Start Static: The Lads Behind the Music

akgphotos-start-static-interview-king-tuts-january-2016-2We recently had a chance to catch up with one of our favourites at Musicscramble, Start Static, as they prepared to take the stage for their part in King Tuts New Year’s Revolution 2016. Singer John, guitarist Steve, Chris on bass and Mike on the drums were chilling backstage in Tuts cosy little green room with a beer and some close-to-the-bone banter.

It’s been a while since we last had the chance to shoot the breeze with them and a lot had changed since then so there was plenty to talk about. From their KTNYR debut last January, the release of debut album Arguments and most importantly – whether they were fans of Justin Bieber or not.

Your debut album Arguments has been out for quite a while now, where does it sit with you?

S – It’s in The Herald’s Top 50 Scottish Albums of the year (2015).
J – Aye, but it’s in Alan’s Top 5 though – above Muse!
S – Matt Bellamy’s fuckin’ ragin’.

In terms of where it is now compared to before you released it, has it beaten your expectations?

J – I didn’t expect national newspapers to be saying good things about it.
S – I wasn’t expecting such a Paxmanesque question to open the interview.
J – “I don’t always ask questions, but when I do they’re fucking zingers.”
S – We’d written the album and loads more, then we gladly got it out after sitting on it for a while. It didn’t go out there with a big bang but come the end of the year we’d done a lot of pushing and press around it.

In what ended up a positive year, was there any disappointment in 2015 for Start Static?

S: We didn’t get signed by a major label.
J: In fairness, we put a lot of time into it and we had an unfortunate situation with the person we decided to record with and that put the brakes on a bit. That’s probably always going to be a bit of a regret as it stunted the process.

Has that driven the iterative approach that you’ll be undertaking with the new material?

J – Yup, definitely – yes! I think there will still be an album, and I hope I speak for everyone – unless there’s going to be an Arguments 2 – we’ll likely release single, single, single… then hopefully have enough material for an album. Not a big bang release like last time.
C – We’re trying to learn lessons from the last time. It would help us build up the promotion.

Have you ever felt a little disenfranchised by it all?

S – There was a point like that, where we spent a lot of time and money and there was nothing happening. But, at the end of the year we put a bit more focus on it and it did better. Kerrang was a beautiful little surprise as well as Alan Morrison in The Herald and The National.
C – Being in your top five was obviously the pinnacle.
M – The cherry!!
S – There are other relevant media picking us up – we were talking to Phil Taggart at Radio 1 and he’s giving it a listen then coming back to us. People who can do something with it have now got it and they seem to be giving us positive feedback, so that was nice.

We’re back in King Tuts and you’re doing the KTNYR for the second year running, what’s changed since last year?

S – Position on the bill… further down than last year. To be fair, with festivals and things it seems to have grown year on year. We’ve also been down to a lot of the gigs here this year and been overwhelmed by the response.
J – Aye, what was the one on the Wednesday night? It was absolutely rammed!
S – Armstrong tonight are fantastic and so are Talk. Just heard them soundcheck and they’re going to tear the place apart.

That’s the magic of a place like King Tuts when they put something like New Year’s Revolution on…

C – Yeah, they’re able to make something of a really quiet time of year. Just look at the line-up every night, it’s so strong.
S – Twin Heart are playing downstairs in the bar as well later on. Every time I come up those stairs it feels like what it must be like to walk out at Anfield or something.

We also asked a couple of silly questions…

Justin Bieber, legend or wank?

S – A legendary wank.
J – That depends what you mean…
I mean do you think he is a wank, not would you give him one.
J – He was with Selena Gomez for a while so in that respect, legend.
S – Was he not with Ariana Grande for a while as well?
J – They shared a moment onstage at a gig or TMZ.
C – Did he bang her?
He seems to be everywhere at the moment and I can’t understand it.
J – Well, essentially he’s a Disney Child – I know he hasn’t come through Disney, but he was picked up when he was like twelve by Usher. He’s just went “here’s some money – make a video – you’re a hit.” Apparently he’s a wee dick who’s offended everyone he’s ever worked with, by the sound of it.
…so you’re just jealous?
J – Absolutely, and I wouldn’t shy away from that.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – on a scale of one to ten?

J – Not seen it yet.
M – TWELVE!
C – I’ll give it a realistic ten. None of this twelve nonsense cos that’s just offensive.
S – There’s always room for improvement so I’ll give it a nine.
M – Rey is hot as fuck.
J – I’m really looking forward to seeing it but I can’t help but think everyone is getting a bit wrapped up in what it is as opposed to basing it on the actual film.
S – We were having a chat with Sandy the last time we were recording and he said he went to see it down in London when they released the first one (Episode IV, not I) and what he said was that was the first time anyone had ever seen anything like that – at the start when the big fucking ship comes right across..
C – “The big fucking ship”
Star Destroyer
S – Dark Destroyer?
I think you’ve been watching another film.
J – The Enterprise was it?
S – The Enterprise over Mordor.
Aye, when Spock skydives looking for the ring.
J – …from the Red Bull Space Station?
C – Just before Mr Bean gets a rubber turkey (It’s a chicken Chris) stuck to his head.

It was at that point the interview had peaked so we called it a night and let the lads prepare for their awesome set.

Alan Gray

Senior Writer and Editor at Musicscramble. Listens to a wide range of music. A sucker for a heavy bass line and a thundering guitar hook.

Loves getting his gig on but also loves to get behind a camera and capture music in the making. Check out akgphotos.com for more.

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