Greig Stewart from Guillemots EXCLUSIVE interview (Red album)

Guillemots - Red

Guillemots (pictured: Aristazabal Hawkes, Fyfe Dangerfield, Greig Stewart and MC Lord Magrao) return with their second studio album, ‘Red’, released March 24, 2008. Read the interview! …

Guillemots - Red

Guillemots (pictured: Aristazabal Hawkes, Fyfe Dangerfield, Greig Stewart and MC Lord Magrao) return with their second studio album, ‘Red’, released March 24, 2008.

It’s too difficult for me to compare Guillemots’ ‘Red’ album to any other CD that I’ve listened to, which is a great accomplishment for a band. The songs are lush and varied. There’s high energy pop, R&B, interesting changes within songs and sultry, intimate ballads, that when listening, my imagination takes me to a dark, smoke filled room.

The instrumentation on ‘Red’ is daring and experimental – which could have been a concern for all involved, however, old and new fans alike will be introduced to a brilliant Guillemots album, complete with talented musicians, excellent songwriting along with soulful vocals and smooth harmonies. Highly recommended. – Jenny May

Dave Tommo from had some questions for Guillemots drummer Greig Stewart, in our second series of questions with Greig.

(Read the first exclusive interview with Greig Stewart)

Dave Tommo: What are you looking forward to the most with the release of your new album, ‘Red’?

Greig Stewart: I like playing festivals. It’s not like touring where you are out for a few months at a time. You can be at home through the week and weekends are party time. Then you get the rest of the week to recover. Also I have an 8-month-old baby which means I’m home through the week with her.

How did you come up with the name ‘Red’ for the album?

Fyfe came up with it. He felt Red can mean a lot of different things.

Does Arista play the drums on one of the tracks? Which one and how did that come about?

The song is “Take me home”, it’s the last song on the album. Arista and Fyfe just started playing together in the studio. It sounded really good. So there was no need to do it again. She plays very well.

Are there any strange percussion instruments used on the album?

A few. There are bats. Fyfe has a bat detector, which picks up their sound, which human ears cannot hear. It was really strange as it was in the right tempo and pitch for that song (Big Dog). Also on “Big Dog” there is a tour bus engine that has been processed into a beat. Two silver platter trays that have been dropped from a high stairwell to get a double crash (on Last Kiss).

Who does your hair?

Funny one, Dave.

Can we expect anything different on your next tour?

We only start rehearsals next week. So no massive thoughts on that one yet.

What’s the story behind the masks that you use on stage occasionally?

They were used for a show my wife was in a few years ago. Mc found them pretty fascinating. He also used them in a short film he made last summer.

How else have you been involved in the making of ‘Red’?

When we were demoing songs, the band would record onto our laptops. A drum track from these sessions made it on to the album, which I’m quite proud of. Adam Noble who is a very good, experienced engineer asked how we got such a good drum sound. So we took great interest on how to mic things up. Also I made a few big meals for everyone. Think the best was: cumberland sausage and garlic mash. That went down well but then the session kinda finished as everyone ate too much and couldn’t really play. The rest of involvement would be my imagination as with everyone else involved in the making of Red. The imagination runs riot which can be a blessing but also hinderance.

Have you experienced any ghostly weirdness while recording the LP in your studio?

No ghostly encounters. Just a few whack out moments when we’ve been in the studio too long. Then you slightly lose touch with what’s going on outside.

We asked you before what your favourite song is to play live and you had answered “Big Dog” and “Standing on the Last Star”. Has that changed?

Not sure yet as we only start rehearsals next week. At the moment its probably “She’s Evil” sung and written by Mc. Its got an Electronic beat which I can weave in and out of. Great fun to play and we all get to shout.

Which festivals are you playing at this year?

Not sure yet. I guess most of the ones we didn’t play last year.

In your opinion, what is the best song ever written?

“No End” by Sandy Denny.

Are there any guest musicians on your next tour?

We are looking to replace our sax player Alex Ward as he is busy with his solo stuff. ‘Alex Ward and the dead ends’ and ‘Dead days beyond help’. We are looking for a girl who can sing backing vox and play sax also.

What’s the best way to get to sleep on the tour bus?

I-Pod after a hot shower.

The Mercury nominated Guillemots are set to play three must see ‘taster’ shows in March 2008 – Ritz, Manchester (March 9th), Academy, Oxford (March 10th) and London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire (March 11th).

Guillemots Official Website
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Author: Jenny May

Jenny May is the founder of Band Weblogs. Based in Oxford, England (originally from New England), Band Weblogs was created in 2005. With a passion for music, Jenny May has performed with bands in the US and the UK, her music has appeared in films, she was a vocal coach for the Yamaha Rock School and has worked on music projects with musicians such as Jon Fishman (Phish), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) and Cisco Adler (Shwayze). Jenny is currently publishing music news, conducting exclusive interviews and writing music commentary for Band Weblogs and writing, recording and performing music with duo Purple May.