The Whisky River Band Interview

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The Whisky River Band (WRB) must be one of the hardest working bands, they took some time out to have a chat with us about the band itself, their busy first year, and the plans for the future.
DSC 1397 thumb - The Whisky River Band Interview
There is a vast array of skill and er maturity (sorry Iain!) on show in the band, can you tell us about the individual band members and how you got together?
Kris Douglas
– Vox/guitar: Originally from Melbourne Australia this is Kris’s first serious band. He returned to Scotland in 1994, then went to Millburn Academy and played in a couple of school bands. But got the bug for writing songs whilst travelling the globe.
Fraser McLean – Lead Guitar: Started playing the drums at the age of 14 in school with Colin Fraser (The Boosts) and Chris Ronaldson (WRB and Sneaky Castro). He Moved to Perth where he then learnt the guitar and played with various local outfits down there before returning north. After returning north a few years ago he became involved with the music scene in Inverness jamming with various local musicians before settling with WRB
Iain Duncan – Fiddle: Started playing fiddle when he was 5-6 years old but gave it up at the age of 15. He took up the guitar in his late teens and has been playing in the Inverness music scene for over 20 years with outfits including This Ego Trip, Guilty, Junkhead and Buzz who he still plays for. After rediscovering the fiddle early last year a chance meeting led him to The Whisky River Band.
Chris Ronaldson – Bass: Has been playing bass for a number of years. His brother Kevin who is a well known bass player locally always had basses lying around allowing Chris to develop his playing technique from an early age. His previous bands include various blues outfits and Sneaky Castro
Andy Davidson – Drums: Has been playing drums and percussion for 15 years and has played in various bands including Sneaky Castro, The Outsiders, Nigels Nonsense and The Black Isle Stompers but is currently concentrating his efforts on WRB

We really got together by chance, Kris was jamming with Chris Munro (The Jyrojets) and Paul Mcivor. Paul went off to do different stuff, Fraser joined playing bass and a few months later Iain and Andy got involved. This line up played several gigs in and around Inverness before Chris Munro left. Fraser moved to the guitar and Chris Ronaldson was drafted in on Bass

What are the biggest influences on the bands sounds?
As Kris is the main songwriter the general flow of the songs come from his style of playing/singing. We have found the easiest way is to let him just play the song and we all individually add our own unique touches without really disrupting the flow. Outside influences would include Pearl Jam and The John Butler Trio.
WRB are coming up to their first anniversary, can you tell us what  the first twelve months have been like?
Its been a great year for the band all things considered. We have pretty much been gigging since day one with some top gigs including the Netsounds Unsigned showcase at Christmas as well as the Hogmanay Extravaganza at the Ceol-Mor where we played before and after the bells. We also supported some established acts including The Foxes and Philadelphia Grand Jury downstairs in Hootananny. We recently played at the Inverness Whisky Festival held at Bogbain Farm as well as some memorable gigs with our touring buddies The Boosts around the country and we have just returned from Thurso where we were part of the GoSurf showcase. In between all that we recorded and published our first EP “Open Your Eyes”
The first run of the EP has now sold out, can you tell us about the EP?
It is a 4 track EP called “Open Your Eyes” recorded in Dingwall by Gareth Ince and Robbie Dunsmore. The tracks were mastered in Brighton by Pete Maher at Top Floor Music. We feel it represents our strongest songs at this time consisting of a variety of styles

For people that have not heard you, what track best represents you and why?
That’s easy, No Regrets which is about not giving a dam what anyone else thinks and just living your own life
You can see the band next on the 6th of May at Ceol-Mor (with The Boosts). Other dates are pending, watch this space or:

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Chris Lemon
Chris Lemon
A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me via our Facebook page.