Russell Hughes sat down with the Xcerts – and discovered a band that wants to change and grow as they progress as a group.
Look out for more big interviews with Saxon, The Summer Set, Dan Reed, Michael Schenker and Kvelertak in the next few weeks!
rushonrock: After In The Cold Wind We Smile got very good reviews – 4/5 from Kerrang! and 8/10 in Rock Sound – was it tempting to stick to the same sound?
Jordan Smith: No, not really. We wanted to go somewhere different for the second record.
Murray MacLeod: We wrote a few songs and it sounded too similar, and we did that again after our second record Scatterbrain.
rushonrock: Similarly, Scatterbrain got 4/5 from Kerrange! and 8/10 from Rock Sound. With that in mind, will you be sticking with your current sound or will you continue to try to evolve and experiment?
MM: The next record will be different again, a lot different again from what we did last time. I mean keeping it the same works for some bands, and if you’re fine to play that night in night out then great. But for us it’s all about evolving and trying new things. You only get one shot at this so you may as well try something different.
rushonrock: The first few tracks from Scatterbrain sound like the grunge of Nirvana or Soundgarden – was that intentional?
MM: Nirvana, definitely.
JS: Yeah, we’ve always liked that sort of thing. Respect to the 90s and the sound.
rushonrock: You (Murray) describe(s) Scatterbrain as ‘the sweet sound of a young man losing his mind.’ What do you mean by that?
MM: Just that. Before we did Scatterbrain it was the first time we toured extensively and I kinda had a relationship break-up with my girlfriend and it all just kinda massed into this one record. So, yeah, that’s what it’s about, being on the road and not being able to maintain relationships and stuff. Now we’re used to it.
rushonrock: You worked with Mike Sapone on your second album – how did he go about things differently and what were the main things that differed between working with him compared to with Dave Eringa?
JS: He was good but every producer we’ve worked with we like to think of as a honourary fourth member. They should be able to contribute and we should be able to accept their ideas. And Mike was insane at that. Every idea that he had was good – even the bad ones.
rushonrock: So does Mike drive the Xcerts creative machine?
MM: For Scatterbrain definitely. A lot of the weirder sounds on there are Mike’s work.
rushonrock: If you could tour with any band in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
MM: I would love to tour with Kiss but that’s for selfish reasons. I’m trying to think hard who I love that we would fit in with musically. That’s a tough question.
rushonrock: You have a song called called I Scare Easy. But what makes you scared?
MM: Failure, definitely.
JS: Commitment (the rest of the band break into peals of laughter, it turns out that Smith has a girlfriend). Actually, I should say sorry to my girlfriend for that. Sorry Alex. For all of my ex’s, I’m scared of commitment.
Tom Heron: Heights.