Tuesday, 8 October 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Giant Fang

ife on the road can be tough, especially for a tour manager.  Which is why it's mind-numbingly impressive that producer and musician Douglas Wilson found time to put together his alter-ego Giant Fang.  What started off as Wilson writing and recording each part himself, has grown into a full scale band, achingly passionate live shows, and some of the best windswept '80's drenched electro anthems this side of CHVRCHES.  I caught up with the man himself for a chat.

Hello, how are you?

I’m good thanks.  Good, despite being in Wolverhampton.

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

Giant Fang is something that I started around three years ago when I was working full-time as a tour manager.  I began writing music in spare time on the road with the intention of putting a band together, however touring full-time doesn’t really allow you much of a social life, so I decided to just do it all, or as much of it as I could myself.  I have always aimed for a big, widescreen sound; I take a lot of influence from bands like of Sigur Ros and Mew, however I’ve probably listened to a few too many Roxette albums in my time, so I guess a lot of the sounds and texture I use are from that era.  I love how 80s music is pretty much just everything to the max all the time.

What's your song-writing / creative process like?

Slow.  Very, very slow.  Having spent so much of my recent life on tour, finding spare time, and more importantly spare time when you’re not completely drained, can be pretty difficult. When I first started, and out of necessity more than anything else really, I would try and lock myself away my bunk on the bus and just immerse myself in it.  Touring is really not a healthy creative environment, so it’s been good this year to be able to take time off from it and allow myself the space to sit down and actually just write in my own time.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

The live show is full-band and high energy, I have some great musicians who play with me and we try to recreate as much live of what is on record as possible.  I’ve tried to keep live shows to a minimum, as I want to concentrate on getting the album done, but it’s very hard because it’s my favourite part of the whole thing!

What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?

I think actually just getting to the stage where I released my first single, that was an incredibly proud moment for me.

How has being on the road as tour manager and session musician shaped how you're approaching Giant Fang?

I guess a lot of new musicians are impatient when they start out, they want to sign a record deal, they want to go on tour and party and because of that, they rush into things.  I have worked with artists who have rushed into putting out albums or rushed into working relationships that really didn’t work for them, and it’s really tough.  I’m under no illusion of how difficult it can be to be successful as a recording artist, so for me it is very important that everything I do is done on my own terms, because at the end of the day, I’m doing this purely for the enjoyment of creating music.

What have you got planned next?

My next single is out November 4th and I’ve got a couple of shows lined up in the UK.  I’m also working on collaboration with one of the artists I’ve previously toured with, which is very exciting.  Beyond that, I’m just writing for the album.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

I’m listening to the new CZARFACE record a lot right now.  It’s Inspectah Deck from Wu-tang with 7L & Esoteric, so it’s pretty retro sounding, but really cool.  I also love the Chvrches record, it’s as good as I’d hoped it would be.

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

I only know one so don’t shoot me if it’s shite….

What’s grey and would kill you if it fell out of a tree? 

A carpark.

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