American Men set for Cry Parrot night
Claude Speeed, guitarist and synth player in Scots ‘Miami-laser-rockers’ American Men is back where it all started for his band: on the beach in Barcelona, trying to decide if he’s fit for the Numbers party at Sonar that evening. ‘It’s lovely here,’ he muses, ‘but can I handle five nights out in a row?’
It’s been three years since American Men were formed, at least nominally, in the same city Speeed (‘I like using silly names in bands, it makes us seem a bit more Hollywood’) is sunning himself in now. Having been a member of angular Edinburgh rockers Degrassi as a teenager, Speeed was at Primavera with fellow ex-members of futurist rockers Russia and soon-to-be fellow Americans Alilloyd and Scott Chevrolet (the latter also of Dananananaykroyd). ‘My girlfriend’s mum lived out here and had a spare flat,’ he recalls, ‘so we thought we’d come over, have a cheap holiday and make some music. It went really well, and we decided to continue it.’
The almost immediate success of Dananananaykroyd and the fact the trio are split between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester meant things were slow in taking off. Yet what Speeed describes as a cross between Drive Like Jehu, Chavez, Boards of Canada and Hudson Mohawke was to get going after a chance meeting with friend Dominic ‘Dom Sum’ Flannigan of LuckyMe in Edinburgh clothing store Oddities. ‘He asked me what we’d been working on,’ said Speeed, ‘so I gave him a recording and he said we were perfect for the label, he’d like to release something.’ Which brings us back to Barcelona all over again. Lucky them.