Last night we ventured to Declan Welsh and the Decadent West’s single launch at stereo for their song No Pasaran. It was a gig no less outspoken and ambitious than what we’ve seen from them before. It could be said there was more energy, honesty and ferocity behind their live performance with this year’s antics progressively getting worse and worse. However, it was something refreshing to see during these rather terrifying times, musicians standing up for something they wholeheartedly believe in and use their music as a platform to voice for reason and change. So prior to the gig, we stopped Declan, Duncan and Callum from the band mid-meal (Bless them, we couldn’t even leave them to eat in peace) for an interview. Read below as we talk the new single, what they have in store for the next 6 months and for a short yet worthy statement from their sound guy Ross.
Your single No Pasaran premiered a couple days ago, how do you feel about the reception it has received?
Declan: Really great, really happy with it! Tenement TV were nice enough to premier it and said some really cool things about it and yeah, everyone seems to really like it.
Do you think people have got the message of the song and understand what it’s about?
Declan: Yeah, yeah! I think it’s a very appropriate time for it to come out because it seems like the world is on fire. Yeah, sort of state a message of fighting intolerance and bigotry at this time seem likes like a good idea.
So, how did the transition from being just Declan Welsh to Declan Welsh and The Decadent West come about?
Declan: Me, Ben, Callum started playing together a while ago and just cause we had talked and we wanted a fuller sound and then when Duncan came on that’s when it started to kinda transition from being stuff I had written being added to a band, whereas now it’s a band. We all contribute and kinda all put our own mark on the stuff! It’s been a gradual process sort of over the last 6 months to a year it’s really become a team effort.
Duncan: I think we’ve sort of been conscious to find something that works together as the four of us, rather than the process being longer and it gets more organic so
So what has been your highlight of 2016?
Duncan: Trump getting elected!
Declan: Trump getting elected haha… T in the park probably! I reckon that’s the coolest thing that’s happened!
Callum: I guess the way that we played so many festivals in one year!
Duncan: It was a busy festival season, I don’t think anyone really had holidays plans in the summer or anything other than playing festivals.
Declan: T in the park kinda takes that because we played it on the same day as our pals in The Lapelles, we’re both East Kilbride bands and with what happened to Gary, it’s just one of those amazing days that I think all of us are happy it happened and we ended it with we all went and saw LCD Soundsystem together and everyone being around each other and knowing each other and being friends… it was just nice and emotional, so it was just like the perfect day.
What do you guys have in store for the next 6 months?
Declan: We’ve just been recording so we have some really cool new songs to bring out. I think we’re gonna release an EP on Dead Beet Records in addition with the other ones. We’re really pleased with how it’s all coming together, it sounds a lot more mature, it’s been developed a lot. So yeah releasing stuff and then playing everywhere.
Duncan: Hopefully planning a tour of Scotland. We’re getting everything sorted, its all under wraps.
Declan: Top secret.
Duncan: I know, the declassified tour.
Just a secret tour that no one will know about!
Duncan: The flyers will get put on bits of card, where we’ve just posted newspapers letter to read out!
We’re gonna move onto a quickfire round! What was the first gig you ever went to?
Declan: 5ive, who did you say?
Duncan: Mines was the darkness. I think that’s the best out of all of them.
Declan: Just fucking brilliant all of them, just so shit.
I think that’s the worst round i’ve ever heard.
Duncan: I went to my first gig when I was 9 so
Declan: Yeah I was about 8 years old.
Callum: I was 22
Declan: Everybody Get Up was an absolute fucking tune, I will challenge anyone on that.
So who is your musical guilty pleasure?
Duncan: We played this game in the car not that long ago, like genuine guilty pleasures.
Declan: There’s a terrible Eurovision song called Save Your Kisses For Me, I can’t remember who’s it by, maybe Manfred Mann.
Duncan: That’s the worst name ever.
Declan: It’s so terrible and I love it so much it;s like, there’s a dance to it and it’s like it’s basically about him being sad cause he has to leave his wife to go to work. That is the thought of that song, it is brutal but I don’t know, it does something to me.
Callum: YMCA is like my all time favourite song, everytime i get drunk and it comes on I dance to it.
What’s the worst gift you’ve ever given or received?
Callum: I gave my mum a can of deodorant once for christmas in primary school. They had like this christmas sale on and it was there, it was a pound and I had a pound.
Declan: I don’t know, people give me good gifts but i’m pretty sure i’ve given some terrible ones… I’ve drawn a complete blank, people give me pretty good gifts. Im trying to think of girlfriends I had when I was like 7 and if you’ve given like a really shit gift… It’s not a gift but the first date I went on was me and a girl from primary and it was so awkward. We went up to McDonalds and ordered food and I was like do you want me to pay for that? And she was like no it’s fine and she went sat with her pals and I sat with mine.
Duncan: I’ve been pretty lucky
Declan: Fucking privileged child.
Duncan: I once got the same playmobil set that I already had and I threw a strop and I was like 4… This sandwich is class! This is the best gift.
What’s your favourite vine or meme?
Declan: Eh Ben’s face. Limmy, the entire of Limmy’s vine thing but I really like Plasterer, thats hilarious.
Duncan: Politic bar.
Declan: Politics bar, that’s a good one. When he starts crying, he starts laughing at his own jokes. Meme wise, Ben is my favourite meme, Ben isn’t here. My entire phone is just pictures of his face, I don’t use emoji’s because I communicate with his face. Yeah he’s the gift that keeps on giving. He’s not even daft looking in person, he just makes some stupid faces.
Duncan: Have you ever seen the one it’s like high school bleachers and it’s like a gif, with people on high school bleachers just standing there and you see a guy just go past on the pole riding down. You see that one? That’s my favourite one.
What’s the weirdest venue you’ve ever played?
Declan: Eh the one I never thought I would play is fucking Bethlehem. We did a gig in Bethlehem. Yeah it was… it was very strange to play a gig where Jesus was born.
Who’s your favourite upcoming scottish act?
Declan: Right there’s quite a few we need to mention in order to not get battered off our pals.The one that jumps out at me all the time is The Van T’s. I think the singles they’ve released are so strong, the last like 3 or 4. Who else?
Duncan: The Vegan Leather
Declan: I don’t know if WHITE and Baby Strange are upcoming, they’re pretty established but they’re good. The Ninth Wave, the people we got to play T in the Park were all amazing, Lucia Fontaine-
Duncan: I would say Sweaty Palms for that one aswell.
Declan: There’s so many, there’s actual so many and like new new bands i’ve known in the past 3 months that are really good.
Duncan: Home$lice, one of the best live bands.
Declan: Home$lice are absolutely fucking amazing as well.
Thank you guys! Listen to No Pasaran below!
Club Decode 2016