For years Edinburgh has been seen as Glasgow's little sister: more beautiful but not really good fun. It is difficult to deny. Though I love Edinburgh, Glasgow has more to offer to music lovers. It's a city defined by its music, bands and iconic venues. But that doesn't mean Edinburgh should give up. Third Outing meets with a man who isn't ready to surrender, Richard aka Abstract Greens!
3rd: So tell us about your new solo project Abstract Greens and your music in general?
Abstract Greens: I live and work in Edinburgh. Abstract Greens is a solo project. The music is a mix of some of my favourite music styles. Indie, Madchester, Britpop, 1960's, and of course psychedelia.
3rd: On Soundcloud you say you have recorded with many indie bands from the Edinburgh area. Tell us more about that?
Abstract Green: I have been involved in music making since the early 1990's. My first band was The Wordsmiths. We were totally inspired and obsessed with the Madchester scene. We came from Penicuik in Edinburgh. Since then I have worked with other musicians and other music projects have been formed. When I liked the results I would release the songs on my label Lone Head Records.
3rd: So do you think Edinburgh is still a vibrant city for music?
Abstract Greens: I think Edinburgh has always been in the shadow of Glasgow's music scene. It is difficult as it is a much smaller city. I don't play live so I can't really say what opportunities there are for Edinburgh bands. But the good news is with music recording technology being affordable, there has never been a better time to make your own music, wherever you live.
3rd: We played your new record 'Strange Daze Dreams' a lot, and we realised 'Lights in the sky' uses the same kind of chord progression as bands likeThe Brian Jonestown Massacre. Are such bands a big influence on your music?
Abstract Greens: I can't really say that they inspire me. The chord progression is pretty common; it's the classic circle of fifths probably most famously used on the song 'Hey Joe' by Jimi Hendrix. Musical influences for me are The Beatles, Love, The Doors, The Smiths, and Blur amongst so many more.
3rd: Would you say then that Edinburgh is lacking bands experimenting with new sounds and psychedelic music?
Abstract Greens: That is a hard question to answer. I don't really know all of what is happening in the Edinburgh music scene. It seems pretty quiet but you never know what could be ready to break through. I would encourage any bands to keep experimenting with their music. It is the way to move forward and progress. Also it's fun. That is important; you don't want to get bored of your own music after all!
3rd: What would you say to critics who claim that psychedelic music sounds the same, then?
Abstract Greens: That is just lazy. Psychedelic music comes in many flavours. It is the feel or vibe of the music that makes it psychedelic not what instruments you use.
3rd: So the record label that you run Lone Head Records, how is that working out?
Abstract Greens: The labels is going well. It's great that today bands can take their music and career into their own hands. It's very easy to get your music released in fact all bands should be doing it. Get your music onto the streaming services like Spotify or Rdio, for example. Not only do you get to reach new listeners, you can make a little bit of cash too. Sure it probably will not make you rich but surely you got into this game for the music not the money. If you are making music for the money then you really shouldn't bother!
3rd: So tell us more about the indie compilation album you just released on the label?
Abstract Greens: I have released 2 indie compilation albums. The first was 'Loanhead Gala Day' and the second 'Austerity Pleasures'. Both albums are collections of songs I have recorded with other musicians. I think it's a very good introduction to the Lone Head Records sound. So if you're interested in Scottish indie music then these are for you. I think they contain what is truly great about indie music. Sure the recordings may be pretty Lo-Fi, but the vibe and energy of the tracks make up for it.
3rd: So then what do you hope for Edinburgh and music in the future?
Abstract Greens: I hope Edinburgh develops for artists in general. I would like it to become a city known for it's artistic scene, like Berlin. It may be a big ask but we have to have dreams! I think I am playing my part and I hope others will join in. That would be wonderful.
3rd: Final question, what would be your desert island drink?
Abstract Greens: As a Scotsman it has to be a good bottle of single malt whisky! If it was a really warm island a supply of Bavarian German lager won't go amiss either! Cheers!!!