Kenny: Must have been around 1999/2000 that we met (in Sound Control). You’d had the band going for a bit before that, though.
Andy: Yeah, for a year or two before but never really stabilised till you joined. Wow that’s coming on 20 years ago bro, where’d the time go hahahaha
John: I heard about Andy after a great storm hit his home island. I was heart-broken for him, and got in contact to see if he needed a drummer to help ease the pain, we’ve been playing ever since. I think it was about 4-5 years ago, now.
NHC:Tell us about the name choice, big decision, or snap decision?
Kenny: Over to you on that one!
Andy: My wife Pauline came up with it. I think it was the Summer of 1997. I had just started the band. Where or how she came up with it I can’t remember at this moment in time but I thank God she did.
NHC MUSIC feels that there has been a bit of a musical resurgance over the past couple of years in Scotland, with some fantastic rock and punk acts in Glasgow leading the way. Do you guys feel that this is the case too, with more quality on the homegrown live circuit such as yourselves, or do you just think it’s more to do with the sheer amount of bands plying their trade in Scotland at the moment?
Kenny: I think there’s always been plenty of talented bands plying their trade – the problem has always been convincing people to come along to see them! I think there’s a few things which have changed – first is that live music is more popular, at all levels. For the big artists, that’s where the money is, where previously it had been album sales. That’s trickled down and normalised gig-going for a lot of people, it’s less of a hard sell to get them along to smaller gigs than it has been in the past. The other thing is that social media makes it easier for bands, promoters and venues to plug events, and it seems there’s more DIY-type gigs happening, rather than the tired old pay-to-play model (which doens’t really benefit anyone).
Andy: I totally agree, at the start of our career it was extremely hard to do the DIY thing and be taken serious. But with programs like Protools and Reaper, recording songs and making albums became a far easier thing to do and with companies like CDBABY, Distrokid and Music Glue or Bandcamp, doing it yourself has really opened up the possibilities for bands like us to start our own label and make the music we want to make and it also forced us to learn how to record, how to mix, how to market and promote ourselves, how to network with other bands doing the same as us. This is a fantastic thing. The results are great Scottish bands are creating great Scottish music that people want to hear live.
NHC You guys have been on some terrific bills already in your career, what’s the best gig you have played, and why does that one in particular stand out?
Kenny: My favourite gig in recent years was playing The Bungalow in Paisley – partly because it’s a great venue, and partly because it’s ten minutes walk from my flat. Laziness wins out. As a big Hüsker Dü fan, it was an honour to open for Grant Hart a few years ago. So sad that he’s gone.
Andy: Yeah, the Grant Hart show was definitely a special one for me too. Hüsker Dü is a huge influence on us and when Grant asked me to join him on stage to play several of his songs, it was an experience that I’ll never forget.
Kenny: Further back in time, I think my favourite times were the gigs when I began to recognise that the feeling in my stomach before we went on wasn’t nerves or stage fright, it was excitement. That made all the difference, and became a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of my confidence playing gigs.
Andy: For me those early gigs were a lot of fun and terrifying at the same time. I was never a front man in any of the bands that I had been in before. I was always the guitarist, those early gigs taught me how to be a singer and taught me how to adapt my guitar playing so that I could do both at the same time. But that was part of the excitement about those gigs, we were a band learning how to be a band.
John: This might seem a little trivial compared to some of the gigs that the band has played, but Andy and I played at a local festival on Millport… we played some of our songs, and song covers that were requested by the happy audience. We had a laugh, improvised and experimented as we went along, with just the occasional eyebrow raise, wink and nod to let each other know what we were gonna do next! It was expressive and natural. I played great, Andy was tearing it up and we both had a great time. If ever you were to come and see us rehearsing/recording in Andy’s house/recording studio, then you’ll feel like you were at a very intimate gig. Thats what i love about our band: We express, invent, and go with the flow everytime we play. It is liberating.
NHC: What other bands, specifically at a more local level, would you recommend we check out? You got a favourite yourselves?
Kenny: Heavy stuff I’m into just now includes Blood Thread, Bacchus Baracus, Skeleton Gong, Headless Kross. James from the Cosmic Dead’s got (another) new band called Acid Cannibals, and they’re a blast. Other local artists that I’ll make the effort to go see includes Kaspar Hauser, Hausfrau, Howie Reeve, Jer Reid and so on. I really miss Vakunøht – they played fun heavy rock songs about space travel and were fantastic live.
John: there is a girl whom i know to be extremely talented ( although I’m not sure if she’s still gigging just now due to a new baby on the scene) her name is Marina Rolink from Airdrie. she’s an angel and could be massive!
Andy: Matthew Hickman of Brownbear is doing some great stuff. I like the new Worse Than Moe release, there’s a cool band from Edinburgh called Geek Maggot Bingo that I really like, Joe Bone and The Dark Vibes have this great song called Healer Man and I’d love to hear and see Keith Thornburn bring back Stump Monkey again.
NHC: If you could only share one song from the Overhaul catalogue to get people loving the band, what song would you go for, and why that choice?
Kenny: I really like Homeward Bound. Although we’re not a full-time Pirate Metal band, I think we acquitted ourselves quite well sailing in those waters. It’s good for jigging to, it’s heavy enough to headbang to, and it’s got a shouty chorus.
John: I fell in love with Andy’s music straight away. his talent and enthusiasm is electric! I swooned at his slower songs, and sweated buckets ripping into the rockier ones. I think my favourite song is Russian Roulette: its an older song, before i joined the band, but it’s timeless and energetic!
Andy: That’s a hard one for me to answer as I wrote them all, but if push came to shove…… Paranoid. I seen people dancing to it, i’ve seen people headbang to it, i’ve seen people singing along to it and it’s just a fun song to play live.
NHC: So what’s new for you guys in 2018 then, any other big plans in then pipeline you can share with the readers?
Kenny: We’ve got some gigs planned, and we’ve working on a load of new songs. I’m really looking forward to hearing how they’ll end up. The way we’ve been recording them has been really good fun – either setting up in Andy’s secret island base, or by me recording my bass parts in the comfort of my own home and beaming them over the internet. I’ve even managed to write one of my own, although I’m not sure the world’s ready for my metaphysical country & western ballad about the dangers of drinking in cemeteries and a mysterious city of gold…
Andy: Yeah, like Kenny said, we have some shows coming up with great opening acts, we are releasing our new E.P in May which Jason Loewenstein of Sebadoh is currently mixing and mastering, I know we plan to record more and release another album hopefully by the end of the year. We are also remixing/remastering our Achukma album and there’s a few other things in the pipeline which will be exciting.