NHC MUSIC Scottish Punk Spotlight No. 2 - Starring The Red Eyes

NHC MUSIC has a new series of articles going live on a two weekly basis, where we chat to, and chat about, some of the countries best up and coming Scottish punk bands and solo artists. This week we continue the new series by talking to The Red Eyes, check it out;

The Red Eyes! How the hell are you guys doing? Long time no chat, so we are excited to finally catch up on the new website, especially on our new Scottish punk spotlight. So, tell us, what's been happening at Casa Del Red Eyes in 2016 so far?

Hi Jamie, all good mate! NHC website is looking good so well done to all involved.
To be honest it's been a very quiet year so far as I've been busy with my studio (Red Eye Studios in Clydebank – wee plug).
The gigs that we have done this year have all been great!
I'm now busy writing the next Red Eyes album (I've got about 10 songs so just a couple more to do)

You guys have been gigging pretty extensively too, what's been your own highlights this year for playing live, any stand out events, and favourite bands to share the stage with?

The gigs we've done this year have been great. The East Kilbride Art Centre gig was a good night and we got the chance to play with a few bands we'd never played with before which is always good. Heavy Drapes, Reaction, The Sux Pastels, The Puzzlers and Crimedesk. Good bands and good people!

My personal favourite was the gig at Audio which Gerry from Fire Exit organized. Packed crowd and just a feelgood atmosphere with all the bands involved all helping each other. Bands who we played with included Nine Bullets, The Zips, Paul Carter (solo acoustic), Fire Exit, Loaded 44 (from Sunderland) and Hateful. Fantastic night and here's to more of them!

NHC has had a long, drawn out chat recently about new ways for bands to try and get folk up off their big arses and out to see more live music. Is there any one thing you would try and adopt at events to get more folk through the door, or do you think there's no one easy-fix for more bodies through the door?

This is a problem that has been there for the 30 years I've been doing this (yes I'm that old). I feel a bit guilty myself about the lack of gigs that I attend these days as I work 6 days a week in the studio to very late in the evening so I don't get to as many gigs as I would like. I also see a lot of the young bands in the studio getting caught up in some of these terrible ticket deals. You try and advise them but at the end of the day they just want to play and because of that they get taken advantage of. The best solution always is to put on your own gigs and in my own experience when you do that you usually end up with better attendances. Book the venue yourself and promote It yourself! But as you say no easy-fix!

What punk acts inspired you to take up your guitars when you were young? Was it even 'punk' at all, or was it something else that inspired you?

Obviously I can't speak for the other guys but personally what made me pick up the guitar and write songs were bands like The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash, Dead Kennedys, Uk Subs, The Ruts, Adam & The Ants etc....a lot of the early 70's punk bands. Into the 80's I was still listening to punk but also listening to Spear of Destiny, The Alarm, The Smiths, Aztec Camera (Roddy Frame is still my favourite guitarist) and more Indie/Alternative music.

What's your own favourite song to play live from the Red Eyes back catalogue? Why does this one bring you more joy than the others?

Difficult question and the answer could vary day to day. I'll go for the song “Kids” from our 2009 album “From The Outside In”. I enjoy singing that even tho' it's not the easiest but I really nailed what I was saying lyrically and the music on it turned out exactly what I could hear in my head. Ask me tomorrow and it'll be a different song. We have a lot of songs in the back catalogue which we've not played for years which I'd like to have another go at. Would be interesting to tackle something I've not played or sung for nearly 20 years.

Finally, what's coming up for you guys for the rest of 2016 and beyond? Any solid plans you can tell us about?

The rest of the year is going to be taken up writing the new album, and then recording it (recording should start early 2017 at Red Eye Studios as needs to be ready for May). Hopefully we'll still do one or two gigs before the end of the year as well.
The reason I say May 2017 is because this will be the 20th anniversary of The Red Eyes. I'll be organizing a big gig which should be a 20th anniversary / album launch night in Glasgow. This should be finalized ie date, venue and supports by the end of this year.
Hopefully get the NHC involved in that particular night if you're interested?
Thanks for the interview and keep up all the great work that everyone at the NHC does!
Cheers,  Alan