Tuesday, 19 February 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Walker Smith Jr.

Since I begun playing music there have been one or two re-occurring factors, a love of playing live, a continuous stream of new songs and a young man named Barry Carty.  If I had to label anyone as the second member of Lovers Turn To Monsters, it would be him.  Barry (the now vocalist and guitarist of Walker Smith Jr.) has been one of my closest friends since the beginning of high school, he’s always had a similar creative drive to myself and no matter what has always winded up playing a role in what I do musically in some way, shape or form.  We acted as the rhythm section for our first band The Park (more on that later), then moved to an outfit named The Breakers and a few years later Barry switched from drums to Bass and beefed up my scrawny pop punk numbers in our three piece Boygirlanimalcolour.

Recently though the boy over took me in the rat race and shipped through to Glasgow.  Never a man to take things slowly he set out looking for a drummer to start a two piece blues rock outfit in the vein of the White Stripes, Black Keys, or the Flat Duo Jets.  His call was promptly answered by Motherwell native Andrew Stephen and since late 2012 the two have been writing and booking gigs around the Glasgow circuit!  I caught up with them at their second gig at Glasgow’s Broadcast to run them through the Scottish Fiction: We're Only Here For The Banter questionnaire and threw in a few others myself for good measure…

It’s the question that everyone hates, but if you really had to, how would you describe your music?

Andy - Grunge. A wee bit...
Baz -   This might sound pretentious but it's a bit like '90's Seattle having a wee cuddle with '50's Americana; I would call it Scotch-A-Billy.  I literally came up with that right there! Considering the current climate of the Glasgow music scene it's like all of Glasgow crawling in yer eardrum.  I take influence from a bit of everything.
Andy - I forgot, you dinnae like the word grunge do you?
Baz -   I don't mind it!
Andy - Kurt Cobain-ish?  Haha!

I know you have both been in bands in the past, so what do you feel are the benefits of being a two piece rather than a full band?

Andy - It's easier to get the point across, plus travelling, setting up etc.
Baz  You don't need to be in key!  Bar my gorgeous vocals obviously.

What would you say are your main influences?

Andy Drumming wise I'm not sure actually, when I was younger I was really into Lars Ulrich’s drumming but there's not really anyone in particular I try to imitate.  I genuinely can't answer that question.  I was listening to Metallica earlier, maybe a wee bit of Oasis?
Baz   Dex Romweber (Flat Duo Jets) is a fantastic guitarist.  But pretty much just pop culture from when I was born to now.

Do you share any then?

Baz   Emotionally so much haha.
Andy - Well the first time we met we discussed a lot.
Baz   We're both very open minded, but we're talked a lot about Kings Of Leons first two albums, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Grohl’s drumming in Nirvana particularly, Muddy Waters, Seasick Steve, stuff of that nature.

What can people expect from a live show?

Baz -   Sweat.

Plans for the new year?

Andy Gigging!
Baz -   Give everything a try, just get out there and let folk hear us!

Here at Mr Wilson’s Scottish Fiction we pride ourselves in representing the best of the Scottish music scene, do you feel the Scottish music scene is at a good place?  In your opinion are there any acts that standout?

Andy - I love the Scottish music scene at the moment, I'm big fan of CHVRCHES, Bwani Junction, there's just so much.
Baz   It's a great scene, everyone has their place!  I'm a big fan of Holy Mountain and of course Lovers Turn To Monsters...
(*editors note- Barry continued to gush about LTTM for hours here, I thought it was only fair to cut him off)

I dread to ask but whilst we have you here would you mind sharing a joke?

Baz -    A bear and a rabbit go into the woods together and they're both taking a s**** and the bear asks if the rabbit ever has problems with s**** sticking to his fur.  The rabbit says no, so he picks him up and wipes his arse with him...
Andy - I literally can't think of a joke. I'm that sad!
Baz -    Which is a joke in itself... 

Walker Smith Jr. have just finished recording their first EP this very weekend.  So keep checking their Facebook page for all the info and roasting hoat patter...

Whilst here, why not also check out the little video I made of them practicing last month as well.


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