If Whitehill Grove were a drink, what drink would they be?
Danny: Is it bad to say Buckfast
Callum: No but I mean I wouldn’t say we are Buckfast, maybe a tinny, a nice Tennents
Danny: I would say Tennents but I like Budweiser now
Callum: That doesn’t mean we are Budweiser though
Seth: I was thinking something a little bit classier than that like a San Miguel or something
Danny: I would say we’re one of those drinks where you’re still sober enough…
Ethan: Smirnoff Ice
Callum: We’re going with Smirnoff Ice!
So you’ve recently released your EP, what was the writing process behind it?
Callum: Usually when we’re writing, me and Ethan will come up with the lyrics and then basically I’ll come up with the stem of the song so to speak and I’ll bring it to a practice, then we’ll go from there. Then the guys will do their bit, Danny you’ll do Seth’s guitar bit which is great *laughs* then we go from there and the songs sort of just form themselves. With the EP the lyrics were wrote together, I think it was two songs each
Ethan: I wrote Masquerade and Jessica and (to Callum) you wrote Trouble and Mood Ring, yeah I’ll write lyrics and bring them to Callum and then he’ll build them from there…
Callum: (To Seth) Then you’ll add your bits
Danny: I add his bits!
Seth: I don’t think this is very fair!
Callum: Nah you do a lot, he does a lot!
So what are your personal favourite tracks from the EP and why in three words?
Danny: Jessica – Fun To Play
Seth: Masquerade – Cause Its Funky
Ethan: I’ll say Jessica – Because Of Marvel
Danny: It’s written about Jessica Jones, there’s some context for you!
Callum: I don’t know what to say, I feel bad for Mood Ring so I’ll go with that because – Danny’s Bass Line
When you sit down to write could you say there’s a common thread to your tracks, what’s inspired some of the songs from the EP?
Danny: Apart from Jessica Jones? Uh David Tennent *Laughs*
Callum: I wanna steer away from the usual heartbreak and despair *cough cough* Ethan
Ethan: No! I’ll think of a really smart line and then build lyrics around that in my head or it will be something I’m watching on the TV, so I’ll hear something and think about whether I can put it into a song somehow
Danny: (To Callum) You’ve started writing about more abstract situations
Ethan: Oooooh abstract!
Danny: I know good words ey…
Callum: I’ve started trying to come to writing with ideas that have a bit more meaning in them. With the EP – it was a line in Mood Ring actually that I came up with and I was really proud of myself so the line goes “I can change the colour of the moon but I can’t change the colour of your mood… Ring”. I was like aww that’s genius and then I just went from there
So for anyone who hasn’t seen you live before, what can people anticipate from your live shows?
Callum: A lot of energy
Ethan: It’ll be quite loud
Danny: *Laughs* Which is a bonus!
Ethan: Yeah it’ll be loud, energetic
Ethan: Yeah we do love a good ABBA cover
Seth: I think it’s a big thing when it comes to if the band are having fun, cause if the band are having fun then so will the crowd. It doesn’t matter if we nail the set perfectly if we don’t have any energy in our performance then the crowd won’t have fun
Danny: It’s definitely a two way thing, if the crowd are enjoying it then we’ll enjoy it and if we’re enjoying it then the crowd will enjoy it!
So in your personal opinion, what’s more important for emerging bands just now. Getting an extensive live presence or having releases under their belts?
Danny: I’m swaying towards live at the moment cause it’s so easy to put music out but then that means there is so much music out there and music isn’t the way to get noticed, music is the way for your fans to find you cause instead of it being aw look there’s a band on a playlist, it becomes aww I really enjoyed that band I just saw I wonder if they have any music out.
Seth: Yeah I definitely agree with you!
Callum: Yeah if we’re out on a support slot and the crowd have maybe never even heard of us but then if they enjoy us they’ll actively go and find our stuff on Spotify or wherever
Ethan: Yeah I definitely think having a solid live presence is more important
What’s next for Whitehill Grove?
Callum: We’re going to be releasing a single I think in…
Seth: We don’t actually know when
Ethan: Or what track it will be that we release, so if you hear any songs you like tonight then let us know!
Callum: Yeah so we’ll have a single coming out and then just some support slots here and there as well. Today was the last day of the tour so we’ll be hoping to be doing gigs in the cities we’ve been in on the tour and then the single a bit later on!
Danny: Yeah working on building more of a fan base in the cities we’ve been touring and playing in recently!
Best Fan Experience?
