Interview: The Doormats

The Doormats have performed as part of exciting showcases like the Liquid Rooms’ ‘In Limbo’ and Summerhall’s ‘Neu Reekie.’ On the 25th, they played Henry’s Cellar Bar, promoting $CR*P, a zine cu- rated by students at the Edinburgh College of Art. I caught up with them after the gig, by which point any chance of a normal interview was ostensibly out of the question.

SMS: You define yourself as “experimental”; what does this mean to you?

The Doormats: Asymetric in both sound and look. There’s a range of haircuts.

In terms of your experience with venues, have you been affected by the council’s crackdown on noise?

Our career as a band has been plagued by noise complaints. The only times we’ve not had a noise complaint are when we’ve played in Glasgow or London.

What kind of musical backgrounds do you all come from? Both in terms of training and your personal music taste.

Jack: I used to play orchestral percussion but now I restrict myself to just the tambourine — and I have no official training on the frying pan.

Oscar: Yo La Tengo, Half Japanese, Steve Malmaus, Pavement,

Joel: I went to Trinity Music College for three weeks.

Silas: Blues rock with my brother, but now he’s gone in a more management consultant direction.

Do you have specific ideas about your sound and look that you cultivate or is it more of an organic process?

With the sound yes, but it tends to miss the aim and go in a different direction. Our look is just very incohesive.

Speaking of style, who’s the fashionable one of the group?

Well, Big Daddy (Jack) is like the Bono of the group. Often seen wearing charity fun run t-shirts.

Do you see music as your vocation?

Resident assistancy is my profession. Music can’t be my profession.

How would you describe your band dynamic?

We need one another to live, so there’s no choice in getting on.

How is the the album you’re working on different to your EP?

It’s a bit more full band-y. It’s also less stripped back, the vocals are more present.

As a final question, how do you create your music? Is it lyrics first? Or music? Where do you get the inspiration?

Lyrics recently, but in the past it was music first. What inspires it is Big Daddy…people inspire me. Or sometimes I lift lines from places… from books. Renaissance Poetry on occasion.

A mixtape compiled by the Doormats :

Cobaya by Magma Parliament Funk Woody Guthrie The Fool

Gun Club
Fourtet
John Donne’s complete works on

audiobook
King Crimson
Oh Sweet Nothing by the Velvet

Underground (“for when the credits roll”)

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