James Mackenzie is a busy man, the number of gigs that he has been doing recently is clearly phenomenal, a man with a mission. So when we saw him at Jocktoberfest and he said that he would answer a few questions we were delighted…
Whilst it is easy to see the James Mackenzie and the Aquascene as one of the institutions on the Inverness music scene, for those that have not been fortunate enough to catch you playing can you tell us about the individuals that make the band?
At the moment I am working with a selection of musicians (who make up the name the Aquascene) to create the all important sound that I want. I’m a sucker for vocal harmonies and plenty of strings. We also have some classic rock influences in the band which brings forth a different sound in the practice room!
Our favourite quote about the band’s sound is that it “evoke(s) the finest moments of Damien Rice and Crosby, Stills & Nash yet maintain an originality that is melodic, engaging and uplifting.” Do you think it’s a fair comment, and how do you deal with feedback in general?
I like hearing what people have to say about the band but I always take everything with a pinch of salt. I’d rather focus on writing songs and letting people hear them than listen to comments that can have an impact on how people take to us. I suggest people come and hear for themselves and take their own views after that. I can guarantee it will always be a good show! :-)
You guys have been getting around a bit (in the nice way), how is life on the road treating you? and is there any gigs that stand out in particular?
Well, I’m just back from doing a few shows in England. I had the pleasure of playing 2 shows in London and 1 at the infamous Cavern Club in Liverpool. I’ve also just heard that I’ve been offered another gig in London, so it must’ve went down OK! I still think that nothing can beat a home town show. When we play Hootananny it’s always busy. My personal fave was playing Belladrum this year on the Grassroots Stage!
In general, how do you compare last year with 2011 for the band?
I think we’ve become stronger, the songs are improving and (so I’ve been told) I think my singing is coming along just nicely too!
Can you tell us about the Pass Me The Bottle release and the impending gigs?
Pass Me The Bottle is the debut single from the forthcoming mini-album A Day At The Office. It is available to download from iTunes on 19th September and can be bought physically at our 3 shows that we will be doing with Matt Norris & The Moon and This Silent Forest:
If people have not heard you before, what song would you recommend that they listen to, and why?
It has to be Boat Song.
James Mackenzie and the Aquascene can next be seen :
Thursday 22nd Sept – Madhatters, Inverness
Friday 23rd Sept – Nice ‘N Sleazy, Glasgow
Saturday 24th Sept – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
James Mackenzie and the Aquascene can be followed at www.theaquascene.co.uk,
twitter @theaquascene,Facebook.com/jamesmackenzieandtheaquascene and
Thanks to James for his time and effort and to Al “Houdi” Donnelly for the photo.