This is the first in a series of interviews with the people behind podcasts and radio shows that are championing grassroots music.
There are some great shows out there that play the best music around, give a great level of exposure to artists, and bring some quality chat for our entertainment.
First up is Subcity show Foreign Thoughts:
Would you care to introduce the team behind the show?
Johnny: I’m Johnny, noise lover and Scottish music aficionado. Doing this show is my way of coming to terms with an imminent quarter-life-crisis. It’s a cry for help and I’ve been reliably informed that’s what it sounds like.
Laura is part muse, part stalker to the great and good of the Glasgow music scene. She drowns them in 80% proof vodka and listens eagerly to their secrets.
Laura: This is all true.
What can we expect to hear on the Foreign Thoughts playlist?
L: We try to stay relevant but a lot of the time we play bands that haven’t been around in a while. I’m excited about new offerings from old favourites.
J: Laura likes to try to keep us as up to date with what’s going on in the real world but in general I tend to play things in the order I come across them. I’m not that bothered if an E.P came out a year ago, if I like it then it’s relevant.
Expect to hear groaning accordions, delay pedals and voices heavy with whisky and glottal stops.
Which bands from the Scottish music scene would you recommend to folk at the moment?
J:I fell in love with John Knox Sex Club on a hazy summer afternoon and haven’t kissed another girl since. If they don’t go on to bigger things then it’s because the majority of people are idiots. They manage to exhibit a poetic soul and be frightening all at the same time.
L: Well…I always have a massive list in my head. There Will Be Fireworks are an obvious choice for me, they have a new album out soon. I love Rachel Sermanni, Reverie, and I absolutely adore Skies Fell. I’d urge everyone to see their live show.
What features do you do on the show?
L: We never really rely on features to form the show. It’s always just a few songs we love, some new, a couple just for fun, a good few by bands that are playing in the upcoming weeks and perhaps a wee review of a gig. We always keep the guests til the end, there isn’t really a reason for it though.
You’ve had some great guests in session, how do these come about? Anyone you’d really like to get in as a guest?
L: I am blessed with having some very, very talented friends, who tend to get drunk and agree to coming on the show. I’m also pretty bold…I never dreamed Iain Morrison would come on but I just emailed him and he was very keen.
J:I would love to have Bronto Skylift into the studio. The walls would creak with the noise and the temperature would swell to a million degrees in our cramped wee room. Amazing.
I’m a big fan of your jingles, can you tell folk a bit about them? who does them, what they are about etc
L: The jingles are done by two friends of mine, who have named themselves the Moscow Death Rates. They are drunkenly sent to me at 4am the morning of the show and I usually keep them secret from Johnny. They are always playfully offensive and annoyingly catchy.
How do you find working in a live capacity?
J:It’s exciting; anything can and often will go wrong. I have almost completely slept through the show on several occasions. It’s a miracle it hasn’t happened yet.
L: I love having the guests play in the studio live with us. It’s so hot and sweaty but I enjoy the intimacy. We both try and set out with the intention of being professional but I think the show works because it definitely isn’t.
What plans do you have for Foreign Thoughts?
L: We’d love to put on a series of gigs. A sort of ‘Foreign Thoughts presents..’ We have a few wee ideas and we’re just waiting for the right time to put them in action. We are lucky to have a lot of people who would help us in our endeavours.
And finally, a random question from Penguins Kill Polar Bears: What would you rather have; a beak, or a tusk?
J: I think a beak. Quite counter-intuitive since I’m reasonably scared of birds but this would level the playing field. Lets see how a pigeon likes its face pecked off.
L: In typical Laura and Johnny fashion I’m going to disagree. A tusk on a human face would look mental.
Foreign Thoughts goes out live on Subcity Radio every second Friday 12.00 – 1.00.
The next show will be this Friday (11/02/11).
You can listen to all the shows again on the Subcity website.