Glasgow Channel Feature Carnivores
Chewing the cud with Carnivores.....
For frontman Kenny Leckie, waiting for the release of Carnivores' second album hasn't been easy.
'Let's Get Metaphysical' won't see release until later this year - "September or October", Leckie reckons - but it's been ready for months now and, not one to waste any time, he and the rest of Carnivores have already moved on to the next record.
Chatting in between a video shoot for the album's first single, he said: "The album's been done since January, we've just been sitting on it for a while."
He admitted: "It's frustrating for us because we want to move as fast as possible."
He explained that most of the songs that made the album were penned about two years ago and it's processes like album art, video shoots and, more excitingly, the band's recent signing to Smalltown America Records that's slowed the process down.
"We're creatively impatient," Leckie laughed. "We're always on to the next thing. Waiting for the album release, we've been keeping quiet but working on b-sides to release alongside some of the singles."
The band write quickly and effectively and already have "14 or 15 songs" geared up for whatever comes next.
Carnivores aren't the sort of band who waste time. Simply put, they can't afford to. The band is nobody's day job, with full-time education and employment providing obstacles that touring schedules and album release dates have to dance around.
They learnt from the first album - the tracking for which took 32 days and was, in Leckie's words, a "f**king nightmare" - and decided to record their second full-length effort live. It came as a testament to the band's on stage reputation - they're hailed as being raw, loud and a 'must-see' in the flesh.
Leckie explained that he tends not to dwell on ideas for long, especially if they don't click with the band in rehearsal: "If something takes too long, if I can't get it right, it's probably not worth doing.
"A lot of bands take time to produce new music, we like to just churn it out and get on with it... If I over-think something, if I take too long to do it, I run the risk of it becoming lost in translation."
The Xcerts are a good example of a great band who take their time, but it's just not the Paisley trio's style.
Carnivores opened for The Xcerts when they released their second album Scatterbrain in 2011. Fans eagerly await the third album four years later, meanwhile Carnivores have churned out six releases - including their debut album.
In terms of becoming entangled in music, Leckie's story is not unlike other up-and-coming musicians.
"Bands like Blur and Oasis were my first introduction to guitar music that wasn't American," he explained. "I went to a lot of gigs really young and I got to see a lot of my favourite bands."
He recalled an early Idlewild gig where the band went "absolutely mental" on stage. The conversation turns to Idlewild's upcoming tour, which comes a few years and albums later, an exclusively acoustic affair that's taking the scenic route through the Highlands and Islands.
"[Idlewild] are just doing their own thing now, it works for them," he said. "It's better than being in your late 30s and still jumping around when everyone knows you can't hack it."
He laughed: "I've done it the exact opposite way, I started out as this really quiet singer-songwriter and turned into a complete madman."
He likes the Glasgow scene because bands work with each other rather than against each other. He also likes the fact that there's no 'Glasgow sound', just a dedicated and passionate music scene - one that English tour mates Press to Meco have described as "putting the rest of the UK's to shame".
Carnivores will be back on the road in September. While trips to Edinburgh, Inverness and Kilmarnock are the only confirmed gigs on the band's schedule so far, they're gearing up to hit the UK hard and play a two-week stint in Europe when the album finally makes its way into the hands of listeners.
"We've only played a handful of shows down south and we've had an absolutely incredible response," Leckie said. "There's so much choice in London, you have to stand out."
He mentioned one particularly eventful show in England's capital, where the band played to a mosh pit of Mariachi dancers. This isn't, we're assured, typical of London hardcore gigs.
In terms of celebrating 'Let's Get Metaphysical' on home turf, the band originally planned three "home town" shows: one in Coatbridge, Paisley and Oban.
The former was promptly scrapped after Leckie decided "no one in their right mind would play Coatbridge".
After pointing out that Coatbridge's Pronto Mama, another band Carnivores have shared a stage with, play in their home town every now and then he laughed: "Aye, only to save on the train fare."
(He was joking, we think.)
Despite hailing from small towns and villages around Scotland, Leckie and his band have gravitated towards Glasgow. They're not the only ones. Most Glasgow musicians come from small west coast towns, where they're the only ones who wear their "badge of weirdness" and eventually gravitate towards the city.
Leckie said: "All the guys who live in Glasgow, everyone comes from these small places where they were the only people in town who listened to the sort of music they did.
"I was lucky, there was a good network of people in Paisley who were just as mental as I was."
It's falling with the right crowd that's propelled Carnivores forward, packing out their live shows in intimate rooms and encouraging the band to keep going at their impressive pace.
Leckie described their live show quite simply as: "Sweaty, disproportionately loud and fun."
He's not wrong. Carnivores make a ridiculous amount of noise for having just three people on stage. But is "fun" the right word? It turns out it is.
"You associate our kind of music as being quite aggressive and quite in your face, but, when I look out into the crowd, everyone's smiling. That's a pretty good thing."
Carnivores will release new album 'Let's Get Metaphysical' in autumn. The band hit the road in September.
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