Interview With Blue Sky Archives

Posted on November 24, 2010

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‘We hit the ground running’ seems to be a bit of a motto for Blue Sky Archives, and while it rings true it’s definitely an understatement.

The band – consisting of former and current members of Dance Lazarus Dance, Titus Gein, Boyfriend/Girlfriend, Dead Or American and Holy Mountain – has burst onto the scene with style and has quickly become a hot tip for many.

This Glasgow-based five piece are producing post-rock pop of the highest standard, with the dual vocals of Lauren Mayberry and Paul McGrath making it instantly recognisable, and the soaring, affecting choruses making it unforgettable.

This is a band you will be hearing a lot about in the near future.

Paul from Blue Sky Archives recently answered some questions for the blog, so have a listen to the brilliant The Highest of Fives (below), while we see what he had to say.

The band has been instantly lauded across the board, it must be great to get that response so early? does it also put pressure on you?

I think we’re just happy that people like our songs and want to come to our shows! There are so many bands out there, so much music, so many things to fill your time with, and it’s massively complimentary that people are interested in the results of what we’re doing in our practise room. It’s great to hear kind words and to get that encouragement. We’re all old and wise enough to not let feedback (positive or negative) affect what we do, so there’s no pressure involved. We’ll just keep on writing songs and doing what we’re doing and hopefully improving.

The Post-Rock Pop tag is one I like and it seems to have stuck, do you think that the term pop is more embraced now?

I reckon it’s getting harder to define what pop music actually is, and I’m not sure I even really embrace the term. I tend to think of pop now as whatever’s been co-opted and restructured in order to sell units and products this month/week. Maybe that’s just my cynical outlook on the state of the industry. But I also think that this separation of commercial pop music (Lady Gaga, X-factor, etc) from what i would normally have thought of as ‘Pop’ music (too many examples, but Prince or Michael Jackson are a good place to start) is a positive thing. It creates a space where bands like us can operate with pop sensibilities without having to stick to any prescribed idea of what the overall sound has to be.

I think I’m rambling. I could write an essay on this. All of which to say that we’re happy to operate under any tag as long as we’re free to write music as we choose and as comes naturally.

The former/current bands of BSA members are miles apart in style, how do you fit in all the different musical stances when it comes to writing?

We’re all just really into music. We’ve been in wildly varying bands in the past, and presently, but we all operate towards a common aim, and that’s creating music that excites us and is the best we can collectively make. We all have different musical backgrounds and tastes, but i feel that’s our greatest strength when it comes to writing. What pulls us together is a love of good melody, and if we can fit our own little personal touches around that then all is good in the writing process.

With that in mind, what can we expect from EP 2?

EP2’s recorded and in the process of mixing. It’s a little more developed than our debut. We’re really starting to find ‘our sound’ as it were, and this should hopefully be reflected in the 3 songs we’ve chosen. There’s a good mix of shimmering pop and noisy heavy-hitting and big harmonies. We’re really happy with it and can’t wait to get it out, Hopefully in January. Watch this space.

You’ve recently been playing a bit further afield, what has this experience been like?

Yeah, we did a brief stint over in Belgium, and we’ll be travelling into England and back across the channel a lot more in the new year. The experience of playing abroad is massively refreshing. People are receptive to, and supportive of, new young music in such a big way. Playing around in Britain you get a sense that people are overloaded with music now, almost being force-fed it, and that can create the situation where people get jaded, or turn music into something it’s not (a product, a brand, or a social marker). People in Europe aren’t quite so overloaded and tend to be able to enjoy music and the experience of music without it having to be part of something greater. The kindness and enthusiasm and willingness to get involved as soon as you step into these countries is infectious. It’s a healthy reminder of just why we do this; for enjoyment and to create and share.

Have there been any particular highlights in your musical career so far?

In our brief time in this band there have been so many good moments and good firsts. Getting to tour in Europe was a massive thing for us, getting some national radio play is exciting. But it’s all good really, and they’re all highlights. Writing, playing and recording music is a really fun way to spend your time.

If you could steal a song from an act on the Scottish unsigned circuit and have it as your own, what song would you take?

This is going to seem massively nepotistic considering former band members and those associated with the band, but my pick would be a song called ‘A Border Crossing’ by Dead of American. We’ve all been pals for years, and Chris from DorA is a really good friend of mine, but he’s also one of my favourite songwriters, and i reckon this is his best and most mature song. It’s got a real understated power to it, savage and sad and ominous, but with a really uplifting feel to it. Check it out. It’s on their awesome album ‘Thaumaturgy’, which you can get from their various web pages.

If your music was to be the soundtrack to a film or TV programme which one do you think it would suit best?

I wouldn’t care as long as that film or TV program featured Jason Statham… but It’d be excellent just to be asked…

A random question from Little Yellow Ukuleles: How funny is the word jobby? discuss

On a scale of one to hilarious, I’d give it an A-Plus.

How do you plan to finish off the year? and what can we expect from you in 2011?

We’ve got two gigs coming up in November, at Bar Bloc in Glasgow on 24th, and at Club Fandango in London on 26th, both of which will clearly be spectacular beyond words. Then We’re going dark until January. Going to get our heads down in the studio and finish off a lot of the writing we’ve been doing in preparation for lots of activity in the new year; the new EP, extensive touring, hopefully some festivals and eventually an album. You can keep track of us at our various internet outlets.

A big thanks to Blue Sky Archives for taking the time to answer some questions, and here’s how you can hear/see more of the band:

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24th November – Bar Bloc+, Glasgow

26th November – Club Fandango @ The Bull and Gate, London

13th January – New Years Revolution @ King Tut’s, Glasgow

Middle photo by Judy Chee who you can check out at www.judychee.com

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Posted in: Interviews