Desribed as ‘Blending energy with melody, Start Static give us a debut album packed full of songs you can imagine creating a frenzied sing-along at a live gig’ – Jim Gellatly, The Sun and XFM. Static Start are a 4 piece indie rock band from Glasgow. John Allan – Vocals and Chris Kay – Bass & Backing Vocals did the following interview with us.

How would you describe your music?

Chris:  ENERGETIC! We all have influences which are fairly different from each other however the thing we have in common is a love for playing live shows. Our approach to writing is based on getting the best sound we can from a live performance.

John: And sweaty. We are a pretty sweaty band! It’s rock music for dancing to. Music for winchin’ (Scottish term for kissing!). We get some pretty eclectic comparisons, so hopefully that means we’ve got our own sound – but if you like rock music then you SHOULD like us.

Tell us about how the history of the band?

Chris: Start Static was basically the result of the four of us progressing through a variety of different bands over the years. Most recently I had a wee project with Tap and Mike. We had been jamming together for a few months during a time when we were all between bands. At first it was just a mess around but momentum started to gather when the early versions of tracks such as Reckless came together. Tap knew this guy called John who could sing so he brought him to the studio one night and that was that – we became Start Static.

John: Reckless was after I joined ya pure liar, stop being a diva. hahaha. Yeah I pretty much over-stayed my welcome. I often wonder if these are my band mates or my stalkees. I think stalkee should be a word. It feels like such a long time ago now, but I remember it working really well. I was sulking following the break up of my last band (Kicking Buckets) and was actually a bit apprehensive about joining another band. I think I was probably a bit nervous at that point. As soon as we met up though, I knew it was going to work. We actually wrote most of ‘Love and War’ that first night!

What are you influences/ musical heroes?

Chris: I’m a bit of a bass-face (surprise surprise!) so I like to listen to bands that have a rhythm section that will kick the sh!t out of you when you go and see them live. For example Muse, Korn, Stone Sour are three bands that that just never fail to melt your face when you see them.

John: He is a bass face. He even has an extra string. Show off. I’m a massive NOFX fan, but my first love was Blink 182. They seem to have been a bit of a gateway punk drug to the masses. Enter Shikari and 21 Pilots have been getting loads of spins recently – and they both have incredible live sets. I love some pop and dance too.

What inspires you?

John: I write lyrics based on just about anything. No subject is off the cards – but I suppose the new album so far has been about fear of getting old. Crippling hangovers. Politics. and Partying. Girls too. teehee. I make notes of things that I want to write about – and the beauty of that is that often I’ll write something when I’m out, and then find it in my phone when I wake up. Maybe I just plaigiarise when i’m drunk then think I’ve written good lyrics because I can’t remember. That would be rubbish.

I like to write about imaginary situations too – by putting myself in someone else’s shoes and writing from their perspective – that can be fun.

Chris: Seeing bands from Scotland which I knew of when they were small making the big time now is inspiring to me. In a nutshell, it shows that it can actually be done.

John: Totally – look at Biffy. I saw them open up one of the tents at Gig on the green in about 2001, and now they are headlining Reading and Leeds. That is pretty special. I like that they have gradually grown too – they never really had a defining moment, but have had a defining career! Simon looks proper tidy these days. I saw him buying an iPhone once. Good story eh?

Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?

Chris: the best part about touring is all of the weird and wonderful nights out we get to have. This absolutely gives inspiration for song writing.

John: Yeah it sure does. We probably don’t write a whole lot of complete songs when on the road, but I think a lot of ideas come together. Then when we are back at rehearsals we will attack them. I always find it funny how some songs can take months to write, and others can come together as if by accident. It’s also crazy how the simple sounding songs can be the hardest ones to pin down.  I wish we had the budget to go in and write while recording – just to see how the product changed. We’ve been working with Bruce Rintoul recently – and things are sounding amazing. I don’t think he would put up with us writing from scratch in the studio though. We’re annoying.

What is your favourite song to perform live?

John: I go through wee phases, and it can change. Recently I have been loving ‘You sure like to shout’ which will be on the next album. It has a really good live feel to it and has been getting a good reaction. Our new single ‘A Certain Shade of Red’ is probably my favourite just now though. Lots of backing vocals made it feel really loud live.

Chris: I love playing Reckless. It’s been a fan favourite since day one. The band loves opening sets with it as its loud, energetic and just a brilliant way to kick off a set!

What would be your dream tour to be a part of?

Chris: Being a bit of a skater kid at heart I’d love to go on the Vans Warpped Tour to play alongside bands like Blink 182 and Green Day.

John: That would be pretty hard to beat eh… WELL ACTUALLY – we were at Punk Rock Holiday, and that was amazing this year. I think my dream tour would need to take that in. You are at a music festival, but also on a beach, basking in the sun. Such a beautiful part of the world too (Slovenia). In terms of which bands would be good to take along with us – I reckon ‘We Came From Wolves’ and ‘Noah Noah’ would be a riot. They are magic bands – but I reckon we’d have a hell of a party. Handsome devils anawl.

What are you current thoughts on the music industry?

John: I think it is pretty challenging for new bands to attract the interest of record companies because there is probably less of an appetite to take risks. That being said – technology has totally opened the world up and bands can launch themselves, and have worldwide distribution. So I suppose there are good and bad sides. Look at bands like Enter Shikari – they have basically build themselves up into an arena sized band, while managing everything themselves. That will afford them freedoms that a lot of major label bands can only dream of. I suppose it’s like anything – you don’t get nuthin’ for free.

Chris: I like the fact that music is much more accessible nowadays. I still find it absolutely astonishing that you can dig out pretty much any track you want to hear on your phone in a matter of seconds. From a gigging point of view, I think it’s a mixed bag. Some places are so fantastic and accommodating and yet other places are cliquey and generally not enjoyable to deal with. I think that a large part of our success to date is the relationship with the management and local fans at the venues we play in. in short, if we have a great time at a venue we will try our best to book up a follow-up gig whist we are there. We have found it such a fantastic way of building up connections in the industry as well as a fantastically loyal fan base.

What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?

Chris: On the way back from a gig in Inverness we passed a white church. Apparently we had drank enough to base an entire video [“Big Ideas”] on Tap playing in front of this church kidding on he was Slash. I still can’t decide if we were laughing with or at him at the time but it was certainly one of the most surreal events of my life in Start Static.

John: We are pretty bad for losing our merch. We once left it at a venue in Edinburgh, but didn’t realise we had left it there. We then played NEXT DOOR to where we had left it, but then only realised where we had left it after driving to Montrose for a gig. So while that isn’t very weird, or all that great a story… It’s a good insight into how daft we are I got to dance like Dita Von Teese in a champagne glass in Perth once. That was great. Then there was the time that I slept in a tent in a Children’s play park in Hawick… That was a much better idea the night before. Not so much the next morning.

What are your future plans?

Chris: Get more singles out then get ourselves out playing gigs around the country and have a hell of a time doing it. That’s why I’m here after all!

John: A Certain Shade of Red will be out soon with a video too. After that we’ll be looking to get the ‘You Sure Like to Shout’ out too. We’ve been writing and recording the second album too – and that is sneaking up on us. I think we’ve recorded about 7 songs now, although we’ll wait until we have a big pool to pick from. SXSW is on the cards for next year too – so things are pretty busy and a whole lotta fun! Cheers for having us, Speak soon x


About The Author

Always on the lookout for new music, Jo has an eclectic taste from 80's synth pop to black metal. Music creates many emotions and memories for Jo, using it as a soundtrack to her life. She en devours to absorb music, using it to inspire her creative works.

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