ballboy's 3rd e.p. "Girls Are Better Than Boys" is released on SL Records on the 26th March.
In February, Gordon, plus label boss Ed, came into the SubCity studios (where Jockrock was doing its annual 4-show stint on the Glasgow airwaves) to chat, and perform a couple of acoustic numbers. (Gordon, not Ed!)
Songs aired were the unreleased "Something's Gonna Happen Soon" plus "They'll Hang Flags From Cranes Upon My Wedding Day" - which is in fact also unreleased, but appears on the new e.p.
Listen to this exclusive taster for the new e.p. - the acoustic version of "They'll Hang Flags From Cranes Upon My Wedding Day"
(you'll need RealAudio Player, get it here if necessary)
And see the band live at Edinburgh's Virgin megastore on Thursday 24th March (6pm), and in London on 23rd June with The Trembling Blue Stars
Check back here in a while to hear the stream of "Something's Gonna Happen Soon" , which will feature in the bands 4th e.p., provisionaly entitled "A Europewide Search For Love". The planned track listing also includes live favourites "all the records on the radio are shite" and "sex is boring..."
As Gordon tuned up we chatted briefly to Ed about SL's plans.
"We're looking to release the first 3 balboy ep's as an album, together with maybe a couple of bonus tracks. A lot of the old stuff's become very hard to get hold of , "I Hate Scotland"s sold out. Kyaha's new album ("The Lost Feeling") is picking up airplay and we'll be doing a single - we're recording some new stuff with them".
After "Something's Gonna Happen" we pick up on the line "and the cellos kick in". Gordon explains "There's no cellos on it - it's about cellos... cellos are fine things - as are cello players (turns to Ed who is laughing...) and there's something about girls that play the cello, we have this discussion a lot... it is a different sound live, lots more ideas come in when we play live. When we play that one live it goes really loud at that point - so doing it acoustically i thnk it's good to bring it down really quiet - you can't really do 'loud' on acoustic, so you have to think of a way round it and get the same kind of dymamic in the song".
We turn to the creative process within the band. "They do their own thing" says Gordon. " I don't tell them how to drum... I just like doing acoustic stuff as it's much easier than getting the full band together. Also, it keeps you thinking about how a song should go. I write all the lyrics and the bare bones; people can pull it apart if they like and if they want me to sing something differently then I can do it. The final say goes to whoever plays the instrument."
So ballboy seem quite different from Khaya, described by Dan Mutch as a 'benign dictatorship".
"I'm not sure how benign...! They're the opposite and it works for them but the 4 people in our band couldn't work like that... I couldn't tell the drummer how to drum - I know there's a word 'paradiddle', but I don't know what it means! Gary's probably the most musical of all of us - he plays guitar etc too but is happiest playing drums, which works for us. Likewise I don't really change lyrics for people - well, I might change the odd word if someone thought it was inappropriate!" So is anyone working on their own tunes or lyrics? "No" says Gordon, pausing and adding - "well, not to my knowledge! "
We wind up checking about the bands tour plans. "It's difficult with us all working... if Johnny Bignob from Bignob records comes with a lot of money we'd think about it!"
But what about the kids, we cry - schoolkids, that is (Gordon's dayjob is a teacher)
"I'd have to hope that the big money offer came in at the end of term so I can see this class out, they're a lovely class."
more on the band at the ballboy website