Hi there Three n Eights! Fantastic to get you in for a catch up with NHC, especially as this is the first series of interviews we have associated with the newly formed NHC RECORDS! So for the readers who may not have met you yet, can you tell us a wee bit about the band to start us off?
Hi NHC – good to be chatting to you too. I’m Ingrid (IE) – I’m singer and tambourine maestro. For anyone that’s not heard us, the best way to describe The Three ‘N’ Eights’ sound is rock ‘n’ roll with a double shot of SKA.
Hi – I’m Phyl (PF) - I play trombone and shakers.
I’m Johanna (JC) - I mainly play sax, but also dabble in a bit of trumpet & shaky things as required. I’m also the band baker of cakes & crotchet’r of our mini us’s.
I’m Aaron (AC) I play the bass and lower the average age
I’m Gregor (GR) – I play bass as well and generally try and hold my hangover together long enough to get through the set
I’m Terence (TO)- I play the drums
I’m Dougie (DR) - I’m on guitar and do a bit of vocals too. Everyone in the band has different tastes and influences and we chuck them all in – but hopefully that helps us avoid sounding too much like anyone else. But yeah rock ‘n’ roll mixed with ska is best description
So what have you guys been doing recently then, you seem to be busier than most bands we see, you got releases and gigs aplenty!
DR - Yeah it’s been a really busy time for us – we’ve had a couple of crackin support slots with Psychobilly legends King Kurt recently playing both those gigs with our good mates the Bikini Bottoms. And we’ve been playing gigs around Ayrshire and Renfrewshire including a brilliant night a couple of weeks ago with a sold out crowd at the Bellfield down in Killie. That gig was hosted by Southern Approach and In the Plughole with Skaghoors on the bill as well as us. But between all the gigs we did manage to get ourselves into the studio in January and recorded a number of originals that we’d only managed to get done as demos till now so that was great.
If we stay on how busy you’ve been recently, is it a hard juggling act to keep up with band life, and regular life commitments like work and family?
PF - The band’s like an extension of family - a band family. We support each other and adapt around the busy lives we all have. We all have something different to bring to the table. I'm lucky to have a job that involves music daily so my head is in music mode practically all the time - sometimes my boss wishes it wasn't, but he is very supportive and patient of his rather eccentric colleague! My family are all grown up, and support their rather noisy mum-whether that is by coming to gigs for a good dance, or animal sitting when I’m playing. They know how important the band is to me, and they respect that and back me completely. They all still play their own instruments and when we get together it can get a bit mental. I'm very lucky!
IE - If all else fails, we’ve got a rule that family and pets always come first. The band is all about having fun, we all have work and family commitments but there’s always time to make music!
JC- Well all I can say is “thank god for supportive other halves & grandparents!”
AC - I'm a student so I've got plenty of time to mess about on a guitar.
TO-I'm single, my son has flown the nest so I don't need to juggle and work would never get in the way
You have a new EP release too, what’s your personal favourite track from it then, and does it differ from band member to band member, or are you almost all in agreement with the one song?
IE - I’ve got a soft spot for ‘Leopard Print Hearts’ because I wrote the lyrics and it’s the first song I’ve ever written. ‘Do It All again’ comes a very close second- I think most people can recognise their teenage selves in the lyrics and it’s a damn good tune!
TO- I can't separate ‘Walk away’ and ‘Leopard print hearts‘ they're my two favourites to play live
GR– I quite like Leopard Print Hearts too – I like the bassline and it was done on the spot the day we were recording
DR - For me it changes from day to day. The title track ‘Walk Away’ took a while to get to a place I was happy with it - but once we got the New Orleans vibe going with the horns then it felt right. But I really like ‘Leopard Print Hearts’ - it’s the first time Ingrid and I have written together and was only intended to be done as a demo recording. Like Gregor says he just sorted out the bassline in the studio the same day we recorded it. We were dead happy with the way it turned out so included in on the E.P. – but basically I love them all.
PF - I love them all too but like ‘Hands off’ the best. It's got momentum and drive with a sense of urgency about it. Love it!
