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The Seventeenth Century Interview March 2011

Karlyn King


Currently in the middle of a European tour, we caught up with Scottish band The Seventeenth Century to learn about their past, present and future…

MTTM: We understand this release took two years to put together, how did the material develop in that time?

The Seventeenth Century: Three of the four songs on the Part One EP were actually written two years ago, not long after we formed. We’ve spent the time since then trying to build on the public’s awareness of us and, I guess, growing together as a band. We were approached by Electra French Records in the summer 2010 and we decided to release through them because they shared a similar ideology to us and they are really passionate about the music we write.  The second EP will be another mixture of old and new songs, then we’re going to set about writing our first album.

MTTM: The strong traditional folk element to your music is very prominent. Would you ever play traditional Scottish songs as part of your set/future album?

The Seventeenth Century: Yes that would definitely be a possibility for us. As a band we are influenced by Scottish traditional folksters such as Dick Gaughan and Alasdair Roberts and similar musicians who take traditional music like the Francis J Child Ballads and re-work them so it is something I think we’d be interested in doing at some point.  That said, when we’re writing together we all bring completely different influences so I don’t think we’d ever make something that was purely folk.

MTTM: Where do you fit in with the diverse Glasgow music scene?

The Seventeenth Century: I guess there’s a scene, in the sense that there’s a fairly close-knit music community based around some great venues in the city and a lot of people are very supportive of each other, but it’s all so diverse that I don’t think there’s one real defining sound or musical characteristic coming out of Glasgow right now.

MTTM: What do you think about bands who sing in a strong Scottish accent?

The Seventeenth Century: I think it’s strange anyone really makes an issue of it.  I think most people just sing the way they sing.  I guess in the 90s a lot of bands had suspiciously American accents, so maybe people are surprised to hear Scottish bands sounding like they come from Scotland!

MTTM: You are releasing your EP on vinyl and download, why the decision to avoid CD format?

The Seventeenth Century: We just love vinyl. It’s the best format to listen to music on. I also think that having our first physical release solely on vinyl will be one of the few things we will look back on with fond memories when we’re old, miserable and incontinent men wishing death would come quicker because life has become so painfully unimportant.

MTTM: Where’s your favourite venue that you’ve ever played?

The Seventeenth Century: We played an acoustic session on a canal boat as we drifted through Utrecht on a beautiful late spring afternoon…. that was pretty special.

MTTM: What are you most excited about in 2011?

The Seventeenth Century: Releasing another 4 track vinyl EP, The Seventeenth Century Part Two, this May, a companion piece to our first EP. Going back on tour to Holland. Writing and recording our debut full-length album…. and of course the possibility of Dundee United winning the Scottish Cup again.

MTTM: How would you sum up your ambitions in one sentence?

The Seventeenth Century: For people to enjoy listening to our music as much as we enjoy making it for many years to come.