Who: Kane Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals – far left on pic) / Civ Clegg (lead vocals, rhythm guitar – 2nd from the left) / Greg Kirby (bass, backing vocals – on the right) and John Butcher (drums – top right)
Home: the North of England
Formed: summer of 2012
Sounds: blues inspired rock with a taste of psychedelia
Influences: Dylan, BRMC, J. Cash, Black Keys, Stones, Led Zep…
Works so far: ‘Fever of a Non Believer’ EP (released last summer) and brand new single ‘Things Could Get Better’…
Being a music junkie my radar is searching daily for new exciting music. I discovered this band just recently. ‘Rock Bottom Risers‘ is definitely a gang to follow closely. Their passionate, ‘high quality’ crafted blues rock songs were creeping in my head quite quickly. And If that happens I want to know more and I want to know it ‘now’. I got in touch with the band and I had a cool ‘net’ interview with songwriters Kane Scott and Civ Clegg. But first things first… enter the world of RBS…
The gems on their ‘Fever of a Non Believer’ EP…
New single ‘Things Could Get Better’ … it’s a grower… you’ll get hooked…
The interview … the first ever time the band talks to an American medium… don’t forget where you’ve read it first…
‘Rock Bottom Riser’ is a dark love ballad by Smog (Bill Callahan). Was that song an inspiration for the band’s name?
Civ: I’ve always had a keen interest in the music of Bill Callahan. I like the idea that he messes with a lot of the ‘rules’ of music and because of this his songs tent to sit with you for a long while before you get your head around them. As far as ‘Rock Bottom Riser’ goes as a band name, I guess it’s literal meaning is significant. Being that we’ve started as musicians, and friends, at ‘Rock Bottom’, and can therefore hopefully only go one way. As a song it is absolutely delightful, and certainly see it as a fitting tribute to an influential musician, for simply its raw simplicity and beauty. It’s always easier as well I think to like the sound of something if you haven’t come up with yourself, and in this instance it’s quite important, due to the fact that I write, say, and think the words ‘Rock Bottom Risers’, every single day of my life!
Kane: I actually haven’t listened to a lot of stuff from Smog to be honest, but like Civ said, the literal meaning is what I really liked about the name. There’s a sort of ‘the only way is up’, optimistic feel about it.
‘If You’ve Got a Throat, I’ve Got a Knife’ is one of the songs on the EP. Sounds like a horror movie title to me. What’s the song’s story?
Civ: It was one of the first songs that was written in this band, way back in 2012, and we were primarily very interested by the darker side of blues rock, and very much in the mind set that songs have a little more longevity in them if they are maybe a little ‘edgy’. Many of my major influences certainly got where they needed to be by pushing it perhaps that little bit too far. So I guess, in my own little way, that this was my way of causing a little bit of ‘mayhem’ and grabbing peoples attention, so thank you for asking about it! It seems to be causing a small stir at least! It’s also meant as a slight on our own, pretty mundane, woefully ‘normal’ existence that we live, mostly because I can’t imagine ever meaningfully requiring to use such a phrase in ‘real life’. So, not a lie, more an exaggeration, used for dramatic effect!
Kane: I remember being unsure about the name when Civ first mentioned it. I thought it might be pushing it a little too far, and that people wouldn’t really get it. But after thinking about it for a bit I really started to like it and thought it suited the song perfectly. Now looking back on it I can’t imagine it under any different name!
How about new songs for the near future?
Civ: The material we are busy recording now, will show a more mature side of Rock Bottom Risers. The first EP, certainly in my mind, was us ‘finding our feet’ and ironing out exactly what it is that we want from our music, and most importantly, learning our craft. Now our songs are much more blues driven, less rocky, more happier and hopefully more of a standard that we can make the transition from a ‘local band who’s actually pretty good’, to an ‘industry standard, professional band’. I’m feeling confident that we’re doing the right thing, and have gone in the best direction possible for us. I can at least listen to our newer stuff without thinking ‘oh we should have done that’ or ‘no I don’t like that any more’, and I think that’s because we’ve really slowed down the writing process and made sure every part of every song is not just ‘worked out’ but ‘worked out correctly’.
Kane: Ye like Civ said we are busy recording a new EP and it definitely, at least in my opinion, shows a more mature side of RBRs. We have taken a lot of time writing the new songs, sometimes an almost painfully long time, but I’ve never been more happy with the material we have got. I think with this forthcoming EP, we have gone more blues-y and perhaps even edged into folk genre with the introduction of some acoustic guitars, but I also think we have still retained much of the feel from the first EP, and you should hopefully be able to see a thread through both of them.
Any plans for gigs outside the UK?
Civ: We are currently in the early stages of organising a trip out to Chicago, which would be absolutely incredible for us. Even to have the opportunity to play on the street in America would be enough, but we’ll aim primarily to be playing inside buildings! Before then the goal is to build a solid foundation in our nations capital, which we can then use to push us out into various countries around Europe. But in all honesty these will be plans for a while away as yet, and although we’d love nothing more than such opportunities to grace us, realistically we’re still at our humble beginnings, in a rural town in West Yorkshire at the moment ….
What’s the ultimate band’s goal?
Civ: The ultimate goal, is to build ourselves a career in music that we are all proud of and ultimately get to a position that we are happy with, where ever that might be. The thing is I’m always looking at my music career in a hectic, and almost ‘desperate scramble’ sort of a way. What I mean by that is, what I have at the moment, isn’t enough, and so the panic sets in that I wont get out of myself, and my music, what I’ve always believed could be possible. It’s not that I don’t think it will happen, because I do believe if we try hard enough, we’ll get there eventually, it’s just that we need to make sure that it does. So mainly, I hope we get to a point where we can exhale, and be literally satisfied that no matter what happens from there, we’ve got far enough to remain content. Whether or not that place exists, who know’s, but we’ll wait and see!
Kane: Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Thank you for the interview, Civ and Kane, here @ 50thirdand3rd we’ll have our eyes… and our ears on you…
Interview made by JL /2013 © Copyright 50thirdand3rd. com /2013