Where are you currently based?
We’re sort of interspersed across the Central Belt of Scotland – from Glasgow to Edinburgh
What is your name and role within Stanley Odd?
I’m Solareye. I rap, record, some production and jump about.
How did you first start playing music?
Sheesht. My Dad had a good record collection and a guitar, so I started mucking about with that when I was about 12 or 13. Got into bands in my teens but was always really into hip-hop and rap so started adding little raps into the songs. That gradually morphed into a live hip-hop group with ma pals that I grew up with. We started touring round Scotland and it sort of grew from there.
How did Stanley Odd form?
Well – me and Veronika Electronika were meant to be playing a DJ/Emcee-type set and the DJ couldn’t make the show. A couple of pals joined us on guitar and drums. That was the organic start of the live hip-hop group. We’re now a six piece – Samson on kit and production, AdMack – bass and synths, Thilo – keys and more synths, Scruff Lee on guitar, Veronika singing and me rapping.
What’s been happening recently and how has your COVID19 experience been up until now?
We were meant to do a small venue UK tour April and May, then festivals for the summer, then a bigger tour and album launch in autumn. None of that transpired. BUT. Instead we finished the record in the first couple of months of lock-down – all recording individually then sending bits back and forth. Samson produced and mixed it. The record is finished and we’re mad happy with it. We’re none releasing a new single and video every six weeks for the rest of the year and putting the album out in March 2021. Change and adapt eh. It’s dead exciting to be able to focus on so many different songs off the record in six-week blocks. And we’re working with a bunch of great folks to make the videos, so every cloud has a silver lining.
Your new single ‘Night Rip’ is out on August 14, 2020, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
‘Night Rip’ is an example of how we’ve approached the whole record this time round. It’s about making music, not even thinking about what style or genre folks might want to box it in. It’s on some dark-pop analogue synth electro with breakbeats vibes – with no raps, which is a first for us. Just Veronika and me in a melancholy duet about breaking up.
How was Night Rip written?
We wrote it in the studio – before lockdown. We’ve been booking 4 or 5-day blocks of studio time and working on a bunch of demo ideas each time – everyone makes beats, instros and ideas them uploads them to DropBox. So we pick a few then develop them in the studio. The guys filled the studio up with analogue synths – Korg MS-20, Roland Juno, SH-101, Moog Sub Phatty, 808s – then start replacing sounds in the demos and building the song.
This one, I remember we’d been working on stuff all day and the band all went out for food quite late at night. Veronika had this line ‘Oh I’m restless, yes I’m restless’ and we stayed at the studio and wrote the story of a moonlight flit – somebody leaving everything behind in the middle of the night, or sort of chasing the daylight of dawn and disappearing. Then we sang it together so that the situation could be that both people in the relationship were feeling the same but not telling the other.
We tracked the drums another day me and Samson. Then Samson produced and mixed it during lockdown.
Where and when did you record, produce and master and who with?
We do everything ourselves. We’ve almost always recorded, mixed and mastered ourselves. I think we’re just too attached to stuff and don’t want to let it go. We have done some great work with other people occasionally but generally prefer to keep it all in house. This record, we tracked a bunch of it together with sometimes everyone actually recording their own parts. Samson mixed it and produced it with production elements again from everyone. It’s funny – because we’re a live band and have such a hip-hop production ethic, we always end up recording, then sampling the recordings and rebuilding them. That kind of lends itself to just getting on and doing it all yirsel.
What programs/instruments you use?
Ableton for ideas, production, development and live stuff. We also use Push for live (sometimes 2 or 3 between us)
Pro Tools for mixing and mastering
Moog Sub Phatty
Novation Bass Station
A beat up SM58 or Electro Voice ND967
Fender/ Musicman basses
What do you like to do away from music?
Make more music.
Sulk about not getting to play live the noo.
Go for a run I suppose.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
For unapologetic DIY pop: Carla J Easton
New production: Dunt, SHEARS
Podcast/ video stream: You Call That Radio
Scottish rap: Spawn Zero, Empress, Steg G & Freestyle Master, CCTV, Shogun, Togo Fam +++
Always: MF Doom, Pharoahe Monch, Aesop Rock
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020?
A new single and video every 6 weeks. Next one – KILLSWITCH – is out 25/09
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Lockdown has been all about get those home cooking skills up. Now we’re making homemade bhuna and naan bread so I feel like I’m all set here thanks.