Mt. Doubt released their excellent second album In Awe of Nothing back in June via Scottish Fiction and they’ve gone from strength to strength with festival appearances at T in the Park, Belladrum, ButeFest and Brew at the Bog, as well as radio sessions with Vic Galloway and Amazing Radio.
We caught up with Leo in advance of them hitting the road for their mini autumn tour.
For folks who haven’t heard you before how do you describe your music?
I’ve described it before as “sad songs with catchy choruses”, there’s definitely an underlying pop element in all of the songs but people have told me they hear bits of folk and rock and country in there so who knows – but hopefully it’ll get stuck in your head!
Mt. Doubt started as a solo project right? How did the band form from there?
It started as a solo-project back in 2015 but when it came to playing live I needed a band. I was very fortunate to know some very talented musicians who I’ve been very lucky to have on board and from that moment on the band has gained new limbs and is constantly evolving it seems.
You studied film right? Does the idea of composing songs for film appeal to you?
I’d love to write music for films; I’m a big fan of Nick Cave so I’ve listened to a lot of the soundtracks he’s produced with Warren Ellis for films like The Assassination of Jesse James as well as a lot of the scores Mogwai have done which are all excellent!
I think you’re the first band who I’ve listened to and heard snippets of both Pearl Jam and Deacon Blue. Who’s your main influences?
Thanks! That’s a tough one, my music tastes shift a lot and I’m definitely one for going through fairly obsessive listening phases but I’d have to say Morrissey deserves an honourable mention… Also bands like The National, The Shins, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (this list really could go on!)
There’s a real craft about how your songs hang together. Do you have a regular writing process or does each song come about in it’s own way?
I’ve never sat down and intentionally written a ‘collection’ of songs but I suppose just as a result of the timing, songs which are written around the same time do tend to have a more cohesive relationship with one another.
How did recording in awe of nothing differ from your first album My Past Is A Quiet Beast?
The actual process of recording was much the same in so much as I was working with the same producer in the same studio, but I’d say the main difference was just the fact that I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted and how I wanted everything to sound – it was definitely a more assured experience.
Do you think your new single ‘Thirst’ has a distinctly different feel from the rest of the songs on the album? Maybe it’s the doo-wop?
It’s a pretty relaxed little number, It could well be indebted to the doo-wop but I think it sits quite nicely in the album as a slightly more restrained track.
Other bands to look out for?
Ah so many in Scotland just now… It depends what you’re in to really but Redolent and Skjør are brilliant Edinburgh bands, for singer songwriters definitely check out Josh Fuchs and Hamish Hawk and if you like your tunes on the rocky-side have a listen to Bronston and Posable Action Figures!
Plans for the rest of the year and into 2017?
We will be releasing lots of new music throughout 2017 and, with luck, playing more exciting shows! Before then we will be playing a run of Winter dates:
- 18 November / Inverness / Tooth + Claw w/ Foreignfox + Redolent
- 25 November / Dundee / The Vestry w/ Foreignfox + Redolent
- 15 December / Edinburgh / Electric Circus w/ Rebel Westerns + Acrylic