Featured Artist – Without Aeroplanes

28 01 2012



This Glasgow 5-piece band have peaked my interest with some great musical dynamics and crushing passages of soundscape.

Ah. Finally the first article featured on this blog. And it’s about a band I have really come to enjoy recently.

I can’t however take the credit for discovering them though. Thanks goes to my friend Scott (guitarist in Vasa) for putting me on to this band, Scott has a disgusting knowledge of a large amount of bands I can’t even pretend to have heard about and him telling me about them really paid off. I LOVE THEM! Look at all this gushing. I sound like a band-whore.

Without Aeroplanes,  a Glasgow instrumental 5-piece, manage to mix vast musical passages with crushing waves of noise.  To be frank the most perfect songs to find these features on are “Beacons” and “Circling” (I urge you to check out Beacons. It is stunning) which can be listened to on their SoundCloud page (www.soundcloud/withoutaeroplanes). “Circling” reminded me of Mogwai’s song “Friend of the Night” but with a little more punch to it in parts. It blew me away. Initially starting out with 2 guitarists, a bassist, drums (formerly played by Finn LeMarinel of Trapped In Kansas) they have now changed their line up with the introduction of a third guitar to replace the piano, an aspect which is surely going to allow the band to punch you in the face musically when they decide to break into any built up sections of music (I hope).

http://youtu.be/hqhikAsonKY – Check this video out. It’s a WOA live performance at Stereo in Glasgow. Worth a watch. or seven.

Without Aeroplanes next gig is the upcoming Breadcrumb Trail launch night where they will be playing alongside Ohm and my own band Vasa and I fully encourage you all to go. This is going to be a great showcase of some excellent bands and a genre which I feel is gaining a little more exposure throughout Glasgow thanks to the hard work of many individuals.



First things first, give us all a little background into Without Aeroplanes. How long have you guys been going for? And how did the band initially form?

 We pretty much started when Darren Gibson asked Murray Ross to start a band around about September 2010, no big, exciting story behind it I’m afraid! They started working on some material and met Yiorgos Katsaitis through the bands original drummer Finn LeMarinel and they’ve been constants in the band since. There have been a few line up changes since the band formed with Rob Greaves from Kraul joining on drums to replace Finn and Gillian Glencross who played piano with us for a while. Around about the year mark when the line up consisted of Darren, Murray, Yiorgos and Rob we started advertising for a third guitarist on Gumtree and got a few replies, we decided to try out a few people and decided on Chris Monan who became a permanent band member. Funnily enough he had already met Yiorgos and Murray through mutual friends although none of them had any idea of this until the try out itself so it turns out meeting strangers from the internet can sometimes work out for the better. It was shortly after this that Rob decided to part ways with Without Aeroplanes to focus on his other band commitments and Andrew McMillan, who had previously played in a band with Chris was brought in to replace him. So technically we’ve been a band for 4 months with the current line up, which is always funny to tell people when they assume we’ve all been playing together for years.


Where do you guys get most of your influences from? Is it mostly from post-rock/instrumental bands or do you have influences from outside this genre?

 Although we listen to a lot of post rock staples strangely enough a lot of our influences seem to come from bands outside our genre. We take influence from a lot of 80’s hardcore, punk and screamo and a whole heap of other types of music. Pianos Become the Teeth are a huge favourite in the Without Aeroplanes camp right now. We like to joke that we’re about one step away from needing a screamer in practice, it would be fun but I don’t see that happening any time soon!


 How do you guys strive to separate your music from other, potentially similar, post-rock and instrumental bands?

 I think that although we do take some influence from some of our favourite bands I don’t really know of any band who you could say we sound like in any massively obvious way. We sort of have our own spin on it, some people who’ve seen us play liken our music to something that could be the soundtrack to a film and there are others who’ve described us as having that sort of Hardcore/Punk stage presence rather than the shoegazing you see from a lot of post rock acts which I think is really cool. People seem to take away their own, varied opinions of what our band sounds like to them.


What, so far, has been your biggest and/or most well received gig? Who has been the biggest act you have played with so far?

