Since kicking off with a gig in Glasgow at the beginning of April The Unwinding Hours have had a busy month playing in Austria, Germany and Switzerland before heading for heading to Aberdeen to play at The Tunnels on the 21st of May. In between these dates however, Godzilla Blues managed to catch up with Craig B to get all the latest news and a bit more.
Hello Craig, how’s things? The Unwinding Hours is your new venture after the demise of your previous band Aereogramme – can you tell us what you’ve been up to for the past couple of years?
Not much really, which was a welcome change from the years in Aereogramme. I was just working at my usual job and slowly writing the album with Iain.
Yourself and Iain were band mates in Aereogramme and are now reunited for The Unwinding Hours – can you tell us a bit about the other people who played on the album, are they an ongoing part of the band or only relevant to that particular project?
Iain and I wrote everything and played the majority of the instruments on the record. Jonny Scott was brought in to record the drums and he ended up joining us for the live band as did Graeme Smillie and Brendan Smith. They are all great musicians known for playing in various bands around Glasgow.
What can we expect from your live show, is it a full band affair or a stripped down approach?
It’s a full band. Five of us in total.
What are the main plans for the band in 2010?
We are going to try a different approach and try to take over the world by not doing very much. With The Unwinding Hours, we are happy to have made an album we are intensely proud of and I hope it reaches as many people as possible but we can’t commit to touring as much as we used to in Aereogramme. It’s not something that makes financial sense anyway.
Aereogramme seemed to be heading in a more mellow direction overall on their final album and this same approach is evident on The Unwinding Hours album – was this a conscious effort on your part to continue where you left off?
There are similarities between The Unwinding Hours and the last aereogramme album but “mellow” is certainly not a word i would choose to describe either. It makes me think of a cock eyed stoner who has just heard Bob Marley for the first time. Both albums have quieter moments, sure, and they don’t have any screaming like the first few aereogramme albums have but I see them as dynamic albums that just happen to have quieter elements to them.
Aereogramme were a popular band in their particular area of music and a lot of people were disappointed when they ended quite suddenly – can you tell us a bit about what happened?
I think you described it well there. “A popular band in their particular area of music”. Our particular type of music was only ever going to appeal to a small audience. It took us years of touring and selling hardly any records to finally realise that and for it to slowly have a negative effect on our lives. I’m proud of what we achieved but I’m not surprised we split up.
Glasgow and it’s surrounding area seems to be responsible for a majority of successful Scottish music acts, any theories as to why that is?
Personally, I moved to Glasgow as soon as I could when I was a teenager because I knew this was the place to come to for music. It had all the great record shops, venues, bands and that has continued ever since.
You have been on the Chemikal Underground label for some time now – what are your thoughts on the label, you must be fairly happy with them to maintain your association?
I think its very important that a label like CU exits. There are VERY few truly independent labels left anymore and CU have always been our biggest supporters. It allows a level of creative freedom that I don’t think we would find on a major label and we also both have an experience of releasing records to know exactly what to expect of each other. It’s a relationship built on friendship as well as business.
Do you have any particular favourites from the Chemikal Underground roster past or present?
I have a particular soft spot for the Delgados because aereogramme toured with them across America and it was quite an intense experience but seeing them live every night was an absolute pleasure.
Do you socialise with Aidan Moffat much? I get the impression from his droll stage persona that he’d be good company for a beer…
I don’t i’m afraid. He is a fantastic musician and every time i’ve met him he has been great company.
What’s your favourite venue in Glasgow?
The Barrowlands. Large enough to create a brilliant atmosphere but small enough that you can actually see the band.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Edinburgh over the years for one reason or another but although I have travelled to gigs in Glasgow quite often, I’m never sure where to head for a night out – can you do a ‘Rough Guide to Glasgow for the Discerning Alternative Music Fan’?
I’m genuinely the wrong person to ask about this. My finger isn’t exactly on the pulse of the social scene these days. Off the top of my head Nice n’ Sleazys, The Captains Rest, Chinaskis, The Belle etc.. These are all pubs I have been known to enjoy on an occasional night out.
What music are you enjoying listening to currently? Any recommendations?
This morning I listened to Stevie Wonder, Mott The Hoople, Dusty Springfield, The National, Gladys Knight and the Pips and some glorious metal by a Swiss band called KNUT. Their new album “Wonder” is highly recommended if you like that sort of music.
Are there any particular bands that you would like to tour/play with at the moment?
We got to play with The Twilight Sad the other week which I was very honoured about since I think they are one of the greatest bands around right now.
How are you finding the credit crunch and ongoing fall out has affected your life and life in general in Glasgow?
Not in the slightest.
Can you name three key influences, be it musical, cinema, literature, whatever?
John Peel, Stanley Kubrick, Super Mario 64
Name your five desert island tracks?
Queen – Somebody to Love, Cult of Luna – Waiting for You, AC/DC – Riff Raff, Tool – The Grudge, Otis Redding – These arms of mine, Low – Laser Beam
And finally, what are your favourite flavour of crisps?
Many thanks for your time Craig. Godzilla Blues
The Unwinding Hours play The Tunnels on Friday 21st May, support is from Katerwaul.
The Unwinding Hours Official Website
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