Exposure: Wilson Tan
This article is from 2009.
Wilson Tan - The Ungentlemanly Gentleman
Turning the West End into the wild kind, Glasgow's Wilson Tan are the sort of psychedelic cowboys to soundtrack the coolest barn dance ever (or should that be only cool barn dance ever?). Twisting Glasgow's darker aspects into blues bliss, they're not afraid to take authentic country swing and see what it would sound like in space. As it turns out, the answer is: great. Here's what they had to tell us.
Can you give us a bit of background about the band? Who’s involved and how did you get together?
The band is compromised of: Jim McKinven (Altered Images/One Dove), Dave Wishart (Yolanda), Leo Blamire (Schnapps), David Stone (Gilded Angels) and Alicia Matthews. Jim and Dave are resident DJs in a West End bar playing sets of mainly psychedelic/experimental music. The remaining members have frequented the pub for a while, and it didn’t take long for everyone to get chatting about their shared musical interests and the idea of getting into the studio came up soon after.
You seem to be combining old traditional American sounds with more modern elements. What’s the best way to describe your sound?
The band’s sound can be compared to taking a classic rock and roll song and adding a musical sound-scape akin to Joe Meek’s unique box of tricks, as well as adding Rupie Edwards-influenced more abstract musical arrangements.
I detect bits of Nancy and Lee, Beck and Magentic Fields in your work. Who have been your biggest influences, and how have they helped you find your own path?
I'd say it's been Velvet Underground/Nico, Pavement, King Tubby, Nirvana, Little Feat and (well spotted!) Magnetic Fields.
What’s Glasgow like for such old school country/blues?
Glasgow has a decent scene for old school country/blues. The past couple of years have seen the likes of the Gilded Angels, The Bottleneckers, The Tennessee Hotshots and the Meatmen all flying the flag for old-school country, blues and rockabilly on the live circuit. Club nights are also reasonably well catered for with the likes of All Tore Up, Vintage Voltage, El Rancho Relaxo, and Shout Bamalama providing a soundtrack for club-goers across the city. Larger scale annual events such as the Fallen Angels Club's 'Americana festival' and the Glasgow Rhythm & Blues weekender are not only supporting and promoting local artists but also attracting international names to the city.
What’s the motivation for making music? Has it always been your intention?
Motivation: To fill the void. Always been our intention? No, at first it was purely for sex.
You have a few live dates ahead, but where can we find you on record? And anything significant coming in the near future?
Currently available: 'Big Dog/Harry’s Theme', El Rancho Records 7” single – also available on iTunes. Currently recording debut LP, due for release early 2010.
What’s the nicest thing anyone’s said about your music?
“WHAT THE FUCK?!”
Wilson Tan play Captain's Rest, Glasgow (with The XX) Mon 5 Oct; Stereo, Glasgow, Fri 9 Oct; Stereo, Glasgow, Sun 25 Oct (as part of Oxjam).