Monday, 15 May 2017


Over the weekend I was given the pleasure of interviewing Dundee band Model Aeroplanes at CloseUp Festival - this is what happened.

[G] = Grant Irvine

[K] = Kieran Smith

[B] = Ben Buist

[R] = Rory Flemming-Stewart

(  )  = My comments during editing

Let's get straight into it, how did you guys get started? How did you guys meet?

[B] Never been good at anything else.

[G] We met in high school, the boys were the year above me and in first year we started jamming.

[R] I think Kieran bullied Grant in the corridor once!

[K] 'Cause he was a first year and I was a second year, it's just what you have to do.

[G] Yeah, he'd step on my heel so my shoe would come off - he's a coward though. We're mates now though so it's fine. But yeah so we met at school and started writing songs, bunking off classes...

[R] Bunking off! (weird hand movement)

[G] Like to write - we're pretty bad ass just to let you know - so we'd go to the music rooms and just sit and write songs when we were meant to be in classes.

That's cool, so it happened naturally.

[All] Yeah, yeah

[G] Yeah it happened really naturally, didn't help our grades though!

[R] I don't even know what I got. I can't even remember what highers I got...I've lost the certificates as well, don't know how to find it online.

[G] I left school with less qualifications than I started with - somehow.

Why Model Aeroplanes as a name? 

[G] Just thought it sounded cool.

[B] Yeah, sounded cool at the time and now we're stuck with it.

[G] No relevance at all...None of us are transport enthusiasts that I know of.

[K] It's 'cause we're ready to take off! (Good answer)

[R] To be fair, I always stand by, there was definitely a reason, there was like a moment when we all went (gasp and point) THAT like something happened but I can't remember what it was.

It wasn't like a childhood hobby then.


[R] I got a couple when I was wee but never built them.

[K] I got my Grandad's one.

So, how would you describe your music to someone that's never heard it - in three words? Think very carefully.

(the key to this question is THREE words...)

[K] Flavoursome.

[G] Journey. Not like the band but a journey.

[K] Europe!

[R] Outdated.

[G] that a word? (Can be now)

[R] How about all words starting with E-X... Explosive.

[G] Explorative...

[K] EXtraordinary.

[R] Exy.

[G] Hopefully three words would be: exciting, gripping...

[R] You're just saying random words!

[G] Na, explosive I liked that...

[R] Wheelbarrow. Explosive was good.

[G] Explanatory. Asparagus, nooo. Hopefully good but then that's subjective.

That was more like three hundred words! We'll move on, so what's your writing process like as you write all of your own music?

[K] It's kind of a really random process to be honest.

[R] It's changed a lot recently.

[G] We all  write together so people might come up with ideas when they're on their own or whatever but then we've got our own studio in Dundee and we're there like full time so we just come in and someone might be like ah I came up with this wee idea then we all play it and if it's any good we make it into a song.

[R] We've been fiddling about writing on the computer and stuff as well recently first and then taking it into live.

[G] Yeah so doing the drums on the computer or something.

[K] Or vice versa.

[R] Which makes it a bit more interesting.

[G] We don't have any approaches that we stick to, I think it's important to change up your methods and approaches to keep the music fresh otherwise you just end up writing the same stuff.

[B] There's a lot of hate and self doubt involved.

[R] You're like the most depressed man in the world! You're way too depressed to have wee socks on!

[K] Ben you can walk home.

(Laughs followed by a conversation about ankle socks and cooking eggs on Ben's roasting ankles)

Influences. Does anyone influence you in music?

[G] Earth Wind and Fire. Hip-hop.

[R] Generally I think a lot of hip-hop, funk, soul.

[B] Yeah.

[R] Especially recently, it used to be a lot more indie rock and stuff.

[B] Aye, we just take bits and bobs from loads of different things 'cause you can't take too much influence from just one thing or you end up being that thing.

[R] Yeah, we don't have to try because we all just do listen to an array of stuff anyway but I think if you listen to loads of different stuff it helps you make something that's hopefully different and unique that other people aren't doing - your own sound and stuff.

Do you play your music to anyone before you release it?

[R] Sometimes friends, we have a SoundCloud.

[G] Sometimes our parents.

[K] My mum and dad will be quite honest about it which is good.

On that note, who inspires you in life as we've done music?

[G] There's someone that I actually find iconic...who is it again...obviously not that inspirational!

[K] Can't be that iconic.

[R] So iconic you forgot!

[K] Tom Selleck's pretty cool.

[G] Marvin Gaye - ah that's music again.

