The Whisky River Band catch a few words with Chris Lemon. Photos by McIntosh Photography and Thomas Bisset Photography.
For the uninitiated The Whisky River Band are Kris Douglas, Fraser McLean, Iain Duncan, Chris Ronaldson and Andy Davidson. They have been kicking up a stir on the local scene for a wee while now so we thought it was time to catch them again (for previous articles see invernessGiGs likes The Whisky River Band a lot).
We caught up with the band prior to sound checking at The Ironworks, where they were playing with Dog is Dead ( See Dog is Dead, Faultless). First on the bill, there is still a clear anxiety about whether anybody will show “because there will be nobody there at eight o’clock”, coments Fraser, although history tells a different tale and the support for the band at the gig is clearly in force.
Last year, the momentum was clearly built for the band and 2011, the secret of their success appears simple “we took everything that was offered to us” indeed it defied popular convention for some bands in Inverness “ we played shit loads of shows and built up a fan base and it was good to see people come to the gigs and know the songs and be right into it”.
So what of 2012? for The Whisky River Band, Kris explains “ we’re in the studio now recording the album which is coming along great and guest musicians come keep it local , we have a local artist doing the artwork, keeping close with friends and stuff” The guests include Jake Bolt , formerly of The Boosts and now pursuing solo work and Megan Blyth is going to do some vocals on a track. Megan will sing on a new track called ‘Back towards the truth’ .
The dynamic of song writing has changed “we’ve gotten into the dynamic of song writing before we were really straight forward”, Fraser interjects “turn it up and go for it”. Although it is clear that the style is evolving, dare we say maturing, “we have been thinking about differently about how we play our instruments, putting more parts in, making it more melodic”. Iain adds “it comes with age”
On discussing new material, influences include the London riots, current affairs and the state of the world in general. Kris explained his frustration with elements of society “I always have a beef with the way people perceive the world” especially referring to the need for context with other cultures/ parts of the world.
“You Missed The Point”, one of the bands new songs clearly is a great example of this, the groups humour is clearly evident as accusation of new televisions and amps are thrown around the room.The song was played at the Winter Showcase “ just before we played the song, the police came in just before the song was played, they came in wandered around and they left and we dedicated the song to them as they walked out the door”.
We have got some good shows coming up, sneakily avoiding any questions about Belladrum including a trip down to Liverpool on the 20th and 21st of May. Then the focus goes to the the album launch and although plans are still to be confirmed, it’s clear that efforts are being made to make it quite an event.
Of course they plan to play the festivals this year although sneakily avoiding any questions about Belladrum (for which they have now been announced for). Brew at the Bog and Rockness are both festivals that they would like to play, especially an opportunity to play an electric gig at Bogbain, as last year they played an acoustic set at The Whisky Festival. “Our main problem was the free whisky”, more than one of the band members insightfully agreed.
You can catch Kris and Andy play Hootananny on the 18th of April, further dates are just around the corner…