1. Sum up 2019 for the band? 2019 was when a lot of things came together. I started playing with the new guys and Shaun, Scooby and Jordan have made the band progress a whole lot in the space of the last twelve months. I had been sitting on the bulk of what became our EP for over a year previous and once the band was in place we could finally work towards a release. Some of the very best moments I’ve had with this project have been with these three guys.
2. How did you guys form? I used to play solo, singing accompanied with acoustic guitar but around about 2015/16 I started playing with some mates from college. It was at this point I decided I didn’t want to continue just using my own name and made it into a more band-based project. The name of the band came from a cue on the Interstellar OST Hans Zimmer composed, which describes the sort of wonder and freedom and excitement I want when I listen to music. If you’ve seen the scene in the movie, you might understand! Had a few member changes along the way and we seem to have settled nicely with the four of us in the band just now.
3. How would you describe the Scottish music scene? Fantastic! I do a bit of event promotion and I am lucky to work with some really interesting artists. I love a lot of stuff coming out on the Last Night from Glasgow label like Cloth, Kohla, L-space, Domiciles and Annie Booth. There’ll be lots more. There are a lot of wee indie promoters, labels and management companies popping up as well. The internet is great for connecting people and getting folk out to more gigs. Where we stay in Fife, there are a whole host of bands playing together and doing cool stuff. We’re playing with our mates Homerun in March and OSKAR BRAVES in May but there are a load of other bands coming out of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and East Fife as well that we adore.
4.You released your first EP, ‘Vitality’ in November, what was the general reaction? The reaction was great. We played in one of my favourite venues, The Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh and followed that with gigs in Kirkcaldy, Perth and Glasgow. The Kirkcaldy one was a total banger being a hometown show. We have had a lot of nice words about our music over the past wee while and seeing that people stream our music in lots of different European countries is totally mad!
5. The EP features your first single,’ Smilin’ – what was the influence behind it? Smilin’, believe it or not, was written about a girl with a really nice smile but kinda evolved into a deeper love song when I played about with some themes. It contains a lot of major and minor 7 chords and I was going for that jazzy/poppy vibe. Our guitarist Shaun, who recorded the EP, quickly identified it as the most “single-y” tune on the EP, so we ran with that over the summer.
6. You announced your first gig of 2020 in Kirkcaldy this week, what can fans expect? Yeah, we’re playing at The Wheatsheaf Inn on March 13th with Get It Together and Homerun. This is a great event as the entry is a suggested donation to Kirkcaldy Foodbank. Scooby, our bass player, has been working alongside the guys from Homerun and some other friends over December to raise funds for the foodbank and we’re continuing to support them through events like these. We’ll debut some new songs at this one as well.
7. What’s your favourite venue to play and why? I love different venues for different reasons. I think the atmosphere in The Wheatsheaf is great when you get all the locals together and The Kings Live Lounge, which is part of Kirkcaldy’s ongoing Kings Theatre Project, where we’re playing with OSKAR BRAVES and Dogtooth on May 24th is shaping up to be an unreal venue as well. I also enjoy Leith Depot, The Wee Red Bar and Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh and The Twa Tams in Perth. Although we haven’t played there in this band yet, I love the vibe in Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s. Glasgow-wise, I’d like to get back to King Tut’s, where I performed in my previous band Our Smallest Adventures.
8. Who were your main musical influences growing up? I listened to a lot of rock stuff when I was younger. Indie and alternative stuff like Radiohead and The Manic Street Preachers and I listened to the skate punk and nu-metal stuff that was out in the early noughties. Now, I listen to a lot of electronic stuff like Aphex Twin, Four Tet and Boards of Canada. Shaun likes a lot of different stuff, he’s big into Radiohead as well and loves KYUSS, QOTSA, Hendrix, Nirvana etc. Scooby loves Pinegrove, as well as Kaddish who are a hardcore band from Dundee. Jordan is a huge Muse fan and likes Editors as well.
9. Who are your favourite current bands that are worth checking out?
I would definitely check out Woodwife from Glasgow, they are spectacular, and Annie Booth is one of my favourite Scottish artists right now. My mate Gogs, of Big Cloud fame, has also released an incredibly imaginative album of short songs called ‘Short Cuts’ under the moniker Limo Cunningham. In terms of artists out with Scotland, I love Moses Sumney from the States who has a new record out this year. His vocals and song-writing are next level.
10. What are your aims for 2020 as a band? We are playing at Silverburn Festival in Leven on the
25th of July, so we’ll be doing our utmost to entertain the crowd there. Hopefully we bag another festival slot and play a few places we haven’t played before. In terms of new music, we are starting tracking for a new release at the end of January and will have more new music out later in the year.
Check out Cornfield Chase performing at ‘The Wee Red Bar’ in Edinburgh below