It has been an exciting start to the year for Glaswegian four-piece Kassidy, playing SXSW for the first time before releasing new mini album People Like Me. Vocalist and guitarist, Hamish Fingland, sat down with old friends Red Room to talk new songs, inspirations and touring with Lana Del Rey.
Red Room: Lets first talk about Kassidys latest full-length album One Man Army. Where did the title come from?
Hamish Fingland: I suppose there was a part of us that felt kind of detached from the world around us. We all live together in an old studio in Glasgow and sometimes you can really get lost with time and whats happening. You can feel shut out from people. Everybody has times where they feel that it's 'them against the world', they feel alone, you just need to believe in yourself and stick to your guns. That's the One Man Army.
How much of personal sentiments are in this record?
All of us song-wrote on the album so it's very personal to each and everyone of us. The Hunted is a song I had a lot to do with. I was going through a bit of a bitter time with the whole music industry and people involved and it's just really a statement in staying true to yourself and not feeling like people are on your back pressurising you. No matter how bright the London city lights seem to shine, keep it real and remember what you are in this for. Be true.
What themes did you want to disclose?
There are lots of themes in the album. When you have four songwriters all adding things in all listening to different artists and going through different stages of life there is a lot to be said! I enjoy that about the album though, its a real journey and there's something for everyone.
How would you describe the mood of the newest mini album People Like Me?
The album has a very 'rootsy' and organic feel. It is full of soaring melodies and raw guitars.
Does it include any new songs?
The mini-album has rarer songs that we play live in concert, but don't feature on either of our albums. I think some Kassidy fans who have seen us onstage will recognise these tracks, but will never have had a chance to get the recordings. It also includes some different versions of a couple of singles that were on our first album.
What was it inspired by?
Originally when the band started we released a series of three special Rubbergum EPs. There were only a limited number of these released and now are virtually impossible to get a hold of. Since we have been traveling around a lot recently, we thought it would be nice to release a similar type of special mini-album but this time worldwide. The mini-album gives fans an excellent introduction to what we're all about.
How does the band go about writing songs?
Everyone song-writes all the time in the house whether there's an album to be written or not. We jam together and show each other tracks we've written and somehow songs are created. For some reason I can't ever remember writing songs.
What was the biggest challenge for Kassidy?
Making what we do onstage come across on record. We still need to master that. We love being an exciting live act and there's a real craft in being able to make that come across when recording.
Recently you played SXSW - what did you like most about it?
It was our first time there. We loved the whole experience. The whole city is alive and thriving! The people are amazing; I reckon thats my favourite bit.
How do the American crowds differ from the European ones?
Our crowds always seem to be up for having a good time no matter where they are!
You just went on European tour with Lana Del Rey. How did your collaboration start with her?
We met Lana ages ago before she even had a record deal. We were fans of her music and had been chatting with her over the internet. One time she was in London so we decided to hook up, she ended up coming up to Glasgow and ditched her flight back to America.
What do you expect from this tour?
To have a lot of fun. Meet and play to some amazing people and to see some fantastic cities. Lots of photos beside various buildings. In terms of playing music on stage, do you like improvising? Fingland: Yeah, theres a massive solo in one of our tracks called Night in the Box that kind of turns into our own Freebird jam
Which song of yours do you enjoy the most playing live?
Night in the Box or The Betrayal because I start hitting cymbals and stuff.
What gives you soul power?
Playing music live.