Almost a year since the release of their magnificent debut EP ‘Call the Witch Doctor,’ JR Green are back with their brand new single ‘First Blood’ and a UK tour to follow suit.
Destined for great things far beyond the reach of their rural hometown of Strontian in the northwest Highlands of Scotland, brothers Jacob and Rory Green turned heads last year with their modern indie-folk tunes, beguiling lyricism and youthful edge. Since then, the pair have clearly spent time developing their craft and have returned with a fuller and richer sound that is indicative of an even brighter future ahead. With a backdrop of thumping percussion, the track sees their folk stylings come to the forefront once again with the warm signature sounds of the accordion and acoustic guitar working together nicely, allowing Rory’s unmistakeable gravelly vocal delivery to convey the emotion behind the song.
Giving the traditional Scottish sound a refreshing and modern makeover, JR Green make the kind of rousing youthful anthems that are demanding your attention. Set to take them on the road around the UK with dates in the likes of Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow, GIGsoup caught up with Rory to hear about the new song and more.
Can you tell us a bit about ‘First Blood’ and what it’s about?
‘First Blood’ was a song that first came about just after I (Rory) had left school. I had pretty much all of it done but it was a while before we sat down properly and gave it some attention. It was maybe a year later that Jake added the accordion parts. The song itself is about the untidy ending of a relationship with someone whom you’ve shared your first experience of love. It’s about realising that, although you were their first, it is probably now over.
Have you found your music has been evolving with each release?
This is our first release since our debut EP and we feel our sound has developed considerably since then. Not only was the song completed a wee while later in our lives but since the recording of the first release we have applied other elements and musicians to the music. So the overall sound is a step further on.
Are you both responsible for songwriting or do you work individually on songs? What’s your creative process like as a duo?
I tackle most of the lyrics and then Jake makes the music. Of course it is different with every song but there is never a song that goes untouched by either of us whilst it is being written. Having grown up together, playing and listening to music, there is nothing that gets lost in translation and when we are working together we find it pretty easy to get somewhere with our ideas.
Who would you say are your biggest influences?
From our parents we inherited folk music from the likes of Steeleye Span and The Chieftains. In our teens we became heavily influenced by The Pogues, The Strokes, Arcade Fire and all of Pete Doherty’s outfits.
In Strontian, traditional Ceilidh music is and always has been king. We were taught traditional instruments from childhood onwards and traditional Scottish music was the soundtrack to our adolescence and a fair bit of what we have written about so far. We decided somewhere in our mid-teens that we would take this traditional influence and pair it with what we had learnt from other music we loved.
What are you most looking forward to about tour?
Getting out and playing to audiences again, bigger and better than we have ever been.
What else can we expect from JR Green in the next year?