On the evening
Gringo'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 occasionally,
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.
covertly since 1993
Here comes muses
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 revel 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
JG: What is
it about Scotland that makes you produce such good bands?
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
JG: Who's your
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
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.
your favourite film?
CK: Toughie. Let's see... "Breakfast At Tiffany's", "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
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
CK: Of course, very similar to Mudhoney in a lot of respects. The
Complex rule. Wait till you hear the new stuff.
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
JG: Did you
enjoy the Peel session?
CK:Yeah, did you?
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.
CK: And remember kids, always recycle - TO THE EXTREME!
CK: Take it easy.
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
Moor Road, Strathblane, Glasgow, G63 9EZ
[taken from No Pictures 9]