Rolland Square

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Daniel from unsigned Glasgow band Rolland Square to find out more…

Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Grant and I (Daniel) met at Strathclyde University. We studied the same course and lived together for a year so used to jam a wee bit back then (Grant pretty much taught me to play guitar). Then we both moved away after uni for a few years but ended coming back to Scotland around the same time. I got in touch with Grant and arranged to get together to jam some songs I’d been working on. I met Stephen on a random night out in Glasgow - we got talking about music and turned out that I was looking for a drummer and he was looking for a band! We got lucky when we found Michael on Facebook after he replied to an ad we had up as we’d already tried out a few bass players and it hadn’t worked out. We’ve been together as a 4 for about 18 months now. The name came about as Grant was working in Korea and was waiting in a train station in Seoul with a hangover. Stephen asked if there were any rolls and square (sausage) going to cure his hangover and somehow Rolland Square ended up being our favourite band name suggestion.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
For the most part we all have pretty similar tastes in music which is good as it means we all enjoy playing the same sort of stuff but we all probably have one or two bands that influence us most. Michael has introduced us to an Australian band called Last Dinosaurs who have a great sound. He’s also really into Electric Six. Stephen’s favourite drummers are Dave Grohl and Ronnie Vannucci. Grant loves to play a bit of everything including jazz and funk but at the same time loves John Mayer and Tom Misch. I grew up listening to Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen before getting into indie bands in high school. We all love bands like Kings of Leon and for me Catfish and the Bottlemen are the band that are setting the benchmark just now in terms of guitar music. I dunno if you added elements of all of those artists together and you’d come up with Rolland Square but they’re definitely our musical heroes.

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How would you describe your sound?
We talk about this a fair bit ourselves and we’re not sure if we’ve really established a sound for ourselves yet as it can vary from song to song. Most of our songs are upbeat and have some catchy melodies and guitar lines in there so in a word we would probably just say our sound was “happy”.

What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
We just released our 2nd EP “Ticket to Nowhere” on 2nd August (available on all major music streaming platforms). There’s not really a common theme between the songs so I wouldn’t say there was a particular influence for the EP. The cover is a photo taken in the abandoned Botanic Gardens train station in Glasgow which kinda fitted in well with the “Ticket to Nowhere” theme, plus it looks pretty smart.

What’s your local music scene like?
We’re actually quite lucky in Glasgow as there are loads of venues putting on live music. I’ve lived places where most of the pubs only want covers bands on but we haven’t really had that in Glasgow. There are a few pay to play initiatives that we don’t really get involved with anymore as we don’t really want to have to ask our friends to pay to come see us and we don’t really have an established fan base. We’re playing for enjoyment and just to get our music out there just now and we’re lucky that we’ve had plenty places like Bloc+, Box, Ivory Blacks etc.. that give us the chance to do that.

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What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
The main focus for us just now is filling up our gig calendar and hopefully getting some festivals lined up for next year. We have our first ever festival on 17th August at Sruighlea Stirling Summer Festival so we’re buzzing for that. Dougie MacLean is the headline act so it’s class to be part of the same line up as him. We have talked of possibly doing an album next year so will be pushing hard to write as much new material as we can and hopefully give that a go.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
That’s a tough one… Probably Caleb Followill or Paolo Nutini. Or Big Shaq.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We’ve not had anything crazy happen really. The last gig, when we came off our pals were complementing Michael on his dancing on stage. Turned out he was just trying not to get stung by a wasp.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
We’re best mates.

You can find out more about Rolland Square via Facebook, Instagram, Spotify or Twitter.