We interview Gareth Goodlad and John Alexander of Edinburgh based Posable Action Figures.
Purveyors of “Electro, pop-rock”, the debut Ep for the duo was described by Messrs Furniss and Mackinnon of The Scotsman as “marvellous; epic guitar riffs, infectious vocal melodies, tight staccato drums and samples – a brilliant debut”.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that they have been selected to play XpoNorth given the buzz for the guys, so of course we had to ask them a few questions;
Who are you? and what do you do?
Gareth : I’m Gareth Goodlad, I play guitar, sing and try to function like a well rounded human
John: I’m John Alexander, I drum and trigger samples and try to intervene when Gareth doesn’t function like a well rounded human.
In an article from Prescription PR about standing out from the crowd, the advice was put into three categories; Sound Different, Look Different and Position Yourself Differently. What do you think about this advice? And what makes you stand out?
John: It’s all wise advice but essentially the only one that really matters is sounding different. You can wear all the fancy clothes you like but you can’t trick people into liking your music. By all means spend time on your image and your marketing but if your music isn’t your main focus, you’re kind of putting the cart before the horse and selling yourself short.
Gareth : If you focus too much on how to define yourself and on trying to stand out, you may end up betraying your art, if you have seen the way we dress and if you’ve spoken to us for longer than 5 seconds you would know we have no idea what we are doing.
John: To put it in perspective, we spent an entire year writing our first songs before we dared let anyone hear them, while our first bit of art work was 10 minutes of us taking selfies outside our rehearsal space and about 3 minutes picking our logo. We get told a lot that our music is weird but in a good way and we’re kind of proud of that.
We need to ask, where did the name for the band come from?
Gareth : I was at the Glasgow comic con, when I over heard a man dressed as Dumbledore and a fella dressed as Hawkeye arguing over a sign that read “Posable action figures” Dumbledore thought it should have read opposable action figures, Hawkeye pointed out that whilst the figures had opposable appendages, it was their ability to be displayed in cool poses that made them “Posable Action Figures”, once again dear old Dumbledore suffered an embarrassing and crippling defeat, but at least we got a band name
It’s been a busy old year for you both, where you have scored and impressive amount airplay, high profile gigs and general recognition, how do you account for your success?
Gareth :It’s hard to say with out sounding really crass, “we write good songs and look hot man” We’ve been really lucky, we try to work hard, writing and rehearsing, we try to approach the band like a job, we start practice at 9am, then we email promoters, apply to festivals, message bloggers, make little promo vids and basically pester folk. Luckily it’s seems to be going OK.
John: We’re not too bothered about getting told no, or more likely being ignored when we reach out so we just chance our luck with everything. Luckily so far the response to our debut E.P. (which is still available to download free) has been pretty positive and we’ve been getting more yes’s than no’s so it’s been a lot of fun. We could’t really have predicted how lucky we’ve been in such a short time. To think we only played our first gig in April and by the start of June we’re playing only our 5th gig and it’s at Xpo North, it’s nuts.
You have said that perhaps, hopefully, with a sense of sarcasm “After a year locked away in a Leith basement, Posable Action Figures emerge into a wider world”, how did you know when the time was right to start promoting yourselves and making your music public?
Gareth: Once we had songs that didn’t totally suck.
John: Yea that’s basically it. Before we formed this band the two of us had been around the independent music scene for years. I played Go North 7 years ago and I’m the younger of the two of us!
So when we formed this band we were both well past the stage of just being excited because we had written a few songs and we both had long since learnt that not everything we write is gold. Eventually we reached a point where despite our collective years of cynicism we were getting excited again and finally had songs we wanted people to hear.
You’ll be asked a million times, so let’s ask once more :) , if you have the opportunity, what other acts are you looking forward to catching at XpoNorth and why?
Gareth: FOREIGNFOX, cuz they are lovely chaps, their newest single Monsoon is the bees knees
John: Yea, definitely. We’re sticking around for both days of the festival too so we’ll probably try to catch The Van T’s on Thursday night too. We’ve both been listening to their Laguna Babe E.P. recently and it really gives you a feeling that they are going to be well worth catching live.
Posable Action Figures play the Inverness Gigs Stage at Hootanannys on the 8th of June at 9pm.