Ahead of their gig at the Raigmore Hotel supporting Ralia on 10th of February, Jake, Mikey and Tom of The Oxides chat to Frank Finlayson of IGigs.
When the Oxides announced that they were calling it a day on Hogmanay 2014, we didn’t expect two years later, to the day, for the band to broadcast their return in a short video clip.
Although personnel had changed over the first incarnation of the band the line up that returned was that which played their final three gigs with Jake Bolt, Mikey Duncan, Archie Stewart and Tom Fullerton all returning. It came about through meeting up to jam; there was no plan initially to take it beyond that.
‘We just started rehearsing, just for the pure fun of it. We didn’t have any aspirations of what we were wanting to do.’ Jake
‘We just started jamming again’. Mikey
‘Just kept jamming like once every week’. Tom
‘Since about August September time last year’. Jake
But what made The Oxides return after two years.
‘It was unfinished business really. We spent six months getting these guys up to speed last time and we only got round to having three gigs. And with circumstances it wasn’t the best time. We were playing the best songs I’d ever written.’ Jake
First gig back is at the Raigmore, a favourite venue of the band, where they share the bill with Ralia on Friday 10th February, although it wasn’t a given that they would accept the gig.
‘We got offered that gig with Ralia and the Raigmore is a big draw for me to do it because how often have there been gigs in the Raigmore recently. It was always my favourite venue in Inverness.’ Jake
‘There’s been some great gigs there.’ Mikey
‘I wasn’t sure at all but these guys were for it.’ Jake
‘We sounded pretty good and got tight really quick.’ Mikey
‘And just over the last few jams there everything has given us that drive and purpose to pull together and we have.’ Tom
Hot on the heels of the long awaited return they play less than a week later at Tooth and Claw as support for PAWS, a band they greatly admire.
‘It will be four years to the day when we last supported them at Mad Hatters. I love their latest album, probably my favourite album of the last year.’ Jake
As for the songs, all the old favourites will be there, and some new ones too.
‘We quite quickly got back to where we were before, if not better, learning all the wee impressive bits. We’ve got them (new songs) at the stage that they sound like old songs. And they fit right into the set.’ Jake
Accompanying the group’s comeback is a video produced by Stephen Bull for a new song ‘I Hate You and I Love You But I Don’t Know Why’.
‘We did it live, a new song, to get more attention.’ Jake
Jake had been living in the south for a bit and although he wasn’t directly active in the local scene there he did follow it and learnt from what he saw.
‘Watching bands down south and seeing how professional they are, I’ve taken that on board and just knowing the quality of what it should be like is what I’m striving for now.’ Jake
There is a greater solidity about the band; practice is more focused but in a relaxed way.
‘Learnt not to push the boys too much, cracked the whip a bit too much before but now I’m letting them crack the whip themselves!’ Jake
‘With City in Surveillance I’d written everything before and lnew it inside out but with this I haven’t. I’ve had to learn and add little bits which is quite hard but I seemed to have gotten the gist of it now. And I’ve had to do harmonies which I never had to do before.’ Mikey
For anyone going along to their first gig in over two years, you know what to expect.
‘Same sort of carnage, me going absolutely bonkers probably. I am going to try and reel it in and make the singing perfect and stand still. It’s not going to happen though. The adrenalin just goes whoosh…’ Jake
The Oxides with Ralia – Raigmore Hotel – 10 February – tickets from The Music Station, Church Street, Inverness
PAWS with The Oxides supporting – Tooth and Claw, Baron Taylors Street – 16 February – tickets from Creative Skate, Academy Street, Inverness