Where has your latest touring taken you and what have been the highlights for you?
DANIEL – We have had such an incredible year that it is very difficult to pick the highlights! The weekend that had Tonder Festival and Shrewsbury Folk Festival in the space of 4 day was very special. We performed to over 30,000 in 4 days and the response to our new material was incredible. It is also a real highlight to be in Canada for the first time and it is hopefully the first of many visits for the band.
What does the songwriting process look like for Skerryvore?
FRASER – Generally Alec will come up with an idea, lyrics, maybe an instrumental section too. He puts down a demo at home and sends it to the rest of us. We then have a rehearsal process where work from the demos to create the finished product. Sometimes the songs can change quite a bit from the demo, other times it’s just a matter of everyone adding their own touch as essentially the whole song is there.
Skerryvore is often described as a fusion of rock and traditional Scottish music—how would you describe how you fit into the traditional side of that equation?
DANIEL – Obviously the traditional instruments in band have a huge part in that equation both in instrumental sets and songs. In the songs there are many riffs or hooks played on fiddle , box or bagpipes that could also be played on electric guitar.
How did growing up on Tiree influence your approach to trad Scottish music?
MARTIN – Myself and Daniel were immersed in traditional music from a young age on Tiree with an abundance of Ceilidhs, concerts and Dances. We were also lucky to be taught from a young age from dedicated tutors on the island and also tutors brought on to the island as part of the local Feis movement. Through this we not only got to hear great musicians and bands but also be taught by them.
What are some of your influences? What are you currently listening to?
MARTIN – Runrig have always been a massive influence of mine and some of the other guys in the band as well. At the moment I am listening to a lot of Dance music, Calvin Harris, Arlissa & Jonas Blue, CamelPhat to name but a few.
What are the challenges in forming your voice as an ensemble when you are inspired by different musical genres?
FRASER – Sometimes we have to find a place for the traditional instruments in a song. There are a few songs that would sound great as guitar, drums, bass, keys and vocal but it wouldn’t necessarily sound like Skerryvore. So, we have to adapt the songs to fit with our sound.
Skerryvore’s newest album is EVO—what is your favourite song to play off it?
MARTIN – I would say ‘At The End Of The Line’ is my favourite song to play. Very emotional song and the tune part is mighty on the box!
What are your plans for the coming year?
FRASER – We have plans to release some more videos and will also be working on some new material. We also have our first tour of Australia coming up. Watch this space.