Wrongnote
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Wrongnote

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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"Scotsman Radar Prize: Runners-up and the best of the rest"

Oddball rock often errs on the side of overblown pomp, but at less than three minutes long, Wrongnote’s ‘You’ve Got Some Optic Nerve’ is succinctly spot on, opening with see-saw guitar gymnastics before tumbling headfirst into a pulsing chorus that's both a sublime hook and a peculiar ode to retro gaming too. - The Scotsman


"Odd but enthralling"

"Odd but enthralling", "Spiky, edgy, fresh, original...", "Wide eyed and demented..." are just some of the descriptions that have been attached to this band, which surely makes them worth a look! Formed in 2008 and fiercely independent, their music is dynamic and expressive combining elements of progressive, punk, post punk, power-pop, jazz, metal and everything in between.

Expect an eclectic collection of songs that are ambitious, uplifting and sometimes volatile. With lyrics about death, sex, decay and computer games (among other things), it's not for the feint hearted. Enter our tent if you dare! - BBC @ T in the Park


"Wrongnote is making all the right moves"

With singles from their debut album Reach Out, Disconnect getting lots of airtime, and their performance on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park in the U.K., Wrongnote has certainly been making many connections with listeners. Frontman Callum Smith and guitarist Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter) recently discussed the band, the music, and "conjunctivitis" in an exclusive interview with The Ticker.
Along with Smith and Biggerstaff, bassist Greig Duncan, and drummer Stewart Robison round out the band's lineup. Wrongnote formed in 2008.
"The driving force is basically me," said Biggerstaff, "I've pulled the strings all along, without the others' knowledge, and once I was finally happy with the set up, I condescended to actually join the band."
But Smith paints a different, albeit probably more accurate, picture. "Sean regularly disappeared and re-emerged in a more aggressive form, like conjunctivitis or kidney stones […]the driving force has been a collective idiocy: The idea that, somehow, music is how we can best define ourselves," he recalled.
The same humorous, yet self-effacing attitude can be found in their lyrics. Smith describes the band's sound as "Heavy drums, fidgety bass, jazz chords and post-melody vocals."
The album is certainly eclectic in terms of musical style, which reflects the fact that all band members have different musical influences. "I think the only thing all four members agree on is that Prince is really good," Biggerstaff said.
Reach Out, Disconnect is a fantastically well-rounded album in that it offers listeners a spectrum of songs completely independent from one another stylistically, while still producing a sound that is uniquely Wrongnote.
"Innocent Eyes" and "Coca-Co-Codamol" are alluring and hauntingly melodic tracks, while "Devil Give Misdirection" and "You've Got Some Optic Nerve" are grittier, fast-paced, and aggressive, and yet still maintain that warped melodious quality found in the aforementioned tracks.
The lyrics can be quite raw, "Painkiller/ separate my church from state/ lay my liver out to waste/ I need a taste," and sometimes cryptic.
According to Smith, the songs "are about various forms of deviance" and they involve a mixture of both real experiences and fiction.
"For example, ‘You've Got Some Optic Nerve' really is a love ballad aimed at a games console but ‘Snake. Snake? Snake!' is definitely not about Snakes," he said.
Given that the band members have such different tastes and musical preferences, makes recording and performing quite difficult.
"Our process, if you could even call it that, is volatile and often unpleasant," said Biggerstaff. Smith even admits that the band has deserted more songs than they have completed.
But for now, the system works.
"What keeps us going is the consistency with which the end product, seems to us, to justify the means," concluded Biggerstaff.
One thing they all seem to agree on is the identity of the band: it's about the sound, not the look. "We're set apart purely in the passive sense: We don't concern ourselves with anything other than making noises that we like." Biggerstaff said.
"Maybe it's nice that some people take pride in their appearance and turn up to all the gigs that like-minded people show up at. It's just not us and never will be," Smith added.
Indeed, the album is proof that they're not concerned about following any particular music trends or conventions, which is what makes the album so refreshing to listen to and enjoy. The songs don't fit into any one particular mold and are obviously the result of differing personalities, and yet Disconnect still manages to hit all the right chords.
As for the future, the band plans on playing more festivals and perhaps releasing a single.
"There are also whispers of a second album but that won't be until we're completely happy with our newest batch of songs," Smith said.
Reach Out, Disconnect is available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon mp3, and on the band's website, where listeners can hear about the latest news and announcements at http://wrongnote.co.uk - The Ticker, The City University of New York


"Fresh Meat Monday - Wrongnote"

Would you care to introduce yourself?

