The Tillicoultry 5-piece comprising Frank Murray, Dan Murray, Ryan Andrews, Stuart Jamieson, Graham Moffat have self-released an acclaimed seven-track EP in ‘We’re Not French’, soundtracked the BBC’s ‘Winter’ ident (see below) and have now reached the dizzying heights of an itm? show on 7th January.
Time then for their first itm? feature as we asked Frank our traditional five pre-gig questions.
First question has to be on the BBC advert – perhaps the last indie band to show up on the Beeb were Aereogramme with a similar trailer soundtrack – how did it come about and how and how did it feel to be on peak-time telly?
We sent some copies of our E.P to BBC Radio Scotland, someone passed a copy onto the director for the Illuminate Winter advert and he got in touch saying he really liked the E.P and asked for our permission to use the track.
We’re keen to introduce live visuals into our set in the future, so it was cool to see how one of our songs worked accompanied by a video.
As readers can see from the review the EP is ‘self-released’ – how much was that out of necessity, or was there a feeling of remaining independent rather than hanging round waiting for the majors to call?
When we finished the E.P we sent some copies to labels we liked, with little response, we decided to self released it.
We paid for everything and done all the promotion on our own; this was good for us because we learned a lot about how the music industry works.
Tillicoultry. Famous for Dougie Donnelly’s furniture pads, and, well, little else until yourselves… how does living in a small town only near-ish to a small city affect the music-making process, compared to most other bands who are working out of, say, Glasgow or Edinburgh?
Since We’re Not French, we’ve actually moved nine miles along the road to Stirling.
Making music in Tillicoultry worked well for us because, there were no distractions, we practised five nights a week.
There’s no scene or trend to follow there, I think the band has more character because of this.
The EP’s fairly wide-ranging in terms of the sounds – I did mention Aereogramme earlier and there is a certain soundscapey quality in places ideal for tv ad soundtracks. But there’s some decided pop too – in a good, left-field sense. So, the stock question, what’s influenced you, and do the five members contribute and influence the sound individually?
We’re influenced by a lot of different bands from post-rock bands such as Explosions In The Sky to dreampop bands like The Album Leaf, although we really want to create a sound that is recognised as our own.
Everyone in the band has their own ideas and input, but we all share the same vision of what a band should and shouldn’t be.
With a fairly sharp rise in your reputation, where next? Is there any sort of plan, or are you just enjoying it and keeping fingers crossed that you can get to the hallowed ‘next level’?
There is a plan – We’re working on songs for a full length album.
We’re recording with Andy Miller at Chem19 later this year, with hope of a licensing deal from a label.
We’re determined to keep getting better…
The French Quarter play at Glasgow’s Captain’s Rest along with Glissando and There Will Be Fireworks, on Stuarday 7th February.