Inside the mind of… Bubbatrees 

Caught our interview with Bubbatrees earlier in the year but want to know more about them? Their frontman, Andy, stopped by to discuss all things Glasgow venues, albums he wish he’d written and what the band gets up to beyond the boundaries of music…

Which venues in Glasgow are your favourite to play and which do you enjoy the most when attending shows?

The bigger Glasgow venues are my favourites. King Tut’s has always been great for us — we’ve done many a show in there and a lot have been full capacity, too. A few we’ve played there have sold out, which has created such incredible atmospheres. While it’s not the biggest in terms of floorspace, it’s really well known. 

One of our best ever gigs was at Saint Luke’s though, which is near the Barrowlands in Glasgow. It’s like an old converted church, so it’s got quite a lot of space. Luckily, the time that we played it, we were supporting a band called King No-One, who must’ve had a big following. We walked out on stage and I was mortified by how many people were there — the room was nearly full! It was such an experience to play there, in that ornate church.

I do like the smaller venues — they have their plus sides with intimacy. But, from previous situations, a lot can go wrong in them haha — sound, equipment and stuff. It’s all part of the fun, I suppose.

As far as my favourite places to attend gigs goes, it has to be Barrowland Ballroom. That’s a very old venue as well. The vibe you get when you go in there is great — I associate it with so many massive gigs I’ve been to, so maybe I’m a bit biased in picking it. Because it used to be a ballroom, it’s just really cool. The O2 Academy is another top venue as well. 

Outside the realm of music, how do you guys spend your time?

We try to get as much drinking done as we can haha. Outside that, I do like to keep fit. I’m not a mad gym shark or anything but I enjoy going to the gym. Myself and Kyle sometimes go out on the bikes as well — we’re quite into cycling.

To be honest, I spend a lot of my personal time doing music-related stuff, which might sound boring, I’ll admit that, but I get really involved in it. It’s something that just calms me down and takes my mind off anything else that’s happening. I’ve got a small recording space in my back garden, so I usually go down there and it just relaxes me. 

As for the rest of the band, Kyle’s got a boat up in Loch Lomond, so we go there in the summer. In March, April or whenever it is they put the boat in the water, Kyle’s pretty much up there every single day. It’s great to have someone who’s got something like that for us to all go and make use of.

Cammy is such a chef — he’s always posting things he’s cooked that look delicious. I couldn’t be further from that — a lot gets burned — so Cammy’s stuff makes me hungry. He must spend a lot of time working on recipes, which is quite cool. 

Martin is very creative. He does a lot of video editing but he’s also got his own shoe business going on. He buys these old, ruined shoes that he does up. He’s so artistic and has all these paints that he puts on them, so some of the before-and-after pictures are just insane! It’s quite amazing how he does it. 

Image credit: Bubbatrees via Chilato Music

Which five of your favourite albums or EPs do you wish you’d written? 

Five? I’m struggling to think of a full five actually haha. But I think I’ll start with a throwback. It has to be ‘Songs from the Big Chair’ by Tears for Fears. I’m quite nostalgic about this album as I first discovered it when I was about 16. My mum or dad had it on vinyl. Now I know more about the band, it’s just so impressive how two guys were able to come up with such an eclectic mix of sounds. The production on it for that time [1985] was amazing — nobody else seemed to be doing something as smart at that period of time. Yeah, I wish I’d written it!

The 1975’s self-titled album was a big one for me growing up. I was leaving school in 2012/13 and, any time I listen to this now, it just reminds me of then. They started their career with this belter of an album. And I love that you never know what genre the next song’s going to be — one minute it’s ambient, the next it’s an ‘80s pop banger. Every track is so different and they’ve maintained that knack. This record really connected with me and I feel like they were one of the first bands lately to bring on this ‘80s resurgence into the modern day. The first song I heard was ‘Chocolate’, which was all over every radio station at the time, and it’s such a good one.

The next has got to be Lil Peep’s ‘Hellboy’. I found out about him back in 2016/17 when Kyle’s brother, Adam, showed me this song called ‘Awful Things’. For anyone who doesn’t know Lil Peep…

(No judgement if you don’t — I’d never listened to his stuff before)

…he blends pop-punk with trap beats. He was one of the first guys I’d heard doing that kind of unique thing. Everyone’s kind of clicked onto that now though — myself included. I have a solo project called Yungpunkstar, which is more of that sort of style. But yeah, this [Lil Peep] album’s great, though he’s not to everyone’s taste and you either love it or hate it. Again, it’s smart stuff and it didn’t add up that nobody else had really been trying this. There’s like a throwback ‘goth’ image that runs alongside it, too. He also doesn’t let himself be confined to one specific sound or genre. I definitely wish I’d done this before him haha.

This might be a bit unexpected, but I quite like Slipknot. Their first album is absolutely mental and I wish I could play instruments like that haha! But I just can’t — I’m not musically capable in that way haha. I’ve never been able to play heavy music but I have a real appreciation for it. Bands like Architects and Bring Me The Horizon too, who perhaps aren’t as heavy now, but they’re other examples. Anyway, this Slipknot album summed up the end of the ‘90s and was all dark and heavy. I don’t think anyone had achieved anything quite like this either, at that point. Korn’s first album was relatively similar, but this from Slipknot was pretty surprising and it set the tone for what heavy music would be after that. 

Finally, another self-titled one I think: an album by Third Eye Blind. They were big in the late ‘90s and, to an extent, they’re still fairly big now. They were kinda like a college rock band and the especially popular song was ‘Jumper’. This was very important to me and I wish I’d been around making music at the time this came out, to write something like that myself. It’s full of feel-good vibes and sad tunes, too — you can listen to this record in any mood.

Of all the massively famous artists who’ve been and gone, who would you have liked to have seen on tour? 

It’s got to be John Martyn, a singer from the late ‘60s who died reasonably recently, I think. He’d have been great to see — I believe my parents have done, actually. It sounded like every show was different — he was quite a bit of a drinker (and the rest!) and you didn’t know what you were going to get haha. I’ve watched live videos and he just looks like he was having a good time. I’d have probably preferred to see him when he was just playing acoustic guitar — in the ‘80s and ‘90s, he had a band behind him and I’m not much of a fan of his later stuff. If I’d seen him in the early days, it would’ve been an intimate and funny show. 

What are you looking forward to most after lockdown/the easing of Covid restrictions?

Gigs are the main thing! They’re what we need right now. But even getting back into the recording studio together will be good — it’s been more than a month now, at least. Other than that, just going to the pub and seeing people in groups really! I just want to go back to normal at this point haha. I’m looking forward to the gyms being open and getting this hair cut as well!

Original image credit: Bubbatrees via Chilato Music

Head over to Facebook and Instagram for all the latest from Bubbatrees. Spotify and SoundCloud are where it’s at for their tracks.

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