Musicscan: Hi Craig, where are you right now and how are you doing?
Aereogramme: I am in my room recovering from a horrible hangover.
Musicscan: Tell our readers just a little bit about how Aereogramme got started?
Aereogramme: Aereogramme was started by myself and Campbell. We originally planned on making music with acoustic guitars and electronic noises but we soon found out that we still wanted to create a heavier sound so we asked Martin to drum and then Iain slowly became part of the band as well since he helped with the programming.
Musicscan: What influence does the city of Glasgow and its music scene have on your sound? Would you say you would sound differently if you were based in another city?
Aereogramme: Glasgow was always the place to be for music when I was growing up and I wanted to get a band going and play all the venues where I had seen some of my favourite bands play. I don't think Aereogramme could have come out of a place like London. I can't really explain why. Glasgow has quite a special independent spirit because it can exist by itself without the help or interest of London, which is seen by many to be the musical centre of Britain.
Musicscan: How would you describe the relationship between the bandmembers?
Aereogramme: I think we all have a great respect for each other's role within the band. We all look after different parts and I think we realise that it would fall apart pretty quickly if we didn't have each other. We are men though, so communication can be pretty bad sometimes. That is a problem with the male race though and not really a problem with the band!
Musicscan: What are the best and worst aspects of touring for months?
Aereogramme: The best aspect would certainly be the fact that we get to travel to parts of the world that we probably would never have seen if we were in some crappy office job. Playing live every night can be a joy as well because the band really bonds together. The worst aspects are being away from the people you love for so long and not getting a single moment of peace since you have to share a bed every night with a hairy, farting band member. It requires a strange kind of stamina! If you have to travel everyday for 8-10 hours it can also be incredibly boring but that also helps you put every ounce of emotion into the live show that night.
Musicscan: Your new album "Sleep and Release" is quite different to your debut album I would say. At first I missed the two extremes, the very quiet, sad and fragile parts and the very direct, loud, brutal and noisy parts that you used to combine in almost every song on your first album in an unparalleled fashion. Now the songs tend to be more solid and less oscillating between the two mentioned aspects. Did you feel like you perfected the quiet/loud kind of approach on "A Story In White"?
Aereogramme: No, I don't think we perfected anything like that because I think the new album is more extreme in a different kind of way. The song "wood" is the heaviest song we have ever written and "A winter's discord" is probably the most stripped down, personal song we have ever attempted and a song like "Older" has it all in the one song. I just think we paced the album better. It flows in a more graceful way so that you are introduced to each element of the band in a gradual way rather than the shock LOUD! Quiet! Of the first album. I think the extreme elements are still there.
Musicscan: Do you enjoy the studio work or would you say Aereogramme is definitely more of a live band?
Personally, I find studio work very hard. I much prefer playing live but I know that Campbell and Iain prefer the studio and Martin likes a bit of both. I think Aereogramme need to be experienced live though because it can be quite a different experience from the album sometimes. It's certainly heavier live !
Musicscan: Who did the beautiful artwork for "Sleep and Release" and why did you choose it? Is there a special connection to what you are trying to convey with your music?
Aereogramme: We found the artwork in an art gallery in Phoenix, Arizona on the last U.S. tour. I think it just caught everyone's eye and it describes our music in a subtle kind of way. You have this soft body holding a dangerous sawblade which holds the idea of comfort and pain for me. I also think that the cover art can be a platform for unknown artists to have their work seen throughout the world when they might not otherwise get that same opportunity on their own. The photos were done by Keith Kassner and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Musicscan: On your new album you included the note that "this album does not feature members of any bands who are more successful than we are". Besides being pretty hilarious I think it is a much needed comment on the current marketing practice to include "stars" on your record in order to get some extra publicity. How do you feel about bands who are blatantly marketing themselves with all means necessary?
Aereogramme: I am glad you found it funny because it was meant to be funny! Obviously, the record companies use it as a way to sell more records but it ultimately cheapens the original artist and takes away from the work that he/she has done on their own. I want people to love Aereogramme's music because of what we have created and not because someone famous might have played a kazoo in the background!
Musicscan: What do you think about the music business in general and how is your relationship with Chemikal Underground?
Aereogramme:I think the music business stinks at the moment, especially in Britain. There are very few independent labels left here and so I am very proud to be part of Chemikal Underground who I think need to be applauded for surviving this long. I know Germany has been taken over by all this pop idol crap and Britain has gone through the same thing but it will continue to happen until the public sits up and notices that its just one long advert for a product with no shelf life. Chemikal Underground are fantastic people. We hold them as our friends and label managers and musicians all at once.
Musicscan: Does Aereogramme pay the bills or do you have to take on "regular" jobs while at home? If yes, what do you do and what are some of your other interests?
Aereogramme:I am afraid we all still work and we have done some of the worst jobs you can imagine but that is part of the process of being on an independent label. If we had been on a major we would have been dropped by now! Our lives revolve around music / films / computer games and alcohol.
Musicscan: What artists have influenced you (not necessarily limited to music)?
Aereogramme: Mark Eitzel from American music club has had a huge influence on me but strangely enough so has the photographer Glen E Friedman (check out his books "fuck you heroes" and "fuck you too"). I have great respect for the filmmaker "beat" Takeshi Kitano and artist Dave McKean also.
Musicscan: 3 favorite records, books, movies and video games?
Aereogramme:These are in no way the bands favourites or even my favourites. They are just bringing me great enjoyment at the moment. Records: Converge-Jane Doe, Mark Eitzel-Songs of Love Live and Enon-High Society. Books: Perfume by Patrick Süskind , Burning In water, Drowning in flame by Charles Bukowski and Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. Games- Silent Hill 2 (Playstation) / Ikaruga (Gamecube) / Hyper Olympics (Illegal P.C version)
Musicscan: What can we expect from Aereogramme in the near future? Any tours, new
releases, plans, hopes...
Aereogramme: We will be playing live in Europe in May and we are really looking forward to coming to Germany. Our new album is out 3rd March and there may be a single coming out later on in the year. I hope to provide a great live show every night.
Musicscan: Any last words or comments?
Aereogramme: Thanks to anyone who has shown an interest in Aereogramme. We appreciate your support. Please take a look at www.aereogramme.com and leave a message on our message board. Oh, and you ask Good questions Matthias ! We usually just get asked about Mogwai! Thanks!