Prides

by
Prides
Joanna Boavida caught up with Stewart Brock, singer and keyboardist of Scottish synth-pop trio, Prides to talk about their current tour, Disney songs, and Halloween plans.

Your debut album was released this summer, how was the process of putting it together?
The big debut, it’s been amazing. The reception and everything has been amazing, and obviously having it out just before our performance [at T in the Park] was wicked. It seems strange now it’s done, that it’s out and people can hear it.

Summer is a busy time for a lot of bands due to festival season. Do you have a festival highlight, either from a one of your performances or being in the crowd?
There were a couple for us that really stand out. We opened the main stage at T in the Park, which was amazing. Being a Scottish band and being at T in the Park so many years and then getting the opportunity to play the main stage was ridiculous. Reading and Leeds were our favourite performances, and being at Glastonbury was pretty ridiculous. Whether you hated it or loved it, that was a big one, and personally I loved it, I thought it was amazing. Lucy Rose was so, so good when we saw her at Boardmasters, she was on straight after us, and it was just ridiculous – I’m slightly in love with her.

Did you get a chance to talk and hang out with her?
God no, I wouldn’t have dared! We did, we did, just quickly before she went on. She’s lovely; she’s so tiny.

Let’s not discriminate against short people!
No, no, I’m one of you. Somebody came up to me after a show the other day and said, “I can’t believe how small you are!” I don’t know how to take that really.

You’re going on tour. How are you guys feeling?

Yeah, excited. It’s starting to turn slightly to nervous energy now it’s in sight, but we can’t wait. It’s one of my favourite things to do, to get out and play live – looking forward to hitting the road and getting out and meeting as many people as we possibly can. We really wanted to try and get out to as many places as we possibly could on this tour.

I read an interview that you played a show in London and entered the stage to The Lion King’s Circle Of Life song?
You want to have that song before you get out on stage that’s going to get everybody going and everybody singing, and we just couldn’t think of a better option than Circle Of Life. We have to top it for the next tour. Our last tour we did Prince Ali from Aladdin, which went down a real storm.

Will the next one be Disney?
Well, we haven’t decided yet, we need to figure it out. We do have a Disney theme going now so I don’t know whether we’ll stick with it. Maybe some Beauty & the Beast, my favourite Disney film is Beauty & the Beast, so Be Our Guest maybe?

Fatherson are supporting you on tour. What can you tell us about them?
We’ve been really good pals with the guys for a long time and have been avid fans of what they’re doing. As soon as they said yes, we were really, really chuffed. They’re such a good live band, and all the new tracks they’re working on are sounding amazing. Hopefully it will be a good night and just bring a little bit of Glasgow to the rest of the country.

A lot of Scottish bands are doing really well in the British music scene currently. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, Scotland has always had a really great community of music and flourishing music scene. There are a couple of bands just now that are really standing out; obviously leading the charts, artists like Biffy, Chvrches, and Frightened Rabbit, but then you’ve got smaller bands Fatherson and Model Aeroplanes who are doing really well just now… Chloe, another girl who is writing amazing tunes… there’s loads of good stuff going on.

You seem to have a strong and personal social media presence, both on Twitter and Facebook. What are your thoughts on the use of social media and connecting with people?
I think its really, really important and I like the fact that we can be the kind of band that people feel like they know who we are and they can reach out to us about anything. I’m constantly getting people tweeting stuff they think I might like or asking me questions or asking for advice. It’s just a really nice to be able to reach out to people. If I was a big fan of a band and had the chance to be able to chat to them I’d definitely want to do it. For us its a big deal because we really care what people think, not long ago we did a set in Glasgow and went through Twitter to get the set list. These are the people coming to the show, so if they want to hear a song, we should play it. We love it; it’s just good fun and good to have a laugh with people. We do the same on tour – we always try and hang out after the shows and chat to as many people as we can.

Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are very entertaining. From your tweets it seems you guys are fans of Great British Bake Off. What did you think of this year?
Lewis [drums] has been a big fan for years; got to say he loves it. This is the first year I really stuck my teeth into it, and I loved it. I was completely hooked. How many people watched the final, fourteen million or something? I was one of those people. I cannot bake at all; I think that’s maybe why it’s good to watch because it’s so impressive. Maybe we’ll start, maybe we’ll have some Prides cupcakes on the merch desk!

You post a lot of cover videos on your YouTube channel. Last year you did an incredible 2014 mixtape of popular songs from that year. Can we expect a 2015 mixtape?
You know what? I have it in my sights. Last year was the first one we did as a live mixtape which made it 10 times harder for ourselves, but it did go down really well and I really enjoyed doing it, and its a good way to show people the tracks we’ve been into. We’ll definitely try and get one out – we’ll try and squeeze it in around the tour somehow!

What are some of your favourite songs from the year or a song in the charts you’re a big fan of?
I think The Weeknd, Can’t Feel My Face, is one of the top songs of the year for me, I cannot get enough of it, even now; it’s one of those I’m still not sick of. You know what? Black Magic, the Little Mix song, honestly, what a tune! And Where Are Ü Now, the Biebs is a big hit. Big hitter, who would’ve thought it?

Can we expect sneaky behind the scenes videos from the tour?
Absolutely, yes! I will be annoying the guys, filming everything as much as possible. We’re on Periscope and Snapchat most days, but hopefully we’ll be posting more videos on Facebook and Twitter so we’ll be all over the shop.

You’ll be performing and traveling all over the country. Is there something in particular you do to kill time on the tour bus?
A lot of our travel time is getting out of each other’s way, quiet time. We do a lot of reading, and after the shows we generally have a big sing along – that’s a big band favourite. The guys are really into mathematical riddles, which I have no idea about because I’m an idiot! We do have a game called “Ben has”, which we invented which is one of the guys who comes out with us is a guy called Ben and we have to guess what he’s done in his life. So you have to go “Ben has… played a card-based strategy game” and he tells you if you’ve got a point or not. Basically it’s because none of us know anything about this guy Ben and the more specific answer the better! Now we’ve started guessing what we’ve all been doing in our past lives and it can get pretty saucy.

It’s October, Halloween time. Have you got your costumes sorted?
I love Halloween; I really love it, essentially because I like dressing up. Yes, we have a really good idea for a costume; it’s whether we can get it ready for the show. We shall see. We will definitely be dressing up though. You’ve got to; it’s Halloween!

Is there a past costume you’re particularly proud of?
You know what? Me and Callum [vocals, guitar, & piano] did, I think probably our best, we went as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World. We nailed it… we absolutely smashed it. I think we could have passed for the real Wayne and Garth.