Since opening for Dum Dum girls back in 2010, Glasgow based 3-piece PAWS have achieved rather a lot in a relatively short space of time. Not content with their reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting and promising young bands. Their melodic, exhilarating, lo-fi punk-pop has gained them appearances at major festivals, support slots with a host of exquisite bands (the list reads like a who’s who of American alternative music) before signing to the wonderful Fat Cat Records earlier in the year. We catch up with the band to talk all things PAWS.
Hello PAWS! How are we?
Hello Mint Magazine! All is well thank you. How art thou?
2012 seems to have been shaping up rather well for you, agree?
Signing with Fat Cat must have been a highlight?
Yeah! This year has been an absolute blast thus far. Signing with FatCat has been a sure highlight. We released our first EP with them last month and to celebrate we went on a UK tour with all time awesome dudes/dudettes, Bleached. Most fun ever.
Do you feel any added pressure because you’re now on a label that’s been responsible for so many great artists and releases?
Not really to be honest. I think we just have to keep doing our thing. We admire a lot of the folks that have been on the label over the years. I think a lot of the bands
that stand out to us have shared similar ethics (No Age, Welcome, Giddy Motors, Charlottefield, etc) so that makes us feel more confident to just keep doing our thing.
How have gigs being going recently? The Great Escape must have been fun? I presume it’s been refreshing to start playing further a field?
All the shows seem to have been getting better and better. Great Escape was incredible. It’s such a great festival, Brighton is so laid back and friendly. It really has been refreshing to be playing in places we have never played before. We have felt so lucky that people are actually coming out to the shows too. We feel spoiled. That’s the dream, see places you have never been to and make some noise there for the day…then move on.
A lot of people have been waiting patiently for the LP, where are you with it? When can we expect to hold Paws shiny debut LP in our grubby little hands?
The album is totally finished. We are super delighted with how it came out. Pretty much exactly how we wanted it to sound. It will be out in Autumn!
And what can we expect from the album? How has been working with producer extraordinaire Mr Rory Atwell?
You can expect 13 PAWS songs, played back to back, recorded by Rory on a boat, all wrapped up in a comic by Jessica Penfold. It was perfect working with Rory. He really helped us get the sound we wanted. We all had a clear vision of how we wanted the record to sound and he helped us achieve that for sure. We just told him how we wanted each instrument to come across in the mix and he got it bang on. It was so much fun hanging out on the Lightship95 drinking endless cups of tea.
How do you approach writing? Music then lyrics? Lyrics then music?
Simultaneously? Is it something that comes naturally and quick for the three of you or is more of a laboured, drawn out process?
Songs usually come pretty quickly. Sometimes I’ll have lyrics or a melody that has been mulling around my skull for a few weeks or whatever, then I’ll write a guitar part to accompany it. I’ll play it at rehearsal and we’ll all just rip the idea apart and put it back together as a unit. Other times we will just jam on something. We usually don’t spend more than 3 hours writing a song. Last time we practiced we wrote the whole Misled Youth EP, other than one song.
Once a batch of songs are written, we tend to record them at home so they have been documented. Then we move on.
The list of bands you’ve played with over the last couple of years is impressive to say the least; Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Black Lips, No Age and Wavves to name but a few. Is it daunting to open for bands I imagine you admire and look up to? Or is more just a case of, ‘we’re playing with Ariel Pink, this is pretty cool’ and going with the flow?
It was all go with the flow really. We would just get asked to play with bands that we would have gone to see anyway, so we were always just excited to play with more people and make more friends. Some of the bands I hadn’t really heard much of, but I’d look them up in the run up to shows and totally get into it. All the bands we have opened for have been so welcoming. I always make sure we trade music with everyone. Looking back over the past two years now, It’s crazy how lucky we’ve been in being asked to play shows. Playing shows is the best part of being in a band.
What are you currently listening to? Any tips for us? Seen anyone in Glasgow or beyond that you’ve been blown away by?
Band from Glasgow called North American War. They are great. Also, Sean Armstrong, Bronto Skylift and Secret Motorbikes. They are all great Scottish folks you should scope out.
Everywhere else: Eagulls, Big Deal, Wet Paint, Novella, Bleached, Warm Brains, the list goes on…
What’s the plan for the rest of the year ? Can we expect any festival performances?
Gearing up for the record coming out I guess! So excited. Keep an eye on our website for tour dates and all the rest of it!
Words: Alex Walker