Scottish indie-rock band Tapedeck 45 release their anthemic new lead single ‘Johnny, How Could You’ from their self-titled album, out now on all streaming platforms.
We caught up with the band to learn more about how the single came about, and their biggest musical influences.
Aditya – Hey guys! Glad to have you for the interview. How’s 2021 been for you so far?
Tapedeck 45 – 2021 has been fantastic for us as a band; at the end of 2020 we weren’t sure what the music world was going to look like, or even us as musicians, but we’ve been able to play live shows again, which we sorely missed, and after all these years we’ve finally managed to get our debut album out! We’re still taking each day as it comes but we’re extremely optimistic for the future. It’s a big bag of cans for us both physically and metaphorically.
Aditya – ‘Johnny, How Could You?’ sounds marvellous! What was the creative process like?
Tapedeck 45 – Thank you very much! Johnny was written years ago – it’s probably one of the first songs we ever wrote – and the song has evolved over those years much like the friendship it was written about. The initial riff and lyrics were written by Sam, but the song’s gone through a constant process of improvement as we’ve added each new member to the band to reach the final lineup; they’ve all brought their own layer of music and thought to the track, and it’s all combined to make the final mix as it is.
Aditya – What’s your message behind the track?
Tapedeck 45 – Johnny was inspired by a pretty simple, relatable story that we think everyone’s experienced – two people going their separate ways and forming different interests as their lives changed over the years. We’ve all had friends that we’ve just grown apart from over time, no matter how close we were when we were younger, and I guess the “message” of the song as a result is that people and places can change over time, so you have to enjoy your life in the moment, whilst you have the chance.
Aditya – Who are your biggest influences and why?
Tapedeck 45 – Honestly, it’s difficult to name individual acts. There’s a lot of Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys in our DNA, and we’ve definitely got our roots in that 2010s Indie Rock scene – that’s the music we listened to growing up, and really helped to shape who we are as musicians. But at the same time, each member of the band really does have their own independent musical influences. Burns likes “math rock” and “music for sad boys to dance too” (his own words!), whilst Sam and Andy are mad for Bruce Springsteen and punk rock. Then you’ve got Jordan, who brings in a lot more of a funk-based element with his love of acts like Hendrix and the Chilli Peppers. All of this gets thrown into the mix when we’re making music, and at the end of it you get the really varied musical style our local fans know us for!
Aditya – How did you guys band together?
Tapedeck 45 – We met at university whilst we were studying – we really bonded over a shared fondness for bad jokes, drinking and playing guitar badly at parties even after we’ve been told to shut up! We formed Tapedeck 45 as pretty much a side gig for beer money, where we’d play student parties and such, and over time it’s grown into something serious that we want to bring to the world.
Aditya – I’m confused, your album is also called ‘Tapedeck 45’. What’s the idea behind it?
Tapedeck 45 – So, the logic behind the band name itself is pretty simple – we wanted something that people would instantly associate with music, and the history of it, when they hear it. Hence Tapedeck 45; one of the classic formats of music’s golden ages, along with the speed that a 7” vinyl spins at. We don’t see ourselves as completely re-inventing the rock n’ roll wheel, more like carrying its torch into the future.
In terms of naming the album, the main reason we chose to self-title is that to us, these songs really embody what the band is about. They’re all of our different styles, laid out on record – they’re our frustrations expressed through music, our interests and our worries. When you listen to the album, you listen to everything Tapedeck 45 represents.
Aditya – Could you share behind the scenes insights of recording this album?
Tapedeck 45 – We recorded the album with Marc Tindal (Open Eyes Productions/ To Kill Achilles) in the evenings after we finished our day jobs over what was nearly a 3 month period. Whilst making an album is inevitably stressful, I think we pulled it off with relative ease due to the strong friendships and laid back nature of the band. The recording process had such a positive atmosphere around the whole project and this definitely enhanced the record and brought the best out of each member. We went into the studio to tell the tales of our mid-20’s and turn our stories into songs that the four of us can always look back on, and we’re all incredibly proud of how that’s turned out.
Aditya – What do you like the most about your lives as musicians and what do you hate the most?
Tapedeck 45 – Definitely the free beer, we couldn’t sing our hearts out to people without it! Jokes aside, though, we think that most musicians who, us included, would count seeing the enjoyment on the audience’s faces when they listen to your work as the thing that makes it all worthwhile. That feeds into the worst bit, too – the thoughts that go through your head right before it all, the worries about whether people are going to actually like something you’ve poured your heart into. Ultimately, you have to let those feelings go, but we’d be lying if we said they weren’t there whenever we step up on stage or into the studio.
Aditya – What’s your rehearsal/gigging schedule like?
Tapedeck 45 – We’re taking a small break for Christmas on both the rehearsing and gigging side of things – it’s been a heavy past few months with recording the album and prepping for the release! But, we’re looking at getting back into the swing of things in the new year – we’ll be announcing a show in our local Dundee, and are looking at arranging shows in Glasgow and potentially Edinburgh as well! If all goes to plan, there’s the possibility of a London show coming up in April-time, and maybe even a full tour later in the year!
Aditya – Lastly, among the 4 of you, who can drink the most and be fine at the end of the night?
Tapedeck 45 – Sam could definitely drink the most, without question, but it’s 100% Burns who’d still be standing at the end of the night.