The Roly Mo | Interview

the roly mo band 2020

The Roly Mo discuss starting out, their Debut EP and the Scottish music scene


Glasgow four piece The Roly Mo unleashed their infectious debut EP titled ‘TRM’ last week. We caught up with guitarist Jack Livingston for a chat about the record.

EE: Hi Jack! How are you doing today?

JL: “I’m good thanks! How’s yourself?”  

EE: I’m good thank you. Would you like to say a few words to introduce yourself to our readers?

JL: “I’m Jack from The Roly Mo. We’re a four piece from Glasgow and we’ve just released our debut EP ‘TRM’.”

EE: How did The Roly Mo come together as a band and start making music? 

JL: “Me and Joe started kinda playing guitar together when we were still in school, just me and him. We’d always sort of floated the idea of starting a band but as first he wasn’t really up for it. He slowly but surely came round to it and decided he wanted to do it as well so we started looking for a bass player and a drummer. We knew Andrew from school too then we met Lewis at the last T in the Park. It turned out he just lived ten minutes down the road from us and he was looking to start a band as well so we got pretty lucky.” 

EE: What would you say is your goal as a band? What do you want to achieve?

JL: “That’s a good question. Just to keep putting out music and to hopefully keep growing and seeing the gigs growing as well. To start going over to other countries to play would be class.”

EE: How was lockdown for you as a band?

JL: “Quite boring. I mean, I think it’s quite lucky that we had the EP recorded before it and we didn’t release it. If we’d just thrown it all out we’d have been left with nothing over lockdown and that would have really hurt us. It’s good that we’ve had that to release. Since we’ve been allowed back into the studio we’ve been trying to get some new stuff that me and Joe have been working on ready to record.” 

EE: So, I wanted to congratulate you on releasing your debut EP! What I really liked about it is how every song is very different sonically and you have a good mixture from punk to rock to indie; who would you say are your biggest musical influences on the record?

JL: “Thanks a lot, I’m glad you like it. Me and Joe are really big on The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys and I think you can hear that on the record. ‘Count To Ten’ has maybe got a bit of The Vaccines in it as well. I think it just came from a combination of everyone we’ve been listening to over the last couple of years. You write what you’re listening to and I think we went for different elements like a Strokesy vibe for this song and try and go heavier like Fidlar in this song, it can be from anywhere you know?”

EE: What’s the bands typical approach to writing a song?

JL: “Normally Joe will come in with chords and words and we’ll just kind of beef it up with the rest of the band or sometimes you can bring something in and the structure will completely change in the studio if someone has an idea, we all throw our ideas in the pot and we kind of throw in  our ideas and see what happens. It seems to work!” 

EE: What was the process like actually recording the EP? How did you find it? 

JL: “It was brilliant. I love being in the studio recording. So we recorded it over two different settings, the first four tracks we did were ‘I’ll Be Happy When You Die’, ‘Diamond Doll’, ‘Control Yourself’ and ‘Stuck In A Rut’. That was in March last year. It’s been sitting for ages and then we went back in November and recorded ‘Count To Ten’ and ‘She’s So Hot’ because we didn’t want to do a four track EP with two singles then everyone’s just getting two new songs on release day, you know? We though it was quite bold as well because no one really does it. It makes us stand out a bit.”

I was more nervous the first time we got played on Radio 1 than for any gig we’ve played. I was sitting on my bed just shitting myself thinking ‘oh my god’…

EE: Would you say you prefer being in the studio or playing gigs? 

JL: “It depends what mood I’m in. I love both of them. Some of the gigs we played last year like The Caves with The Dunts, that was amazing. But then when you’re in recording songs and it all comes together that’s brilliant as well.”  

EE: What would you say is your favourite track off the EP?

JL: “Control yourself. Got to be. It’s always been my favourite since we finished recording it. It’s not changed in a year and a half and I don’t think it will now.  

EE: Recently you’ve had a bit of radio play and you’ve also been featured in some cool Spotify playlists like the ‘We Are Glasgow’ one, how does it feel to be getting your music out there and gaining some exposure? 

JL: “Its brilliant. When we found out Jack Saunders was giving us a play and then John Kennedy from Radio X gave us a couple of plays as well it was brilliant. I was more nervous the first time we got played on Radio 1 than for any gig we’ve played. I was sitting on my bed just shitting myself thinking ‘oh my god’… I was way more nervous than for any gig and I don’t know why because I knew what it was going to sound like, you know? It’s nice to get on the playlists too because you reach more people.” 

EE: Despite lockdown pausing things, the Scottish music scene is really thriving at the moment, who are some of your favourite up and coming acts just now? 

JL: “There’s all the sort of people we looked up to when we came on the scene like Rascalton and Baby Strange, they’re all brilliant. So are Spyres, we had them on a single launch when they were just starting out and they’re brilliant. Pleasure Heads as well. Love Pleasure Heads. Everyone really! I don’t think there are many bad bands floating about just now.”

EE: You’ve been a supporting act to a lot of pretty cool bands like The Dunts and Rascalton; what would you say has been the highlight of your music career so far?

JL: “Supporting Rascalton was something that we always wanted to do right from when we started the band. We really love Rascalton and they helped us find all of the other bands, so supporting them was amazing. The Garage with The Dunts was brilliant as well. I’d maybe say Tenement Trail, we got that slot really last minute and we were buzzing. That or the Tenement TV session, it was mental.”   

EE: What’s next for The Roly Mo?

JL: “Hopefully bringing out more tunes soon. We’ll get working on another EP as soon as we can get in the studio. And as soon as we’re back playing live we’ll be smashing that too. 

Thanks to Jack for the interview, listen to The Roly Mo below, and checkout their debut EP ‘TRM’ Review here!

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