What is your name and role within Sacred Paws?
My name’s Eilidh and I play drums and sing.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Rachel and I are both currently based in Glasgow. There’s a great scene here, it’s very inclusive and encouraging and lots of our close friends are also living here making music. Free love, spinning coin, Irma vep, check them out!
How did you first start playing music?
I fell into it by accident when some friends needed a drummer and it spiralled from there. Over the years I’ve met lots of great people through touring and eventually Rachel and I met when we were both playing at a grass widow show.
How did Sacred Paws form?
When I first saw Rachel’s band trash kit I was blown away! They are so incredible! At the time I was playing in another band and the guitarist was moving to the states so we asked Rachel if she’d play with us. We hit it off straight away and decided to start our own thing. Rachel was living in London at the time so we would travel back and forth and spend a week together just hanging and writing music. We spent a lot of time on trains and buses!
You have a new album out on the 31st of May via UK label Rock Action and you’re also releasing in North America on Superchunk’s much respected label Merge Records. How did you come to release with both these amazing labels?
We’ve been so lucky to find two incredible labels. The rock action thing came about through the community in Glasgow. We played lots when we first started and word eventually spread and Stuart Braithwaite came down to a show. It was a bit of a car crash but he was obviously in a forgiving mood and he asked if we’d go into the studio and make a record. The merge thing came about years later, I think in a similar way. We had some friends in America that were determined to find us a label. A friend passed ‘strike a match’ onto Mac and he just emailed us out the blue and asked if we’d work with them. We were pretty blown away.
What influenced the sound and songwriting for this album?
We’ve never written music with an agenda, it just kind of comes out. We just try and make music that feels fun to us, it feels cathartic.
How do you usually go about writing music?
We both need to be in the room together feeding off each others energy. There’s something liberating about writing in the moment, it feels less precious. Mostly we’ll jam and if something sticks we’ll keep going with it. When we first started out the music was definitely more untamed. Now we go away and develop things. Rachel writes bass lines and extra guitar parts and we fine tune lyrics around that. There is one ballad on the new record that Rachel wrote at home, it’s a slower pace for us!
Where and when did you record/produce?
We went back into castle of doom to work with Tony Doogan. He was so great with the first record, he really encouraged us to develop the music and add things like brass. I think he’s stuck with us now! It took a while to get the record finished because Tony was busy and Mogwai were finishing a soundtrack, I think we started in 2017!! But we got there eventually!
What programs/equipment did you use?
That’s Tony’s domain! Ha. We don’t concern ourselves with the dark art or recording!
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of this album?
I think this time around we had a clearer idea of what was possible and what we wanted to achieve. It wasn’t a dissimilar process to strike a match. We have good friends that we call on to add flourishes like synths and percussion and when these things come together it adds a new texture. It’s exciting to see the songs develop. Challenges? It always feels like there isn’t enough time but I think we need pressure in order to get it done.
Where will we be able to buy/listen?
The album will be available in record stores and on all streaming sites.
What do you have planned for 2019? When and where are you playing next and is Australia in the cards?
We’ve got some shows in the UK early June then we’re heading to the states in July. Hopefully more touring in Europe later in the year and maybe one day we’ll make it to Australia! We’d love that!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Tonnes of our very talented friends!!
Oh and Ex Hex, and The Stroppies!
What do you like to do away from music?
Listen to other people’s music!
Any secrets that you care to share?
I learned drums playing along to the the song from the Tom Hank’s film ‘That Thing You Do’
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Errol’s hot pizza. Some friends just opened a pizza place in Glasgow, it’s great.