10 June 2009

Introducing - There Will Be Fireworks

There Will Be Fireworks have been on my radar for a while now, although unsigned the band are soon to release their eponymous album onto an unsuspecting public next month. They very kindly took a few minutes out of their time to answer some questions for me.

Would you care to introduce yourselves?

Hello, we are Nicholas McManus (guitar, vocals, other stuff), Gibran Farrah (guitar, violin, other stuff), David Madden (bass, whale noises) and Adam Ketterer (drums, glockenspiel). We are all from Glasgow en Ecosse.

How did you come up with the band name?

I don't think any of us can properly remember. We were round at our chum Danny's house and we'd had a few beverages. The next day we all woke up with "There Will Be Fireworks" in our phone inboxes. We are so unimaginative when it comes to nomenclature that it just stuck. I don't know if it really has any meaning that we have long since forgotten, but I'd like to think it does.

What artists would you say have had the biggest influence on the band?

Hmm... We've never tried to consciously sound like another band and we all have quite varied musical tastes. So I hesitate to speak on behalf of everybody but I reckon Bright Eyes, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, At the Drive-In, Cocteau Twins, Neutral Milk Hotel have all had varying degrees of influence. And other stuff that won't necessarily be immiediately apparent, like Fionn Reagan and Iron and Wine.

Is this something that you would like to make a living out of?

I really don't know. I mean, yes - but the chances are ridiculously slim and we don't have any delusions that we'll be cruising about in Ferraris wearing velvet smoker jackets just because we can play guitar a bit. We all do other stuff and the band is really just a glorified hobby for us. I think we all quite like it that way. It doesn't mean we're less serious about it or less good, and we don't hold anything back of ourselves in the writing/recording process; however, it does mean that we can work at whatever pace we choose and can do more or less whatever we want. Money hasn't been a motivating factor; we've just wanted to write songs that we like. Money would be nice, though. We accept donations, thankyouplease.

You recorded your debut album out at the Old Mill Studios in Strathaven, how did that come about?

Our first ever recording session was at Old Mill in December 2007. Madden, the bassist, had been researching places and thought that the Mill looked nice because it has a beautiful ampitheatre and was built in the 17th Century and everything. He phoned Marshall Craigmyle - the Mill's hirsute owner/engineer/wizard - and they had a wee chat and bonded over a love of the Twilight Sad. So we went there and did three songs (one of which has been slightly reworked and is on the album) and absolutely fell in love with the place and, even more so, fell in love with Marshall. After having such a good time (and a productive time) we knew that when it came to do the album, there was nowhere else we would go. So aye, we went back over te period of a year to do the album, and as we got more and more savvy production-wise, the Mill became more and more important. It is a little bit of heaven in Strathaven, albeit a little bit smelly, is ludicrously cheap for what is on offer, and I would recommend it to anyone, ever.

You are releasing the album yourselves, how hard was it for you to go about dealing with all the various aspects such as costs, promotion, etc?

We're still dealing with these aspects! Eek. It's not been too difficult, and not actually too costly. It can get a bit tiresome though because me and AK (drums) do pretty much all the boring administrative stuff - we spend a lot of time emailing people. We paid for all the recording ourselves: that was the most expensive thing overall, but we are all thrifty savers and the price was stupidly cheap for the amount of hours we spent in the studio. We got the CDs pressed by a company in London, and it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. The artwork was all done by us using photographs taken by a friend, so there was no financial outlay there. We haven't done any promotion at all. We probably should though. Promotion wise, all we've done is pay a graphic artist £20 to make a poster.

You have been gaining a lot of buzz on various music blogs, how do you feel about being labelled as a ‘buzz band’?

Well, we're not really aware of it, so it's quite nice if that is the case. We want people to hear our stuff and enjoy it, and if people feel motivated enough to blog about us then that is wickedcool.

Have you started to attract attention from any labels and is this something that you would welcome?

Nothing concrete, but we've heard very tentative whisperings. We haven't really sent demos out or anything like that. Would we welcome it? Yes, I reckon we would, but only if it was right for us and if they would pay us in Ferraris and velvet smoker jackets.

Favourite venue (played/would like to play)?

I think the favourite we've played is King Tuts. Gibs really like the Oran Mor though. Would like to play: Wembley. Failing that, I have always wanted to play at the Barrowlands. Failing that, the Osprey pub in Newton Mearns.

Are there any local bands you would recommend I check out?

Yup - all our friends - We Hung Your Leader, Lions.Chase.Tigers, Endor, I See Shapes.

Where and when can I get my mucky paws on the album?

From July 1, in theory. You can get it straight in your mucky paws at the launch gig in Nice 'n' Sleazy. Or, you can get it through our myspace and we'll get it to you within a day or two. Or, at some indeterminate date shortly thereafter, you can get it on itunes and all the other usual downloading suspects.

Lastly, what’s next for There Will Be Fireworks?

On the immediate horizon, we've started work on new songs which we hope will be on the next album. We've got two in the bag. We have a gig on June 24 in Oran Mor for the West End Festival. And, on July 1 we have the aforementioned album launch gig in Nice 'n' Sleazy, where we will be joined by We Hung Your Leader and Lions.Chase.Tigers in a veritable musical extravaganza. Then, we will hopefully be mailing the album to lots of mucky paws. And we have a gig in Edinburgh soon and the possibility of a wee tour. Stay tuned. Woop woop!

'Midfield Maestro' by There Will Be Fireworks from Peter Gerard on Vimeo.

A massive thank you goes out to Nicky from TWBF for taking the time to answer all of my questions and for the lovely tunes.

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