Part 2 of 2
This is the second part of the interview with Sons and Daughters .
Prefix Magazine: So when you guys come up with songs, how does the process work?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: DG: Some mixture of things. Sometimes Scott will write or Ailidh comes up with a mandolin song, and we just jam and play and play and play until something comes up. We’ll fuck up and then something good will come up.
SP: A lot of times the best part of songs comes from the mistakes you make in practice. And someone will do a bum note, but it’s not quite a bum note. We’ll be like, “That’s good. Can you do that again?” That’s how a lot of our songs come together, through making mistakes in practice.
DG: The trick is recognizing a good mistake versus a bad one.
PM: Do you guys have a favorite song on the album?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: DG: I know what my favorite song is. My favorite song is “Awkward Duet.” I knew it the day we were in the studio. It’s the last song on the record, and it stays in your mind.
AL: The song I really like to play best live is “Blood.”
AB: Mine has changed quite a few times. It was actually “Blood” because I really enjoyed playing that one, and then it went from “Hunt” to “Johnny Cash.” Now I don’t particularly have a favorite one. But I like a lot of the newer ones.
SP: A lot of the newer ones I really enjoy playing. But off the record, I really like “Start to End.” I like the lyrical content and I love the mandolin line in it. I like the way it just explodes at the end.
PM: “Awkward Duet” is my favorite too, but it’s definitely different from the rest of the album.
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: It was an older song. I used to play acoustic shows around town. I just had the skeleton for the song and I brought it into practice one day and we had an idea to make it a duet between me and Adele. We were kind of replying to each other. The full band version of it is just so much better than any kind of acoustic version. Adele wrote the lyrics for it. It’s a good closer because it does have duets, but it’s the last one and it’s more personal and awkward. Hence the name.
PM: Have you guys chosen a single yet?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: AB: It’s going to be a new version of “Johnny Cash.” It’s more rock sounding.
SP: More like the live version we play now. A lot of these songs are a year old or even two years old. They’ve changed over the year when we’ve been playing them live. There’s a new song on the B-side as well; I don’t know if it’s going to appear in the U.S. release.
PM: When the album comes out in the U.S., will it come with lyrics?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: I don’t think so. The thing about lyrics is that if you lay it out and tell people that’s what you’re saying, people don’t ask you if that’s what you’re saying. I like when people come to you and say, “Oh, I like that line.” Sometimes it’s a real interesting take and it’s not necessarily what your saying but it can be more interesting. That way you can keep it ambiguous.
PM: Without sounding too serious or professional, what are you guys trying to achieve with the music?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: I guess just to move people.
[Lennon takes out a notepad with a !!! sticker. I take my out notepad with a !!! sticker and point to it. There’s a chorus of “aahs.”]
SP: Did you see them play recently?
PM: Actually, they had a show last week and it was crazy ‘cause it was on a boat, but I missed it.
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: They’ll blow you back. Me and Ailidh saw them a few weeks ago in London, and we only managed to see the last half. But the singer and the band, it was great.
PM: It’s bizarre, but in New York City the crowds don’t dance or move much, except for a few bands like !!!.
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: It’s the same with London audiences, which can be a bit weird and standoffish, but not at night. They get mental.
Going back to the band and the question of the goal, I don’t know about anyone else, and I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I want to be able to move people, whether it’s physically move and enjoy it or make the hairs in the back of their necks stand up. People have said that to me, and you can’t get a bigger compliment than that. Live, there’s a lot of screaming on stage. And if people see you giving everything, they can get into it.
AL: You can’t just stand up there and play. It’s more than that.
SP: You’re having a great time on stage and you want everyone out there to have a great time. It’s not terribly happy music; a lot of it’s quite dark. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching it or be moved by it.
AB: I hate when I see bands and it seems as if they don’t even like their music. Do you know what I mean?
PM: As a fan, if the band plays a show and it’s just like listening to the CD, I just think I can play the CD at home.
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: Exactly.
PM: Some people heard Love the Cup last year when it came out on Ba Da Bing, but for most, the Domino release will be the first listen of you guys. Are you guys going to start recording the next album soon?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: We’re probably going to start recording again in November or December. We’re so busy with the record coming out. I’m really looking forward to recording again. Like me and Ailidh were saying, I really love playing the new songs.
PM: What’s different about the new album?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: SP: The songs on Love the Cup I see as the basic foundation of Sons and Daughters. The next album and the next album after that, we’ll build on that. A lot of the new songs are very aggressive, but there’re a couple of new songs that have more tender moments, kind of like “Awkward Duet.” We’re just going to keep taking chunks of music we like and taking other things we like and put them together. We’re not going to be stale and just do the same old formula. We’ll definitely take on new territories but at the same time stay the same. That didn’t make any sense at all. [Laughs]
PM: I read you guys had an amazing buzz at SXSW. How would you describe that show?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: It was downstairs at like a burlesque show We didn’t realize how many people would be there It was such a great response and there was a lot of great things said in the press. And back home there’s a really respected music magazine called Music Week for the industry and it was talking about bands from Britain that made an impact and it was only two bands and it was us and a band from Canada. We’ve been too very random places and people will come up to us and say we saw you at SXSW.
PM: Do you guys have any shout outs?
Sons and Daughters: Part Two: AL: Uncle John and Whitelock, Park Attack.
SP: Big shout out to Errors. There is a band called Mother & the Addicts back home and they are superb. You’ll hear about them very soon.
AB: There’s a band called the Party Bacon, they sing songs about meat.
SP: Every song is about meat. The have songs like “Jump for the Meat” and the “Steaks Are High.”
AL: One of the funniest bands in Glasgow is a band called Canned. It’s two people that work at the studio where we recorded; one of them is the engineer at the studio. They’re by far one of the most entertaining bands in Glasgow. They don’t play very much because they don’t have many records out there.
DG: James Orr Complex. A one-man orchestra. Absolutely beautiful.