In support of the upcoming release of their debut EP Cash In Hand, Glasgow four-piece punk riot Heavy Rapids have been travelling the land and spreading their riffs. As the band made their way to Birmingham for a gig at the Actress and Bishop with support from local newcomers Y!kes and Earls, BG sat down with vocalist Dillon Squire and lead guitarist Jamie Crawford to speak about Cash In Hand, the roots of the band, their hopes for the future and more!
Your single Paisley Pattern discusses the cycle of violence and crime in your town, what was it like to grow up there?
Jamie: Normal – it’s just what you’re used to where you grow up, it was pretty eye-opening to grow up and live in.
Dillon: It’s a rough place.
Jamie: It is good though, basically all of my friends and the people that I’m closest with are all from Paisley. There is a lot of of badness in it though: The crime rate at one point was beyond belief, the knife crime rate too was skyhigh, in about 2006/7 Scotland was the murder capital for knife crime in Europe and Paisley’s just a hotspot for it really. Things have gotten a bit better as there’s less violence now, but there’s more poverty.
Dillon: It’s a dark and dingy place (laughs) but there are positive people!
Jamie: You walk down the high street and the shutters are all down and have these paintings that say ‘imagine your department shops’ it’s quite surreal. Put it this way, the McDonald’s on the high street went bust.
The EP is titled Cash In Hand, which in today’s society is becoming a rarer thing in this digital world, what does the title convey?
Dillon: It’s just tongue in cheek really, it’s something everyone experiences so like Jamie’s a plasterer and when he started doing that he was getting paid cash in hand, I was working in the Priory which is where all the bands in Glasgow hang out and my wages were cash in hand. It’s dodging the tax man, sticking a middle finger up to this new system like the world’s trying to move too fast, why can’t we just keep things simple and you know have cash in your hands?
How excited are you guys about going on your first headline tour in Scotland?
Dillon: Very excited man, yeah. It’s gonna be fun, some of those places we’ve never been to in our lives!
Jamie: We’ve played Dundee before and that was great and we’ve had a few headline dates in Edinburgh before but with this being a whole tour it’s really cool!
In your eyes, how is the state of the current punk scene in Glasgow?
Jamie: It’s great in Glasgow! Wider too we know some bands from Fyfe area and around Falkirk.
Dillon: Generally it’s good but I think there needs to be a bit more arrogance, it’s a bit soft at the moment. A bit too friendly for my liking!
What’s one thing you’d like people to take from your music?
Dillon: Honesty, belief and for them to have a relation to it and jump on the bus with about what we’re singing about because it’s all relevant.
Jamie: That’s one thing I would say actually; dive in the lyrics. There isn’t one song there that has no meaning, every one really does mean a lot to us!
How would you describe the band in one sentence?
Jamie: Fucking bonkers! (laughs)
Dillon: Bonkers yeah that’s a better word!
I spoke with Y!kes earlier who claim to have a “flare for theatrics”, how would you characterise your live performance?
Jamie: Balls to the wall!
Dillon: Energy and passion but until we have a budget we won’t be jumping around with beers on our heads you know!
Where do you want to be with Heavy Rapids in a years time?
Dillon: Playing A-list festivals and hopefully be signed to a label but I don’t know about a label to be honest – we’ve got a PR company which is great and we’re getting the correct amount of money at the moment so I’m excited for the day we sign a deal I know it’s in the pipeline but I’m also a little nervous about it because I don’t know massive amounts about it and it seems like they just take all your money!
Jamie: I hope that we’re still all together and happy, playing and enjoying it. I hope we don’t forget why it is we started the band.
Dillon: I second that!
If you were to release a track featuring any artist in the world, who would you pick?
Jamie: Steve Jones from Sex Pistols, undoubtedly.
Dillon: Billie Joe Armstrong for me!
Heavy Rapids debut EP Cash In Hand is out this Friday June 7th.