Interview Three Blind Wolves: Our Main Concern Is Getting Our Songs Right

Bespectacled and unassuming, the singer-songwriter from Glasgow certainly isn’t trying to be cool.

Ross Clark

is not your archetypal indie kid. Bespectacled and unassuming, the singer-songwriter from Glasgow certainly isn’t trying to be cool. There’s no moody demeanor or gravelly tones; Ross greets his audience with a warm smile and a soft voice that’s more Kermit the Frog than Joe Strummer (sorry Ross). And contrary to the chaotic lifestyle of most modern musicians, you’ll find this boy working in a call centre nine to five. But never was the old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ more relevant. At just 21 he’s not only produced an impressive catalogue of inspired tunes but also showcased them at several sold-out venues whilst supporting his good friends (and fans) Frightened Rabbit. His band, Three Blind Wolves, make the live shows an unforgettable experience with beats that make your feet move and harmonies that make your heart sing. We spoke to Ross about life, loves, and what the wolves are hunting in 2010…

Where does the Ross Clark story begin?
I started writing songs when I was 17 because I wanted to play gigs. I played on my own, everywhere and anywhere, hundreds of times. Every day pretty much. It was through playing around town that I met the guys in the band. The name Three Blind Wolves is from a song that I wrote about them.

You’re pretty well-connected on the Glasgow music scene…
I’m quite a friendly person. I love meeting people doing the same thing as me. Music is too beautiful a thing to not want to do it all the time, so it’s good to be around people who’ll do it with you. Frightened Rabbit were the first band I ever met and became friends with. Scott [Hutchison, singer] got in touch with me through Myspace - he used to run a band night and he asked me along. They like my stuff and I love theirs, and it’s great that we support each other.

What can people expect from your shows?
We want people to have as much fun as possible. I hate the assumption that everyone in Scotland is miserable. I mean, yeah, we’re all really good at being miserable, but we can be more than that. People should go to a show and have a good time.

Who are your big musical influences?
My all-time hero is Neil Young. Our style is country rock, stuff you can dance to, so it has roots in sixties country music like Creedence. We listen to a lot of rock, maybe too much rock. We’re all big Zeppelin heads. I hate that “oh I’m into everything”. No one is into everything. I just like a lot of stuff.

Your image is quite striking - is it accidental or accidental-on-purpose?
I wear things that I think are cool. I’ve got glasses because I’m short-sighted. I’ve had the same hair forever. Well, I once had a skinhead but it broke my gran’s heart.

What do you do when you’re not playing music?
I studied chemistry at Glasgow uni but I dropped out because I hated it. I have a job at a call centre right now but music is the only thing I ever want to do. I’m going to keep going until someone kills me. A call centre is the most uninspiring place you could find but it’s just a job. It pays for me to do what I want to do.

The band is currently unsigned - are you looking for a label?
Our main concern is getting our songs right and playing them well. I think there’s too much faffing around worrying about record labels and how people view your music. For us it’s really important to make our own music and try not to be influenced too much by other people. Of course we want to do this for as long as possible and we would love to go to America and other countries to play gigs. But it’s important to get the foundations down first. It’s more important to connect with people than to make money. If we were in it for money we’d have given up a long time ago.

What’s in the pipeline for Three Blind Wolves?
We have a record coming out in March. It’s recorded and is currently being mastered. We haven’t decided on the title - it might be Hungry for Your Love, it might be self-titled, or it might be something really offensive. We’ll be releasing it on the label I started with my manager, unless someone picks it up.

Would you consider applying for an unsigned talent competition?
No. I want to do it on my own. It doesn’t matter what people on a panel think. I could have someone really important sitting on a board tell me, we think your music’s really good and you’re gonna be a big star, and it wouldn’t mean a tenth of what it does when someone comes up after a gig and says ‘I really, really enjoyed that’.

Three Blind Wolves are supporting OK Go at Glasgow’s O2 ABC on 18th January. Check here for tickets.

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