Tuesday, 12 January 2010
A few days ago 'Oliver' emailed me offering to send me some demos from newly-formed Glasgow band Oliver Stays. I had a listen to the three tracks (which are also up on their MySpace) and was genuinely blown away. You're all in for a bit of a treat!
Some backstory... Oliver Stays rose from the ashes of defunct Glasgow acts Drive-By Argument, Atlas Skye, Jocasta Sleeps and Irvine's finest All My Logic. In no particular order they are John (bass and vocals), Colyn (guitar), Stu (guitar and backing vocals) and Spence (drums and sampling)... none of them are called Oliver... and they don't have a photo yet. It's all very mysterious!
Colyn from the band was kind enough to answer a few questions and introduce Oliver Stays. Here goes...
Kowalskiy: You're something of an unsigned Scottish supergroup going by your previous bands. How did you all get together?
Colyn: I was in Atlas Skye at the time, John was in Jocasta Sleeps. We fancied going a bit wild with music; no restraints, no holds barred. Or barred holds. I forget. Anyway, I had a few ideas that were stylistically different from Atlas Skye so I sent them to John. Originally we planned on being a one guitar band but we invited Stu (my fellow ex-Drive-By Argumenter) along for the ride and have not regretted it.
Kowalskiy: So are you the creative genius or do you take turns writing songs?
Colyn: Me and John emailed each other tracks like little internet love birds, back and forth until something solid formed. Stu and Spence took these ideas and peppered them up, the final cycle that took us from being simply a small bedroom idea to being a proper band with songs and instruments and hair cuts and everything else a band needs.
Kowalskiy: So a lot of your songwriting is done over the net?
Colyn: We're actually quite a geeky wee band. Everything has been done over MSN and e-mail. We've never had any two people in the same room at the same time to write or record. In that respect we're sort of like a tech-savvy Postal Service. Myself and Stu hadn't seen Spence in 4 years when he was drafted into the band.
Kowalskiy: So other than a tech-savvy Postal Service, how would you describe your music?
Colyn: We're somewhere between Johnny Foreigner, The Cribs and Idiot Pilot, the three bands I'm perenially binging on. It's nice to offset noise with melody and vice versa.
Kowalskiy: What Scottish bands are Oliver Stays binging on at the moment?
Colyn: Our sisters from other misters (the dirty dogs) Midnight Lion are the obvious choice but there are plenty more: Energy!, Lost City Lights, The Barents Sea, The Darien Venture, 4DayWeekend. We've heard that Tauntra are re-assembling which brought a cheeser to our puffy, frozen faces.
Kowalskiy: So what does the future hold for Oliver Stays?
Colyn: We have 5 dates coming up in February with Doll And The Kicks who spent the last 8 months supporting Morrissey. We've also got a small headline stint at Harleys in Bathgate. We're looking to give our music away for free so at each of these dates we're giving away 10 free CDs per gig, basically on a first-come-first-served basis.
Kowalskiy: Best be quick then! So any interesting facts for us?
Colyn: Spence looks like Val Kilmer and Stu has a cat called Oliver, which, sadly and perhaps oddly was not named after the band despite coming into his life sfter this little musical venture.
Kowalskiy: So to finish off, how did the name Oliver Stays come about?
Colyn: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The story seems so so pretentious. I had this dream years ago about this faceless, horrible company called "Relationship Yellow" who churned out loads of goods with their logo on it. People would buy it for their significant others thinking this kind of love and togetherness is what the company stood for when really they were just heartless bastards out to make some money. Stu had a counter-dream (I may or may not have just created that term on the spot) that we were called Oliver Says, probably due to the fact that he hated Relationship Yellow as it sounded like a "Simpsons dating website". John simply added a "t" to complete this needlessly long cycle. I need to have a word with John actually, see if he fancies changing his name to Oliver Stays. That would save us a hearty explanation for that question.
Here's the tour details:
21 Feb - The Tunnels, Aberdeen
24 Feb - Doghouse, Dundee
25 Feb - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
26 Feb - Greenside Hotel, Fife
27 Feb - Classic Grand, Glasgow
28 Feb - Harley's, Bathgate
If their demos are anything to go by these guys are well worth checking out! It was hard to pick my favourite to put up but in the end I went for the cracking "Constantly Dreaming". Be sure to have a listen to the rest on MySpace!
mp3: Oliver Stays - Constantly Dreaming