Trapped In Kansas formed in 2008 and hail from Ayr, a coastal town in Scotland and the birthplace (well, thereabouts) of poet Robert Burns a.k.a Scotland’s favourite son. Perhaps the ghost of Burns, fed up with Auld Lang Syne, walked the streets of Ayr at night yearning to be in a mathematical indie rock band and decided to inhabit the bodies of Finn Le Marinel, Chris Ward, Colin O’Hara and Iain Symes? Without being able to attach a ghost-o-meter to each of them and monitor whether they burst into fine Scottish poetry during their sleep we alas will never know. However, what we do know is that Trapped In Kansas make some seriously good music, so good in fact that we decided to interview the band. Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with bassist Chris Ward via email to find out more about their latest EP ‘How To Go’ and their multi-national roots…
Cat On The Wall: Your biography describes you as a “multi-national 4-piece” – what nationalities feature in the band and how did you all meet?
Chris Ward: We’ll one of us was born in Scotland, one in England, one in Germany and one in Ireland. But Colin and Myself (Chris) are Scottish, Finn was born in Nottingham but has lived all over the world, in places like New York, Cyprus but he’s settled in Scotland for a good number of years and Iain comes from County Clare in Ireland. We all met and through university, we all studied the same course and met through our mutual love of music.
COTW: ‘How To Go’ is your debut EP which is currently getting excellent reviews online. Where was it recorded? What is your creative process as a band?
CW: The EP was recorded in little know Beetroot Studios, which is about 20 mins outside Glasgow in a town called Airdrie. It was recorded and produced by the amazingly talented Stuart MacLeod. Our process usually is to take a core idea or structure and we usually also have a feeling of where we’re taking the song. We then spend a couple of practises just feeling around and trying various sections, parts and styles. We’re very aware of making our songs sound interesting and a little different, so we’re always very open to trying out new ideas.
COTW: Who created the artwork for the EP? Is the visual image of the band important to you? Do you have any more music videos planned?
CW: The artwork is done by Finn’s mum, her work can be found under the name Jac Saorsa. Yeah, I would say the visual image of any band is important, you want things to be at their best and you want to work with things you think will suit your projects. We’re very lucky to have such a talented artist like Jac at our side to help us with these things. She’s been great with helping us with the odd pieces of artwork.
We do have a tour video we’re about to release soon that features one of our songs Stick to the Roads, but it’s more of a documentary style video than a proper music video.
COTW: How did Overlook Records come about?
CW: Overlook began with a few drams and the collective ambitions of myself, Colin and our friend Liam who plays in the Darien Venture. We just wanted to put out our music and were tired of waiting and hoping to be picked up but someone who could do that for us. We just considered that by pulling together our resources we could probably do a decent enough job ourselves. We always wanted to help bands we believe in too, so we’re always looking at bands and thinking if we can help then in anyway.
COTW: You’ve played a fair amount of festivals and shows. How do you know when you’ve had a good gig? What’s your most memorable show to date?
CW: You know when you can’t help but smile from ear to ear, when everything sounds amazing, the crowd are loving it and when you’re done, you just want back out for more! I would say most memorable for me would be T in the Park, just due to the scale of what we were doing, it was crazy. Best audience we’ve had is hard to call, it’s either our Halloween show at the Classic Grand, Glasgow or a show we done in Edinburgh at the Wee Red Bar that had a stage invasion.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
CW: Once we release the EP we’ll be writing new songs and going in to record EP number two and trying to gig as much as possible!