Glasgow’s Sons and daughters are back with their fourth album. Exploring deeper and darker sounds they produced an amazing collection of songs covering everything from fast and raw post punk sounds to slower atmospheric offerings. We caught up with guitarist and vocalist of the band, Scott Paterson to ask him a few questions.
Mirror mirror has a much darker vibe to it than your previous records, what inspired this musical direction?
It wasn’t a conscious thing really. We started out with one idea, that it had to sound different from the last record. It took about 2 years of writing songs, scrapping songs, rewriting and tinkering with different sounds before we found the sound for Mirror Mirror but it wasn’t like we sat down and said ‘this has to be a darker record’.
If anything we were feeling a little lost, things going on in our personal lives probably seeped into the album and we spent two years in a friends rehearsal space that was essentially an old town hall that looked like the hotel in The Shining. Glasgow wasn’t exactly bursting with sun either so everything has an effect on your mood I guess.
You’ve said that the album is the most balanced thing you’ve made, was it hard to get the balance right?
I think what I meant by that was the balance between fast, punk sort of tunes, moody, atmospheric tunes, quiet ones, loud ones… I think we’ve always had those kind of songs but on some records the balance has been swayed a little towards the faster, hyper end of things.
The balance just happened the way it happened. We actually completely changed quite a few songs in the studio when we realised there were maybe too many similar tempos. Silver Spell for example was actually a really fast punk sort of tune like The Damned and it ended up with all that stripped out and quartered in speed. It was fun to just say ‘to hell with it’ and do stuff like that at the last minute.
Where did you get the idea of having a “trailer” to the album?
Our good friend Blair Young, who directs a lot of our videos had the idea. We knew we wanted to release Silver Spell in some capacity before the record came out but we felt a full video, with it being so treacle slow might be a bit much so Blair suggested the trailer. We’re really happy with how that turned out.
What made you pick Breaking fun as the first single from Mirror Mirror?
I don’t know. We all liked it the most at that point and felt it was the most ‘singley’ sort of tune I guess.
You’ve released the album (and singles from the album) on vinyl, do you think you’ll continue to release your music on vinyl?
Sure. I love the convenience of MP3s and online streaming but vinyl is still very special to us all. I think it’s encouraging that it looks like it’s going to outlast the CD.
What was it like to tour with Morressy?
It was cool. Quite a while ago now as it was 2006. It was a fun tour and with Adele and I being such big fans since our teens we were flattered to be asked.
What was it like to work with Bernard Butler?
It was an education. He’s incredibly talented as a musician, probably the best guitarist I’ve ever sat with, and has a great ear for production and songwriting. We learnt a LOT about song structure from Bernard. In fact, I’d say I learnt more in the studio on that record than I did on any of the previous albums and that was a privilege.
There were some awkward times and raised temperatures but far too much has been made of that and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s been made out to be. He’s a good guy and I feel lucky that we got to learn with him.
You released a remix EP of Silver spell, what’s it like to have your music remixed?
I really enjoy hearing remixes of our stuff. It’s fascinating to hear what your music sounds like filtered through someone elses ears and that’s really what a remix is.
How do you determine who sings what in each song?
We don’t really decide in a specific way it’s just whoever starts singing when we’re writing a song together. Generally Adele is lead and I’m backing. Sometimes it’s dual lead and sometimes, if the key is awkward for Adele I’ll do it.
You’ll be touring round Australia early next year, what can fans expect from your show?
We’re going to play a mix of the full back catalogue, not just the new stuff. It’s still a high energy show and I’m genuinely excited to be coming back to Oz. We had one of the best tours ever when we last came, the crowds were great and if it’s the same again we can’t fail to have a fantastic show.
Adele has her own blog, will you be starting up your own blog?
Probably not. I spend way too much time online as it is and that’s just one more web thing I don’t need right now!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
I tend to listen to an album to death as soon as we have it recorded. Especially in the car. I would drive around at 1am and listen to Mirror Mirror to check the mixes. Generally though, as soon as it is actually out to buy I rarely if ever put one of our own albums on. You play the songs so much live that you really don’t need to!
What music do you listen to?
Everything. I know everyone says that but really it is across the board. Everything from ancient blues to 60s psych, to pop, to punk to classic rock to soundtrack and world stuff. Lately I’ve been back into those ‘Songs We Taught The Cramps’ type albums, the 50s nuggets sort of things.
What do you plan on doing after the Australian tour?
Sleep! It’s going to be exhausting as we’re doing a show and flying every single day of the tour, factoring in jet lag I’m going to be burst by the time I get back to Glasgow.
Hopefully summer festivals in the UK and Europe this year. With Mirror Mirror coming out in late Summer we missed out on a lot of that last year so it’d be cool to make up for that.
Sons and Daughters will be touring Australia in January, tour dates are below.
Check out the band’s website to find out more.