Interview: Revolving Doors

Glasgow is pretty renowned for its thriving music scene. We have both the Barrowlands and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, and we’ve also produced the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Primal Scream, to name a few. The thing we might just be most celebrated for, however, is our independent music scene, and one of the many up-and-coming bands to emerge from this is the alternative rock four-piece Revolving Doors, whom I met with at their studio to talk about their headline gig at King Tut’s this Christmas.

Comprising of Chris on vocals and lead guitar, Martin also on guitar, Daniel on bass, and Gary on drums, Revolving Doors originally formed in 2009, though under a completely different lineup and name (it was Gary who suggested the more commercial name ‘Revolving Doors’ after their original title, No Fxd Abode, caused somewhat of a “marketing crisis” down south). Having formed the band when they were just in their early 20s, I start off by asking when they first realised making music was more than just a hobby for them. “Pretty much once you just start playing places and a few more people start showing up at gigs,” says Gary. Adding on to that thought, Chris jokes, “I think you get greedy. First you go “Let’s go get some songs”, then after that you go, ‘Let’s do a demo”, so you do a demo then it’s like “We want to play King Tut’s – that’s the dream!…I think that’s why nobody’s every happy in the music industry, you just get too greedy.”

When I ask about some of their most exciting moments together as a band, they mention being on XFM as a big highlight, with Chris recalling how he and Martin were sitting waiting to listen to it with a bottle of whisky in hand. I then question how it felt the first time they heard their music on the radio (Daniel jokes how he is still yet to hear it as he wasn’t in the band at the time) to which Gary remembers hearing it as he drove to work on a Friday evening: “It was amazing, but at the same time so shit as well because I was driving to work and here I was listening to myself on XFM!” He admits it was a “good feeling”, however, particularly considering how a track by Foo Fighters, one of his favourite bands, was being played beforehand.

Not a bad couple of years for them at all, it would seem, and it looks as though this one will be ending in just as much of a bang with their third headlining slot of the year at the iconic Wah Wah Hut. Most bands would probably trade their souls for the chance to play on the stage that has graced the likes of Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age and The Strokes (all of whom the band cite as major influences), yet this will be Revolving Doors’ ninth time playing there overall. When asked how they feel about playing at it again after garnering more wider success across the UK, Daniel gushes over the fact that the venue is calling on them to come and play a headline slot, and his enthusiasm is certainly justified considering how a lot of bands pretty much have to beg to get a spot there in the first place. “It’s cool to be asked now,” admits Chris. “We feel quite privileged that way”.

We then move on to the topic of who inspires them musically, and the answers are pretty diverse: while Gary is into more “heavy drummers” like Dave Grohl and John Bonham, Martin mentions The Libertines as being a heavy influence as well as “one album wonders” Morning Runner; meanwhile Chris prefers the likes of The Beatles and Radiohead, the latter of whom he credits to having made him buy a guitar in the first place. Daniel playfully suggests “just me personally as a bass player” before going on to declare Jack Bruce from Cream as a pivotal inspiration, in part due to the fact they both hail from Bishopbriggs.

Aside from their serious musical talent and a cheeky sense of humour (they have a bit of fun ripping into Oasis at one point – “If you melted them all down like in Terminator and made one fucking guy you still couldn’t get a musician out of them!”), part of what makes these guys so appealing is their sense of pride about where they come from. When asked about their hopes for the band, they mention, among other things (“Have you ever seen the movie Scarface where he takes over the world?”), playing at T in the Park as being a must due to it being a home festival; most of all, however, they just want to “have fun” with what they’re doing. Ultimately, it’s this kind of passion and humility that makes their return to King Tut’s such an anticipating one – though they’d be the first to tell you there’s perhaps a few egos in the band. “Four,” according to Daniel, “and I’ve got two of them.”

Words by Samantha King

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