We equal Wrongnote. There's four of us.

Callum Smith - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Other Noises

Sean Biggerstaff - Guitar, Vocals, Beatbox, Noises, Catering Services

Greig Duncan - Bass, Vocals, Networking, Smiling

Stewart Robison - Drums, Vocals, Realistic Horizons



How would you describe the music you make?

Callum: It's dynamic, expressive, cathartic outsider-rock. There are splashings of extra-dimensional porn soundtrack but, generally, it's very song orientated. Even the words have meaning, sometimes.

Sean: Mean-spirited and without hope.

Callum: Sean misunderstood the question. He's describing himself.

Sean: You fucking crack me up.


How did you start out making music?

Callum: The band in it's current form has existed for two and a half years but, thankfully for the sake of storytelling, three of us have known each other since school. When I was 16, I made a demo of a song called Three Valium Cats and the Dog's Dried Bone. Greig and Sean heard it through a mutual friend and we did a rough demo of four tracks together. It was going well until I decided not to turn up to our biggest gig, drop out of school and get addicted to painkillers instead. Two years later, Greig forgave me and we started to make music again, mostly electronic stuff with a few rock demos. A few years pass and we need a drummer. Enter Wob* about three years ago and then, six months later, Sean is back and we finally equal Wrongnote.
Sean: I was first asked to get involved because I was the only guy around with a decent multi-track recorder at the time. I then insisted on using my otherworldly guitar genius to turn the humble demo into a psychedelic masterpiece and was consequently asked to join the band. Left before we'd really done anything due to events more or less accurately described before. I stayed a fan of the music and was involved from the sidelines in various ways until a few years of anger management and general maturing brought me to the realisation that such interpersonal strife can breed creativity, so I leapt back into the melee.

*Wob is Stewart's nickname. This is because he is from Dumfries - the land of nicknames.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

Callum: I'll come to the rest of the band with the basic ideas, structures, chords and some very basic lyrics then we work on it together. This stage of the process requires us to shout vicious personal insults at each other while making no attempt to explain our musical ideas with any clarity. We abandon more tracks at this stage than any other. The eleven songs on our album represent the ones that made it out of this stage alive. Others may be revisited later but far more will remain dead. This is probably a good thing.

Sean: Yeah, it's a sliding scale between us all thinking of parts to compliment Callum's songs and us building songs together in rehearsal, though still mainly based on Callum's ideas. We have worked on things that have started with other members, but they've never come to fruition. Whether this is due to deliberate subliminal undermining of other people's work on Callum's part remains ambiguous.

Callum: Most of the time it's not even subliminal.


What can people expect from your live shows?
Sean: A slightly punkier band than the one on the record.

Greig: A topless drummer.
Callum: No refunds.


What are you all listening to at the moment?
Callum: Devo, Brainticket and the soundtrack to La Planete Sauvage as well as two tracks called 'I Hear It Now' and 'Blue Rigby' by Wax Audio which are probably the best and most ambitious mashups I've ever heard. Also, a bootleg recording of Sonic the Hedgehog themes by the RSNO. It's got a version of the Star Light Zone theme that gives me as much unadulterated joy as my dog seems to get from farting on the couch.

Wob: This week, I have been mostly listening to Kerbdog. An Irish rock band from the distant 90's.
Sean: The long term passions of Chris Whitley, Man, The Beatles and King Crimson continue. At the moment I'm having sordid affairs with Bobby Conn, Mahler, Richard Thompson, Robert Fripp's 'Soundscapes' and the Prodigy. Also, surprisingly, listening to our own record quite a bit. Not sure if that's healthy.

Greig: Deftones are a daily must. The Mars Volta, Pantera, RX Bandits. I am listening to Elbow a lot too.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2011?
We're hoping to tour the album which we released on 24th December. There's also some new material which we're playing live. We may even get some more recording done but the priority is to get more people to hear the album.
- Peenko


"XMRV, Wrongnote and Nude Pilots live..."

