Constant Follower have just released the album ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’. Here’s a chance to get to know a little about them. Below the interview is the latest single ‘Weave Of The World’ plus a few words regarding the album. Check them out.
Hello Constant Follower….. welcome to the Clunk Universe
Please describe what surrounds you right now so we can get a picture in our mind’s eye.
I’m in the studio at my desk. Amongst the music equipment, it’s mostly notes to myself, photographs that I’ve been sorting through, and books. There’s a new book that arrived this afternoon – ‘Silence’ by John Cage – recommended by a friend. Recommendations are great, books or music – the thought that someone was so moved by something that they want you to share in that feeling.
Please tell us who does what in the band, you know, who does the writing, who plays instruments, who makes the best cup of tea etc.?
I write the songs, play guitar, synths and sing. Kurd’s on electric guitar. Amy on synths and backing vocals. And Dave just joined us on the bass. My partner Kessi is the kind of secret 5th member – she’s all over the album but can’t play live with us at the moment.
Constant Follower is an interesting band name. How did the band name come about? Where are you based?
People think the name’s to do with Twitter or something, but that’s not the case. I was thinking about these things, like addiction, that you never really shake – that follow you through life and make you who you are. We’re based in Stirling in Scotland – a beautiful castle town half way between Glasgow and Edinburgh, right beside the hills. Although we’re all from different parts of the world – Dave and Amy are from Stirlingshire, I’m from Glasgow, Kurd’s from Yorkshire and Kessi’s from Hamburg, Germany.
The recent release is ‘The Merry Dancers On TV’, we think it’s rather lovely. Can you tell us about the song?
The ‘Merry Dancers’ is the old Scots term for the aurora borealis, the northern lights. When they would fall over the islands, where my family are from, the oldies would say ‘look, the merry dancers are out’. The line which the song takes its name from was me thinking about a time friends of ours missed the merry dancers above their cottage one night, and as bad luck would have it, they were watching a documentary about the northern lights at the time. It made me think about how technology makes us miss so much of the natural world, and how this disconnect seems to grow. There’s another line ‘how deep’s the hole in your couch’ – that was something a colleague of mine used to say, meaning ‘are you lazying around, or are you living your life?’.
The new album, ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’, is due in October. I have read that each track has its’ own short film. That’s an interesting idea. Why did you do this?
Stirling is half way between the big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s often overlooked but is a real cultural spawning ground – so many young artists doing interesting things. I wanted to work with young local artists on the films for the songs, and top of my list was animator Fiona Burton. I found that asking artists to respond to the music how they feel and doing my best not to get in the way of that, trusting in their creativity, brings the special results. Fiona’s incredible video speaks for her genius. I was blown away when I seen the first cut.
Is there a tour around the release of the album? Are you coming to Cumbria?
We’re talking to various promoters at the moment but haven’t confirmed shows as yet – we were waiting to see what happens with the pandemic.
If we were to come to your neck of the woods for a weekend where would you take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!
Into the hills!
Any bands/artists that you recommend we check out?
R.Seiliog just brought out a stunning album called ‘Ash Dome’. It’s been getting lots of plays all over the place. And an artist called Andy Aquarius is in the midst of releasing his debut LP for Hush Hush Records – called ‘Chapel’ – it’s utterly glorious. He plays harp.
Many thanks for taking the time with Clunk. We look forward to the album and hopefully to see you out there.
Thank you Clunk!
The band’s debut album Neither is, nor ever was was borne out of a respect for change, and the inevitable passing of time that frightens, comforts and humbles every one of us. It is a haunting testimonial to the temporary joys and fleeting moments that define the human experience.
Co-produced by Scottish singer-songwriter Stephen McAll and renowned producer and Shimmy-Disc founder Kramer (Low, Galaxie 500, Will Oldham), the recording for Neither Is, Nor Ever Was began in early 2020 at La Chunky studios in Glasgow with engineer Johnny Smillie. This was interrupted by the birth of McAll’s daughter (if you listen closely, her cries are just audible during some of Kessi’s backing vocals on ‘Little Marble’), and shortly afterwards by Covid 19 restrictions. McAll began recording the rest at his own CFFC studio in Stirling. The resulting recordings were then mixed and mastered by Kramer at his Noise Miami Studio, to breathtaking effect.
Each album track is accompanied by its own short film. McAll sought-out the most exciting new talents in Scottish film and animation and invited them to be part of the album project. Each video, the artist’s personal response to the song, with no direction or interference from the band, resulting in incredibly moving and enchanting short ‘films’ in their own right (with multiple film festival considerations including Edinburgh International Film Festival and Manchester Film Festival in process)