Saturday, March 16, 2013

[Interview] Owls In Antarctica

You'd be excused for thinking this was the start of a bad joke, but I recently had a interview with a Scotsman, a Englishman and a Irishman. The trio that is Drew, Dougie and Glenn form "Owls in Antarctica" who are currently cutting paths through the Glasgow music scene with thier aggressive raw sounding music and powerhouse performances! I was able to catch up with them recently for a exclusive interview for Justice Never Sleeps.        

So you guys are from different parts of the Country, how did you all come together to form Owls In Antarctica?

Glenn – Well we all met at the Artschool.

Drew – Yeah, Me and Doug study Architecture together.

Dougie– It all started on the Berlin trip and I started talking to Drew about bands and he found out I played drums.

Drew – The magic happened in Berlin!

Glenn – I used to live With Drew in halls and he wanted to play Bass and I semi taught him how to play bass. I heard Doug played Drums and I saw a wee picture of him of him on Facebook and he looked like he knew how to play drums.

How how did things progress from there? Did you just hire out a rehearsal studio and see what you could Jam?

Glenn - Yeah, we jammed out Bodies in Flight by Biffy Clyro!

Dougie – Yeah! Picking a cover to see where things could go from there.

Glenn – It was good craic, even by the end of that one I had a wee song we were mucking around with and that was like the first song that we ever played and we jammed it on the first day but it didn't stay........

Drew – It never made it.......... (RIP)

So who would you guys put under your main influences for OIA?

Drew – yourcodenameis:milo!

Glen – AW MATE! Me and Drew are big into yourcodenameis:milo!.... I also worship Biffy! And as well as these Drew and Dougie are HUGE architects fans! The architects love Architects!

Great bands! I felt I heard elements of Reuben and Hell is for Heroes. would I be right in saying you guys are fans?


Glenn – Reuben, yourcodenameis:milo, Biffy Clyro and Architects are probably the main Four.................... United Fruit!

Drew – Yeah United Fruit! Great local Band.

Glenn – They are Class!

Dougie – We are not as heavy as Architects though!

Glenn – We Listen to a lot of different stuff!

Drew – Dougie pervs on your from Sam Carter from Architects!

Ha! We all have bro crushes. So how did the name Owls in Antarctica come about?

Drew – We like the idea of Owls!

Glenn – It pretty much came from another influence, Deftones. We printed off there Diamond Eyes album cover for 10p in the Architecture labs 400x from scale and it still only cost us 10p! Because we loved the cover so much, back when me and Drew used to jam songs in 1st Year we thought we should call our band “Owls are well Cool”........................... that went down a unanimous fail.

Drew – So we googled “owls” and one fact that came about is that Antarctica is the only continent where Owls are not found.

So your EP “Princes” is out which was produced by David Ree's. (Free Download or you can get a physical EP for £3, the artwork was hand drawn by Glenn Kennedy himself, talented bastard!) what else have you got in the pipeline we should get excited about?

Glenn – We are hopefully recording a new single pretty soon! Called Ted Vera and the Clockwork Dog Brigade..... That is another band name related banter, our good ole' buddy when he was younger had trouble picking a band name and there was a random band name generator , there was a huge list of things and one of them was the Ted Vera and Clockwork Dog Brigade! He was leaving to do a ski season out in Paris and we were like “Michael man! We are going to name a song for you!”

Lucky guy! Any gigs coming up that we should be aware of?

Drew – well right now we are just concentrating on the single.

Glenn - And we are thinking about working on a new EP, probably over Spring/Summer

Drew – We've had a busy few months gigging!

Glenn – So we are hopefully trying to get this stuff recorded and also write some new stuff.

Drew – We are going to have a pretty quit March really

Glenn – We do! Have a gig in April? (looks at Drew)

Drew – Yeah, its with “Axis of” and “Clockwork Social”

Drew + Dougie – Yeah we do! At Bar Bloc!

Looking forward to it! So as a band what's been your best experience so far? Like a live show or recording?

Dougie – Recording the EP in summer was a great laugh!

Drew – We made a video diary for the single and that was such a laugh! But it was one of those have to be there things but it was so much fun!

Drew – Favourtie gig?

Glenn – More than Conquerors and Bear Arms, at Broadcast was awesome!

Dougie + Glenn – Great gig!

Dougie – The Artschool gig we played at just before summer last year!

Glenn – Yeah, all our pals where there, I think it was free in and it was rammed!

Dougie - We had just been through a tough few months at Uni and we played this gig at the end!

Drew – I really enjoyed the Roxy gig as well, with Bianca and Sigma Logic supporting.

So guys, there's an awesome rock scene in Glasgow but what would you guys say makes you different from the other bands kicking about?

Drew – hmmm.. Well I think we avoid having verse chorus verse chorus bridge outro. You can tell that by the EP.

Glenn – Yeah, we don't avoid that structure on purpose because we wouldn’t want to deliberately do that. Some songs are standard verse, chorus, verse, chorus but some of the others just move into different places.
Dougie – I would say we don't really think as much as that when we are doing it!

Glenn – We'll usually have a pile of lines, guitar lines and beats for one song and try and arrange all the bits we actually like into a song as such and whether that means knocking the second verse on the head or writing two chorus's.

Glenn and Drew, you guys both do screamo parts in the band?

Glenn – Hah! Yeah that's Drew's Yorkshire aggression and Dougie just mimes!

Drew – He hums and whistles!

Glenn - We're going to train him up for a 3 part scream!

So who are you guys loving in the Glasgow scene at the moment?

Drew – United Fruit!

Glenn – Let's give everyone a shout out here! Clockwork Social! Vasa!

Drew – Great Lads!

Glenn – Inuit!