My not so imaginary film has a soundtrack tonight and the first contributor tonight is a four piece band called Wrongnote. Surprisingly eloquent for a Glasgow band, they twisted together the fibres of bands like XTC and Orange Juice to create an intelligent blend of retro power pop that won’t be getting outdated anytime soon. Well put together, as they say. - Bluesbunny Independent Music Reviews


"Radar's T in the Park reviews - Part three"

All around the BBC Introducing stage are people splayed out on the grass, because for a change the sun has decided it's hat-on time. There's also a core of happy fan followers, and, at one point, some very giggly young girls fall about at the front, squealing, "It's that one!" and trying to snap a pic of guitarist Sean Biggerstaff (we presume because he's also an actor who has appeared in the Harry Potter series).

All are taking in the odd, enjoyable sounds of Wrongnote. They deliver best when they let their stranger side show - when guitars go all a bit off-kilter with fuzzy solos, drums are crashing away, bass is flying all over the place (no boring lines here, thanks), the vocals are part way between a growl and a croon, and you're not quite sure where it's going next, but you'd like to join in. 'A Machine Rotation', with its near wail of a chorus, ends things on a bit of a melancholy note; but a suitably heartfelt one. [EL] - Scotsman Radar


"Friday Five: Wrongnote | Naum Gabo | Song of Return..."

What's this, guitar pop without sequencers, ukuleles or made-up genres? Well that's right kids, forget your witch house, your neo-psychedelia and your cuddlecore, and spare two-and-a-half minutes for Wrongnote's by-turns demented and wide-eyed mini masterpiece. If you can find a song that fits more ideas into such a short timespan and still sound this good we'd like to hear it. - Scotsman Radar


"How Can Something So Wrong Feel So Right?"

You've Got Some Optic Nerve by Wrongnote another stand out track from my Glastonbury list. It's completely off the scale and so odd that it's hard to tell if it's brilliant or rubbish. I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and declare that it is a work of genius. - The Devil Has The Best Tuna


Discography

Albums:- "Reach Out, Disconnect"
Digital Release: 24th December 2010
CD Release: 24th January 2011

Airplay from "Reach Out, Disconnect":

Track 1 - "You've Got Some Optic Nerve" on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 1 (Scotland), BBC Radio Scotland, Amazing Radio, Radio 666 (France) and FFR Alternative (Germany).

Track 2 - "Devil Give Misdirection" on Pulse FM (Glasgow).

Track 4 - "Mixtape" on BBC Radio Scotland.

Track 8 - "Snake. Snake? Snake!" on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1 (Scotland). Also on BBC Red Button and iPlayer as live performance from "T in the Park" Festival.

Track 10 - "A Machine Rotation" on BBC Red Button and iPlayer as live performance from "T in the Park" Festival.

Track 11 - "Innocent Eyes" on BBC Radio Scotland.

Photos

Bio

WRONGNOTE were formed in 2008 as another excuse to play loud music. Fiercely independent, their music is dynamic, expressive and cathartic outsider rock combining elements of progressive, punk, post punk, power-pop, jazz, metal and everything in between.

Made up of three Glaswegians and one native of Dumfries, they equal Callum Smith on Vocals and Guitar, Sean Biggerstaff on Guitar, Greig Duncan on Bass Guitar and Stewart Robison on Drums.

They self-released their debut album “REACH OUT, DISCONNECT” on 24th December 2010 for digital download on iTunes, Amazon Mp3 and Wrongnote Shop. A physical release is available now via Amazon US.

Recorded between 2009 and 2010, with “Reach Out, Disconnect” Wrongnote have set about carefully crafting an eclectic collection of eleven songs with unique identities. Lyrics about death, sex, decay, and computer games betray an often uplifting, ambitious and volatile drama throughout the album underpinned by a dark, sometimes sordid, humour.

With radio play on BBC Radio One, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio Scotland and Amazing Radio and interview appearances on Janice Forsyth (BBC Radio Scotland) and Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music), Wrongnote have established a cult following as one of Scotland’s most different and interesting unsigned bands.

In addition to some recent high profile gigs in Glasgow and London, they performed on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park 2011. Three videos of songs from that performance, recorded by the BBC, are available to view at http://youtu.be/GWfIN5FjyZo