Sunday, 10 October 2010

Felt Tips interview

The Felt Tips' album 'Living and Growing' has been rolling around my head since I started listenig to it a couple of weeks ago, in a way that no other record since maybe The Standard Fare record has. Anyway, I did an interview with Miguel and the band...

How long did the album take to get together and record?
The album is one of the main things we’ve been aiming for over the last few years so in that sense it’s been 5 years in the making. 'Boyfriend Devoted', 'Lifeskills' and 'Not Tonight' are long-standing Felt Tips favourites where as 'Garden of Roses', 'Silver Spoon' and 'Double Bluff' were put together for the album. Last year we got funding from the Scottish Arts Council to record the album and we blew the lot on what we consider to be the best studio in Glasgow - CaVa. We think most people who have heard our stuff would agree the album sounds better than our previous recordings. The recording, mixing and mastering was done in a pretty short 7 days. Maybe that was a good thing as it stopped us over-embellishing the songs. Some of the band were worryingly enthusiastic about putting mellotrons and African percussion in.

You must be really happy with it, right?
We’ve been sitting on it for almost a year and the fact that we still love it after listening to it so many times shows it must be good. The best thing is people’s reaction when they hear it, which so far has been extremely positive.

Have you all really gone off Morrissey that much?

Firstly, the song doesn’t reflect everyone in the band’s view of Morrissey, although we can all relate to the song’s sentiment. To be honest really, Morrissey is the secondary character in the story. Secondly, Morrissey has nothing to worry about anyway as our love for him started at such a high level that it’s possible for us to have lost some interest in him but still love him at the same time.

'A Life More Ordinary' is brilliant. Where do the lyrics come from?

Thanks. They come from personal experience mainly. I (Andrew) used to worry about these things a lot. Basically, I was pretty sure I had nothing interesting to say. Then one day I realised that this concern was an interesting thing in itself and the idea for a song was born…

You aren't backward about lyrics regarding sex. Are the lyrics to 'Lifeskills' at all autobiographical?

We sing about real life however it presents itself and won't shy away from tackling subjects some people might find distasteful. 'Lifeskills isn't autobiographical but it is based on what people have told us, although one band member has lots of stories about being up to all different kinds of mischief as a teenager in public parks. One of the lines was slightly different until an ex-drummer's ex-girlfriend told us we'd got some of the details wrong. We were happy to take her word on the matter.

What's your favourite song on the album?

Neil: For playing 'A Life More Ordinary', for dancing 'Engaged for a Visa' and for cycling 'Silver Spoon'

Miguel: I am especially pleased with how 'Garden Of Roses' and 'Silver Spoon' worked in the studio. 'A Life More Ordinary' is the one that I enjoy most playing live though.

Kev: Difficult to pick a favourite as some of my favourites Felt Tips songs didn't make it onto the album, but really pleased with all that did - 'Boyfriend Devoted' and 'Lifeskills' were the songs which first got me interested as a fan before i joined the band, but i like the raw honesty of 'Dear Morrissey' and the bravery of 'Not Tonight'. I love the way Andrew jumps around on stage while playing 'Bought and Sold'!

How did you enjoy Indietracks this year?

It was great to play Indietracks again and to see how it has grown but still have the same intimate feel to it. We were surprised when one of our answers printed in the interview we did with them was altered, perhaps they felt sensitive which I suppose suits a festival like Indietracks. There is something truly magical at the church, but we were thrilled to play at the indoor stage this time and are delighted that we have now played both and would love to play at the festival again.

Is the scene in Glasgow as great as it appears?

It's hard to keep a persepctive on it as we live here but so much of the music we love comes from this city. Indiepop is obviously big here for lots of reasons. There is certainly a lot of mutual respect and support between bands which is nice and makes things a lot easier. There are still bands we really hate and would rather disappear but we couldn't possibly say who could we!?
Apart from the always amazing number of interesting bands constantly emerging from Glasgow, there has been for many years an important support from certain Scottish institutions, helping bands to grow and develop. Now that these institutions will suffer dramatic changes, we wonder what the future holds for the scene in Glasgow.

What's next for the band?

We're rehearsing new songs at the moment, two of which are very uptempo. The album launch is next month and then we will start promoting the album with some specially selected gigs; Glasgow Popfest, we're also playing Nottingham, some cities in Sweden and some places in Europe for early 2011.

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