Model Aeroplanes on micro pigs and Rage Against The Machine

Indie | Thursday 11th August 2016 | Christina

Ben Buist, Grant Irvine, Kieran Smith and Rory Fleming-Stewart aka Model Aeroplanes, have has a big 2016, receiving support from Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Clash; playing festivals like Kendal Calling, T In The Park, Electric Fields and The Great Escape; and dropping their latest single 'Whatever Dress Suits You Better'. We caught up with them to see what else 2016 has in store. 

Hey guys, how’s it going? Good 2016 so far?
Wa Gwan! We're class. How're you? This year has been proper fun so far. We've mainly been writing and are cooking up some tasty psychedelic disco beats for your ear-balls. 

You’ve played a few festivals already, which has been your favourite so far?
We're not long back from playing Bergenfest in Norway, which is probably one of our favourite gigs ever. We've not been in Europe much at all so it was so surprising to have a full tent and folk singing along. TITP was also amazing as always. Total vibes. 

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Our pre-show ritual is generally sitting around for five hours after sound check, on Tinder. We always have a few drinks to take the edge off as well. We'll do some vocal warm ups and then completely counteract them all by having another beer and chain smoking. Feeling relaxed is super important to us, any bad vibes can do one! We've no real superstitions but we do like a solid huddle right before stage time. Doesn't matter if we've just met you or we've known you for years, if you're about, you're in the huddle. People think we're really hospitable and warm for this but really we just spend that much time with each other we like to indulge in outside human contact, if only for a short while.

For those who are just discovering you, give us a little background on how Model Aeroplanes came to be?
We all became friends in high school because none of us were really that cool and we couldn't play any sports. We just realised we could all kind of play an instrument so started jamming Rage Against The Machine and Jet covers at lunchtimes. We've been through so many incarnations, playing some mental genres, but we started Model Aeroplanes early 2013 when we realised we all wanted to take it seriously as a career option. So far so good!

And what’s the story behind the name?
It's a crazy story involving a killer whale, a wooden spoon and a young Donald Trump. We'll tell you about it when you're older and wiser and really ready for it.

How has growing up in Dundee influenced your sound?
Well when we were first getting into music when we were kids, the Dundee scene was amazing. There were loads of venues and constant gigs, so you could always get a slot somewhere. That really helped us, it was like doing our musical apprenticeship and learning the ropes. Like I said, we've been through a lot of incarnations playing a lot of different genres and now I think we use those experiences to form the not-so conventional sound we have now. Of course, it always helps having folk like The View and Gary Clark from Danny Wilson about for some deep musical chats.

Tell us the inspiration behind your single ‘Whatever Dress Suits You Better’?
It's a really old track, like a lot of our songs it's been re-written a few times. We totally felt it had to go on the first EP as to not get lost in musical time. The song itself is about concealing emotions in plain sight. It's strange being such an old track as we always like to feel like we're progressing, however it's such a fan favourite and we have a lot of love for it. 

How did you come up with the concept for the video?
To be honest, we just had the idea for a mad psychedelic split-screen video and luckily Bovine, the man behind the camera and computer, is totally on the same wavelength as us. We weren't entirely sure how it was really going to turn out but it ended up being exactly what we were after. We just wanted to make a video that was a bit different and a good fun.

How does the writing process work for you guys?
We just jam. Someone might come into the studio with an idea but we can never really get the vibe right unless we're all in a room banging away. We'll get all the instrumentation down and do a quick demo of it, then we'll try get some vocals down that we're happy with. We can sometimes take a day to write a song or a month, it just totally depends. We try and not force anything and keep it as natural as possible. Feel the vibe, ken?

What are your guilty pleasures when you’re in the studio?
Grand Theft Auto. I think we've literally done everything you can possibly do in that game. If it wasn't for Grand Theft Auto, we couldn't spend as much time here as we do. We would go mental. It'd be a total dream to have a tune of ours on one of the radio stations. Rockstar, get in touch, we're good Dundee boys.

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
We're really looking forward to getting back on the road. Writing and demoing is great, but we really miss our sweet Travelodges and dirty splitter vans. We're back out in the UK and Europe for some festivals and it's gonna be sweaty. 

Is an album in the works?
We're not rushing anything, we're still small fish in a huge pond, but we're always thinking about our debut album and collecting wee tunes and ideas for it. We just want it to be right. We're all very excited. 

Which one song or piece of music changed your life?
It's a tough question as we all grew up listening to really different music. I think collectively, we all got really heavy into Rage Against The Machine and that was the beginning of us realising we wanted to play together in a band. TAKE THE POWER BACK. 

And which song should be eradicated from the history of music?
That terrible "Let's Marvin Gaye and Get It On" tune is an absolute musical catastrophe and should burn in a fire. 

If you could fill a swimming pool with anything in the world, what would you choose and why?
This is a really tough question because you don't want your mates’ arses swimming around in the substance that you had hoped to consume. So we guess chocolate sauce and lager is totally out of the question. We'd have it filled with micro pigs. Hundreds of cute little micro pigs. 

What would you do to change the world?
We'd get rid of borders and put all the bastards of the world on one island away from everyone else so we could all have nice happy wee lives listening to Earth, Wind and Fire and eating ice cream. 

Follow Model Aeroplanes on Twitter.