Exposure: Burnt Island
- Doug Johnstone
- 19 November 2009
Burnt Island are a richly melodic and understated folky five-piece from Glasgow. Singer Rodge Glass – a regular renaissance man who counts novelist, biographer, academic and occasional List contributor amongst his lengthy CV – spills the beans.
How did the band come about?
‘I took a break of a few years after the noisy band I was in [experimental rockers Single Point of Light] came to an end. In that time my first novel got published and I gave up music, really. It wasn’t until I worked with Vashti Bunyan on the Ballads of the Book project that I started again. I really enjoyed that, and I thought maybe I could make quiet music.’
How is it, going from loud to quiet?
‘I love it, it’s really freeing. For years I tried to write quiet stuff, but it never suited the age I was or how angry I was. Before, I was too desperate and too agitated and you could hear that in the music. Now I’m a bit older and more secure, and could actually enjoy the process more, and that’s ironically led to more interest in this band in five minutes than there was in the old band in seven years.’
How has your novel writing informed the songwriting?
‘For starters the lyrics are a lot more thought out, and I tend to clip songs in the same way I clip stories. I try and keep things as tight and understated as possible, which is exactly the way I put stories together.’
Burnt Island launch their debut single, ‘The Moments Before’ (Dead Light), at The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Thu 26 Nov.