Monday, October 06, 2008

Band talk to Billy Sloan

When The View get excited that's normally a cue to batten down the hatches and stick on the crash helmets.

But lead singer Kyle Falconer claims the volatile Scots rockers have turned over a new leaf.

Believe that and you'll believe anything.

For there's never a dull moment with the group who hit No.1 with debut album Hats Off To The Buskers in 2007.

Kyle has moved from his native Dundee to London to live with his girlfriend.

The singer revealed pressure of life in his home city had become too much.

He said: "I want to be in a band but I don't like being a pop star. I get hassle constantly. Being famous is not really my cup of tea.

"I'll be in a pub and loads of great people will come up for a chat or say they appreciate our music.

"But there's always somebody who'll start pulling my hair or being annoying.

I can't bear it. There are too many idiots around.

"It was hard to move from Dundee. I'm a bit of a cagey guy. I hate being alone.

That's my biggest fear on the planet I can't spend any time on my own."

The View - Kyle, guitarist Pete Reilly, bassist Kieren Webster and drummer Steven Morrison - release outstanding single 5Rebeccas on October 27.

It should follow Wasted Little DJs, Superstar Tradesman and Same Jeans into the UK charts.

The song paves the way for their eagerly-awaited second album Which Bitch, recorded again with Oasis producer Owen Morris.

The View hope it will crack the lucrative American market but they are banned from performing in the States.

Last year Kyle was fined £1000 for having cocaine in Dundee and the fall-out was devastating. The group had to cancel a US tour when immigration authorities refused to grant them visas.

Kyle said: "I'm really sad we still can't get into America. There are no drugs now.

I've become a bit more mature. I wouldn't change for anyone except my girlfriend.

"But I don't think we've ever really been that wild. Hopefully it will all be resolved."

Kieren added: "We're still working on the American problem. It's a bit of a touchy subject but we've been told we should get in with the new album.

"Kyle and I were recently awarded a prestigious songwriting award in America and that could help us get in.

"It's frustrating we can't play there but we've not been in trouble since.

"There are no drug problems in the band. Kyle got caught with drugs but that was ages ago.

"We didn't shout and bawl at him. The shamed look on his face was enough."

The View's colourful escapades have frequently hit the headlines. Drummer Steve was arrested for a driving offence.

It was claimed the group's management banned them from chic K-West Hotel in London after they were caught drinking in a Jacuzzi at 6am.

They were also banned by the Travelodge chain after causing £7000 of damage when they flooded a hotel room in Liverpool.

Kieren said: "Now we're trying to behave. We were just like any other 18-year-olds. It just so happened that we got a record deal and tour bus at the same time and went off our heads."

It's clear that the lads from the Dryburgh area of Dundee weren't quite prepared for life in rock's fast lane.

Kieren admitted: "We weren't ready for success. I did a lot of learning on the way.

I was just trying to keep my head straight and take everything as it came.

"It's easy to get stressed but if you're in this job you really can't complain.

"It annoyed me when Kyle got slated in the papers. Some sections of the press tried to make him out to be an a******* when that's the last thing he was." On October 16, The View kick off their UK tour with a gig at Velocity in Dunfermline.

The schedule includes dates at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh on October 19 and King Tut's in Glasgow on November 12.
Kyle revealed the inspiration for 5Rebeccas. He said: "I've got a niece and few mates called Rebecca.

"I put all my random childhood memories together to create this fake character. The lyric says, 'The one I love the most has turned into a junkie'. But it's just a made-up character.

"The album also has a lot of songs about our girlfriends and other girls we know." Kieren added: "My girlfriend has already featured in some of our tracks - including Wasted Little DJs - so she's cool with it."

The View recorded Which Bitch at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales where Led Zeppelin, The Stone Roses, Iggy Pop and Queen made their biggest hits.

Kieren says it is a big step forward from their debut. He told me: "We put a lot more thought into the music. It's much more melodic.

"On Hats Off, we'd already written the songs and played them - week in, week out - for a year.

"This time, we only had a couple of tracks completed and did a lot more writing in the studio. It was a new experience for us and we came out with a few absolute crackers."

For the first time the band incorporated lavish strings on the tracks.

Kieren said: "We used strings on six songs including a great new track called Distant Doubloon.

"Owen knew a musical arranger in New York, so we'd email him a track, he'd do orchestral string parts and send it back.

"With the time difference between Wales and New York we'd sit until 7am and wait for him to email the tracks.

"It was cool to hear The View with an orchestra. It really adds to our tunes some sound like Sergeant Pepper."

The band got their big break when they handed a demo to Pete Doherty before a gig in Dundee.

He recommended them to his mate, label boss James Endeacott of 1965 Records, who offered them a deal.

Debut single Wasted Little DJs was voted Track of the Year at the 2007 NME Awards.

The View made pop history when they became the first Scottish act to shoot straight to No.1 with a debut album.

Kieren said: "One minute we're on the dole the next we're top of the charts.

"We lived on a tour bus for a year and that cemented our friendship.

"Now we've got some money when we didn't have any before. I'm not fabulously rich just yet, so I've not gone mental.

"I bought an old-fashioned Mini - I'd always wanted one. I've not bought a house yet I'm still living in a rented flat in Dundee.

"It's a good time for The View now recording the album is off our shoulders.

We're raring to get back to playing live."

Fame is not my cup of tea..there is always some idiot coming and pulling my hair

By Billy Sloan, Sunday Mail, October 5 2008


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