It’s no great secret that Scotland’s music scene is a thing to be proud of. So we here at TSA have teamed up with Scotland’s very own New Hellfire Club to bring you a monthly pick of who we think are doing epically well right now. Keep your eyes out for these up and coming bands. This is TSA and New Hellfire Club’s ‘Pick of the Month’.
So, Super Pumas, it’s great to get you guys in for a chat on the TSA POTM, I have to say I’m particularly happy with this as I’ve been an admirer of the music since seeing you guys play live recently! So, open the interview then by telling us a wee bit about the band, like how you met, started the band, that kind of stuff.
JIM: Aw cheers man, glad you liked our live show, it means a lot to know people like and appreciate our tunes, a lot of hard work, energy and dedication goes into them, good feedback makes all of that worthwhile. Well we’ve known each other for quite a long time to be honest.
DIV: Jim and myself have hung out for years, been in previous bands and also played on one of Lee’s past recordings also, we’ve been in touch with Lee since and I think we’ve spoke about it a lot between us, Jim and I, thought that Lee would be a spot on candidate to possibly do something in future with. After a period of not having a band, no real creative outlet, I mean Jim and I were jamming and stuff but it was quite hard. I gave Lee a call and I guess the magic started straight away.
LEE: Over the last couple of years I’d get a text from Div, literally once or twice a year, saying that we needed to get together for a jam and write some tunes but life being what it is, this never materialised until late 2015 when another annual message came through and for the first time none of us were tied to any other band etc and thus the stars aligned and here we are. To be honest I had always been an admirer of both Jim and Div as musicians to the extent that, as Div mentioned, I got them in to record a couple of tunes I was working on. That was nearly 8 years ago so again it had always been a very fleeting relationship until now.
Let’s get right into the name then, drunken decision or well thought out plan?
DIV: Ahah the name! Well, that’s all Jim to be fair. We’d had a few ideas kicking around as far as names go but nothing really felt right, one day on the way back from a jam, Jim basically said “ Div, what do you call the choppers that keep falling out the sky?” (I work offshore) I said “Super Pumas” that was that really.
JIM: Yeah it was all over the news there had been a number of crashes in the North Sea. It was pretty tragic. We did go through a lot of names but The Super Pumas was a keeper.
I know one or two of you have been in popular bands on the Glasgow scene in the past (I’m sure I have been at a couple of gigs myself when I was slightly younger). Has the scene changed much since you guys were involved earlier, and if so, has it changed for the better, or has it gotten worse?
JIM: Good question, tricky one. It’s been a good 5 years since I’ve been part of the Glasgow music scene, back then, I remember the scene being very energetic and lively, and as far as I know, it is much the same. I Iove the Glasgow scene it’s always been an eclectic mix of the weird and wonderful. I have always thought that the Glasgow and Edinburgh scenes rival anywhere when it comes to quality and originality.
LEE: I think the main difference in the scene comes from the social media aspect of things. Having the likes of the NHC community online is great. Being able to get advice, recommendations, gigs, promotion all through this one group is amazing.
The biggest difference for me is a lot of bands seem to want to genuinely help each other out. At gigs I find bands actually talk to each other now. It used to be 3 or 4 bands due to play a night all sitting on their own not willing to make eye contact – that was weird. Thankfully that seems to be a thing of the past.
Let’s talk about band and musical inspirations then. In my opinion you guys are pretty high-octane masters of filthy rock n roll, is this the aim? Who was the main inspiration behind the style of music you guys play?
JIM: Turbonegro, The Bronx, The New York Dolls, high energy in your face tunes. As a kid I remember listening to Alice Cooper’s Trash when I was about 10 and being blown away, I had never heard anything like it. As a teenager I obsessed over The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. They are a defining influence, you can never really escape that you have to embrace it.
LEE: I am probably a little bit different from the other two as my last bands have been either indie or mod bands so this is a lot heavier than I’ve ever done. It feels completely natural though as I’ve kind of went full circle having been obsessed with Green Day and Blink etc. When I first started playing the guitar and moved into Korn, Slipknot and Marilyn Manson. I will admit and have done on many occasions with no shame that I genuinely love anything from Abba to Slipknot. It’s all about the melody for me.
Apart from yourselves (obviously!) who else would you recommend we check out in Scotland these days? Any bands you love yourself?
DIV: I love the Twistettes, well, I ain’t seen them live yet, just listened to some tunes and seen some live footage, really enjoyed what I was hearing, raw power man, I’d recommend anyone to check them out. We played our first gig a while back with a band called The Naked Feedback, really sound guys, promising, worth a look also, Arctic Monkeys, Last Shadow Puppets feel, they also reminded me of the amazing Snakeheads for some reason, maybe it was the slick greaser hairdos.
JIM: To be honest I have not had much of a chance to get to many gigs lately, I do keep my ear to the ground for new and interesting bands. The Sweats and The Van T’s are just a few that have caught my attention lately. To be honest there are too many to mention.
The floor is now yours, any new gigs coming up, new releases coming out, or anything else you want to tell us?
DIV: We start recording our debut album in April with James Mackenzie at Soundshape Studios in Greenock. James recorded our EP ‘The Fantastic Terror’ last year which turned out great so we’re looking forward to getting the album done with him. Which, as it happens, will be a belter!
The tunes are sounding great in rehearsal, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. We have a few gigs lined up but as always we are always looking to play as much as possible and start exploring other parts of the UK we’ve not played before. 2017 will be the start of a beautiful thing for the Pumas and we welcome one and all to join us in creating something amazing!
The Fantastic Terror EP is available on Spotify, Sound Cloud and iTunes.
Images sourced from Super Pumas Facebook page.