1. To begin with, if it was R*E*P*E*A*T's round, what drink would
you have and which song would you choose on the pub jukebox?
James: "If it was your round, then it would be some Buckfast. But
if you didn't have Buckfast, then a Guinness would be fine. And which
song would I choose on the pub jukebox? That would be (thinking)
At The Hop by Danny & The Juniors."
2. As both a musician and a music fan, what do you like music to
do for you?
James: "Well, the things that I've enjoyed and that I've got out
of music so far, is probably a means to express yourself. And, I think
if you're involved in music for some of those agendas and that ethos,
then I think you can't go too far wrong, do you know what I mean? That's
the main thing for us probably, yeah! Everything else just falls into
place I think."
3. Complete the following: I would like to write a song as good as
and make an album that equals
James: "Hmm, let me see (long pause + thinking)
my run out by the time I've thought of my answers (laughing)!"
Rab: "Daddy's Gone!"
James: "It's a serious question man, do you know what I mean? Off
the top of my head, I would've liked to have written Blue On Blue by
Bobby Vinton. But there's millions of songs that I probably would've
liked to have written, but as you'd understand, we haven't got time
to go through them all. I would like to make an album that equals The
Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. If you aim up that high, then you might fall
short of it man, but I think if you aim for something like (pausing),
nah, I'm not going to say anything like that, but you know what I'm
trying to say."
4. In terms of songwriting, a lot of musicians talk about "The
thrill of the chase" - where they're constantly trying to write
the perfect song. Is this the same for you, and can you remember the
first song that you ever wrote?
James: "Melodically, we're searching for something quite sweet
- but I don't think you can sit down with the intention that you're
going to write a song. I think a lot of the time it will just happen,
and a lot of the time, it's pretty hard to explain how it happens probably.
For me, that's what it's like anyway. Sometimes, you wait until you're
quite relaxed and just let things happen - you don't force songs, do
you know what I mean? But obviously, like anybody, any songwriter would
like to write a good song (smiling)! And, I can remember the first song
that I wrote - which resembled a song - that I could play and which
left me with the feeling, "This is a song!" It was a song
called, Everybody Knows How To Smile, and I think I was about 21-years-old
when I wrote it. I'll recite the chorus, since you've asked me
"Not everybody sees, not everybody hears,
Not everybody's lived a hundred odd years,
Not everybody knits, not everybody fits, not everybody's run a mile,
But everybody knows how to smile."
Maybe when I'm really struggling, I'll pull out my songs from the vaults!"
*I say to James that they could form part of Glasvegas' Bootleg Sessions*
5. To date, you have released 3 very limited edition 7" singles
- but how did it feel to hold and play your very first pressed vinyl?
James: "Um (thinking), well the first time to be honest (pausing),
I think sometimes you get a bit too close to the recordings and stuff,
and you can be a bit too uptight with it. You listen to it and you kind
of separate it all into parts, and you can't just listen to it as 1
song - like somebody who's arms length away from it would, do you know
what I mean? You get too involved in it sometimes, and when you're listening,
you're like, "Oh, that sleigh bell is just too loud!" And
it's like the end of your world, because the sleigh bell is too loud
or something, instead of just actually enjoying the thing. So, I can't
imagine that I would've listened to it, and just been sat down with
a cigar sparked up and enjoying it, because I probably would've been
6. Can you tell us about the artwork used on your record sleeves?
James: "Well it was just really me and our manager, Dean. We just
messed about trying to get some ideas together, and then for the last
2 singles, we basically gave a guy an idea and he made it a bit better,
a guy called Rob. We just didn't want the artwork to look shit, and
I think a lot of the old classic records by Ben E. King and Phil Spector,
have kind of got a nice look about them. So it's simple, but I thought
it would be quite nice to have."
7. Do you think the best bands are a product of their environment /
agree with John Lydon's idea that, "Anger Is An Energy?"
James: "Well, I think that for any artist or any songwriter, your
surroundings have got to influence you - that's just what happens! But,
whether you want to bury that or hide that, or let that influence your
music, is another thing. I know some people could probably just brush
it away and stuff, whereas others may show the exoticness of it, and
I'd rather bring that out, and be quite proud of it! In answer to John
Lydon's idea that "Anger Is An Energy." To be honest, I try
not to be (pausing), if I'm angry about something, I'd generally probably
not write a song about it. And if I was hot about something, I don't
think I'd write a song about that either. Because it would maybe come
out wrong, do you know what I mean? If your vision's clouded, then your
lyrics would become clouded, so you'd write something that probably
didn't sound right. That's why I don't write angry."
8. Would you say that Glasvegas could have existed in any musical
James: "If we were in The '70s, we'd probably have had Afros and
pencil moustaches, black leather coats and flares!"
James: "We would have been like The Bee Gees I think, if we'd been
in The '70s man! Paul's quite nimble. Caroline just floats - no matter
how pissed she is, even if she can't speak properly, she can still dance
amazingly! And Rab would be the guy wearing the bling, with the Afro
hair on his chest, playing a tambourine
Rab: "I'd be like Mr. T."
James: "Aye, and I'd probably be the bouncer or something. So,
I think we could work in any decade - we've just established that!"
9. A recent report on musical genres, discussed how different parts
of the UK like them in different measures - but where have you found
audiences to be the most receptive to your music?
James: "Well the audiences have just got different styles, do you
know what I mean? Most of the gigs that we've played on this tour, nearly
every one has sold out, so there's been an equal amount of people there
each night. But some nights, people are just a bit madder and louder
when they're singing the songs. And other nights, they're just quiet
- but they're quiet watching, and that's a different atmosphere. Not
in a good way or a bad way, it's just different really - some crowds
are a bit more rowdy. The rowdiest places that we've played on this
tour, have probably been Liverpool and Manchester
*The venue's promoter enters Glasvegas' dressing room*
Promoter: "Hi, I'm the promoter, but I don't like saying that because
it sounds wanky doesn't it?"
James: "Well you're on tape anyway, and that's a quote isn't it?
"I'm a promoter but I don't mean to sound wanky."
Promoter: "Sorry, have I fucked the interview up completely now?"
James: "Nah, it's cool man."
Promoter: "Now listen, I won't see you tonight - I'm going to be
watching the show and enjoying it and having a few beers, but I hate
coming down to the dressing room afterwards saying, "I'm loving
it!" So, have a top show tonight! I've seen the pictures and the
descriptions seem quite accurate. I'll get out of here now, but have
a good one yeah - we're all really excited about tonight. Nice one and
all the best!"
James: "Cheers, and thanks for all of the stuff and for looking
after us. Where were we (looking at me)? Ah yeah, the Liverpool and
Manchester crowds - they were just a bit more rowdy (pausing), but to
be honest, this probably sounds a bit wanky (laughing), but I've enjoyed
every night for the different moods, do you know what I mean?"
10. Is there anything that you would like your fans to know, which
they may not know about you yet?
James: "Somebody asked me this yesterday and I was like, a budgie
flew in the bath a few years ago and it was a horrible episode in my
life. But then you're asking me, so I'd better say something different.
See, normally, the reason why they wouldn't know it, is because we're
trying to keep it as a secret for whatever reason (laughing)! Yeah,
we'll leave it at that - what our fans don't already know about us,
we don't want them to know!"
11. What inspires you outside of music?
James: "Outside of music? That's quite a big question man, do you
know what I mean (long pause + thinking)? These are different questions
man, and they're good questions, because other people always ask, "So
what inspired Daddy's Gone?" But outside of music, there's friendships,
people, films, it could be the sun shining - when I see the Celtic team
line-up from 1967, that makes me feel really inspired! When you see
the picture (pausing), the team that won it, were guys who grew up in
a certain radius of Glasgow, and they won the biggest cup in the world!
That shouldn't really happen do you know what I mean? But these guys
didn't give a shit about that man - they made it happen! And I like
that attitude and ethos! So that's what makes me feel inspired as well!
But, it could be loads and loads of things man."
*Rab, Paul and Caroline, have to leave the interview to soundcheck*
12. James, you recently said, "I think technical ability and soul
must be on the opposite sides of the planet. I can't really measure
technical ability, maybe that's why a lot of our sound is really basic.
There is a real minimal approach to what we do and that approach often
leaves room for something else, and is a good backdrop to the lyrics."
