How and why are you touring with Tom Jones?!!
Quite simply we were asked. An opportunity presented itself to play to 50,000 people that we would not have otherwise been able to reach. It meant extending our own UK tour by 2 weeks, which we were happy about, but it's all worked out great - we're seeing some of his fans at our own shows now. People shouldn't really be so surprised at the pairing; his audience is right across the board age wise, much like our own, and todayâ€™s musical tastes are fortunately much broader than it was 'cool' to be some time ago. Besides we fancied a wee sold out 14 date arena tour to warm us up - the dressing rooms are better and the rider is bigger.
Whatâ€™s it been like playing with him? Have you got any showbiz gossip for us?!
It's been great so far. Everyone has been bending over backwards to accommodate us which is really cool, and his audiences have been great, so it's all worked out rather well. As far as gossip goes my lips are sealed! We've picked up a few celebrity fans which never hurts, and Tom is a gem. He's twice my age, still bustin moves, sings for 2 hours, does 200 shows a year and can drink all of us under the table, no contest. Name me one of today's hellraisers that can do that with any consistency? There are guys out there that cant be arsed touring at all let alone 200 two hour shows. I'm impressed.
Who would be your perfect touring partner?
I could name loads - where do I start? Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Ryan Adams? A few that are dead unfortunately - they wouldnâ€™t be much fun I guess. Purely for company maybe Peter Kay or Ricky Gervais. Might be more fun having a comedian than a musical act.
Tell us about your new recordâ€¦
The new record is called 'The Stars Look Different From Down Here' and we took about a year out in Andalucia to record it in a few different sessions. The location was simply us trying to find an environment where we could do something a little different. I took a more varied approach to writing melody and lyrics and tried to experiment a little, and when we got it together as a band in the studio, we were keen to have a fresh approach and really try to capture performance rather than great takes. Paco Loco and John Agnello, the engineers/producer/mixer, have an aversion to wizardry and fixing things digitally which was right up out street. I've 'fixed' a few CRR records in the past and it sucks the life out of the recording. It's the best record we've made by far, though not everyone will agree with that, but that's the beauty of music - it's appeal changes through time. The thought of making the same kind of record over and over again is just boring. Bands need to evolve if they are to survive in the long term, but some folks are just too dumb to understand that.
What are you listening to on the tour bus?
There are 2 fully loaded 40gb iPods and a dock thatâ€™s connected to the sound system, so pretty much everything from A to Z. Travelling gives you an excellent opportunity to get into records you haven't had time for in the past so there's loads of old stuff going on and lots of new records to. With so much music these days, it seems stupid to play something twice. I'm liking Razorlight though, a band Iâ€™d never felt an attraction to before.
Why do you think thereâ€™s such a strong link between Scottish indie and West Coast guitar bands?
It must be the connection with country music and traditional Scottish folk - they are very similar musically and I've always thought that was why there are so many country fans in the west coast. It's only a small leap from there to the US west coast sound. Of course Teenage Fanclub have played no small part in this. They've left an indelible impression on indie music that'll go on for some time Iâ€™m sure.
Itâ€™s nearly Halloweâ€™en. What scares you?
Old press shots of my band.
What are you reading at the moment?
Salman Rushdieâ€™s â€œMidnightâ€™s Children,â€ and a Greek Linguaphone course with the worst pictures you've ever seen. It's working though.
Do you have any favourite websites?
Yahoo news and a few Pro Audio and music sites - myspace can take up your time, that's about it. I donâ€™t spend that much time on the internet for the same reasons I donâ€™t spend any time watching TV; it gets in the way of the important things.
Tell us three records you really loveâ€¦
Just off the top of my head - Ryan Adams â€œHeartbreakerâ€ Bob Dylan â€œBootleg Series IVâ€ Elliot Smith â€œXO.â€ The Ryan record is easily his best, it's still got that magic spark that's in the Whiskeytown records. I really like all his stuff. I think he's often unfairly judged simply because of the volume of output. The Dylan bootleg is a cracker, just a guy and a guitar singing his heart out, the passion in the vocals is unbelievable and the songs are some of the best ever written - 'Gates of Eden', 'Hard Rains Gonna Fall', 'It's Alright Ma', just amazing. â€œXOâ€ has always been a favourite of mine. It's such a pity he's gone, he really shone on that record. It's one of the few records that I love that I never feel the need to skip tracks.