 Our biggest show so far by a long way has been our headline set at the first ever Whole Heart Collective Showcase in Stereo back in December. That was an amazing gig, and we got to play with our friends in Analogue of the Sun and Ohm which only made things better. The crowd was really into it and it was awesome to see something that we had actively been involved in organising for a long time come to fruition. That was our last gig of 2011 so if it’s anything to go by 2012 has some big boots to fill but to kick it off with another headline set at the Breadcrumb Trail launch night with two other talented bands will be amazing, we’re all really excited to see Vasa’s first ever show in particular. As far as the biggest band we have played with is concerned I would say that would have to be Last Lungs. We played with them in the Classic Grande one time and they’re an amazing band from south of the border. Definitely recommended listening.

(How nice to get all excited about my band. I’m more nervous now…)


 So, any big, huge, amazing plans for 2012?

 Right now we’re putting a lot of focus on writing new material to freshen up the set and making sure our current set sounds as tight as possible, hopefully we should be able to get a few gigs further afield and play more shows at home as well over the year. That’s where most of our focus is likely to be in 2012, just getting out there as much as possible. Also we’ve recently acquired a new array of pedals so we’re really looking forward to getting to play live with our new gear, we just had our first band practice since November last night and it was sounding better than ever so mostly we’re just really excited to get out there and play! Other than that we’re toying with the idea of getting t-shirts printed and maybe some other merch. There’s been a running joke that we should get Without Aeroplanes branded tissues printed that we can hand out so that people can wipe away the tears after our set so maybe that will be a thing, who knows?

(N.B. They may have to use the tissues to wipe up other bodily fluids if you play an amazing gig – Ah. The first piece of disgusting humour)


 I myself am extremely excited about playing with you guys at The Breadcrumb Trail at the end of the month. Are you guys encouraged by how post-rock and instrumental music seem to be getting more exposure in the Greater Glasgow area and across Central Scotland with many post-rock nights being arranged and people seeming to take more of an interest in the genre?

 “Its exciting because its being done in this very grassroots way. Its not big name promoters latching on to a “hot new sound” or piling bands on to the bill based purely on how many people they can get through the door. Its groups of people who have amazing amounts of talent, dedication and an inspiring sense of community coming together and making it work for themselves to combat all the bullshit that usually comes at being at the bottom of the indie music pile.”

The Whole Heart Collective in Glasgow helps to further this aim. Its goal is to progress indie music in Glasgow as a co-operative community rather than some top-down ladder where the folks with the money try and snatch more money off the folks at the bottom whilst promising them fame and fortune. Teaching bands and interested parties how to promote, record and get themselves out there makes sure that the money and the recognition go to the right people and that those people get where they deserve to be.”


 I’ve noticed that most of your music is only available to stream over SoundCloud. Are there any plans to release an EP or an album soon? Please say yes or you’ll break my heart.

 “An EP release is something we’re definitely working towards right now. All of the recorded music we have right now is of the band in an older incarnation and since then we’ve brought in two new members which has put a completely new spin on the older material so we’re looking forward to getting into the studio to put something out there that represents us in our current line up. We just wrote a new intro to our song ‘Circling’ last night which is sounding huge and should be getting a debut at the Breadcrumb Trail show on Sunday so we’re very much in writing mode at the minute. We should have a two or three track EP recorded and released some time in February so keep an eye on our Facebook page and start getting excited now!”


Before you go hit me with a random fact about the band or any single band member.

 “Andy once tried to get in a taxi with Jeff Hardy on a night out and was 90% successful before being ejected by another famous wrestler who’s name we can never remember”.


Right. So that is my first little blog done and there will be more to come. Next I will piloting the series “You’re Not From Round Here, Are Ya?” series with a band who I am in love with. But just because I am a slapper I’m not telling who it is just yet.

Before I go I must thank Without Aeroplanes, and especially Chris Monan, for taking their time out to answer my interview questions and generally be very helpful.

Now go do the right thing and see them at The Breadcrumb Trail this Sunday. Or i’ll break your thumbs.



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