our second single 'Kilburn' then and will hopefully have some friends of ours playing with us.  And there's a cheeky cover to follow but more on that later.

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

We miss it.  Being in London you can get lost really easily which is why we decided to focus on writing rather than playing gigs.  We'd played too many pay to play gigs and it becomes unfair on your friends.  The reaction North of border has been overwhelming and I'm glad that I've not lost my accent having been down here for so long.

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

How long have you got?  Top of the list has to be our producer Jamie Savage's band Olympic Swimmers - easily one of the albums of the year lyrically and musically.   We're going to see them support Admiral Fallow (another cracking band) soon and I'm really excited.  I really like Gav Prentice's album - honest, direct and no messing about.  A friend of mine played in a band called VCheka whose album is totally insane and just so wonderful - in fact I'm glad you asked that question as I'm listening to them again and it's brilliantly mad.  Reminds me a tad of an old Scottish band called Fickle Public.   I can't ever get enough of The Twilight Sad, Errors and Mogwai although I assume your readers are pretty au fait with them.  Andy (bass, piano) and I went to uni with some guys from Kid Canaveral and Broken Records so we have ended up seeing them both hundreds of times... and they never let us down.  Also, I think French Wives' album was a cracker and I'm surprised it didn't do better.  Shall I stop now?  I haven't mentioned De Rosa, Emma Pollock, RM Hubbert, King Creosote et al...  Oh, before I forget - there's a semi Scottish band called The Magnetic North who I'd advise having a listen to.  Their whole album was recorded in Orkney and based on a dream the singer/lyricist had.  I got a bit teary when I saw them at a festival this year (although I was drinking whisky at 11 in the morning.)

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

Was it not David Cameron who when asked to share a joke retorted 'hilariously' Nick Clegg?  Dave's a great guy... so I'll go with Nick Clegg.

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