PAWS – the Scottish pop punks talk to us – interview
Luckily, he convinced frontman Phillip Taylor to answer a few gentle questions about the band, influences, interests, FatCat Records and Cath Records (the DIY tape label he runs).
LTW: How important to PAWS are Adam Stafford and Gerry Loves Records and are there any other people you consider as important in the early history of the band?
Very. These guys all gave us a chance to do something. Just after we stopped playing as A Copenhagen Hope we carried on jamming as a three piece.
I guess Adam asked Josh if we were still going to play and record stuff. We said we had planned to, but didn’t know what we were really doing yet. He said he would be up for releasing whatever we could come up with as a download only single on the Wise Blood site. We felt totally honoured and just got to work onÃÂ recording something. So he kind of gave us a kick up the back side to focus on getting something done, even if it wasn’t perfect. It gave us some motivation to be creative. Best gift ever.
When we finally named our project “PAWS” before giving the Violent Vicky Violet mp3s to Adam, I remember how good it felt to just make something from nothing. Afterwards, we naturally all imagined how fucking rad it would be to get just one song on a 7″ single or something. That was/is the dream.
Andy and Paddy Gerry Loves made that happen. And they put two of our songs on the 7″.
LTW: How did the appraoch from FatCat come about?
We met Alex at GoNorth Festival in Inverness I think? I’m fairly sure we were all very drunk and or poisoned.
Matt had just come back from Greece and had eaten bad squid and the weather in Inverness was unreal. First day of that summer I think. So we were all pretty drunk in the sun.
I think that must have been the first time anyone from FC seen us. One of our friends got thrown out of the hotel that Alex/Matthew Toad/Vic Galloway were all stayingÃÂ in… for stealing a life size cardboard cut out of Raphael Nadal.
LTW: When FatCat made their offer, did it take long to accept?
Not really. They are good dudes that run a sweet label.
LTW: How did you find recording the album in comparison to your DIY recording ethic up to that point?
Exciting. It was totally amazing. We have always said that we would like to record in a studio. Our recording ethic has been pretty DIY, but I suppose that’s partly because we just had to make do with what we had.
I love making lo-fi recordings and making do with what we have, but we have always wanted to go into a studio with someone that will let us do our thing.ÃÂ Rory totally did that and I feel like we all made a great record together.
LTW: What can we expect from the album?
A group of 13 songs by PAWS, recorded by Rory Atwell, on a boat, lasting for approximately 40 minutes?
Some sweet artwork from a comic byÃÂ Jessica Penfold.
LTW: Will you still be able to devote as much time to Cath Records now there’s a label and all the demands on you that will come with that?
Definitely. It’s just finding the balance right now as everyone involved is doing their own thing. And totally busy.
We will most certainly be powering on. We are releasing a compilation tapeÃÂ called CathRecords000 sometime this Summer.
It will be accompanied with a Skeleteen Zine issue with profiles about the artists, local gig/record reviews and other crap. Sorry it’s taking us so long. It will be worth it I promise. Slow and steady etc etc
LTW: In respect of Cath Records, what prompted you to start the label?
Boredom. It’s fun being creative with your best friends.
LTW: Has the label changed much since it’s inception?
Not really. We are all like sloths that take ages to do stuff. But by golly we’ll get it done.
LTW: Would you say a lot of your songs are auto-biographical?
Yeah I suppose so. If I’m annoyed, upset, happy or super pissed of about something I’m going to write about it.
LTW: If you had to pick one band/artist that have been your biggest influence, who would it be?
LTW: Which bands/artists are exciting you just now?
LTW: What’s been your best and worst gig experiences as a band?
It’s all been amazing. When some people think sleeping on the floor of a van with two other dudes is the worst experience, I think it’s the best.
Our friend Jamie’s car door blew off during a snow storm on the way to a gig in Inverness once. That was pretty insane.
LTW: Away from music and running Cath Records, what are you’re favourite things to do?
Go skateboarding, drink tea, collect records, make stuff etc
LTW: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?
Starting a band.
LTW: What was the last album you listened to?
Minor Threats 1st Demo Tape – Minor Threat
LTW: Where do you see PAWS in five years time?
Keeping it real, doing our thing.
Interview by Steve Mcgillivray. You can read more from Steve on Louder Than War here.