Band Interview: The Cairds

The Cairds Logo

The Cairds are an Indie rock group from Ayrshire made up of The Cairds are made up of Andy Kerr on Vocals/Guitar, Adam MacDonald on Bass/Vocals and Blair Innes on Drums. I’ve reviewed The Cairds music and you can check that out here and here

So first of how did you all meet?
Andy and I met through mutual friends. We were asked to join a band with two folk that we each knew. We parted ways with one member of that band and from there The Cairds was formed. Adam came in a few months later. Again it was a mutual friends type thing, and now we can’t imagine the band without him.

Where are you all from?
I’m from Kilwinning. Andy and Adam are from Kilmarnock, but Adam last year moved over to Troon to live a life by the sea and catch fish.

How long have you been playing your respective instruments?
I’ve been playing drums since I was in first year. I probably would have started earlier, but I had never even really seen a set of drums until then! Andy has been playing guitar since he was three weeks old and knows every single song ever written. He’s actually only been playing for about 13 years now, but he does know an insane amount of songs! Adam never actually played bass until he joined us. He’s played guitar for a few years now, but the bass was new to him. He’s come a long way since then.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
We usually go for Indie, which is obviously a very broad term, but there are so many genres that it makes life easier to go with Indie.

What are your influences?
We like a lot of different stuff. I’d say the main ones are bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Smiths, PAWS, Stone Roses, Ryan Adams, Blink-182, We Were Promised Jetpacks, amongst many others.

Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?
We try and throw in a cover or two at every gig. We have a song called Poisonous Games, which always leads into a cover of the second half of “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac when we play it. We’ve recently thrown a Bowie tune in too, which is a belter!

What if anything does your name mean/why are you called that?
The name comes from both Trainspotting and Still Game. Most people know of the scene in Trainspotting where Begbie’s raging that Spud never brought the cairds, and there’s an episode of Still Game called “Cairds”. We all love both!

Do you have a process for writing your songs? /Which of you writes the songs?
A few of the songs have been ones that Andy’s had for a while, but they were always just acoustic tracks that we built on. Most of the time though, it comes from just messing about at rehearsals. Andy and Adam write all of the lyrics. Adam in particular can think of lyrics about pretty much anything, very quickly. I might have the odd wee guitar idea now and then, which I’ll give to Andy to mess about with.

What are your rehearsals generally like?
They usually consist of Still Game/Father Ted chat, numerous cakes and copious amounts of tea. It’s like 90% nonsense and somehow we still get things done.

Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?
We played King Tut’s last April with The Rainband, who were touring at the time. They had toured with Paolo Nutini a while before and they’re quite good pals with him, so he was supposed to be coming along for the gig. We thought this was nonsense chat, but sure enough he came and he was right up for it. After the gig he was talking to us for ages, hanging in my car window. It was a bizarre night really. The night Paolo saw The Cairds.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
As the EP launch has just been, I’d say that has probably been our biggest challenge, but even then, it wasn’t too demanding. Everything that surrounded it went quite smoothly. We had support from Dirty Hepburns and Kiki Miller who were both smashing, and a lot of people came along. It was a belter!

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Our new EP is available on iTunes, Deezer and Spotify. The physical copies will be on sale at most gigs we play from now on and they’ll be available very soon to order online. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Have you released anything yet/if they have how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?
As previously mentioned above, we’ve just released our new EP and it’s gone down really well. Loads of folk have told us how much they like it and everyone at the EP launch seemed to enjoy hearing all the tunes live. In terms of future releases, we’d like to do a single in the summer time, and that’s something we’ll be talking more about soon.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
We’ve played King Tut’s three times and Nice N Sleazy a couple of times which we definitely enjoyed, but The Hug & Pint is our favourite venue that we’ve played so far. We’ve only played there once, but it was excellent. We made our first trip to Edinburgh recently, which was quite good and hopefully the first of many!

What do you think about downloading music online?
I know we all share a similar view on this. We definitely prefer having a physical copy of something. Downloads are great for having all your music in the one place, be it an iPhone or whatever. However if an album by a band I love was released as download only, I’d still most likely love that album, but it’s just not the same as having the physical copy. It’s great that vinyl has become a lot more popular again too, because there’s a lot of young kids now that only know of streaming, which is a shame.

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Everything in the top 40 sounds the same. Nobody writes the songs for themselves, so every song is about the same stuff and it’s very much an image based thing, sadly. A lot of people say that there’s been no good bands for the last 10 years or more, which is nonsense. People just don’t bother looking. Too many people favour a night in watching The Voice or The X Factor over a night out at a gig. The people on these shows may well be fantastic singers, but generally they’re never heard of again once the show’s done, unless there’s a Christmas lights switch on that needs someone to press the big button. Nobody’s willing to go out and see a band that they might actually love and that might actually go on to be successful. Imagine seeing The Smiths for the first time, or Daft Punk and then they go on to do what they did and you’re part of that. Not enough people are willing to do that anymore.


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