[R] I like Matt Damon. Matt Damon's a legend.

[G] I can't remember who this person is but they're really inspirational.

[K] Trevor McDonald.

[R] John Snow, I think John Snow.

(Followed by a conversation about the news and how entertaining the weather is in Scotland...did anyone else think they were referring to the Game Of Thrones character?)

You've toured with quite a lot of people, who's been your favourite? 

[G] Little Comets was a good tour, them gigs are always quite big.

[K] That was a really good tour.

[R] I feel like as an enjoyment thing probably Dog Is Dead 'cause we're quite good friends and it's quite fun and natural.

[B] The perils of being away...

[R] They don't like sit in their dressing room all day.

[B] It's good fun.

[K] Yeah I'd agree with that Dog Is Dead tour.

[R] Eliza and The Bear as well to be fair, we've had some really good times with them.

[K] They're nuts.

If  you could play anywhere in the world where would it be?

[R] Australia.

[G] South America would be good.

[B] Playing in the streets of Rio, I'd love that.

[R] Like carnival.

[G] Join a street party.

[R] I think a really hot country would be nice like we went to Switzerland last year and it was close to Italy the part we were in and it was dead nice, baking hot. Just made me think, imagine playing a summer of festivals just like in the heat - ahh it'd be like a big holiday that.

Any funny tour stories?

[R] Lots.

That you can tell online...


[R] Ha probably not, did anything funny happen last night?

[K] What goes on tour stays on tour really.

[B] We don't have any PG stories.

(Make something up guys...)

[K] We came up with this tour game on one of the tours we did called cream from above.

[R] Eliza and The Bear.

[K] It's basically where you get a squirty cream can and when you're staying at the hotel or whatever, someone will stand on the bed and someone else lies on the floor with their mouth open. They've got to like guide your hand like one of those claw machines.

[R] You can provide like cool music like do doo doo do (accompanied by a very realistic dance)

[K] Yeah totally and when the person's ready like they think the hand's in the right place, they shout 'cream from above' and then they've got to squish it then madness.

[R] Make of it what you will.

[B] It gets old pretty quickly actually when you've got all cream on your face.

[R] Yeah like if you go to bed with cream in your hair...

(Another conversation about a 'game' of pouring water into your sock...)

This doesn't link at all but do you ever get nervous on stage?

[G] I think we've done the same size of gigs for so long now...

[R] I still get nervous, personally.

[K] I think the smaller the stage the more nervous.

[R] Yeah.

[G] Yeah I think the smaller the crowd.

[R] Yeah like even if a crowd isn't that responsive, if it's a big one it's fine because you're like right at least there'll be some people that are enjoying themselves where as if it's a wee crowd and they're not very responsive it's like a ghost's tough.

[K] We're just a really self conscious band's not anyone's fault, it's just us.

[R] Society's fault. It's the system's fault.

Has anything ever gone wrong on stage?

[K] The last gig we did yeah.

[R] Oh yeah I forget words every gig! Especially new songs.

[K] Something breaks or someone falls over...

What's next for you guys?

[R] (Piece of twig in hand) Well I'm going to play with this stick for a bit.


[G] My phone's gonna die.

[R] We're gonna be releasing a few songs soon, next month.

[B] Got one next month then the month after.

[R] I can't remember the dates because I've lost a lot of passion for this band recently - I'm joking!

[G] The 16th June - Lover.

Any tips for budding musicians?

[R] Keep on budding! (I walked into that one...)

[G] Don't expect to have loads of money.

[B] At all. Ever.

[R] And don't expect everything to fall at your feet.

[G] And don't run about for people, don't let people take advantage.

[B] Always be nice.

[K] Have fun, enjoy it.

[G] Don't think about the future too much because if you're thinking about the future constantly you're not enjoying what you're doing.

[K] If you're not enjoying it there's something wrong - change that wrong thing.

[R] Me and Ben were thinking just before we came over here, imagine if you could do something and then reverse time so you hadn't done it but you had the memory of doing it. That'd be class wouldn't it!

[G] What like buying a house then not having it?

[R] No, something cheeky that you didn't really wanna do like stealing a Freddo and eating it. You could go in, steal the Freddo, get the rush, eat the Freddo and then erase it but you still remember having the Freddo like yeah that was delicious but you didn't do it.

Okay, anything else you want to add?

[B] I mean I think that wraps it up nicely.

Until next time...


Read our review of Model Aeroplanes' 'Something Like Heaven' EP here.

Find out more about Model Aeroplanes here.

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