The SiS Interview by Rusty Roberts & Dany Sloan
Now 20 years in to their career, The Proclaimers are back with a new album, Notes & Rhymes, out this June in their native UK. While the band figures out a release date for Rhymes in America, the band are wetting our appetites with the EP 17, featuring acoustic songs and the title track which is a cover of the Kings of Leon jam.
On the eve of a handful of east coast acoustic shows, the Brothers Reid took a moment to answer a few questions regarding their choice of cover song and when the rest of the states should have their chance to catch them.
SIS: Long careers are tough in the music business. How have you guys sustained yourselves amidst all of the changes over time?
PRO: We've always stayed true to ourselves in terms of producing songs and performances that we really believe in. Following others is pointless.
SIS: Is there anything stopping you guys from being in a band for the rest of your lives? Is music what you had always wanted to do?
PRO: The things that would stop us would be a) if we didn't have belief in ourselves or b) we were no longer in shape physically to produce a great performance. We wanted to be in a band since we were teenagers.
SIS: What is the most difficult thing about breaking as a foreign artist in the United States?
PRO: Difficulties breaking the US market include costs of touring and getting proper promotion in America. The market is huge and ultra competitive. That’s why guys like us enjoy it so much.
SIS: How did you guys come to covering the Kings of Leon song “17”? Were you guys considering any other covers or do you have any in your live repertoire?
PRO: We wanted to cover a contemporary American rock song to give us a different vehicle for promotion in the US. The song is great and the lyrics intriguing. We've always covered other people’s songs and there are two covers on the new record.
SIS: I know that you guys have a new album, Notes & Rhymes, coming out this summer. How would you say it compares to your earlier work? Would any life-long Proclaimers fan be surprised at what they’ll hear?
PRO: Notes & Rhymes reflects our songwriting that, to my mind, has improved steadily over the years. The album has great variety. I believe true Proclaimer fans will love it.
SIS: Who are some of your favorite, more recent bands? Anyone that you think our readers should know about that you think are on the cusp of breaking?
PRO: The best new rock record in the UK is the Glasvegas album. Moving, witty and poetic. A folkier but equally talented artist is Damien Dempsey from Dublin. He's been around for a few years and should have a much bigger audience.
SIS: Outside of the upcoming acoustic dates you have in the US in May, do you have any other plans to tour the states?
PRO: We should be back in the US with our band in September. We hope to be back a couple of times next year also.
SIS: Lastly, what is some advice you'd give to all of the new bands out there? Is there anything you were told when you were younger that has stayed with you?
PRO: The only advice I would dare give to any band is to stay true to your own instincts and vision. It’s your music and your life!