18 May 2011

Scots Way-Hay #60 - United Fruit

About ten years ago I was really into much louder stuff than I am nowadays, I guess I am just mellowing/getting boring in my old age. I spent many a night lying in bed with my ears ringing having deafened myself by standing down the front next to a speaker seeing bands like At the Drive In and Rival Schools. Nowadays I am far more likely to be found at out seeing bands that are a bit more folk or indie-pop orientated. It's safe to say that I have mellowed with old age, however, I do still like to dip my toe in and listen something a bit heavier from time to time. One such band that have been floating my boat a fair bit as of late are Glasgow four piece, United Fruits. The band first came to my attention after my partner in crime, Halina from the Glasgow Podcart continued to band on about how amazing they were. I must admit that I was a bit reluctant to check them out at first, for fear of being too much of a sap to appreciate them. How wrong I was, as their new album 'Fault Lines' which is due out at the end of the month is one of most brutally awesome albums I have heard in ages. Let's just say it certainly blows away a few cobwebs from my head on my walk into work in the morning. The band are currently out on a UK tour which culminates with a headline show at Bloc in Glasgow at the end of the month, followed by an appearance on the T Break stage at T in the Park in July. I caught up with the band to ask them a few questions about their influences and what they've got in store for the rest of 2011...

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Iskandar Stewart +Stuart Galbraith + Marco Panagopoulos + Ross Jenkins = United Fruit

How would you describe the music you make?

Angry Happiness euphoric terror

How did you come together as a band?

It was a totally organic process man! Yeah we all met by pure chance at a house party, bashing our heads to Hey Joni and talking for hours in the depths of some basement flat. It just so happened we all could play an instrument or 2. the rest is history!

How did you start out making music?
We flat hopped from place to place just to get a practice in. We were too skint to afford rehearsal space, so we settled for peoples homes. Marco's mum has a garage she never goes in, and we kinda turned it into a music space. We used to use a couple of abandoned warehouses. But we cant mention where, otherwise we would get in trouble from the collective think-tank that supplies so much of the creative output of the Glasgow music scene.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

We only write songs when something bad happens, but, the knock on effect of the band doing well has created far too much happiness within the ranks. We have now come to the conclusion that a healthy dose of sabotage for each individual member of the band is necessary in creating a mood of unhappiness which ultimately leads to better song-writing.

Who are your big musical influences?

Its such a big question with too many people to mention. We allow people to ask themselves what they think we sound like, we tend to respond with enthusiasm as it means they are relating it to something they appreciate most of the time. That will do for us. But we are very much influenced by the bands we play with. But if we had to put an influence on our band why not read, ' Our Band Could Be Your Life'.

What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?

Bands are always going to be influenced by where they come from and the people they are surrounded by on a daily basis. We don't really make a conscience effort to make music that sounds typically from Glasgow. We could start writing about housing schemes and high rise flats and junkies but it's not who we are are. We think the music we make is actually more universal than that. We want to create music and lyrics that have mass appeal.

What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?

United Fruit shows are an assault on the eardrums. We like it loud and fast and so do our fans so we always try to put on a show. It can sometimes get pretty chaotic and we've had a few venues switch from glasses to plastic cups because we expect our fans to be as into the show as us.

Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?

One gig stands out from the rest due to the fact we had a guy somersault into the drum monitor. Don't actually know how he managed to get onto the stage as the amount of beer on the floor was insane. This guys ludicrous act had a knock on affect on the rest of the crowd and they proceeded to steal our instruments off us while our drummer kept the song going. We ended up dancing and becoming part of the crowd. There was no pretension that night and we really felt connected to everyone.

What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?

We're doing a UK tour in May to promote our new album 'Fault Lines' which is released on the 30th of May. There's a lot of new songs in the pipeline as well so there could very well be another release towards the end of the year. We just want to gig in as many new places as possible so we're doing our first French tour in September. We will be working on a music video for the first single off of the album and that will be made available as a digital download. We will confirm the release of the video through one of our tour blogs but you'll have to keep an eye on it as we have a sneaky competition in which we will be asking fans to decipher hidden messages in our video tour diary. The lucky winner will receive a United Fruit goody bag!

United Fruit - Kamikaze

United Fruit release their debut album Fault Lines on the 30th of May, you can catch the boys in action on the 
27th at The Balcony Bar in Dundee 
and the 28th at Bar Bloc, Glasgow
, which will also be the albums official launch night.


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