Drew – Yeah they haven't gigged yet but there playing at the end of march! Which everyone should get down to!

Dougie – A sudden burst of Colour, their absolutely fantastic!
Glenn – Bear Arms! Young Philadelphia! Crusades!

Drew – DirtDrinker and Another Years Effort!

Glenn – Bianca!

Drew – Its a pretty rich alt music scene!

So guys, you'll have a lot of friends in Glasgow, but take this scene out of the equation who in the world are you digging right now?

Dougie – Well I've started listening to Mallorie Knox

Glenn – Ah they've got big thick beats!

Glenn – Biffy's new album is class! Its controversial like, some people really hate them now but not as much as Puzzle and Only Revolutions but I've always been a fan!

Drew – I've been listening to a lot Deftones at the moment!

Glenn – Yeah we went to see them the other week, they were great!

Dougie – Last big band I went and saw was Bon Ivor! I had a huge hangover that day and they just cured it right up!

Drew – There's a band that we've gone to see a few times together as a three, “And so I watched from Afar” we went to see them support “The Joy Formidable” at the Oran Mor then they only got a really short set so they were like “screw this” and they went and played Bloc, so we went there and it was literally rammed!

Dougie – I hadn’t heard them before I was just kicking along with these two and its probably one of the best gigs I've been to! It was absolutely insane!
Me – That must have been sick to have seen them in such a small venue!

Glenn – I got scolded during that gig!

Dougie – Yeah for talking!

Glenn – When I said to Dougie that their singer, the female that is, I said “She is rather attractive” and then this massive tall guy behind me just *PROD PROD PROD* “SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”.......

Brontide as well are a sick band!

Dougie – Yeah that Gig was insane! I love how they started and just continued to play for like the full 45 mins and you could hardly tell when they started a new song!

Glenn – That gig was so loud that I got a series of migraines for the next three days I had to go get a spinal tap! Migraines induced by Bellow Below, Vasa and Brontide.

Hah, that sounds like an epic gig! So with OIA what's the 3 year plan? Go with the flow or have you guys got a plan up your sleeves?

Glenn – Well I would like to think that if we record a new EP with better songs. We got a reasonable to average repoire about the last EP (OIA are very modest gentlemen, take it from me the EP Rocks!) so we hope the new EP is a wee bit better and takes it a step further.

Glenn – Just have plenty of craic man!

Dougie – We are just in it to enjoy it as much as we can man!.

Glenn – Aim for some better shows and some good support slots other than just playing these random shows.

Drew – I feel we have a bit of a foothold in Glasgow now, when we play a show now people will come and see us which is great and hopefully we can build upon that.

Yeah I will definitely say that I now speak to people about Glasgow bands and mention Owls in Antarctica and people will be like “Fuck yeah! Owls in Antarctica!”

Glenn – Ah thats cool! We've met a lot of nice people! It was a good test this year actually because a lot of the guys that came to see us last year would have been from Drew and Dougie's class in Architecture and now these guys are working here on their year out in Glasgow but a lot of other folk are all around the world so at the start of last year in September we'd been playing gigs and there's been almost no one there.

Drew – Yeah we used to bring like 20 of the architecture lot down because they love any excuse for a piss up! Now there's only like 5 or 6 of them left in Glasgow working so the recent gigs have been a measure of who would actually come and see us.

Name one thing you hate about the music industry? And it can be anything!

Glenn – Aw, Pay to play promoters!

Drew – Promoters who make you sell tickets to your friends is one of the worst thing we've come across!

Glenn – Yeah, only getting paid on the tickets you sell. We were playing a gig the other week there and needless to say we didn't sell one, well like we sold 2 for £8 (not their chosen price of tickets). I've seen bands like Winterssleep touring from Canada for £5

Drew - This is a good point to mention, Bar Bloc have got it so ON! That's the thing I love about the music industry! Bar Bloc, free in and you don't have to turn up at five to sound check you can turn up at 7:30 or 8 set it up, do a line check and PLAY! Its a great venue to play and they pay the bands and sometimes feed them! All your mates come down and love it as well, Bar Bloc are doing great things!

Glenn – Our friend Kenny runs a record label called “Good Grief” who a lot of those bands we just mentioned, local bands are signed under him, he's started a night in Bar Bloc called Good Grief's Goop Shop, Its going to be good!

Drew – I love the fact that there are so many bands in Glasgow who I would listen to over bands who everyone in the world knows about.

Dougie – Yeah everyone in the Glasgow music scene is just so decent, that time at the Brontide gig we knew so many people who we've met just through doing this. Its such a good little friend circuit. Everyone’s really out to help each other!

That's what I love about the Glasgow music scene, everyone's so down to earth.

Drew – Yeah man, there's definitely a few cities out there where I think people feel they have to behave in a certain way. There's no pretence in the Glasgow scene

Glenn – There's so many dead sound people! Like Xander from United Fruit. It was the first gig we ever played he was doing sound he was so dead on we didn't know who he was, he told us his band and we hadn’t heard of them before so we checked them out and they are one of the biggest bands in town! And everytime I've met him since he's dead sound and always got something to say. Manners are easily carried but people go over and above the the call of duty.

I totally agree with you about the scene! So guys have we got any last words?

Glenn – Drew, say something final!

Drew– Something profound!......................... Oh God......... Just cheers for doing the interview man like we really appreciate someone taking interest in what we're doing!

The pleasure is all mine guys, thanks for meeting me!

Drew + Glenn + Dougie – Thanks for the interview!

So as you can see OIA are formed by three top gents who are going from strength to strength in the Glasgow music scene! I'll let you guys know when there new EP is due for release or you can keep tabs on the boys yourself by stalking them on their Facebook page here