The Glasgow Reporter chats to Two Stripe Band
by Mark Mckinlay
How long have you been making music together and how did the band come together ?
The band started in September 2009 after a couple of chance meetings. Laura was meant to be going to my 18th with Jamie (our original keys player) who I had met on a few nights out. I had written a few songs and needed a singer. I also had a microkorg and needed a keys player. Not very rock and roll! Would have been better if fate had conspired and we all randomly during a cocaine orgy backstage at a Motley Crue gig.
We had to stop for about a year as our bassist joined the navy and our keys player went to Leeds for uni. Again, not very rock n’ roll, it was really hard to refrain from making up that our bassist died in a tragic, twister accident after smacking up. We are back now though and that is the main thing.
How would you describe your sound and what other artists influence the band ?
I’ve always tried to write very melodic songs, I’ll come up with a hook and then work around that. The idea is to get the melodies stuck in your head. This is probably influenced through listening to the Beatles. We are all massive Beatles geeks. I don’t think there has been a band, before or since, that have even came close to the Fab Four.
Arctic Monkeys are also up there as a huge influence, especially lyrically. I like the way Alex Turner writes and performs words, mostly in their more recent output. They kind of roll out of his mouth effortlessly, whilst at the same time, sound emotive. It’s not always about the meaning, but the way the words sound and fit rhythmically around the song. I try to keep that in mind when writing and not get too bogged down in the subject matter. It’s good to have a bit of mystery there.
Other bands we like, Late of the Pier, Franz Ferdinand, Mystery Jets, the Cure, David Bowie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Echo and the Bunnymen. Big into dance music as well, the Prodigy being a favourite. This gives our sound a rhythmic quality. The new line-up has definitely brought the best out of that. The parts they are coming up with work perfectly. Basically, we want people to dance and our sound is defined by that.
You’ve got quite a few live dates coming up, are you excited to be taking your music around Scotland ?
And you’re sharing a bill with Hot Chip in April, looking forward to it ?
Yeah, definitely, very excited. The response we have had so far has been fantastic. The comeback gig at Flat 0/1 was mental. Two folk in A&E by the end of the night. We do love recording and getting involved in the production side of things, but the best part by far is playing live.
There are a few great gigs coming up in the near future. Playing with Tango and the Attic will be class as we have been following them for a while now. Hot Chip are obviously the highlight though. Fantastic band. Our friend Keir who shot and directed our new music videos will also be filming so that has the potential to be another raj gig.
How did you find recording your Rush And Glamour EP ?
It was fun yeah, really laid back. No-one knew we were going to be releasing anything. We had a rough date in mind for when we wanted to put it out there but there wasn’t any pressure to have them finished so we could take our time. It was a similar situation to the first time around. I had these songs lying about doing nothing and decided it would be good to get a new line up sorted. We approached my mate Kev Harper from Little Eskimos and he was right up for getting the tracks down. Was a fantastic decision as he’s a talented bastert’. Think it shows in the E.P how capable he is as a producer. At the heart of it though, there are three great songs on that E.P. that we are really proud of.
Plans for a full album in the pipeline ?
Not at the moment. We want to get to a place where it would be worthwhile releasing one. It seems to be a death sentence for a lot of up-coming bands. That tricky debut, independent album. We are recording our follow up E.P. very soon though. We have the tracks written, just need to set a date for recording. It’s a lot brighter than ‘Rush and Glamour’. We have been calling it our ‘Summer E.P.’ Quite happy to keep recording E.P.’s regularly. It keeps the buzz going and showcases our stuff on an affordable format.
Can our readers expect to see you at any festivals over the summer ?
We are working on a few things at the moment, but it is quite hush hush. Hopefully we will have a BIG announcement in the near future though, so keep yer eyes peeled!
Where do you hope to be in 12 months time ?
Going right for the charts and grabbing it by the throat, knocking Ed Sheeran off of his smug, James Blunt perch and simultaneously sticking the boot into the bland, boring club ‘culture’ this generation has adopted. Think pennies, you get pennies.
2nd April – Stereo, Glasgow
7th April, 20 Rocks, Falkirk
13th April – Chambre69, Glasgow with Hot Chip (DJ SET)
27th April – 20Rocks, Falkirk