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United Fruit

No place like home (in conversation with Chris Kelso)

By • Nov 25th, 2011 • Category: features

Glasgow four-piece United Fruit have been gathering something of a reputation for visceral, guitar-driven performances – though unusually on record they show as much of that hard-biting energy as they do live.United Fruit
itm? caught up with the band not long after a short flurry of gigs in their hometown, including support for Dananananaykroyd’s farewell show at the ABC followed by a headline set celebrating Nice’n’Sleazy’s 20th birthday.

How did United Fruit come into being? How did you all meet?

We met at a house party in the westend of Glasgow. We discussed music and politics, not much politics, more music. All of us could play an instrument or two. We formed a band soon after the party.

At the time we wanted to create a noise techno sound with guitars, elements of no-wave and a mish-mash of all the bands from ‘The Year Punk Broke’. But now we write songs and try to infuse a song structure within the madness.

Are you still enjoying the constant travelling? Has the touring lost any of its magic yet?

The travelling is great, we get to experience a new place every day – there is nothing better than you knowing you be somewhere new everyday, traveling from A to B , meeting new people, seeing new places and getting to do what you love every step of the way. I think it’s safe to say we were born to do this.

Do you think Glasgow will always be your base – were a big money record label to offer you the opportunity to move down to London or another big city down south, would you take it? Are you sentimental about your home city?

Glasgow will always be our home, we have a lot of support from family and friends. The music scene in Glasgow is so vibrant, it makes it very hard to leave. But what ever happens in the future regarding where the band takes us, we will always look at ourselves as a Glasgow band.

Being from Glasgow you must have loyalties either side of the Old Firm? Would you rather not say or am I right in assuming you’re all Partick Thistle supporters?

Hahaha!! It has to be Partick Thistle, I wouldn’t want to get chibbed for getting it wrong!!

Your music can be quite raw and aggressive, are you aggressive people? Who has the shortest temper?

We get the aggression out on stage. We are all pretty peaceful people, we are lovers!! Not Haters!! But if you’re asking, Iskandar has the shortest temper, He’s the singer what do you expect?

Who’s the best dancer?

Stu’s legs have a mind of their own, so much so, a band we are good friends with wrote a song entirely based around his dance skills and incredible foot work.

Is there a venue/city you’ve particularly enjoyed playing in?

Paris was fantastic, we played with some amazing bands in the basement of a pub. It was hot and sweaty and packed with lots interesting characters who were lapping it up. Not the sweat, the song I mean. Bristol cool kids!! we have had two glorious gigs at the ‘Mothers Ruin’, we met so many nice people, there is definitely a good music scene happening in Bristol, bands such as ‘Holy Stain’ and ‘Spectres’ are bands to look out for.

Who are your biggest influences? Between you all, do you cover a broad variety of music?

We certainly do. We love all kinds of music except for a couple of niche genres out there. From the noisiest moments of Daughters and Sonic Youth to the quietest and most serene moments of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens. Generally we listen to anything with heart and conviction. It’s always good when you discover a new band that makes your hair stand up on end.

Do you have a favorite Scottish/Glasgow based band?

The scene in Glasgow is flourishing just now. We have lots of friends we have made from playing in the local haunts over the past couple of years. To name but a select Glasgow few, Citizens, Holy Mountain, Take A Worm For A Walk Week, Salo and Hey Enemy are fantastic bands. This is only scratching the surface, though. I would recommend to anyone to get stuck right in a delve deep into the Glasgow scene. You will discover some amazing things.

United Fruit are probably gigging at a venue near you, real soon. Album Fault Lines can be obtained, and indeed listened to, at unitedfruit.bandcamp.com

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