Sun-kissed beaches and surf aren’t exactly what you’d usually associate with the east of Scotland, but close your eyes, stick on a Dropkick album and you’re in California.
However, songwriter-in-chief Andrew Taylor is less certain about any American(a) connection. “I’m not really sure where we fit in,” he confesses. “We’re not quite Americana, although I hear the term ‘power pop’ a lot in relation to our music too. Maybe somewhere in between! The classic mid-nineties Teenage Fanclub were certainly a big influence along with Tom Petty and music I grew up hearing from my dad’s collection like the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly.”
And yes, any assumptions that breezy spangly pop is reserved to the US are easily disproved by Dropkick’s international following.
“The truth is that only labels outside the UK have ever been interested in Dropkick,” Taylor admits. “10 years ago we played a show in The Cavern in Liverpool which was attended by the boss of Sound Asleep Records in Sweden. We’ve had a great, relaxed, relationship with them which has allowed us to release six albums there.”
And the band are now planning a trip to Scandinavia. “It’s taken a while, but we now have the chance to find out if there are any Swedish Dropkick followers after all!” he laughs.
It’s not just fans in colder climes that appreciate the sounds. “We’ve released with a few Spanish labels too over the years. Out initial foot in the door came via a Spanish music promoter being on holiday here and stumbling upon one of our shows with Attic Lights in Ullapool,” Taylor recounts. “We played a couple of gigs for him and word spread enough that we have been able to play gigs and release records there for years now.”
The band have been something of a fixture on the Scottish scene for over a decade, producing “anywhere between 12 and 15 albums, depending on which member of Dropkick you speak to.”
The band’s DIY ethic – the first few releases being CDRs – seems to work well for them. “Our recording/rehearsal room set-up allows us to record whenever we want, so we generally release something new every year.”
The lack of pressure to produce material, it seems, sees the band as prolific as can be. “It suits us really well to be able to dictate what and when things are released – though I’m sure some label cash would be handy!” laughs the frontman. “Probably the hardest bit is when it comes to press and radio coverage but we’re generally really happy that can pick and choose and fit in with all our family and work commitments.
On top of all that, when not working on his solo side project, Taylor also takes on production duties with Inverness band The Galipaygos and three long-players for country rockers The Wynntown Marshals.
“Usually the sessions I get involved in are kept to a manageable commitment per week," Taylor says. "If not, I’d probably get the sack at work and a divorce at home!”
New album Longwave is out now. More at dropkickmusic.co.uk