Ahead of Monday’s headline show, qmunicate caught up with Stewart and Callum, who form PRIDES, to chat freshers’ week, playing in Glasgow, and hangover cures.
Callum: Just to warn you, I’m really hungover.
qmunicate: So are we! It’s freshers’ week. We’re hungover, the readers will be hungover… So, you’re from Glasgow. How do you find playing gigs in Glasgow compares to other cities?
Stewart: They’re more fun, usually. Way more fun. Crowds in Glasgow are notoriously the best crowds, we have more fans up here, and they’re always bigger. Plus you can go to your own bed, which is an absolute dream – in hometowns you get bigger riders as well, so you can get really drunk, then go home instead of going to a crappy Travelodge or a hotel. And you can see your pals. It is the best crowd in the world, regardless. We’ve got pals in bands not from Glasgow who say it’s their favourite city – no one has a bad time in Glasgow.
q: What would you say are the best aspects about Glasgow’s music scene?
S: There’s loads of it – and there’s the amount of people to support music in Glasgow. It’s some wild statistic that per population, in Glasgow you sell four times as many tickets as any other city in the country – just the fact that there’s that amount of people who not only make music, but people who want to go to shows and want to support live music. That means there’s so many venues of all sizes: tiny little venues that are free in with new bands starting out, and then there’s every level up to the Hydro and even Hampden Park and stuff like that – so you can see good music in Glasgow all the time, no question.
C: How did it get to be this way?
S: I don’t know actually, that’s a good question – that’s our question to you!
q: A few of us are in fourth year, and you played our Freshers’ Week with Twin Atlantic
S: We were trying to remember the last time we were in this hallway!
C: It must’ve been Twin [Atlantic], and Kristian Nairn from –
S: And Hodor was DJing, yeah! Was that the same night?
q: It was!
S: So Daz [from The Lafontaines] is Hodor this year?
C: Daz is Hodor!
q: So you’ve gone from supporting Twin Atlantic – a big fixture in the Scottish music scene – and you’re now in their shoes, what is that like?
C: I have always wanted to headline this for Freshers’ Week. When I first moved here – I was never a fresher – one of the first gigs I went to was Biffy [Clyro] during Freshers’ Week and it was amazing. Since then I was like ‘yeah, lets’ do that.’
S: Any freshers’ show that we’ve played, everybody’s up for it. It’s one of those things where everyone’s up, ready, having a good time; whether they like your band, don’t like your band, have never heard your band. They’re like ‘yeah ok sweet, let’s do it.’ It’s always just a great, great crowd.
q: Did you have your own freshers’ weeks? What are your stories?
S: I did, I had freshers’ week in Ayr! I won a costume competition as Batman, but I wore the kids’ outfits you get from Tesco. It was Lycra, for 8 year olds, but I was like ‘well they say that!’ I couldn’t get it on so I cut it in half like a crop top!
q: That’s a look, we like that! What was the prize?
S: It was a look! It worked because I won, so… I can’t remember the prize; it was probably eight ciders or something like that!
q: We wanted to ask about playing the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. What was that like?
S: That was way back when – when we were just starting out!
q: That must be the biggest crowd you’ve done?
S: Oh yeah. We said at the time, ‘we’ll never beat this, never do this again.’ It wasn’t even just the crowd in the arena – like 7.5 million people watched it. We were like ‘okay, we’ve peaked! We’ve not even put an album out yet and we’re done.’ It was great fun, and it was wild that they asked us to do it. I think that was one of the things that they wanted to say about Glasgow: that it is a city for new music, that it’s something it supports, and we were just lucky that they picked us out of the multitude of great new bands. It was cool; it was weird, because doing stuff on TV is way different than doing anything else. They have to run everything to the second.
C: You have to be at the side stage for, like, half an hour before you go on, and you’re not allowed to go for a pee… We had to walk down that fucking thing and I was like ‘i’m gonna fall!’
S: There was a lot of stress – not from us – everyone was like are you not nervous? I think everyone else was so nervous that we were like ‘for God’s sake guys, chill out, we’re playing one song!
q: You mentioned earlier that Glasgow is a good city for new music. What advice would you give to new musicians trying to find their way?
C: Write. Loads. Of. Songs.
S: It’s the only thing that you really need to do, write loads of songs!
C: And get a good manager! You only need to do two things. If you do both of those – write loads of songs and get a good manager – you’ll never have to do anything but write songs!
S: They handle all the annoying shit you have to do on top of writing songs. If you get someone who is good at doing that, is positive about your music and is confident in promoting it for you, then you’re like ‘okay sweet, we’ll just focus on writing the best tunes that we can write.’
q: The fresher’s helpers have these beautiful red t-shirts and a lanyard. On the lanyard you have a quote – something you’ve said, something you’ve seen and liked – it doesn’t have to be serious. For reference ours are ‘hi Rio do you want picking up in the morning pal?’, ‘all the pringle ladies’, and ‘girls own the void – back off.’. What would you have as your lanyard quote?
C: ‘Let’s just have a laugh lots.’ It’s a Chris Simpsons’ artist quote.
S: What would I have? [Pause] ‘Who’s scruffy looking?’ That’s what Hans Solo says in Star Wars, when Princess Leia says he’s scruffy looking,
q: So finally: what is your advice to the freshers?
S: A very good one. Berocca is crucial, do every single thing that’s available.
C: Pump anybody that offers, stay hydrated, get some beta blockers!
PRIDES’s new album, A Mind Like The Tide: Part One, is out on October 27th.
[Clare Patterson, Amy Shimmin, Anni Payne]