Considering a ‘Glasgow kiss’ notoriously consists of a brutal butt of the head, it’s pretty fair to say that performing your first ever UK show in the city is a pretty daunting task. Add into the equation that you’re playing opening act for Brandon Flowers at Glasgow’s O2 Academy and you’ve got to be a damn brave band to get up onstage and give it your all.
Judging by their performance and the reaction of the crowd, Transfer needn’t have worried. Delivering a stellar performance that suggests they could soon mature into a popular enough band to headline similar venues themselves, Transfer are certainly a band to watch in the coming months. We caught up with them before the show…
First of all, can you tell us the story of how Transfer came about? How did you all meet?!
Matthew: Well, let’s see. Jason and I grew together in a small town in Northern California then we moved to San Diego and met Shaun and we actually recorded some songs a while back with him so he joined the band later and then Andy just joined the band in April.
Andy: It’s more like I jumped into the band!
So, where did the name Transfer come from? It makes it very difficult to find you on search engines!
Matthew: Oh yeah, it’s not great for Google searches! It was actually the title of a song that we wrote when we first got together – it seemed fitting for the transition that we were going through musically at the time so we applied it to the project and somehow it just stuck!
For people who may not have heard of your band before, can you try and describe you music in one sentence?
Shaun: Fucking awesome! (laughs)
Andy: Really, that’s always such a hard question to answer. It’s rock and roll but I think we always try and keep it really dynamic just ‘cos we are really into the whole melodic side of song writing but we like to keep the ballsy-ness of rock, of course!
Tonight you’re opening for Brandon Flowers and it’s your first ever UK show. How did that come about? Were you all big fans of his and of his work with The Killers?
Andy: Yeah, of course – they’re a huge band!
Andy: Shaun and I actually toured with The Killers last year when we were in another band called Louis the 14th and so we had somewhat of a relationship with those guys. It’s not like we’re best buds with those guys or anything but I’d like to think we got asked to do this because of that and on the merit of the band too. I think that’s always the way these things work in the music industry – you have to know someone for things like this to happen!
Obviously he’s a huge artist – the tour is completely sold out and everyone seems really excited to see him perform his solo material. Do you think that supporting such a worldwide icon on such a highly anticipated tour will help raise your profile in the UK?
Matthew: Well, I sure hope so!
Andy: You have two options when it comes to playing over here – you can come over and play a bunch of club dates to nobody or you can get lucky and score a support slot on a tour like this where obviously there are plenty of people in the crowd to watch you. Whether or not that’s a good thing I guess we’ll find out in an hour or two…!
I saw on your Facebook page that you wrote “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap”! Can we assume you’re looking forward to performing in Glasgow tonight?
Matthew: Yes, we are! We’ve heard a lot of things – good and bad! Apparently we’ll get a response either way – they’ll let us know what they think! (laughs)
Andy: Yeah, they’re not exactly shy!
You’re very active on Facebook in terms of keeping your fans updated on what you’re up to. How important do you think social networking is to bands nowadays?
Andy: It’s very important. Nowadays, it changes the whole game of the music industry. Matty is exceptionally gifted at keeping on top of it all and keeping everyone updated…
Shaun: I think obsessive is the word you’re looking for…
Matthew: Yeah, I tend to be one doing it!
Andy: If we didn’t use mediums like that, we wouldn’t have any contact with people outside of our city so it’s incredibly important to us and it’s helped us take our band to a whole new level.
Matthew: It also created a stronger bond between the artist and the fans as it’s a little more personal and allows the fans to get a little more involved in the everyday lives of the band. People also tend to respond better to it than the traditional methods of flyering and things like that which is great!
Andy: The other thing is though that people shouldn’t get mad if you don’t respond to them! We’re at a level when we can keep on top of it all and reply to people but sometimes with bigger bands it’s completely understandable why they don’t have the time to do that and have to shy away from it! People shouldn’t take it so personally!
Yeah! You’ve got to watch out for the creepy ones…!
Matthew: Oh, I know! Everyone looks nice on Facebook but you’ve got to watch out, you never know! You can be chatting away all nice and the next thing you know they’re at your front door! (laughs)
So, I’ve heard this is your first ever UK show…
Matthew: Yeah, this is the first time that Transfer has been over here so we’ll always remember it!
Shaun: Yeah, for good or for bad! (laughs)
You’re also headlining a few shows down in London after this tour ends. Are you more excited about headlining your own smaller shows or opening these bigger shows for Brandon Flowers?
Matthew: Honestly? The bigger ones! I’m not gonna’ lie! (laughs)
Shaun: Yeah, we’re guaranteed a crowd here at least!
Andy: That’s the idea, I guess hopefully some of the people who see us play on these shows will come down to our solo ones as well!
What is your biggest influence musically and in terms of song writing? Are you more inspired by other artists or by things and people around you?
Matthew: We all have very different musical backgrounds and influences but I think when we get together we are all very open to new ideas and it’s more a matter of what the song needs as appose to what each of us likes as individuals.
Jason: I love songs that are songs – I’m a huge Beatles fan and I think that influenced me when we first started to write but now it seems like we all just kind of come to a point where we can agree on something that sounds good to all of us and then that creates the style and the sound of the songs we create.
Andy: I think that’s what makes a good bad – everyone bringing in their own ideas to create a great sound, regardless of what it sounds like. I guess that’s what fabricated pop music is – one person saying how it should be whereas this is a really organic idea of getting into a room and everyone putting in their ideas and fusing them all together to make a great song.
So, do any of you ever come up with an idea and when you play it to the others they just think it’s absolutely rubbish?!
Shaun: I think what happens is that sometimes you will create a song and put everything into it but when you put it out to everyone else they might just not get it all. I guess that’s the hardest part.
Matthew: Yeah, you definitely have to develop a thick skin for when situations like that arise because you can’t take it too personally.
Shaun: I mean, this happened recently. Matt came in with a reggae song and he thought it was the greatest thing ever but nobody else got it…
Matthew: Well, if it was good enough for Led Zep…
And finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
Jason: Just that people should come and check us out!
For upcoming tour dates and to find out more, visit www.transferband.com