I took a tour of Edinburgh with Your First Mistake’s lead singer Sean to get the ins and outs of life in the band.
ND: I’ve heard that to get to the final line up of the band it’s been a bit of a tale, so how did the
S: Me and Stewart were originally in a previous band together with two other guys, when we started taking it a bit more seriously and started to push on we then got my brother Sam in who’s the rhythm guitarist and second vocal because he was doing his own acoustic, singer/song writer stuff and he wanted to get involved. Obviously we knew what he could do already.
After that it was then a case of me, Stewart and Sam really wanted to take things forward with the band and the other members decided they had other things they wanted to do. So we got Matt and (our now former drummer) Ben who were in another band at school and they had just recently split up so it was an easy transition to get them in the band, ‘cause we already knew them and were good mates with them and knew what they could do.
Recently Ben left, because he’s decided he’s really into his extreme sports and he’s going to do a course with that. Another person we knew, Stevie, who’s now our current drummer was drumming for another couple of bands at the time but wasn’t really happy with the style of music and we knew he was a phenomenal drummer, so we got him in. It’s actually Ben on the recordings and Stevie now, so he’s yet to make his imprint of the airwaves but he’s looking forward to it. We’re all in the same boat now and we’re all looking to push on with it now.
ND: You’ve recently recorded and released “Wide Awake and Watching” is that the first EP?
S: Yeah it’s the first EP we’ve done. We had done a couple of demo recordings previously with the
old band members but they were shocking to say the least. You don’t want to hear them.
We done it in four hours in one day. In four hours we recorded four songs, so you can imagine. It
was kind of live recordings but with a wee bit of editing but you can imagine the quality. It was
enough to get us our first few gigs in Edinburgh and stuff and give us that wee start.
ND: What’s your favourite track off the EP and why?
S: Speaking for myself it would have to be Michael It Was Just an Illusion. Purely because I like the
tempo of it and it’s one I really enjoy playing on stage and I really get involved with. Also it’s one of
the songs I did a lot of the writing for so it’s got that wee bit of closeness to me. The end section
when we scream as well is really fun on stage.
ND: How does the song writing go with the band? Is it a solo effort or more of a group contribution?
S: It’s a group effort; we’ve not got a set structure for it. If someone’s got an idea then w try and run
with that and see what comes with it. If anyone’s got set ideas for how the song goes, they can tell
each other what they’re wanting from them and that’s how it goes. It’s always a band effort. Lyrics
are decided between me and Sam because obviously we need to sing the parts but we always run
them past the rest of the band as well because they’re representing the rest of the band. Usually
song titles are decided as a band together, that’s why some of the song titles seem close to the
songs and others are just like… Michael It Was Just an Illusion was decided five minutes before we
went on stage. We were playing at Classic Grand (Glasgow) and we said well we kinda need a name
for this song. Matt and Sam had just been watching Arrested Development for days on end and it
was Gob impressions all day long, “Illusions Michael!” so it came from there.
ND: Have there been any memorable experiences in gigging or recording the EP?
S: We also did a tour off the back of the release. We did Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.
Sleeping in the van during that was an experience, eight of us in a transit. That was quite an
experience; the whole tour was an experience. Your first tour, there’s just nothing like it. The best
part of the tour, not even the gigs, was us in the pool in Dundee and me nearly breaking my neck in
it. There was a chute about three foot up from the water and I was getting a wee bit too fancy
coming out the pipe, face planted and the rest of my body just went over and almost crippled
myself. I had to just like swim out of the pool like I was fine because my pride was hurt and I couldn’t
show I was physically hurt.
ND: What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever said or done to you, or anyone in the band?
S: I don’t know, I’m still trying to get my head round people asking me for photos after gigs and stuff.
ND: Who has been your favourite band to play with?
S: There’s been quite a few, we’ve been quite lucky. Obviously a lot of our gigging has still been in
Edinburgh, we’re still waiting to make that step out but we’ve played with a lot of my favourite
bands in Edinburgh. We played with Young Guns, they were a really good band and it was a really
good gig in a really wee venue. That was really good; we played with Yashin as well, we’ve played
with Yashin a few times. We played with them one time and the lead guy, Mike, had just left Yashin
and the lead guys from Deaf Havana that did the vocals. That was kinda cool to see, it was two bands
merging into one, it was quite a cool experience. But probably the biggest one for me has to be
playing with Senses Fail because that’s one of the bands I’ve listened to for years and they’ve
influenced where I am just now, the type of music I listen to and the type of music I’m making. That
was a really big one for me and just the fact that we’re sitting backstage with them like normal guys.
