STA is now Ten Years Old

University Term Paper Talks To JPL About Touring And Influences

"If you could work with/could have worked with any musicians who would it be?" ..."Blue, anything that comes out of Duncan's mouth sounds amazing" - Cahir

How is this tour going and how has touring with Biffy Clyro been?

Andrew: This (tour of extremities) tour has been good, its been a lot of hard work but its been very rewarding, also we've had the chance to play places we've never played before. The tour with Biffy Clyro has been really good because they are a really good band and we've played some sold out shows.

How is the new album coming along and how have the crowds been receiving the new songs?

Andrew: The new songs have had a good reception from the audiences. The album is half finished so what we like to do is work on the songs on tour and people tell us if they like, what we can change etc and we listen to what they say and take that into consideration when we work on the songs. The new album should be out the second week in September.

What was the first album you ever bought?

Andrew: 'Kick' by INXS!

Cahir: An 'Erasure' album

Raife: A 'The Police' album

What/who got you into music in the first place?

Andrew: When I was about 12/13 I used to look through a friends record collection and the album that got me the most was probably 'Bossanova' by The Pixies. It made want to learn to play the guitar and to play it like Joey Santiago.

You have a very unique lyrical style (similar to Piebald), what does the writing process involve for you, do you have any role models when it comes to writing lyrics?

Andrew: Thanks, instead of using words that rhyme or fit I make the lyrics fit. Role models of mine are Guy Picciotto and Kurt Cobain, Even though he's not really an influence a good example is Morrissey.

If you could have written any song by another group/artist what would it be?

Andrew: "Trigger Cut" by Pavement.
Cahir: "Salt Sweat Sugar" by Jimmy Eat World is a fantastic song or anything by Blue.
Raife: "Honky Tonk Woman".

If you were to hold ONE of your songs for scrutiny as your best, which would it be and why?

Andrew: I think "This is Not Revolution Rock" probably sums up what we do best, it's quite a good typical emo song. 

You used the dreaded 'E' word I tried to avoid using that.

Andrew: Well that's what we are I'm happy to be classed as emo, some of our influences are classed as emo and a lot of bands that are classed as emo are really good bands so its quite a privilege.

Who are your biggest musical heroes/influences?

Andrew: Bands like Helmet, Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden. On the first record it was influenced more by 70's bands but the new album has been influenced by The Lapse and Jimmy Eat World.

If you could work with/could have worked with any musicians who would it be?

Andrew: Someone who is a really musical, talented person were everything that came out of there mouth would sound amazing, someone like Stevie Wonder.

Cahir: or Blue, anything that comes out of Duncan's mouth sounds amazing.

What's the worst piece of advice anyone's ever given you?

Andrew: That you need a manager or a press guy or an agent. You don't if you really like the sound of what you've got chances are other people will and you just need to get out there and start playing.

Is that why you started Smalltown America (records), to give bands a helping hand?

Andrew: Yeah we didn't have a record label so we started our own and we like to give other bands a push.

Who is your favorite musical artist(s) of all time?

Andrew: It changes all the time. At the moment, At the Drive-in, Fugazi.

Are there any of your songs you don't like?

Andrew: No.

What town will you never play in again? Why?

Andrew: There isn't anywhere we don't like to play its flattering when anyone wants to come and pay money to see us.

How do you feel about the Internet and MP3s and how it's all changing how music is distributed and consumed? Are you excited or do you fear it all?

Andrew: Brilliant. If people want to go and buy the records then they will. I think that if the record companies and the people who provide the MP3s worked together they would both still make money. Bands can make enough money from shows and other merchandise and anything else is just greed. We have no problems with people recording our shows or downloading our music.

What's your favorite piece of equipment that defines your sound?

Andrew: Jamie's Fender Precision bass.

Which do you prefer touring or writing/recording new songs?

Andrew: Touring is good and fun but I do prefer recording and writing.

What's your favourite colour?

Andrew: Black, for its slimming properties.

Is there any kind of message in your work?

Andrew: Yeah basically do whatever you want to do, do it now and don't worry about what people say or think.

Becky says: Would you rather be deaf or blind?

Andrew: Speaking as a musician I would have to say blind.

Last question, do you like my socks?

All: Yes.

Thanks for letting me completely waste your valuable time.

- Michael Roberts, University Term Paper