Sons And Daughters
Will Metcalfe 19/11/2007
I joined Scott Paterson (Guitarist/Vocalist) of Sons and Daughters at the Birmingham Bar Academy on their most recent and longest ever tour where we discussed Suede, The Smiths and erm, the worst interview questions to field to the band…
How's the tour going so far?
This is only the third night so we're still at the very beginning: it's been great. The first night was at Northampton where we'd never been before so we were a little worried 'cos we haven't toured for about 2 years. It feels like we're starting again, playing all the little sweaty places. That's our favourite thing, playing where you can actually see the crowd.
It's quite a long tour this time…
Umm, really long. It's almost like the comedy tours when you see a comedian doing 3 months. It's 5 weeks so it's almost twice as long as we've done it before; it will give us chance to figure out how to do the new songs and get them really tight then come back and do a normal UK tour in the new year.
Around the time of the new album then…You've been working with Bernard Butler on that [The Gift], how was it?
Laurence Bell is always really good for ideas of who to record with, they're usually the last people you'd think of but they work really well. He suggested a few names, and Bernard was one of them and initially it was like “that's a really weird one!” 'Cos he has a very poppy kind of guy; and he's one of my favourite guitarists ever-he's so creative
Are you a Suede fan then?
I am a Suede fan, or I was but only of the first record. I kinda like the second record but only really the stuff Bernard was involved in. He's like Mick Ronson and Johnny Marr.
To some extent I would say that Anderson and Butler or maybe Pulp are the Smiths of the 90s…
They're definitely two of my favourite bands around that time. I loved Pulp's clever lyrics and the musicality of early Suede. Yeah, I'd agree.
The Gilt Complex has been described in some areas of the press as something of a departure, do you agree with that?
I think it's the closest to our older records out of all the songs on the new album. We released it first as a nice bridge between the last couple of records as it sounds quite different, quite poppy but in the Blondie/Smiths kind of vein-intelligent pop rather than the way that pop music is viewed now. Pop in the 60s was really clever, great music but nowadays it's all X-Factor. It's really different, it's a lot more lush, a lot more layered; if you listen to it there's a lot more going on. That was just because we had a lot more time to spend on the record; we spent about 9 weeks on it.
You say that the Gilt Complex has maintained your older sound, has the rest of the record kept it's darker edge?
Yeah, I think these are Adele's best lyrics; we've had a year and a half, two years between records. She's been watching a lot of films, reading a lot of poetry. Yeah that kind of thing is still in there, which I loved about the Smiths and the Velvet Underground it's pop music but it's got this got this dark lyrical edge. So you listen to the record and you might initially think 'aw, it's quite light' but you love them because they've got this whole other element to them.
Are you a Smiths fan then?
Huge Smiths fans! Me and Adele especially, and so was Bernard which made it easier to work with him. He learnt guitar from listening to those records and he knew every production trick they used and used a lot on the record. He even brought in Johnny Marr's guitar from “Strangeways Here We Come” and I used that on the record.
What's your favourite Smiths record then?
Well, it's difficult cos they're all so great. Probably “The Queen Is Dead” just 'cos it's probably their masterpiece. When we were recording with Bernard he made constant reference to The Queen is Dead. We'd have maybe two weeks in London, record four or five tracks; go back home and think what else we needed for the record. He kept saying think of it as The Queen is Dead, you've got this song which is like your “Vicar in a Tutu” what you need now is “I Know It's Over” or whatever. That's the thing: that record is so perfectly pitched that you've got things like “Cemetery Gates” that will flow into things like “Bigmouth”…
Did you go in with a lot of songs or was the album more or less recorded as it stands?
We had about 19 songs and the other 7 or eight were really great but didn't perhaps fit as well. It was a voting thing really: for the most part everyone was agreed with what was going on. This record could have easily been 15 songs long but we decided it was going to be 12, because I hate it when you get a record and it's too long.
Do you have any particular live favourites?
I love playing “Gilt Complex” live, I love erm, shit…there's a new song called “House In My Head” which is really fucking insanely fast, rocking. It's really fun to play: it's so nasty. A lot of the new songs are really quick to play, your kinda flying by the seat of your pants thinking 'is anyone going to fuck up here?'
Someone's phone is ringing…
Oh that'll be Campbell's new phone. Sorry about that, our tour managers left his phone.
Yeah, he just got it today. His other phone broke the day before the tour, it was in his jacket and he slammed the car door on it. Which was unfortunate cos everything we need is in it.
Are there any questions you get asked in interviews that you really can't stand?
Yeah, we always get asked where'd you get your band name from. It's in every press release and in every interview we've ever done and it's on the web so y'know, interviewers could just look it up. Rather than asking us again, but I do understand why you have to ask them.
So, how did you get your band name?
Adele and Dave used to be in a band called Arab Strap and Adele had this idea for a band called Sons and Daughters and Dave said he'd drum for it. That was it really.
"The Gift" comes out early next year, the single "Gilt Complex" is out now.
Sons and Daughters remaining tour dates:
21st LONDON, Islington Academy
22nd SOUTHEND, Chinnery's
23rd NORWICH, Arts Centre
24th MANCHESTER, Night & Day
26th SHEFFIELD, Plug
27th YORK, Fibbers
28th HULL, The Lamp
30th NEWCASTLE, The Other Rooms
1ST CARLISLE, Brick Yard
2nd EDINBURGH, Cabaret Voltaire
3rd DUNDEE, Fat Sam's
5th ABERDEEN, Moshulu
6th GLASGOW, Grand Ole Oprey