Friday, 29 April 2011

Emma Pollock

Extracts from the Rhubarb Bomb interview with Emma Pollock from Issue 2.1

Do you always approach it as writing a record i.e. writing a full album, a suite of songs in one? Rather than knocking off a few songs and then trying to tie them together?

It’s a combination. I’ve already got a clutch of songs at the moment, but I’m also aware when I start writing the album, I’m conscience of the fact I will feel like, ‘this is me writing a record’ therefore there might become a more cohesive feel and one thing might influence the next. It’s very difficult to say, I think the links come in when you start to produce. My husband Paul is now a record producer and Paul was partly responsible for the sound of the 2nd record. He would say don’t worry too much about finishing a song completely when we go into the studio, you should let it breath a little bit and he was right to that, because it’s the ones that aren’t quite finished that give you the freedom to take it in another direction and you end up with a much more interesting record at the end. Because if you restrict yourself too much you might end up with the same record you wrote last time. There is always going to be a certain amount of consistency in the way I sing, put a melody together, so the way I can break that up is by pushing in other ways and hopefully have a knock on effect on how it comes across.

How important was being in Glasgow for you to get to where you are now and what you’ve achieved.

Hugely. Immensely. There’s no doubt if I had not moved to this city, none of this would have happened.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up In Castle Douglas, south west Scotland. I wasn’t born there, I moved there when I was ten. I spent those years discovering music. There was only a Woolworths to buy music. I had a limited knowledge, then I moved to Glasgow to go to University in1989. I basically discovered this incredible range of music, live as well as records. Then I met Paul, he was doing the same course as me. Eventually I met his friends and when I left. I thought ok, I want to stay and very quickly we formed a band, and that’s The Delgados. And very quickly we said, we want to start a record company. A lot of it came from going to live gigs, because Glasgow has an incredibly vibrant music scene and anybody and everybody plays. And you have every size of venue you could want. And there are also loads of rehearsal rooms, music shops, recording studios. And there always had been labels because of this infrastructure, it just breeds everything else. So much more so than Edinburgh, no one managed to figure out why that was. Glasgow has a very can do attitude, and the people up here are very friendly and approachable and everybody is very very welcoming. It’s always been like that. It’s got an industrial background, so it’s about the practicalities of life. Very down to earth.

Dean Freeman

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