“We released Mixtape EP in March, on a Friday, and by the Monday morning, the whole country was in lockdown – the whole world was in lockdown!” said bassist of The Snuts, Callum Wilson.
After releasing their EP in early 2020 and receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, The Snuts have announced the release of their debut album, W.L. With the release set for March 19, Callum was eager to share the news with Brig.
“The album’s been in its rough draft for about six months and we maybe wrote about ten songs during lockdown,” he said. “We were just reluctant to release the album at the very start [of lockdown]. We never really felt like we actually got to tour for the EP, so when it came to releasing the album, we felt like we needed to tour it.”
“It’s such a big thing for an artist to be able to tour. You want as many people to hear it as you can, so to try and release it without touring… it felt like pure sacrilege. It just didn’t seem to do it justice.”
“Now, with the vaccine here, the world’s starting to reopen again, so it’s the perfect time. We just need to get it out!”
Callum was eager to discuss the band’s influences on their debut album. “The first track actually goes back to when we were sixteen, in our guitarist’s first flat,” he said. “The influences draw right back to bread and butter indie from when we were younger – like The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys – to more contemporary stuff like Bon Iver.”
“It’s a combination of all our influences and the influences of all the producers we worked with.”
The band hail from Whitburn, a small town in West Lothian. “It’s only got around 11,000 people,” said Callum. “It’s not really the kind of place where you wear your heart on your sleeve.”
“Growing up, music was always the way we expressed ourselves, but we didn’t realise it at the time. It was a way to express our feelings and emotions through our music, in a way we didn’t really get to do around there. It definitely sculpted the way we write songs.”
Despite Scotland’s thriving music scenes in both nearby Glasgow and Edinburgh, Callum explains that the band never found a solid place in either scene.
“We didn’t really fit in in Edinburgh and we didn’t really fit in in Glasgow,” he said. “In a way, it was quite refreshing. It meant we could dip in and out of each and not be typecast by a scene. It meant we could sit on the outskirts and do our own thing, so it was probably a positive for the way we create music.”
After the release of their EP, The Snuts went on to sell out three shows at the Barrowland Ballroom in June.
“I actually think that we’re the first band that haven’t released an album to do that!” he said. “It was a good feeling.”
“Last year, we played a big end of year gig at SWG3, a big party basically. I remember it was getting towards the end of the set and we’d had a bottle of wine onstage.”
After a brief request for clarification, Callum confirms that the wine was indeed tonic wine – “It was Buckfast, I’m not going to lie. The finest wine, the commotion lotion!”
“I remember Jack [vocals] going to the mic,” he continued. “He said, “this time next year, we’re selling out three fucking Barrowlands shows!” I thought “fuck, what’s he done? Why’s he said that?” Callum laughed and continued. “Obviously, he had great foresight, because we did, we smashed it.”
The excitement ramps up as he goes onto explain what fans should expect from the upcoming tour.
“Big, big parties! A sense of togetherness. This thing that we’ve been missing this year, we want to bring that feeling back and show people just how important live music is.”
“It’s a lot of people’s escape,” he said. “It is such an important part of society, getting together and having a good time. It’s kind of overlooked because it’s been serious over the past year, but we want to bring back that sense of togetherness that we’ve always felt at our shows.”
When asked what the band are most excited about in the coming year, Callum said: “Releasing the album and touring. Actually getting to release music, seeing what people like, what people respond well to and getting to play it in front of people.”
“We’ve released maybe six or seven singles so far, which is quite a lot, but it’s just how people release now. We’ve got six new songs, seven on the deluxe album, so I’m really excited for people to hear every one of them.”
“We’ve got a real poppy number, Somebody Loves You,” he said. “I’m really buzzing to release that one, because it’ll make people realise that we’re not a one trick pony and we’ve got a lot to offer musically.”
The band were met with a lot of success in 2020, but it seems that more than anything, they are looking forward to being able to play in front of an audience again.
“Music is for everybody to get together and have a good time with your friends. It’s a sense of togetherness.”
For The Snuts, normalcy can’t return soon enough.
Feature image credit: Gary Williamson