Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Kitty Questions : ROSCOE VACANT

There's something about a Scottish accent that will make your ears prick-up. Whether the Celtic-symphony is poetry, witticism or simply a well-ravelled story, you listen intently. Sometimes, the combination of this bold-brogue and an important message is the perfect cocktail for making the people pay attention. Roscoe Vacant is a true, bona fide bastion of social serenity. His lyrics and musical delivery is as unwavering as the boom-boom of your very own heartbeat, and the purposeful thud of the bass drum.

1. What was the first record you personally bought?
I'd love to say it was something really cool, but I'm fairly sure it was "Vagabond Heart" by Rod Stewart when I was 8 or 9. It's a lacklustre album at best, but at the time I thought it was amazing. Someone once said of him, "never has an artist so betrayed their talent" and it's very true.

2. Which male musician is the most inspirational to you?
For years I've been a huge fan of Jandek. He's one artist who for me has consistently failed to disappoint. His music is very experimental and improvised, but for me what has always been most important is the honesty and integrity of the music. A lot of the time when listening to music I feel manipulated, but with Jandek it's always seemed like all he's interested in is exorcising his own emotions and doing music for the right reasons.

3. Which female musician is the most inspirational to you?
I'd say Ella Logan. She was a Scottish singer who emigrated to the US in the 1930s. Her voice has such beauty to it and the first time I heard "How are things in Glocca Morra?" I couldn't believe a song like that even existed. It's almost perfect. I've heard lots of great people doing that song, but they never come close to that version.

Ella Logan - How Are Things In Glocca Morra? by Kittylickscd

4. Speaking retrospectively, which film do you think you could soundtrack with your music?
Again, I'd love to say something like "Orphans" but the reality is it would probably be more likely to be "Gregory's Girl"! I know my station in life! Our band (Roscoe Vacant & the Gantin' Screichs) is named after the band in an episode of the mid-90s Scottish sitcom 'The High Life', so soundtracking anything with Alan Cumming, Siobhan Redmond or Forbes Masson would be our dream.

 5. Show us the most recent photograph of yourself.
This is a picture of me playing a solo set at a punk gig in Cumnock last weekend. Oh dear.

6. Can you sum-up your music with a photograph?
I don't think I can! I am quite a visual person with my music though, and when I'm writing a song, I always have a particular image, location and memory or group of memories in my mind that the song tries to address. It's not a deliberate thing, I suppose for me music is so tightly tied up with how I'm feeling or memories of particular experiences, the images tied up with those memories just stick.

7. Imaginary dream dinner party / night out - who would you invite and why?
I'm not very good company, so I would invite people who would be able to keep things moving. James Keir Hardie and Alexander Peden would be at the top of the table, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Kaufman and Krzysztof KieĊ›lowski would be in the middle and Kurt Cobain, Alex Chilton and Bob Dylan would be at the end of the table. I realise there may be some issues in assembling this cast.

8. What are your top 3 songs on the theme of NATURE?
"In Bloom" by Nirvana
"Point Judith" by Jandek
"This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie
9. What's the funniest video you can find on Youtube? 
I love this video, mainly because the song is so catchy...

10. Which 2 songs would you like played at your funeral?
"Take care" from Big Star's "Third" because it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I've also always loved Robert Burns' "Ye banks and braes o' Bonnie Doon", so that one would be fairly high up there too.

11. Can we have a photo of your record collection?
I don't have a picture of my record collection to hand, but here's a picture of some rarities I recently acquired by one of my very favourite bands, Nyah Fearties. They're from Kilmarnock which is near where I grew up, and they toured all over the world in the 1980s and 1990s. The music they made is so different from what's passed off as folk punk today. They made something completely unique and incredible, and I would recommend them to anyone.

12. If you were a super-hero, what would you be called, what would you look like and most importantly, what would your super power be?
I'd be The Man of A Thousand Faces, a dapper turn of the century Scottish scholar by day and a crimefighting master of disguise by night. Each week I would use a different guise (mostly copies of Lon Chaney characters) to bring down wrongdoers, mobsters and ne'er-do-wells.
13. Draw me a picture of a cat.
I can't draw, so please find enclosed a picture of my beautiful cat, William. He's six years old and his previous owner died, so now he lives with us. He's a really good natured cat who's sporadically very grumpy. He's a really loving cat, but likes his own space and wants to just do his own thing most of the time, so me and him get on a treat.

14. Which song has the most positive and inspirational lyrics you can think of?
"Light and Day" by the Polyphonic Spree. Unfortunately these days it mainly inspires me to shop at Sainsbury's. Aside from that I'd say "Keep on Keepin' on" by the Redskins - one band who never fail to inspire.

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