And one of the things that first drew me to your music, were your honest,
thoughtful and touching lyrics. But are there any bands' or songwriters'
lyrics that you admire?
James: "Lyrically, Hank Williams is an influence, and a lot of
his lyrics have played on my mind a lot - I can really believe the authenticity
in them when I hear his words. Aye."
13. Is it heartening for you, to think that your songs, will now become
a part of the soundtrack to many peoples' lives?
James: "I've never thought about that really, and I've never even
imagined it to be honest with you (long pause + thinking). If that ever
happens, then I guess it's quite a flattering thing man, do you know
what I mean? That's quite a far-out idea for me really (smiling), but
it would be flattering if that did happen!"
14. Glasvegas have a classically cool rock 'n' roll image, but who
for you, have been some of the sharpest dressed bands and artists over
the past 50 years?
James: "Let me see (long pause + thinking). I'll go for the obvious,
and say between 1954 and 1959. I quite like the simplicity of that period,
which is probably an obvious thing for me to say, because that era is
an influence on my music as well, but, I'll pick that time!"
15. If you could join any other band for just one night, who would
James: "Probably Elvis Presley's band."
16. How would you spend your ideal day?
James: "An ideal day off, would be me and Dean at the amusements,
playing each other at football games and hockey, and maybe eating some
candy floss! Also, if there was a pier with roller coasters and an aqua
park, and a free tab at the bar all day, that would be good (laughing)!
Dean, can you think of anything else? You can have anything!"
Dean: "A small stall that allows you to play games that you used
to play years ago, like Sensible Soccer
James: (laughing) "That would be pretty cool man!"
17. What is your biggest extravagance?
James: "Well, what I need to get is my shoes re-healed! I think
that would be my biggest extravagance (laughing), but I need to soundcheck,
so I'm not going to have time today. But if I bought myself a pair of
new shoes, that would be quite a big extravagance (smiling)! Aye."
18. James, you love football and nearly chose this as a professional
career - once revealing, "I never bought records when I was at
school, and if I saw someone with a guitar, I just thought, what can
that guy be getting out of life with that guitar? It must be boring
and I'm so glad I'm just into my football." Although your outlook
later changed, as a massive football fan, who do you think is the greatest
footballer of all-time?
James: "The greatest footballer of all-time? Wow! Let's make a
shortlist here before we (pausing), Jimmy Johnson
Dean: "Cantona. Giggs
James: "David Cooper maybe? I'd say it's either Jimmy Johnson,
or it's a Rangers player called David Cooper. And my reasons for that
is probably just (pausing), I've not got any reasons, but I think they're
the 2 greatest of all-time man!"
19. Do you have any favourite haunts in Glasgow, that you'd recommend
James: "Well there are some places if you take a walk along The
River Clyde. It's quite nice on a sunny day - you can walk right along
the path, but just don't walk there at night! Are there any other places
in Glasgow (long pause + thinking)? I would say that."
20. You've now spent the past couple of years developing as a band,
but what are your memories of the first ever gig that you all played
together, and if you could play a show anywhere in the world, at any
venue, where would it be?
James: "The first show was just like the shows we play now - we're
trying to get from the beginning of it until the end of it, without
totally fucking it up too much! That's my biggest aim with each gig
that we play, and it's my biggest aim for tonight (laughing)! If I could
play a show anywhere in the world, at any venue, it would be at Glasgow
Barrowlands (pausing), and also at the Bowery Ballroom in New York.
A lot of people have said that the Bowery's a really nice venue
Gloucester Guildhall is also where I've wanted to play as well (laughing)!"
21. Are there any artists or bands that you really dislike, but can't
help liking one of their songs?
James: "I'm pretty open-minded man. I mean I'm a fan of music and
I don't care how uncool somebody is - if they've got a good song, then
I believe that they're good! I guess there are some people who are quite
(pausing), not demonised, but in rock 'n' roll bands, people frown upon
certain songwriters and stuff. To be honest, I'm a fan of Pete Waterman
- Stock, Aitken & Waterman - for what they did. Maybe it isn't thought
of in the rock 'n' roll scene as being a cool thing or whatever, but,
I think they did really well and should be appreciated a little bit
more. But there's loads of people who should be appreciated more, do
you know what I mean? That was just off the top of my head - I won't
be starting some big campaign for people to appreciate Stock, Aitken
& Waterman (laughing), but Well Done to them man!"
