23 July 2012
Fresh Meat Monday - The Open Day Rotation
Would you care to introduce yourself?
My name is Willie Campbell, I'm a singer and songwriter in a band called The Open Day Rotation, It started as a solo project but has developed into a band, with me as a mostly polite dictator in charge. We have an ever expanding line up, always 8 sometimes 15, our new album is our 2nd. I was previously in a band called Astrid, we were together for 7 years and made 2 good albums, lots of singles and ep's and one not so good, very expensive album. I also played in a group called the Reindeer Section which was formed around Snow Patrol.
How would you describe the music you make?
I would describe the music I make now as unpretentious, joyful, sincere and familiar. There are country songs with a touch of soul and more rocky tunes on this album. 'The band' have been an influence along with Richard Thompson, Hank Williams, R.E.M., Marvin Gaye, Steve Earle.
How did you start out making music?
I started playing guitar at 14 after getting one instead of the drum kit I wanted at Christmas. Played with my friend Charlie in his barn and a couple of youth club gigs, I had my back turned to the audience for most of the first one. My dads 60's compilations and Quo tapes in the car were my biggest influence as a young kid. Started trying to write songs at 15 and wrote my first decent one at 16. R.E.M. and general teenage angst big motivators.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
I don't have any set way but the things I do need when I'm writing on my own are somewhere quiet and private with a guitar and coffee. Sometimes an interesting sentence someone says will spark an idea, sometimes a few chords will create a melody for me. Not fussy really, I can write a lot but have learned that sometimes a few songs may come that are okay that will eventually develop into one good idea. It's like writing one massive song that gets edited. Having been alive for over 30 years is also handy, just more feelings, thoughts and experiences to write about.
What can people expect from your live shows?
Grandiosity! I'm only half joking. When we play we go for a big sound, its not flat out, it moves and has a good dynamic but we do aim high and it's always fun, I think we fell short once live but that happens to everyone at somepoint. The strings add a lot to the sound, But all in all my songs are simple and the core of the band has been playing together for years doing bars and clubs. What I'm trying to say is that It's a dolled up country rock band.
What are you all listening to at the moment?
I've been listening to Elbow the last few days. Within the group Lots of 'the band', Fleetwood mac, Daft Punk, Thin Lizzy, Hold Steady, Sepultura, Frightened Rabbit. That 'call me maybe' song.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
I've hit a really comfortable period in terms of accepting what I'm good at with a minimum of care about what other people think and how it'll be received. But that's not to say I'm not driven and don't hope it gets heard by as many people as possible. I don't lose any sleep over that stuff anymore. I'm really Very happy with this album and I'm privileged to have these amazing musicians to help me make the songs come alive. Half thinking of doing something very basic next time, who knows. It's all good fun.
The Open Day Rotation's forthcoming album, Toxic Good Toxic Bad, is released onnAugust 5th. You can catch the band playing on July 27th at An Lanntair on Stornoway and August 3rd at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.