On 22nd March 2017 Scottish indie-rockers Neon Waltz played at the launch of Salute; a music competition aiming to provide an alternative talent platform to mainstream offerings like The X Factor. With The Undertones’ Feargal Sharkey as the face of the brand, sponsorship from huge platforms such as Facebook and a prize of £50,000, Salute’s competition is like no other.
We recently caught up with the band to chat about their involvement with Salute, their recent tour and what else we can expect from them in 2017.
What appealed to you most about playing at the Salute launch?
We played at the launch because if Salute wants to support songwriters then we want to support them.
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Salute gives musicians a more accessible and fair opportunity to showcase their talents than current talent competitions; was there ever a point that you guys considered applying to any of the infamous shows?
No. Fame/recognition wasn’t at the top of our agenda. Living so far north we were content just making music. It just gradually picked up. So these kinda shows were never on our radar.
The video for your new single ‘Perfect Frame’ was shot on the coastline of your hometown in the far North of Scotland, do you think a musicians location can have an effect on their accessibility to gain exposure?
Yeah, for sure. It depends on how you use it or where it is. If it’s interesting then it’s useful. In our case, few people we meet have been past Inverness or even Central Scotland and fortunately for us things are totally different beyond those points. So we do what we can to let people in to that.
The Salute announcement gig was at Omeara; a new London venue that you also played on your UK tour last month; do you have a favourite venue from the tour?
We’re pretty happy to be back here in Omeara actually. It’s a venue designed to keep bands happy! We played a small theatre in Irvine, Scotland which was bizarre but really cool. Very intimate!
Speaking of cool, NME called you “Scotland’s coolest new gang” – in terms of coolness, what musicians do you guys look up to?
Everybody in the band probably considers different people cool but it’d be hard for any of us to deny that Jim Morrison; Levon Helm or The Velvet Underground were cool as fuck.
With your debut album on the cards, can you tell us a bit about your recording process? Is it true that when it comes to writing the songs, all 6 of you are involved?
We can’t give too much away right now about the release but the album is finished and sounding exactly how we wanted it to sound. The process itself is pretty straight forward…we always record as a live band. It’s just the best way for us. We embrace that magic of capturing the right take even thought not everyone played what they wanted perfectly. Those mistakes or whatever is what makes it the right take! It is indeed 100% true that everyone one writes. It’s part of being in this band, everyone is expected to contribute.
You’ve won acclaim for your live sets, do you have a favourite song to play live?
That’s like asking someone to pick their favourite child. I dunno but playing the songs that people know like ‘Dreamers’ or ‘Perfect Frame’ is always good. Hearing the reaction from the people…that’s what it’s all about.
What up and coming bands are on your radar at the minute?
There’s loads of brilliant Scottish bands around just now – Catholic Action; Baby Strange; Man of Moon; The Van T’s; Domiciles to name a handful. There’s loads more. We got right into The Lemon Twigs from New York. I’m missing loads here but there are plenty of them.
What else can we expect from Neon Waltz in 2017?
We’ll be releasing music & touring loads the rest of this year. We’ll almost definitely start work on recording more music soon but yeah the priority is building towards the release of our first album. We’re very excited about that.