PART 1 - "THE INTERVIEW"
What is your earliest musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the music business?
"Earliest memory is Top Of The Pops in the 1970's, watching it with my big brothers, but records wise it was Sinatra (from my dad) and Elvis and The Stones (from my mum)."
What kind of records were on around the house when you were younger and would you say that these records still influence your music today?
"We had the above on around the house but then my bros had punk and 2-tone which I still love and from 2-tone I got into Motown, Stax, northern soul etcetera."
Had you been involved in any other bands or musical ventures before Button Up?
"I was in bands all through school and after but then I got a big break playing with Marianne Faithfull, from 2001 to 2003, and have also played bass with The Proclaimers since 2003. Button Up is my own stuff though so its number one for me."
How did Button Up begin?
"Button Up began as a three piece instrumental band - just drums, bass and Hammond organ - with a love of Booker T And The MG's, James Taylor Quartet, James Brown etcetera. The line up now has been on the go for two years and it's fantastic working with great singers and musicians. Makes my job a lot easier."
Where did the name Button Up come from?
"Button Up, the name, sounds good and looks good on posters so I kept it. Luckily no one had it although I'm sure there's an old American band with the name but its mine now!"
In our opinion, your sound is a cross between soul and the garage rock Hammond sound with occasional hints of ska. How would you describe the sound of Button Up?
"You have just done it and very well too."
This type of music is not at its most popular at the moment with the domination of ‘chart music’. What pushed you towards deciding to play this kind of music?
"I regard it as music to me. The new pop stuff bores me and I hope there's room for us all. I have more fun playing my own sound with a respect to the past."
You also have a mod look about you, as a band. Do you consider yourself to be a mod band and how has the mod movement influenced you?
"I always liked the mod look and the music is fantastic but a mod band maybe. More like a band some mods like."
Do you consider the look to be as important as the music?
"Music first then style, you can look good but if the music is rubbish, a good haircut won't cover it up for too long."
Your latest album is called ‘Modena’. Why?
"'Modena' is a cracking title to describe the music on it. Modern band playing mod style music. Italian is cool too!"
This album features an equal amount of instrumentals as it does songs with lyrics. What attracts you about the instrumental format?
"I love instrumentals, always have, you can make the music sing, but I'm writing better lyrics now so enjoy that as much."
In our opinion, one of the finest tracks on this album is ‘Keeps On Burning’. What is this song about and what influenced it?
"'Keeps On Burning' is about heading to the mod club Friday St. and dancing to sixties soul you haven't heard before. Being educated in great songs and never off the floor!"
You have more recently released a four-track EP called the ‘Covered EP’. Why did you choose to release an EP of covers?
"While gigging 'Modena' we picked some favourite covers to play so thought we would record them as they sounded good live."
Your cover of The Quik’s ‘Bert’s Apple Crumble’ is astounding! If you don’t mind us saying! Can you tell us about when you first heard this song and why did you choose to record your own version?
"I heard 'Bert's' on a night out at a mod night ages ago and it only lasted one minute and thirty seconds. I wanted to play it again and thought we could do a longer version to keep it going. Thanks for the above compliment, cheers."
Do you have any 'rituals' before you go on stage?
"Tune up and keep the band sober!"
Any live dates coming up?
"London and Birmingham at the end of November. Local gig in Coatbridge on the 27th December and next Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester shows will be when the new album comes out in May. All dates on website."
Any new songs in the pipeline?
"New album 'Beat Street' is getting recorded at the end of January/February 2014."
When can fans expect the next official release?
"May 2014, new album - 'Beat Street'."
Who would be your dream collaboration?
"Jack White or Otis Redding but you can but dream."
Who would be in your dream super group?
"I've got mine just now in Button Up!"
PART 2 - "THE QUICKFIRE ROUND"
"Too many - so Button Up."
Favourite new band?
"I love The Strypes."
"The Specials' first one."
Vinyl, CD or download?
"Paul Weller keeps pulling it off."
Favourite clothing brand?
Favourite TV show?
Who would play you in a film of your life?
"Scotland and Celtic."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Button Up! Check out our previous feature on Thomas McConnell!
Check out Button Up here - www.buttonuprecords.com
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