22. Which song should every young guitarist learn to play, and of
groups past and present, who do you think will continually inspire bands
James: "Every young guitarist should learn to play Peggy Sue by
Buddy Holly - it's almost 3 chords, so it's quite simple. I think bands
like Oasis will continue to inspire kids to pick up a guitar, but then
I think it's always moving on as well you know? I guess The Libertines
have inspired some British bands to form, but then it's totally different
in America - they'll be other bands there who'll inspire kids to pick
up guitars, but I'm not entirely sure who the bands are. But then they'll
be another band that will come out! I think the key things to inspire
bands to start are probably (pausing), if kids look at something and
they see it as being something that they could do, i.e. it's simple
enough that they can do it (pausing), I think The Ramones were such
an influential band, and I think that was one of the reasons. People
could actually (pausing), especially when it was going into punk at
that point, people felt that they could do that. And it was the same
thinking right through to Oasis. But then I think a lot of the genius
ideas in rock 'n' roll, have been the most simple and obvious ones,
do you know what I mean? So whoever's going to inspire the next generation
of kids to pick up a guitar, it's going to have to be (pausing), not
unbelievably technical to play, it'll probably be something pretty simple,
but something really good kind of thing."
23. Almost every label has now chased after you with a record deal,
and today will be remembered as an important piece of Glasvegas' history,
as it's your last ever day as an unsigned band. Can you tell us more?
James: "Well, we've agreed with Sony / Columbia and we're going
to sign tomorrow."
*I say Congratulations*
"It's just the beginning man, and lots of bands need stuff like
that. They get a platform to bring out an album, and either the time
is right or the time is not right, do you know what I mean? But we'll
just kind of see what happens."
*I ask James if there was a reason why Glasvegas chose this particular
"It was just instinct really, because I think a lot of labels have
the same template, and they've got the same (pausing), not ethos, but
they've got the same ideas. I don't think any of them have any brand
new super duper ideas, that nobody else has ever heard of in the industry.
So, I think it was just instinct. I mean we met some really nice people
man, and a guy called Seymour Stein flew over from New York to meet
and speak to us - he signed The Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna!
He's such a sweet guy, and he was telling us amazing stories and stuff.
And although we've chosen to go with Sony / Columbia, I'd still love
to meet Seymour again and hang out - the guy's 70 man, but his stories
are unbelievable! So in that sense, I'm quite glad that we met a few
people, because we met some good people man, do you know what I mean?
We could only go with one and you just have to do it! But as I said,
it was based on instinct - there was no reason really."
24. James, you were quoted as saying, "I would love it if people
could keep faith in what they are doing, and know eventually that it's
going to get to people, and if our band can help people do that, then
that's something beautiful." But can you tell us what we can expect
from your debut album, and what your biggest hopes are for Glasvegas
James: "Well you can expect that I'm going to give myself to the
album as much as I can - I'm going to let my guard down as much as I
can, and I'm going to try and make the most soulful album that I can!
I'm going to push myself right to the limit man! I'm going to give everything,
to try and make it as special as I can for people that buy it, and for
people who want to listen to it or whatever. They'll get (pausing),
I'll throw myself at it, do you know what I mean? You can expect that!
My long-term hopes for the band are that us four as people, are happy
- if we're all happy and inspired, then we've got hope for the future!
If we've got that man, then I don't think we can go too far wrong."
25. Lastly, chips or cream buns?
James: "Can I not have chips with cream buns as a desert (looking
*I say that if you really want to, then you can*
"But then I would really need a can of IRN-BRU as well, because
I can't eat without a drink of ginger. So, I'll have it all man (laughing)!"
A very special thanks to James, Rab, Paul and Caroline,
to Glasvegas' Manager / Tour Manager Dean, and to Carl @ Coalition,
for all of their time and help.
Gloucester Set List
Flowers & Football Tops
Polmont On My Mind
Go Square Go
Be My Baby
"I won't be the lonely one sitting on my own and sad,
A 50-year-old reminiscing what I had,
Forget your Dad, he's gone."