Friday, December 10, 2004



On the evening Gringo Records's paths first crossed an amazing, exciting band supported Urusei Yatsura at the Colchester Art Centre. The four piece from Strathblane is Chris and Colin (geetar et vocales), Kenny (baddass bass) and Willy (hum-drummer). They've been going since about 1993. In addition to Eska, Chris Mack also does James Orr Complex, Colin Kearney also performs for Empire Builder and Kenny has played bass in Jolt occassionally, from time to time.

The fearsome foursome at the toppermost poppermost come on like a strange brew of Superchunk and Husker Du (and Sugar) and then also at other choice moments displaying a destructive touch of classical Pavement and Slint. They're spearheaded by a two headed monster writing team keeping things fresh. A similar drummer scenario to Spinal Tap has seen in the past Mr Stuart Braithwaite at the perch.

Manipulating you covertly since 1993

Here comes muses from Colin:

JG: When are you bringing out a new record?
CK: Nothing concrete as of yet but we should have a CD (Invent The Fortune) out on God Bless before too long. CD only I'm afraid but we're going to try and find someone to put it out on vinyl. Also, we should be recording our first U.S. 7" soon. The songs will be "1983" and "Knives, Slowing", the latter of which was part of our Peel session. The 7" should be available over here also.

JG: Did you see the review you got in Kerrang which described you as "gloom merchants" and the "sound of someone snivelling to impress people". What did you think of that?
CK: Since when did snivelling impress people? The gig in question was gruesome. The venue was near empty and to make things worse, there was a bit of inner band friction. Therefore a sulky show and a moody Eska, so sue us. If anybody reading has ever seen us, they'll know what we're normally like. By the way, Kerrang seems to revell in the gloomy and dismal.

JG: Does Kenny still wear nail varnish? Is he still anything to do with Jolt?
CK: Kenny only plays with Jolt when he's in the area as a favour and as Jolt live in London then I guess the answer would be "not really". Nail varnish? I don't rightly know. Not often.

JG: Do you think you'll ever come back to Colchester?
CK: Fer sure but it may be a while.

JG: Who's your favourite Star Wars bloke?
CK: Lando, that Colt 45 swilling stud!

JG: Is there a place in your hearts still for The BMX Bandits, Teenage Fanclub, The Pastels etc?
CK: What do you mean "still"? I never liked BMX Bandits, totally lame. Both the last Fanclub and Pastels records are nice pieces of work.

JG: How well do you know Tommy Johnstone\Colin Hardie?
CK: I know his hat size because we're Poker Buddies.

JG: Chris is an amazing drawer isn't he?
CK: You should see him as an occasional table.

JG: Who's your favourite Spice Girl?
CK: Who's my favourite girl? Good question. I'm glad you didn't ask me about my favourite Spice Girl though. I'll have to give this one some thought.

JG: What is it about Scotland that makes you produce such good bands?
CK: Alcoholism.

JG: Can you get Channel Five from where you live?
CK: Yeah. The only thing I watch on it is the baseball.

JG: Is where you live most like Take The High Road, Trainspotting or Rab C. Nesbitt?
CK: I have never seen "High Road" or "Rab". Trainspotting looks like its set in England half the time. I live in the sticks.

JG: Super crap question. Where does the name Eska come from?
CK: By strange coincidence it is both Chris and I's middle name. It's fate.

JG: Who's your favourite rapper?
CK: MC Tunes.

JG: Why don't you like 18 Wheeler?
CK: Why pick on 18 Wheeler? I don't like a lot of bands.

JG: What happened with the library book/record cover saga (when you had to post a book from your local library to London)?
CK: I couldn't send the book in the end as it wasn't allowed out of the library to play. So the cover to "Last Man" is the work of a shoddy photocopy.

JG: What was it like playing the Astoria?
CK: Cool. It gives you a false sense of importance and makes you feel like a rock star for an evening. Good mix in the monitors as well.

JG: Whats your favourite film?
CK: Toughie. Let's see... "Breakfast At Tiffanys", "The Godfather Pt I & II" etc. Kinda obvious. I really like "The Apartment". Ever seen "The Music Of Chance"?
JG: Ever built a wall to pay off a gambling debt?

JG: What do you think of Che?
CK: Che Records? I don't give 'em a lot of thought to be honest.

JG: What were you like at school?
CK: Hugely popular, witty, urbane, untouchable on the field and in the classroom. Teachers asked my advice, pupils idolised me. The toast of the town. Answer your question?

JG: What was America like?
CK: Ace. Went to my first baseball game (Texas Rangers 4 New York Yankees 2. Hah!), saw some cool bands (100 Watt Clock come highly recommended), discovered Tofu, bought clothes and records and hung out with excellent people.

JG: And the Grifters & Scud Mountain Boys?
CK: Again ace. We supported the Scud Mountain Boys in London 2 years ago and Joe (Pernice, the singer) remembered my mug and stood me a couple of drinks. All my friends hate me for seeing the Grifters. Oh yeah, the Scuds have broken up but look out for the Pernice Brothers LP on Sub Pop.

JG: Have you fallen out with Mogwai?
CK: Too damn right! I wrote half the material on "Mogwai Young Team" and never got a bean. Talentless fucks, show me the money!

JG: What do you think of Mudhoney?
CK: Who really cares what I think of Mudhoney? I like some of their stuff, other stuff I don't like so much.

JG: And James Orr Complex?
CK: Of course, very similar to Mudhoney in a lot of respects. The Complex rule. Wait till you hear the new stuff.

JG: Whats going on with Urusei Yatsura?
CK: I don't really know. They've released their 2nd full LP and it's a good 'un and they're probably touring.

JG: Are you hoping to get signed?
CK: You offering?

JG: When will True North be released?
CK: Sometime this year on a split 7" with Boston's finest, New Radiant Storm King.

JG: Did you enjoy the Peel session?
CK:Yeah, did you?
JG: Yup.

JG: What else should I have asked you?
CK: You should have asked me for a substantial loan 'cos I'm feeling really generous. However, the time past.

JG: Anything else?
CK: And remember kids, always recycle - TO THE EXTREME!

JG: And.
CK: Take it easy.

ESKA have released:
Trucking & Paving (Modern Independent)
split single w/Poison Sisters (Flotsam & Jetsam)*
Ill Spike (Lovetrain)
Running On Sum Six Dew (Lovetrain)
Last Man On The Moon (Scared Of Girls)

* this is officially sold out at Flotsam & Jetsam but they say distributors SRD have some copies.

Moor Road
G63 9EZ

Jason Graham (taken from No Pictures 9)


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