Though just releasing its debut full-length album, Cokefloat!, earlier this month, PAWS has already been working hard to make a name for itself. The Glasgow-based trio has been playing music together for three years (though previously under a different name), and in that time has gone from recording with minimal equipment to working in a fancy studio with a fancy producer (Rory Attwell of Test Icicles).
Aside from the sound upgrade, the garage pop-rock outfit has performed with the likes of No Age and Wavves (among other impressive acts), and found itself playing in some interesting venues, including a double decker bus. The band is currently on a two-month long tour with Japandroids in UK, and despite the chaos of life on the road, vocalist Phillip Taylor was nice enough to chat with me about the new album, Glasgow’s music scene, and when we can expect PAWS in North America.
How long have the three of you been playing music together? Tell me about how PAWS came to be.
I guess for nearly three years now. Josh and myself met in school and started messing around and jamming in my mum’s house in Tain (Highlands of Scotland). We were introduced to Matt via our close friend Nick from Glasgow. The four of us were a band called A Copenhagen Hope for a brief period of time until Nick moved on to work on different projects. Then we carried on just the 3 of us and without Nick. Our sound changed and we renamed the project as I was left as the sole songwriter.
You just released your debut album, Cokefloat!, congratulations! How does it feel to have a record under your belt?
Thanks very much! Yeah, it’s a really nice achievement. We’ve always wanted to have a full length LP out, so it’s another thing ticked of this list. Can’t wait to make more.
Your songs are charmingly lo-fi, tell me about the recording process with this album.
I actually don’t think the LP is lo-fi at all! We recorded it in a nice studio with a big desk! I think it sounds really full. Our old recordings are lo fi for sure as we had minimal tools to work with, but we never made a choice to be “lo fi”. We always wanted to make a full sounding record; we just didn’t have the facilities or equipment. It was great recording on the boat with Rory (Attwell). I think we were all a little nervous, albeit excited about going into the studio as we had never stepped foot inside a real studio before to record our music, especially with a producer! But Rory just let us do our thing and documented it. It was really natural; we just set up and played for a week.
I read that your lyrical content comes from personal experiences. Why do you feel it’s important to write about real life occurrences?
I dunno. I just find it hard to write metaphors and puzzles for people to sit and figure out or decipher. I tend to document the things that happen to me in my life, even if they seem irrelevant or boring to anyone else. I’m not sure why I do it.
Your music has a hazy garage-punk vibe to it. What bands would you say are your largest influences?
We all have really varied musical tastes from hardcore to country. But, for me personally, people like Patti Smith, Ben Gibbard, Michael Stipe and Kurt Cobain have all had a pretty big impact on me growing up.
You have played shows with the likes of No Age, The Babies, Wavves and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. How did it feel to be supporting bands of this stature?
Good yeah, they were all just good dudes and it’s nice to have made new friends from playing shows with people you feel a kinship with from so far away. It’s exciting to be on the bill with bands that you know are doing it for the same reason that you are.
Did you ever feel it was hard to play live shows before releasing an album?
No, not at all. Playing live shows, travelling and meeting new people is the best part of being in a rock and roll band.
You’ve played shows at some crazy venues—bathrooms, skate parks, a double-decker bus—what is the weirdest place you’ve ever performed?
Probably the bus for sure.
You are based out of Glasgow. How is the music scene over there?
Right now, it’s actually pretty good. There are bands like Happy Particles, North American War, Secret Motorbikes and fantastic songwriters like Sean Armstrong, Adam Stafford and R.M Hubbert.
You are currently on tour in UK. Any plans for a North American tour?
Yeah! Today is the last day of two months worth of touring! I’m sad that we have to say goodbye (for now) to our new best friends Japandroids.
For sure, we are so excited about our first trip to North America. If all goes to plan, we will be with you all in March!
What’s next for PAWS?
Write more songs, release more records, play more shows, meet more people, come to the United States of America and meet all the wonderful people that live there.