Interview & Show Preview: The View @ the Crocodile, Th. 2/28

Scottish quartet the View will be in the States for their first American tour, which begins in Seattle on February 28th. Fans will remember that their 2007 American tour was cancelled due to singer/guitarist Kyle Falconer’s visa issues; I am one of those of fans. I believe I have my ticket for that lost show somewhere. When the View premiered with Hats Off to the Buskers in 2007, they declared scrappy war with brattish guitar rock. “Same Jeans” became an odd anthem. “Superstar Tradesmen” was something we could all relate to as well. It was great stuff.

Follow the band for a few more years. They continued with their massive success in the United Kingdom and internationally. The States were still, for the most part, blocked off until 2011. Albums Which Bitch? and Bread and Circuses rang true with softer and harder songs. Which Bitch?’s “Unexpected” and Bread and Circuses “Grace” just nail the heart, while each album offers up some wild – and strange – rock, e.g. “Temptation Dice” and “Witches.” Now, for 2012 the View brought to our ears Cheeky for a Reason, their most entirely appealing album to date. I don’t know how many bands accomplish this with their fourth album, and there’s no sign at all of the View becoming stale.

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The View – from left to right: Steven Morrison, Kyle Falconer, Kieren Webster & Pete Reilly

After watching several videos by the View, drummer Steven Morrison appears to be a wild man, yet via telephone he sounds calm – and in possession of the thickest Scottish accent I have ever heard. I believe it is actual Dundonian, straight Dundee, where the View hails from. It’s a beautiful accent, and through it I gather things such as Morrison’s favorite drummer, “definitely Keith Moon,” and that he favors Quentin Tarantino films, plus, when it comes to films, he and I share a love of “seeing things about psychopaths.”

Morrison is the only band member of the View still residing in Scotland (the other three moved to London). For Morrison, Scotland’s “very scenic,” and it’s got “tradition.” And he has family there; his time away from music he spends looking after his kids. He got into music when he was twelve years old, and recalls, “I tried to pick up the guitar and I couldn’t play, so I swapped my guitar for a drum kit and it was natural. After that I picked up the guitar from bass guitar and playing drums.” As the drummer in the View he does take care of the drum writing: “I write all my drum parts.” It sounds a bit like this might come into conflict with what the other band members write at times, as Morrison comments, “I’m into the heavier side and the guys are into the lighter side of rock [such as] the Beatles. I like a rough edge.” A fan of Queen, Thin Lizzie, he likes “new stuff as well – the Black Keys . . . Queens of the Stone Age.”

I always wonder what bands’ first shows were like. The View’s first shows came as a surprise to audiences. Morrison describes the shows as “organized chaos,” and that “a lot of places were shaken up – they didn’t know our gigs would be that mental.”

I’d yet to see how the band came upon the name the View. According to Morrison, “We used to go to a pub called the Bayview. It just had a good ring. It was a mutual agreement.” His favorite songs off each album go like this:

Hats Off to the Buskers: “Comin’ Down” (“good to play live as well”)
Which Bitch?: “5Rebbeccas”
Bread and Circuses: “Grace”
Cheeky for a Reason: “How Long”

On a more personal note, I ask what Morrison’s drink of choice is. “Pint and a beer. I like to chase a beer with a wee whiskey. I’m old school. Neat as they come.”

Morrison really sounds excited about the upcoming tour, mentioning, “there’s so much to do in America! “and that “we don’t know yet how much time off we’ve got.“ I hope they get to look around some. This tour is absolutely long-awaited by the band’s fans, who will be able to see a rightly confident band.
~ interview by Dagmar

The View play the Crocodile on Thursday, February 28th. 21+,$12.

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