Interview With 'Start Static'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
John: - I am John, and I sing.
Stephen: - I am Stephen (Tap), and I play guitar.
We are half of Start Static from Glasgow.
John: I got the call from Stephen Tap to come and help with some song writing with his band with Chris & Mike. We had a few beers and played with some ideas, then I completely overstayed my welcome and continue to do so. Once I stay the night I'm no leavin...
Stephen: We formed back in 2013 although had all been friends in some form or another prior to that. Myself, Chris (Bass) and Mike (Drums) had played in bands previously and thought we were done on the whole band thing when the last band broke up. After a while we all get a little bored and went back into the studio with some ideas. After a few weeks we remembered that none of us could really sing or write lyrics so I asked John to help with a song as I thought it would fit his style, he came down to the studio and it all took shape from then on in.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
John: I only ever wanted to be in a band. In all honesty it started out that I just wanted to do what my heros were doing. Unfortunately for audiences that saw me starting a band before I could play or sing a note. But in reality those are some of the best years - forming who you are going to be. I had some years off after singing with Kicking Buckets, and thought the dream was over. All of a sudden I’m having the time of my life producing the best music I’ve been involved in.
Stephen: Prior to this band I was in a few other bands but this seems to work in a completely different way in terms of writing, focus and aspirations than any other band I’ve ever been in. I don’t think any of us really remember a time before being in a band, I certainly started playing with bands when I was 14 and have pretty much always been in at least one band since then. We all have jobs and other hobbies but this is the main focus at the moment.
Being in a band has really been a dream of mine forever although I think that’s changed over time. When I was younger it was pretty much the typical dream of selling out stadiums, without realising that bands who sold out stadiums had been working tirelessly, probably for 15 years playing to small and often empty venues all over the world for years. The more we do and the more recognition we are lucky enough to be getting I really appreciate the fact that there are individuals as well as press who firstly seem to like what we’re producing and secondly give us their time and money to come along, buy tickets, merch and then share and promote it. That’s a great feeling!
Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.
We would like people to check it out because we love it!
John: When my dad was showing me his record collection he would say things like The Police and The Clash were hard not to like because of loud guitars and lots of vocals. I like to think that we can hang around in that category - right next to the Police and the Clash...‘Big Ideas’, ‘Shut Up I’m on it’, and our next single ‘A Certain Shade of Red’ are all really different songs, and I’m happy that we have at last one and a half dimensions to our sound!
Stephen: Our music isn’t complicated – it’s deliberately upbeat and catchy as that’s what we like playing but it definitely has substance to it as well. John is a great lyricist and tends to write about things which are easy to relate to – he also has a really good ear for a hook and choirs of backing vocals!
We always try to do something a little bit inventive and interesting with our videos to make things accessible and engaging for people. We do all of our videos ourselves.
We released our debut album last year which was really well received and full of what we think are all equally strong songs – we hate ‘filler’ on albums. The biggest accolades for me from that, were launching it with a headline show at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and being included in The Herald’s Top 50 Scottish Albums of last year.
We released five singles off the album and have done a video for each of them, we’ve released two more singles which are not featured on the album and are sounding great and we have a few more to release later in the year. Another massive moment for us was when our second last single was signed to Factory Fast Records in New York for distribution in the US - we have big plans for next year and that is a big step in the right direction for us.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Stephen: God, all the time! I go all fan boy at the drop of a hat haha! I met Duff McKagan once before a Velvet Revolver show and just generally sort of made noises in his direction – I don’t even know what I would do if I met Slash! Other than that though there are some great musicians in Glasgow and some other bands we play with regularly who genuinely are tremendous to see live and I always feel like I learn something or pick something up when I see them doing covers or different versions of their own songs.
John: There are some bands coming out of Glasgow that are making big waves. I don’t think I am very good at playing it cool. One time I was sitting in Slouch (one of the best bars in Glasgow) and I saw Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES and fell off my chair… Some people still do an impression of that moment...
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
John: Rock & Roll. I reckon we translate better into a live show than record. The guys can really play, and we like to make noise. Sweat. Loads of that.
Stephen: Come along and see haha! Generally a lot of good fun to be honest, we try and put a lot of effort into the set to make sure the songs run well together and that everyone gets the chance to enjoy the songs. We like to have a good time and like everyone else to have a good time when we play!
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Stephen: If you were to force me to pick one I would probably have to say Foo Fighters, purely in terms of their music, their approach and the fact they just seem to have a great time! The Enter Shikari boys look like they have a riot as well!
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
John: Another good shout. I want to say Tom Delonge. I seriously idolised Tom for so many years. My lip piercing was 100% to try and look like him. In recent years, I think I’ve become a bit confused. The new blink-182 record suggests to me that he ended up holding the band back - and I think I would like to be in my own make believe documentary with him. I think he’s concentrating on proving that Aliens exists (hey mom, there’s something in the back room) - which they probably do - but I’m intrigued to see what makes him tick. Bet I’d just sing at him in his accent. God I love him.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Stephen: Yipee Ki Yay! (Yes – Sorry, rubbish banter)
John: I’m gutted that Stephen got that in there before me. And worse, he then called it rubbish banter… Of course it is. WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!
We just want to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
John: Thank you - and see you soon.
Stephen: Thanks very much for having us, we really appreciate anyone who takes time to listen to our stuff and helps spread the word! Cheers!x
Check out their video for 'Shut Up I'm On It'