Exposure: Remember Remember
- David Pollock
- 15 December 2008
Remember Remember - The Dancing
At various points in his career, Graeme Ronald has been a member of highly-praised Glasgow bands Multiplies, The Royal We and Sexy Kids, and a touring guitarist with Mogwai. Now his solo project Remember Remember – a dream-like swirling of found sounds and acoustica/electronica - is his main concern, with the eponymous debut album out now on Rock Action and a series of low-key live dates underway around Glasgow.
How did Remember Remember come about?
It’s just a name that I’ve chosen to give to any music I make outwith bands. Even the music I made on a 4-track when I was a teenager in my bedroom, I see that as kind of proto-Remember Remember, and I guess a lot of the stuff that I wrote with Multiplies that didn’t quite fit. Whereas The Royal We was more of a collaborative effort and a more traditional pop group, so I couldn’t necessarily indulge my interests in Krautrock or Steve Reich there. Although if it had lasted a bit longer, who knows? There’s not really much scope for that in pop songs, but I did love to play them. So I don’t know if things have necessarily been building up to this, but I guess every band I’ve been in has informed the way that I play an instrument. I think that it’s good to play with other people to get new ideas about music.
Tell us about the album recording sessions.
It was done at a studio that’s just opened this year, or towards the end of last year, called Green Door. It’s in the West End of Glasgow, a fully analogue studio owned by a guy called Gram Smith, who was in Mother and the Addicts and is also the studio’s chief engineer. I went in there to do as much recording as possible – recording onto tape over 16 tracks, hoping to make it as analogue as possible and then mixing it for ages. The mixing process was actually lengthier than the recording process, because a lot of the time recording was just doing loops over and over again, while mixing involved listening through it all, arranging it, giving it structure and doing the overdubbing – production, I suppose you would call it. So the mixing was really a creative process in itself with this record.
What’s the most outlandish sound on the record?
There’s a Chinese harp, which is fairly outlandish. Played by me - it was a late night, slightly drunk and on eBay purchase. It’s a fabulous musical instrument, but I don’t really feel I can do it justice. I mean, there are guys in China who have been playing these things for 40 years, and I’ve just kind of bought one and managed to get a few sounds out of it. I also wish I could play the drums, but sadly not. So I try to steer away from music convention and, instead of using drums, use what you’d call ‘found sounds’. For one song I’ve used office stationary, things like scissors, sellotape, staplers, stuff like that, and for others things like matches and lighters.
Remember Remember plays the Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sat 20 Dec, with Alasdair Roberts and Tut Vu Vu.