Hello there folks from the RIFF collective! Great to get you on the website for a chat, to be fair, it's about time we had more music orientated collectives happening around the country, especially started by bands like THIRTEEN who are putting the music first and foremost. So please tell the readers a bit about you guys then, why did you start the collective, and what was your main inspiration to do so?
Hi, thanks for having us. Well, Thirteen are a Falkirk based three piece band. We describe ourselves as a Punk Rock N Roll band, which means we play hard, fast Rock music, built on a foundation of Punk. Coupled with our strong beliefs in social democracy, and a desire for a fairer society, the DIY punk ethic flows through the band, so we're used to finding ourselves gigs, self producing our first album etc., so it just seems a natural progression to try and create a community of like minded people. In June, Dolly posted on a Facebook group The Falkirk Scene, to gauge interest in Falkirk based bands to try and kickstart a hard edged music scene in Falkirk, just like the scenes in other central belt towns (Dunfermline, Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh). There was interest, so we set up a meeting, and started planning our first showcase, which was a massive success, with almost a capacity crowd.
How many other bands are involved, and do you all have input in the collective itself, and the future plans for it?
Well, the initial core of bands who got together are Thirteen, Weird Decibels, Blind Daze and The Nebulosity, but we’ve recently made contact with Sianar and Bitter Alice, who both attended the first showcase on 29th September, and will be part of the planning process for RIFF Showcase 2, which we hope to have before Christmas 2017. Yes, because of the “collective” idea, then any band that is part of RIFF has input, but is also expected to put work into promotion of RIFF, even if their band isn’t directly involved in an event. We aren’t just about the bands though, we want to get venue owners, and punters involved too, so everyone can mould the collective.
The collective itself is based in Falkirk, do you think there is a big difference between the music scene in Falkirk than there is in places like Glasgow, and Edinburgh? To be honest, we know some great bands from Falkirk, but most of them want to play gigs outwith the city, is this one of the trains of thought the the collective is trying to amend?
As I’ve only lived in Falkirk since the turn of the 21st Century, I’ve no first hand experience, but I’m under the impression that Falkirk had a decent scene in the 90’s, but for some reason this died away, and now if Falkirk has any kind of “scene”, it’s the singer/songwriter acoustic thing. To be honest, I’m not really sure that there is a “scene” anywhere any more, but clearly in the larger cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh there are more venues, more people and therefore more opportunity to play. I think the reason Falkirk bands want to travel, is because it’s so difficult to get an event together, and then get people to go to it in Falkirk. I think there’s a certain expectation, that people go for a big night out in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and not in Falkirk, and RIFF wants to change that (at least for Alternative types).
What other bands should our readers be listening out for from your neck of the woods, you name drop and we will tag! (We should really be finding new bands to love after all)
Tell us a bit about your main aims for the coming months, do you guys intend to focus more on excellent gigs, or do you want to spend time on promoting the bands themselves?
Yeah, the idea is to put another showcase together, hopefully before Christmas, which will probably feature two bands from the first event and two new bands, then have a third showcase in early spring 2018 in a similar format. Once we’ve established ourselves as a “brand”, and that this sort of music is a viable financial option to venue owners, we’d like to start bring in bands from further afield. The ideals of RIFF are that collective effort will provide a bigger pay off than the current situation, where it’s just each band re-inventing the wheel constantly, so we won’t actively promote RIFF bands as such, but the very fact that RIFF members have bought into collective responsibility, will hopefully mean all bands will benefit more or less to the same, at least in terms of opportunity.
The floor is now yours! Is there anything you want to tell our readers, or anything you want to leave us with?
I’d just like to say that music scene’s are created and nurtured by a mixture of musicians, fans, venue owner’s and shops getting together for everyone’s mutual benefit, and that’s really all we are trying to do with RIFF, build a little bit of Alternative Heaven (or Hell) in Falkirk. We have already started to generate interest from local shops, such as Noise, Noise, Noise, which has become the official ticket outlet for RIFF, and we’ve had some great help from The Bunker, in nearby Bonnybridge, with backline etc. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this “If you’re not part of RIFF, then you’re part of the problem”
Check out bands who played the first R.I.F.F. night below;