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Gay Against You

Gay Against You are one of the most entertaining bands in Glasgow with their bedroom electronic noise and frenzied live performances which encourage audience participation and can involve everything from 80s PE kits to homemade cupcakes. Despite all this, they’re no joke band and manage to be simultaneously frightening and vulnerable, noisy and melodic and make some rather awesome noise pop. Marceline Smith decided to find out more by sending them questions ranging from the sensible to the ridiculous.

Members, and what you do in the band:
mr big softy (vocals, programming, hair) a.k.a bobby crashmat, a.k.a ice wolff, a.k.a Lachlann Rattray
oats soda (vocals, programming, keyboards, less hair) a.k.a heart dogg, a.k.a peace dogg, a.k.a Joe Howe.

Joe: Our band doesn’t have a very traditional format, so we both kind of do everything. We tend to work best apart and then collaborate after one of us presents an idea or a part or stupid lyric or something. Live though, I play keyboards, Lach makes noises and plays cassette tapes and we both sing, howl and generally roll around the floor.

Joe: Mummy Caesar, west end of Glasgow, UK
Lach: The Bunt Club, west end Glasgow, UK

Joe: Conceptually, Summer 2005. Physically, more like Autumn 2005. The idea was around for a much longer time than the actual music. The first thing we did was record a series of cassettes, which we sold to our friends, under the impression that it was made by somebody else. By the time we worked up the guts to play live though, we had to come clean…

Lach: We actually came clean after about a day cause we were worried about the lies. We were also even more conceptualized to start with, we were only going to play outside or at open mic nights but we sold out.

What do you think you sound like, and how different is that from what other people have said or written about you?

Lach: a guy from the BBC said we were just noise and that his granny woudn’t like it or something. I resent that, I think his granny would like us. Plus! people tend not to focus on what we sound like, mainly what we look like and we have been compared to the 118 men (yuck).

Joe: I think we make pop music. It may be particularly noisy / fast / silly / harsh / wimpy pump music but pop music nonetheless. Yeah, as Lach was saying people take lots of photographs of us in shorts and maybe just dig the performance art over the music. Although 16 year olds at the Barfly were scared by our performance art. We wanted them to have fun!!!

What do you do in your day-to-day lives, other than being Gay Against You?

Joe: Isn’t this question spoiling a sort of supposed rock and roll mythos that we, as a band, should be upholding? Maybe we should be bucking the trend anyway. This is the kind of information which yr readers need to hear!!! I make other records under the name Germlin, tour around Europe playing shows and do graphic design under the Woolly Mammoth banner with my pal Duncan.

Lach: I make bespoke embedded interactive solutions for a dynamic and highly motivated west end museum.

Who’s your favourite duo and why?

Joe: I like Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, because I’m a romantic. Or Hella, for the same reason.

Lach: Duos are lame! I like Frank Sinatra.

What’s the ethos behind your entertaining live shows?

Joe: Everyone in the audience should feel like part of the show. People are generally bemused and excited and annoyed in equal measures, which we like!

Lach: I also really really enjoy the look on people faces when they are confronted by us. Some people pretend like we are not there…other people giggle nervously; it’s always interesting. Also some people join in to the extent that they injure themselves (case in point: the guy who sliced his wrist open whilst giving me a piggy back at the Lightning Bolt gig).

Which is your favourite of your own tracks and why?

Joe: That’s a difficult question because they are all our children…I like ‘I Put My Hood Up’ because it is really simple and good…also ‘Dear Dairy’ because it’s secretly two songs shoved together (shhh!!) and it’s the only song I know about lactose intolerancy, which is a real problem.

Lach: I like P.Panda ’cause it tries so hard to be heavy but is just a wimpy pump. Also Aztec Cadbury World Gift Shop is rad, It was written after we heard a program on Radio 4 about the orgins of the Cadbury chocolate. I am so sure we are the only band that bases songs on Radio 4 programmes.

If Gay Against You was a protest march, what would your placards say?

Joe: Fight shit music, not wars (copyright Tom Dissonance 2002)

Lach: “Help I am melting please”

How has The Magical World of MySpace™ helped your band?

Joe: I kind of like this question. It’s been interesting following the role of myspace in the current pop industry. It’s also very hip for people to totally diss it. I find it incredibly useful as a tool – we’ve booked most of our July tour off’f it, got in contact with FLA through it and arranged collaborations / jams / meet ups through it also. We don’t post snidey comments or dirty pictures so I guess it’s ok.

Lach: It’s like my girlfriend’s friend Colin said “I’m re-adding Tom, I’m so post-hating-myspace”. I think myspace is totally rad; it’s a really good idea but it sucks that like everything else, Rupert Murdoch owns it now. They are kinda being nazis about it now though, deleting people’s accounts for stupid puritan reasons. For example, the band “Child Pornography” had their account deleted because of their name…but it’s okay now, ’cause they changed their account to “yhpargonrop dlihc”. Silly silly Tom.

What have you been listening to/reading lately that you’d recommend?

Lach: Our album Muscle Milk (plug plug plug) and Chico y Chico and the aforementioned Child Pornography and Mae Shi and reading “Under a Black Flag” – a book about pirates – and reading Kurt Vonnegut short stories.

Joe: I haven’t really got over the Homosexuals album, it’s very very good and has a lot to it. Also, we’ve both been listening pretty obsessively to the Mae Shi and Ariel Pink too, although I prefer Ariel Pink while I’m falling asleep on the night bus. For books, I’m reading a set of Alasdair Gray short stories, Yeast Hoist zine, old Growth zine.

What’s so great about Glasgow?

Joe: It’s big, I think. Lots of different people and different buildings and cultures and they are all in very close proximity in a really big city. We don’t really feel like we’re a ‘Glasgow band’ though, cos it’s a tag that most bands don’t really escape.

Lach: It’s big but also small sort of but really it’s big. It sounds dangerous and I like that people are always amazed that we live in Glasgow and haven’t been knifed yet. There is such a distorted view of what Glasgow is like. Yeah, we totally aren’t a “Glasgow band”. You can’t be a Glasgow band when Alex Kapranos comes and talks to you and you don’t recognise him.

What are your upcoming band plans?

Joe: We’ve just finished recording our first album proper, so we’re starting to work on the next three or so. Plans include a very simple record for our split with Chico y Chico, influenced by Aqua and Japan for Sega. Also, we’re going to do a noisy sort of record with Narwhalz, then start our overblown multitracked prog hippy album, tentatively titled “y’hurt”, the word being a combination of post-teen angst, hippy wooden tents and soy yoghurt.

Lach: Also we want to go to other countries to tour and turn down as many major labels as we can. So far we have BMG and Parlophone…

Put these things in order of importance to Gay Against You: a rainbow, chocolate coins, spoons, WH Smiths, the sound of the atom splitting.

Lach: bow, plitt spli
om spl
ith the sound
s, s of the
ths, the

at th WH Sm

More information:

Records we can buy:
We have a forthcoming split 7″ with Vichy Government on Filthy Little Angels records, subscription only!
On the same label, a downloadable cover of ‘Greased Lightning’
For the cheap among you, there’s our budget self release gay against you cd-r, available directly from our myspace
Forthcoming full length “Muscle Milk” on adaadat records this July and a track on the next Trade and Distribution Almanac compilation
Also, split tapes with Chico y Chico, Narwhalz and Assacre, amongst others, coming soon!!!!!