Buddy asked me if I wanted a cigarette, I said “no I didn’t smoke”, but I really wish I did right now. I never thought I’d be as fanboy as I was right then but yeah, that was really cool; they were a band I
never thought I’d get to play with and the chance came up, it was unbelievable.
ND: If you could play with any band who would it be?
S: Ooh, any band… I could probably give you the answers for around the band too. Sam would be
Pearl Jam. Stewart would be Blink 182. Stevie would be A Day To Remember. Matt would either be,
probably Jimmy Eat World or, he’s got a really big fixation right now with The Dangerous Summer.
For me, it’s probably the hardest one… I don’t know whether to go big or… I’d probably say either
The Blackout or Paramore, just because Paramore would probably be the chance of a lifetime.
ND: What’s been your favourite venue to play?
S: I don’t know about picking one out, we played Classic Grand in Glasgow; that’s a really cool venue.
It’s deceptively big, the stage is deceptively big. When you look at it, it doesn’t look like that big a
stage but when you’re on it, it’s huge. We headlined at Cab Vol (The Cabaret Voltaire) as well, packed
the place out which was really good. Probably my favourite though would be Studio24, because we
played there quite a few times and the sound tech seems to get our music. The sound, clarity in
there is always top notch and it has perfect proportions for fitting our band. I’ve saw so many
brilliant gigs there as well, I’ve seen You Me At Six, Twin Atlantic and Fightstar and stuff there and
when we first came to play there that was when it first felt like we could do something here.
ND: So if you could play any venue or festival what would it be? The one that would make you think,
“We’ve made it”.
S: Festivals, the problem is you want to play as many festivals as possible; ones that suit our music. I
would love to play Download and I would love to play Leeds and Reading. It has always been a dream of mine to play on the Vans Warped Tour though so I’d have to say that.
ND: Are there any bands or artists that you feel influence your performing and writing as a band?
S: We all kind of draw on separate influences. I’m a lot more inspired, more recently anyway (I’ll
basically listen to anything), I’m more inspired by A Day To Remember, The Blackout, Deaf Havana. I
quite like the singer/screamer kind of thing. I’ve been listening to a lot of heavier stuff recently as
well, like Architects and stuff like that. Whereas Stewart will listen to You Me At Six, the Welsh
Attack!Attack!, Paramore and Twin Atlantic; Stewart has really been influenced by Twin Atlantic. I’d
say within the band we can take influences from everywhere; Kerrang genre type things. Stevie is
into heavier stuff; you can even tell by some of his drum parts, his double bass is phenomenal. Sam
is a lot more classic with it. Sam always listens to Pearl Jam and stuff but his main one would
probably be Jeff Buckley, especially with him doing the singer/songwriter stuff. Earlier on he used to
be inspired by Damien Rice, a lot more indie than rock. Matt was massively inspired by Kings Of Leon
for quite a while but his main inspiration now is Jimmy Eat World and Paramore.
ND: So what’s in the future for Your First Mistake?
S: We are, at the moment, in the process of booking recording time for our next EP. I can’t drop any
names of who we’re speaking to in case they get disgruntled, but it looks like we’re going to be
working with some big names, people who have worked with various big artists –bands that we
really like and really influence us so it should be a brilliant thing for us to do. Also we’re also
recording a video for the first single of the EP, which we’ve already got Okayed for getting on music
channels and stuff.
We are also going to be embarking on our first ever UK tour in March which will be a very daunting and scary experience but one we will never forget. 2011 is going to be a busy year for Your First Mistake.
There you have it, some insight into what looks to be the next big Scottish band. I had a lot of fun wandering around the many venues of Edinburgh trying to find a half decent place to have a conversation, if anyone else finds themselves in that situation just do what we did. If all else fails, just go to the park.
Your First Mistake | Last.FM