JC - ‘Do it all again’ is mine - Its a cheeky wee song that always brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of me “lipping” my parents back when I was a teenager... in fact my own kids are like that just now!!!
AC - I like 'Do it all again' as well because of the carefree nature of it. It's just a laugh and it's fun to play too.
Tell us a bit about the charity fundraiser you have coming up, looking forward to it? How hard was it to put such a diverse bill together? (Link for tickets will be at the base of the article!)
DR - The fundraiser was an idea we’ve had for a while and it just took us to make a decision to go with it this year and we locked in the date with the venue. The bill has come together kind of naturally – Kappa Munroe are a new Glasgow based band whose members include our own Aaron on the bass. We’ve also got a family connection to Blackleaf 40 as Phyl’s son Brian plays drums with them and we’ve played a few gigs with The Rebellions recently and love their attitude so it was great to get them on the bill. Cuttin’ A Rug have been friends of ours for years so they were happy to get involved. All the bands and Emily our DJ for the night are giving up their time for nothing. Folks who were at the Barrowloadasoul event at the Barras earlier this month will have seen Emily on the decks there – it’s magic to have her on board to keep the tunes going between the bands.
The great thing is that with everyone donating their time, every penny we raise through ticket sales or donations will go to our three charities. We’ve deliberately chosen some fairly small charities because they just can’t exist without this kind of fundraising and the work they do is so important
What’s been your favourite city to gig in then? Are you home show fans, or do you prefer away gigs in cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh?
DR – I lived in Glasgow for years so will always consider it my home city – but yeah being based down in Ayrshire/Renfrewshire means we do normally get quite a few familiar faces when we gig there which is good. We’re definitely keen to get a few more city gigs booked in if anyone out there is interested or has contacts - we’re up for considering anything
PF - Like both a lot, but forced to choose, it would need to be the Shire as I have the worst directional sense ever - if I'm in Ayrshire chances are I'll find my way home....eventually!
JC - To tell the truth I’m happy to be gigging anywhere that’ll have us.
IE – I’m like Johanna – I love gigging everywhere!
GR – I enjoy them all but the gigs we’ve done recently in The Bungalow gigs have been pretty memorable
AC – Saturday will be my first gig in Glasgow with the Three n' Eights so I don't think I can answer this one properly.
TO-I don't have a preference long as it's going well and the crowd are having a good time
So what’s the rest of your plans for 2018 and onward then, anything exciting you can share with us?
AC - Ask Doug.
TO- Our upcoming fundraiser at Ivory blacks and playing the iconic Clutha bar
DR - Definitely looking forward to getting our hands on the NHC Records compilation vinyl – some great bands on there with us. We’ve got a few gigs planned over the summer. And we’re doing a Night of the Dead gig in Ayr on Halloween weekend – that’s now an annual tradition with it being the third year we’ve done it in the same venue. Beyond that, we’re still writing and plan to get back into the studio to do some more recordings later in the year.
IE – Yep – To follow on from what Doug says, we’re working on songs for an album just now and the plan is to release that on vinyl. I have fond memories of listening to Elvis records with my Dad when I was a child. To think there’s going to be vinyl out there with our music on it is surreal!!
JC - I’m looking forward to the charity gig also headlining Beith Fest in August – that’s always a brilliant day and night of music.
PF - Everything the Three N Eights touches becomes exciting! The charity gig has to be the main event! I'm really excited about this and I’m really looking forward to hearing the other bands - especially looking forward to hearing Blackleaf 40 coz it’ll be a proud maw moment! The charities we are raising for are not the most familiar, and rarely get publicity or much external funding.
We’ve also been asked to help write some music for the STAR Centre (formally the rape crisis Centre for East Ayrshire) for an awareness video. This will be a close collaboration with the Centre’s drum group. This joint piece of work has the potential to shape some really good music. Who knows what will be created ... The STAR Centre is also one of the charities we are supporting in our charity gig!
DR – Yeah – the STAR Centre project is exciting – really good to be able to do something to support them as well as the fundraising. It’s a tough subject but anything that raises awareness has to be good
Fundraiser tickets here;