Danny: So I met Van McCann from Catfish backstage at their Corn Exchange gig, we went up at like two in the afternoon and I’d nicked a clipboard from the schools art department. I dressed all in black and walked up to the backstage bit and the security stopped me and were asking me if I was with the band so I said Jamie asked me to go set up inside, we had no idea if there was a Jamie or not and he was like aye on you go, we didn’t expect to get this far so we walked backstage turned to the right and the band were there, we knocked on the door and said “Well this is really weird, we’re not supposed to be here but can I give you my bands CD” and handed over our first EP. Yeah they were lovely though, very nice. They offered me a bottle of Lucozade too
Callum: Did you take it?
Danny: No I never I felt very awkward and didn’t just want to take their Lucozade from them, they were very nice people though
Callum: So we went to see The LaFontaines in the Spiegeltent in St.Andrews square for the festival, after the set there was a fence to where backstage was but there was no security stood there. We weren’t sure if we were gonna go through with it but I went through the fence and then there was just a portacabin and The LaFontaines were there, we walked in and they were like “Aw alright lads do you wanna come in”, there was a group of like six of us and we went in…
Danny: They gave us all cheese
Callum: Yeah they gave us all baguettes and bits of cheese from their rider
Danny: They did cover for us though
Callum: Aye the security came round and they told them we were with them
Ethan: I saw Blink and that was pretty cool! I never met them or anything, I was just screaming every word. I was just proper like fangirling
Seth: I don’t know I just like seeing local bands really
Ethan: Look at you being all hipster
Danny: “Awww yeah you’ve probably never heard of them”
Ethan: I really enjoy seeing Ayakara, we’ve played with them a few times too. They’re great guys as well! Uhm what other bands… Indigo Velvet are very good as well, The Van T’s as well. Oh and Baby Strange, they are one of the best bands I’ve seen live!
Danny: That’s not really an experience, it’s just bands you’ve seen
Worst fan experience?
Danny: Mines is Catfish again, that same gig actually, I knackered my knee there. It’s a good story actually cause I knackered my knee and went to the medic bit and some girl on the bed next to me was like ” Are you from Whitehill Grove”. It was my ex girlfirends pal
Seth: The first time we saw Catfish at The Caves I got kicked out, it was 2014 I think. The crowd was very good but because it was at The Caves it was kinda restricted so then (To Callum) me and you started stage diving and you went first, then I went and the bouncers were obviously pissed at me or something. They weren’t too pleased and I gt pulled down and kicked out halfway through the set which was pretty shit.
Ethan: I went to Hollywood Undead and everyone there was really big heavy metal guys, so they opened up a pit and I’m not that big so I just kinda kept getting booted around while trying to listen to songs.
Callum: I have a story for us actually, mind that time we saw Rebel Westerns and then that gig at Bannermans and then after the RW gig we were like, lets go on a spontaneous pub crawl then we ended up in Bannermans at like a heavy Swedish rock band
Danny: What were the support called again?
Seth: Tequila a Mockingbird
Callum: Yeah so we saw them and it was actually quite fun, there was these like heavy metal fifty year old guys and then just us, it was great. They were a bit mental but mental in a good way!
Your favourite venue?
Seth: I think the Mash House is one of my favourite venues, as a Edinburgh venue, it has a lot of great small bands playing here, it gives the band a good platform too! We’ve played here a few times now…
Danny: Yeah we played our first show here so it’s nice to kinda come back and headline it now!
Callum: I’d say Electric Circus was my favourite venue. RIP and all that!
Danny: I love a good night at Sneaky’s
Callum: I mean obviously King Tuts is pretty good to go to just for any gig, I also really like Broadcast in Glasgow too
Ethan: I did really like Electric Circus and I like The Mash House cause it’s nostalgic too from when we played here before
Any bands you’re currently listening to?
Seth: Ayakara, Ill Fitting Thoughts, Nsari, Vistas
Danny: Lost In Vancouver
Seth: Cassia! Cassia are good
Danny: Corella as well
Seth: Yeah a lot of the Scruff Of The Neck bands are really cool too! Dancing On Tables as well
Callum: I like SWAY and Rascalton as well
Danny: Fabric Bear, they’re really good!
Seth: Rebel Westerns as well
Danny: I’ve heard Seal’s pretty goo
Ethan: And Gary Barlow
Danny: Ah we can’t forget Big Gazza B
Danny: There is definitely a lot of great bands coming out of Scotland at the moment!
Check out Whitehill Grove’s recent EP below…
@ New Wave Testament 2017