Broken Records

Helen Newbery 01/09/2008

GIITTV meets Rory and Andy from up and coming Edinburgh seven piece Broken Records.

So, things seem to be going well for you at the moment?
Well, we've been going at quite a good speed; we don't want to get too big too soon. We've been enjoying the festivals and doing shows, playing the best that we can.

Last time you headlined the Liquid Room it was as a result of playing the T-Break stage at T in the Park, whereas this time you're headlining in your own right: does this feel like you're moving onwards and upwards?
That was a great gig for us, although we were a bit scared of the numbers - we sold it out on presales alone. DF are really good at supporting new and up and coming talent, though. We didn't really set any targets after T-Break last year, and tonight will be different from playing the festivals. As a kid watching bands at festivals I'd love to think we'd be playing on those stages, and now we take it all in our stride. It's going to be interesting to see how busy it is tonight; will there be enough to fill the room? We've been fortunate; we've had some good press, so that should help.

Ah yes, I thought I spotted you in the Scotsman…
Yes, they photographed us on Blackford Hill, there were two photographers who'd seen us play in London, and sourced some places. It was a real hassle though, as we had to get up the hill with all our gear. We ended up playing a show to a group of kids as there was a natural amphitheatre where we were; we drew a crowd of about 8.

Are you all from Edinburgh?
We all live in Edinburgh, although Andy is from Arran and Dave is from Largs.

What do you think of the Edinburgh music scene?
Well, there are more venues now, there's the Voodoo Rooms for example, which has a good sound, but there isn't really a scene as such, not like Glasgow, where it all seems to fit: the wee venues, the promoters are getting better, and there's greater flexibility in terms of what you can play. There seems to be a cycle of different scenes there, which leads to a bit of a feeding frenzy and a bandwagon, but you don't get that here. There's a different feel to gigs in Glasgow - you're not judged as much as here, where people are waiting for you to impress them. Inverness is a great place, they are really up for it; it's like Glasgow but five times more. There's Belladrum as well, for example, they seem to enjoy the music more up there, even the kids.

So, what festivals have you been doing then?
We did Rock Ness and Latitude, that's got a really nice site, we got a motor boat to the stage, ha ha! We also did Love Box in Victoria Park, and Hard Rock Calling, where we had a dressing room next door to Sting! We didn't see him though. We also did London Calling in Amsterdam, where we played the Paradiso; we even got some crowd surfers, ha ha! We're also doing the Sugar Hill Festival in Swindon, and also Leeds.

So you've got a new single out..
Yes, Slow Parade is out on digital and the vinyl is out on 18th August.

It seems a bit more beefed-up compared with the earlier version on your EP?
Yes, we re-recorded it. The first version was recorded over a year ago, the EP was just the tracks we happened to have floating around. The arrangements have changed over time. Simon Askew did a good job for us in the studio in Glasgow.

How did you develop your sound?
Lots of gigging! We were playing three gigs a week, and the arrangements of the songs developed over time. We ironed them out: our first twenty gigs must have been terrible! We'll have been together for two years in December; we played our very first gig in Bannerman's and we want to go back there - we're trying to book it for this December. When we were recording we weeded stuff out; we throw stuff out to try to make it sound smoother. We know what to look for: we are all coming with our musical baggage. We all have different influences, post-rock, more punky stuff, jazz - there are 7 of us, so we have so many ideas. If you think too hard it's just wrong. I've just bought an old harmonium for twenty quid, although it cost me sixty quid to get it re-tuned. It won't be coming out tonight, though: it needs a test run first!

Any plans to record an album or anything?
At the moment we're waiting for someone to come along - we can't talk about labels just now, but we're looking to record an album. It's taking form and solidifying, we're trying out different things, such as a wee string section. A couple of years ago I went through an electronic phase, I brought some synths to practise and it just didn't fit. We'll be recording quite quickly; we don't want to record for a year, it'll be a tune a day, record a bunch of things and put it out there. At the moment we're focused on the festival season, we're focused on limited singles, but eventually we'll put out a mainstream single with a proper release.

You seem to have generated quite a bit of hype?
We're blind to the buzz. At least in London there's a queue of people to see us. You've got to go three times to get anywhere; at the moment we're trying to break Bodega in Nottingham; we've played there about three or four times now, and I think we're finally getting there.

I'm interviewing Wild Beasts tomorrow: what should I ask them?
Who would win in a fight between them and a real Wild Beast, no, who would win in a fight between them and us?

And my money would have to be on Broken Records. Well, there are seven of them after all.

Slow Parade was out on digital and vinyl on the 18th August.