A perfectly indescribable band, Glasgow’s WHITE don’t fit the mould. To encapsulate their sound in a few words would be dismissing one thing or another; like their pernicious swagger or disguised disco beats. 

We caught up with Leo of WHITE to talk Belladrum, summer essentials and “odd Polish eighties movie”.

So you just played Belladrum, how’d your set go?

Leo: It was really good fun! The crowd were really responsive, it was amazing. Just a really lovely atmosphere in the place and it really filled out!

Have you been to Belladrum before? 

Leo: I think everyone else in the band has been to Belladrum before except me!

Oh really?! What are your thoughts so far then?

Yeah it’s nice! I was just saying how if you could have a dream festival venue – it’d probably be here! It’s just got the right geographical aspects I guess, with the main stage having the lovely stepped structure and everything. So it just feels a wee bit magical! I mean the big tank sitting over there with flowers coming out of it, it’s just a lot of fun really!

So what would your top tips be for leaving a festival in one piece?

Leo: Don’t camp, have a van! Maybe even a dressing room

Best answer so far! Just start a band really

Leo: Ha! That’s about it yeah

You guys have had a pretty busy festival season, any highlights so far?

Leo: We played a festival in the Netherlands in Rotterdamn which was really good fun, called Metropalis! It was great, I mean for some reason we’ve started to build up this following in the Netherlands after about six or seven gigs and that’s been the latest one we’ve played. It was a tent about the same size as today and again, just amazing atmosphere and people were going mental for the music! It’s just really nice to see it spreading across the ocean.

Do you think there’s a difference between the crowds in the Netherlands compared to Scotland?

Leo: They’re pretty similar in that they listen to whatever is going on and just respond to it and go a bit mad! They’ve all been great to us! We’ve written songs that we hope everyone will respond to even if they haven’t heard it before and it does work! So to see that in the crowds – wherever we are – is amazing!

So Summer is coming to an end, any stand out essentials which have sound tracked the season for you?

Leo: My most recent ear worm has been the Anna Meredith album that won Scottish Album of the Year Award – it’s an amazing record! Other than that, I’ve been listening to the live recording of the Bruce Springsteen gig that I went to at Hampden earlier this month because he’s got a wee thing on his website where he releases the live recordings of shows. 

Pretty nostalgic!

Leo: Yes! I’ll be listening and just think ‘Oh I remember when he said that, I remember when he sang that bum note!’ But yeah I’ve also just been listening to a bit of everything! A couple of new Glasgow bands like The Ninth Wave who are cool! We’ve actually been listening to them enough that we’ve got them along to support us at our co-headline show at the O2 ABC in Glasgow with Baby Strange on December 16th! As well as another band called The Cut – pretty exciting!

You’ve done a few co-headline shows with Baby Strange before haven’t you?

Leo: Yeah we did a co-headline tour of England with them earlier this year! It was pretty mad so we decided to keep it up and do this co-headline show!

How did that all come about?

Leo: We’ve just gotten on really well with them since we started the band and we always bump into eachother! So we thought it’d be a good way to see other cities we’ve not played – same goes for them! Just to really work together and build an audience!

So what artists or tracks would you turn to when needing inspiration or ideas for a song?

Leo: It’s not always music actually, sometimes I’ll fire up a film or read a book to get inspiration. Especially when I’m doing lyrics because if you just listen to other musicians for lyrics you’re not really getting anything too new!

Yeah just grab a Harry Potter book and get in a couple spell references! 

Leo: Ha! Maybe not Harry Potter, I mean I think Led Zeppelin have already done the Lord of the Rings song so don’t want to over do it! But yeah just putting on a movie or reading a book, just kind of odd Polish eighties movies will set your brain off on weird unexpected tangents! In terms of music though, we’ve got a lot of records that we’ll put on. My one is always Heroes by David Bowies, it such an interesting record and always makes me think that anythings possible which I think is a good thing in music.

And lastly, what’s next for you guys?

Leo: We’re playing a few more festivals and have a gig in Summerhall in Edinburgh during the Fringe on August 13th and then going down to Cornwall the night of that to play on the 14th! So if we make it back, we’ll be playing some more gigs in August! Oh and Electric Fields is coming up which will be loads of fun too, other than that we’ll just be working on getting ready for our co-headline show with Baby Strange! 

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