Letters are currently one of Scotland’s most exciting new bands, combining multi-textured strings to give an extra dimension to sublime songwriting.They have just released their debut EP ‘Older Motion Pictures’ through God Is In The TV Records which you can buy digitally for 2.50 here http://www.wewriteletters.bandcamp.com or £5 physically here: http://www.godisinthetvrecords.bigcartel.com/product/letters-older-motion-pictures-ep
Letters are made up by Kerr Donaldson – Drums, Dougie Fuller – Bass, Georgie Williamson – Cello/Vocals, Ed Ellis – Guitar/Vocals and Mikey Ferguson – Guitar/Vocals.
I caught up with Mikey from the band for a quick chat on a few things and here is what he had to say :
Mikey on band dynamics and influences
Well we’re all fairly miserable individuals…and the music isn’t the cheeriest…so…imagine your favourite football team fighting out a relegation battle and coming through, together as one, right at the final whistle to pull out a sensational result.
As a band we don’t really have any outside influences. I guess things we listen to individually will subconsciously come through but we normally have a direction when we’re writing so other music doesn’t really come into it. People will make up their own minds about what they hear. Being Scottish you always get compared to other Scottish bands. I don’t think we sound like any of them. We all share common tastes in certain bands. I’m not going into that though 🙂 You’ll just end up making comparisons.
Mikey on Songwriting
Generally I’ll come up the skeleton of a song and a ‘vision’ and then work on it with the band. Guaranteed at least 50% of the time my guitar line gets PIED as it sounds better on the cello…or Bass…or keys. I’d have to say that songs like ‘Flash! Lights’ and certainly the second verse in ‘Torren’ were almost completely written by Georgie and Ed. The title song from our EP ‘Older Motion Pictures’ was me and Ed sitting in a room wanting to be Annie Lennox or Sinead O’Connor.
Normally I have quite a strong vision of how a song will sound. But to be honest, it’s always subject to change . Kerr will often come up with a drum line that I hadn’t even thought about. At first its hard to let go of the initial vision but then Dougie will come up with a bass line that locks perfectly with it. In turn Ed and Georgie will lock in and before I know it the initial sketch has disappeared off into the distance quicker than you can say ‘seabiscuit’
I would argue that the cello and the keys are the things that really allow us to be more experimental (in as much as you can writing pop music). Straight guitar music is boring. Total landfill with a few exceptions. I’ve had a few people say to me they think we’ll be limited in what we can do with this sound, mainly because their knowledge of string music stretches about as far as Arcade Fire. I can’t wait until they hear our album next year.
Mikey on Letters live
We had to initially make sacrifices to play live as it was hard to create a sound as big as it was on record. Now that we’ve had a little more time and invested in some better gear I’d say we sound pretty close to the finished product live. If anything it’s more exciting live as we use visuals.
Mikey on the New E.P
Older Motion Pictures is out on the 19th May via digital download from our bandcamp and other known stores. It’s four songs long. It’s about people living life out in their heads like a film reel. Everyone has expectations in life. Some people meet those. Most don’t. This is about me dealing with trying to attain those expectations.
It’s pretty damn good to be on Godinthetv records. It’s always nice to know that someone as revered as Bill is willing to go that extra mile. Obviously he has some faith in us.
Mikey on plans for the rest of the year?
We’ve got this EP to promote. Then we’re playing a few Scottish gigs to celebrate that. Then we’ll be playing the GoNorth festival in June and off the back of that we’ll be playing Wickerman and and/or Belladrum Festival(s). Then our first gig in London at Surya for Glasswerk on the 22nd June. Then we head back into the studio in the Autumn to record our album which we hope to put out at the start of next year.
Letters play Glasswerk club at club Surya on the 22nd of June more info here: