Aberdeen-based industrious collective Tryptamines – led by Chemical Callum and Tom the Noisemonger – talk to FM about their EP ‘Metropolis’ (out now via Fitlike Records), their dream supergroup, sun and the moon and Edinburgh/Glasgow electro nights…
Hi Tryptamines, how are you?
Funky monkey magic. All is sound as pound, everything all around also.
How would you describe your sound?
A collective of styles, always experimental, retro electro. We use a lot of vintage gear like Hammond Organ and Rhodes cp 70 which play a large part in our sound. All our gear is powered by valve warmth including our samplers and the drum sequencers we use which pack some mean punch. Our sound and show has a large psychadelic flavour and each album has a mixture of styles and sounds. Boomshanka.
Your EP ‘Metropolis’ is a really diverse collection of tracks, was this a conscious effort or something that happened naturally?
We dont like to have the same sound all the time as we all have very diverse tastes in music. We are trying to create a new sound so i guess we approach with this attitude before we begin every tune which helps create a good sound. Some of the tunes are variations on Chemical Callum’s piano compositions, others were created through fuelled jam sessions and others just happen naturally which keeps thing interesting and also non-repetitive. Complete colour morphing all the time which is an abstract concept.You’re obviously quite interested in the role technology it plays in our lives. What do you think about the way technology has affected music specifically in the last 5 years or so?
Well there is a worry around how a lot of people seem to look like mad priests, staring at their little tiny robots, searching for the truth. The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘is there any truth in these devices or are they simply untruths?’ One thing for sure, there is a big mixture of both sides of the coin. 1984 was written as a warning not an instruction manual.
When I was in a room gazing around at everyone staring almost entranced at these devices I was under no illusion that this was bordering on some serious terminator shit. These machines, like the bible, are not the entire truth and we need to be extremely cautious when believing the information being beamed into our minds through these media devices. As much good facets as they have there are also some bad ones to consider.
Another question to ask ourselves is ‘what opinions do we now hold that don’t come from a media device?’ We should base our opinions on life experience, as that is the truth through anyone’s eyes and that’s an opinion worth listening to.
You’re from Aberdeen, which is long trek from other major cities, do you think this makes the local music scene even more important to the city? In a way that it maybe doesn’t for Glasgow or London?
We are from the World! Chemical Callum is born and bred in Buckie, Scotland and Tom is born in Singapore raised in Fyvie, Scotland. We’re all from the Northeast of Scotland and now based in Aberdeen. A lot of amazing new sounds coming from Aberdeen at moment and many seem determined to see our side of the island gain some well deserved recognition from the masses for artistic uniqueness and massive cultural originality.
The Doric crew are certainly a warm and larger than life bunch of folk. We aim to dedicate support for The Northeast and Highland areas of Scotland as there are some fantastic sounds of all flavours a tasting up here. So keep an eye out for all.
In an ideal world, what would the next 6 months hold for Tryptamines?
The next 6 months hold the finishing of our new album following the release of the EP, also a couple of festival dates of a private psychadeclic nature have been booked, and we’re also awaiting date release of a mini tour round our native soil. More EP releases, including a dub track which will be released at 4.20 pm on a date coming soon.
Busy time ahead after a break to record and create our art including many side and solo projects. Productive times indeed.
Switching to something a little more light-hearted, who would be in your dream super group? And what would you call your band?
Hmmm thats a hard one, maybe Frank Zappa on lead guitar, Ray Manzarek on keys/piano, Philip Selway from Radiohead on drums, perhaps Nick Cave or Tom Waits on accompany vocals and Jaco Pastorious on fretless bass. Along with Tryptamines that would be musical mentalness indeed.
What would the band’s rider look like?
It would look like the sun and the moon and the stars gazing upon us all always and forever.
Where can we catch you live? Tryptamines that is, not your super group…
Being Aberdeen based most of the gigs we actually do are there, but from time to time we do Edinburgh/Glasgow electro nights as well. We have a dates coming up in all cities, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow.