Man With Glasses is a project of Scottish musicians Ian Beattie and Craig Johnston. Formed two years ago, these guys have already gained industry recognition locally and internationally. Well, I had the opportunity to chat with Ian who is a very passionate artist. He revelead interesting details about the past, the present and the future of Man With Glasses. Enjoy the reading!
1 – How did you come up with the artistic name ‘Man With Glasses’? What other names were you considering?
Man With Glasses consists of two writers, Craig Johnston and myself Ian Beattie, therefore, we have been asked a few times why we chose the name ‘Man With Glasses’ Well, my dad passed away when I was really young and all I now remember is the presence of a Man With Glasses. Anyone who has lost a parent at a young age knows that there is a constant hole or void within yourself without remedy and trying to fill this hole can lead a person down many roads. I took solace in listening to and now creating music so I felt that it was only fitting that this was documented when deciding upon a title for our project. Craig kindly agreed and I don’t remember there being any worthwhile alternative.
2 – What artists inspire your work?
I suppose every artist inspires us in a way. If you take music as an art form then there should always be a reaction.I have heard music that I want to dance, cry and fuck to and then, of course, I have heard music that makes me wanna throw up. Most musicians probably fell in love with music when maybe singing at school or jumping about to whatever was on the radio at an early age, therefore, the question of inspiration is a black hole. I think that when we write are only inspired by absolute freedom for every new idea.
3 – When and how did you decide to work together as a duo?
We had played together in several bands throughout Scotland, myself as a bassist and Craig as a guitarist. We had become reliable session players throughout the local music scene and it seemed that our paths kept crossing. We gradually built up a chemistry and a respect for each other’s playing which led us to withdraw from the session work and concentrate on our own ideas.We had a limited budget but wanted a big sound so we borrowed a friends van and embarked on a road trip around Scotland with the aim of accruing used instruments from various pawn shops around the country. We returned home with four keyboards, three drum machines, and countless effects pedals.
We locked ourselves away for two weeks at the tail end of 2015 and wrote and recorded six tracks.We entered into our adventure with no preconceived ideas of a genre or style as such and as we had been tied to the session work for so long, we truly felt we had a blank canvas and our new sense of freedom allowed us to explore our love for electronic music whilst remaining faithful to our guitar based backgrounds. Three of these tracks have been signed to international record labels and we have also recently signed a licensing/sync deal.
Our new single ‘The Saddle’ is out on the 5th of April 2017 via Pink Dolphin Music Ltd
We both make the decisions regarding our songwriting and Craig deals with the production. We have both previously played in bands where there has been a lead or chief songwriter and when done correctly that can be a beautiful and rewarding experience for a musician but when we started our own band we agreed that both parties would have an equal input and thus far we haven’t encountered any issues although I do remember Craig stating that he would stab me in relation to a piano part that I played in one of our tracks. But in all seriousness, we have so much respect for each other’s musical capacity and we really just love this opportunity to create music together.
5 – Is it true that your latest single “Biting a Wet Sponge” was awarded by a radio show? Please share with us this great experience!
Yeah “Biting a Wet Sponge” was our first single release and was named ‘Top Tune’ of 2016 by Chris Watts who hosts the fantastic ‘In the Moog’ radio show. Our record label submitted the track to Chris and he soon made contact with myself stating that he loved the song and that he would indeed add it to his rotation. Chis plays an amazing selection of electronic artists from all over the globe therefore we were totally honored to learn that we had produced his favorite track of the year. His decision was announced on the Christmas show and for us, it was just a perfect and fitting way to end our first full year as a band. The track is available on all major platforms. The video can be found on YouTube.
6 – Is it your ultimate goal to become a commercial or an underground act?
I can honestly say that our only objective is to continue writing music at this stage. We have been blessed that several record labels wish to put out our music and we take nothing for granted. A band’s perspective can easily change when securing label involvement or industry recognition but our job as musicians and as a partnership remains the same. I am sure at some point we will analyze our circumstances but for now, we are happy letting the music find its own path.
7 – Are either of you considering a solo career in the future?
Neither of us would stand in each other’s way should we wish to but we are both just really focused on Man With Glasses at present. It was only last month that we found the time to start recording our second batch of material. We are still in the studio at present as we anticipate a busy year. I was, however, thinking along the lines of a Bluegrass/Funk/Rap/Techno outfit. But I am willing to postpone my dreams.
You can find Man With Glasses in all the usual places:
9 – What you do if you won the lottery?
I need new shoes….
10 – Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
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