Questions By Myrren Porter
This week, we caught up with Ex Vida frontman, Jamie Pollock to discuss his musical influences, his solo career and the influence behind his latest release, ‘When The Sun (Like a Rainbow)…
- Who are your biggest musical influences growing up and why were you drawn to them?
“The Beatles. When I was around 15, I started to listen to every Beatles album, watching all their movies and interviews, and decoding all the conspiracy theories – particularly the ‘Paul is dead’ one – that surrounded them. They were more than just a band; they were a movement. As soon as they took flight in ’64 they started the ‘British Invasion’ of bands that were to pave the way for music for decades. I will never stop listening to The Beatles and the bands that followed them.”
- When did you start learning how to play guitar?
“I started learning to play the guitar properly at the age of 19 – a late bloomer – and even then it was only basic chords that I could play. It wasn’t until I learned how to play ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles that I moved on to the next step in guitar playing.”
- What is your most memorable performance and why?
“It has got to be a toss-up between tearing the roof off the Jack Daniel’s stage (unsigned tent) at the very first TRNSMT in 2017, the sold out show at the Liquid Rooms in February 2019, the sold out King Tut’s gig in May 2019 and – for very different reasons – the last gig I played with Vida which was at the famous Barrowland Ballroom in October 2019. All of the above were incredible gigs, and all part of a spectacular journey that I will never forget.”
- You have recently gone solo – how is it in comparison to playing in a live band and what do you prefer?
“It is hard to say which one I prefer really, as this whole solo thing is all still very new to me. I loved being in a band, having that wall of sound behind me and watching the crowd bouncing in front is something that will prove to be very difficult to replicate as a solo artist standing on a stage alone with an acoustic guitar. However, there is an intimate and sentimental sense to the solo gigs I have played so far, the crowds of people who come to see me still sing along to the Vida classics, the covers I throw in and also to my own tunes, which is very enjoyable.”
- Does going solo allow you more freedom in terms of music creativity?
“Not at all. Personally, having no band around me to bounce ideas off is quite limiting when it comes to creativity with music. The song-writing process is just the same though. I’ve always been the type of song-writer where a good tune just comes to me, out of nowhere, I’ll pick up the guitar and play some simple chords and a catchy melody just comes fresh from the realms of my subconscious. Then it is just a matter of finding the right lyrics to frame around that melody, and it’s done. Voilà.”
- You recently released, ‘When the Sun (Like a Rainbow)’, an incredibly beautiful song – what was the influence behind it and is there a certain message / meaning that you wanted it to represent?
“I started writing ‘When the Sun (Like a Rainbow)’ not long after I started a relationship with my now fiancée, Emily. It is all about when we started talking to each other, and those early stages when you know you are truly falling for someone. A nice wee love song that was too catchy to keep to myself. I remember the first time I played it to Emily in a boozer in Yorkshire after Vida had just played a gig years ago, with an acoustic guitar and a handful of punters still left over from the night just sitting around with pints, and by the time the second chorus came the whole place was singing along. Her parents were there too, and I could see that they approved! That is when I realised that it was now more than just a personal tune, and that it had to be released as a single eventually. This is a very special song to me.”
- What has been the best venue you’ve played at and why?
“King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. It does not get called the best small venue in the UK by the NME for nothing! A great stage with a remarkable history, the sound is second-to-none and you always get a class crowd in Glasgow. The Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh is an awfully close second.”
- Beyond the release of your new EP, are there any plans for an album or a tour in the near future?
“When it is deemed safe to do so, I will be back on the road gigging around the UK again for sure. I am aiming to record an album at my old man’s studio – shoutout to Boathouse Studios (give them a like on Facebook) – next summer.”
- What advice would you give to musicians / bands that have just started in the industry?
“Enjoy it, as you do not know what is round the corner. Do not get caught up in band politics and never let any promotion company take advantage. Be yourselves, play gigs everywhere, release music frequently and regular content on your social media pages is king.”
- You headline King Tuts in October – what can fans expect who have bought tickets?
“Well with the way things are going probably a further postponement… Haha! All I can say is that whenever I play at King Tut’s it’s a great night, and that when this particular gig does go ahead, it’ll be a night full of singalongs, a bit of nostalgia and also a wee cheeky look into what lies ahead for me as a solo artist. When it is safe to do so, it’ll be a cracker!”
CHECK OUT JAMIE POLLOCK ON HIS SOCIALS BELOW…