We sat down with Steven Ramsay from the Dykeenies recently. He told us about the band's new album, what's been going on in the past year, what Myspace has done for the band and their favourite Glaswegian nightclub.
So for those who don’t know already, who are the Dykeenies?
We’re made up of three brothers and two best friends. We’ve all been friends for quite a while now. The brothers decided to put a band together a few years ago and we all knew each other from school. Once we got the band together, we started writing a few songs and then there was a lot of interest in getting these songs developed. So we realised we could do something here and we basically just took it from there.
Whereabouts are you all from?
We’re from Cumbernauld, just a few miles outside Glasgow.
Where did the name Dykeenies come from?
The name comes from the 1980’s movie Willow, written by George Lucas and starring Val Kilmer. There are midgets in the film and they call the taller people, the humans, Dykeenies. We thought it was a strange name and that no one else would have it.
The last year has been pretty massive for you all. What’s that been like?
Yeah, we only got signed last October. We’ve not been signed that long and since then we’ve had the NME tour, we’ve played with big bands like the Fratelli’s and Maximo park and the no.1 hit in Scotland. So yeah it has been quite a successful year.
Tell us about the new album, Nothing means Everything.
From all the songs we had to date we went in and recorded them, then whittled it down to the songs that are actually on the album. We worked with three producers on it. We did one tack with Jim Abiss, who’s done the Arctic Monkeys. We did a track with Dmitri Tikovoi, who's done Placebo.
He brought out the electro side of our music and then we worked with Dave Eringer, who’s worked with the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and he brought out more of a guitar based sound within the album.
It’s a journey through the album with these different producers who have worked on it. Each song is different and each song is interesting in its own way. rather than it all coming from the same producer and all sounding similar. So we were pretty pleased with the outcome of it.
What is your favourite tracks on the album?
My favourite songs from the album are Clean up your eyes and Stitches.
What are the bands major musical influences?
There’s so much variation through the band music wise. We all listen to different styles of music, ranging from Michael Jackson to David Bowie, to Paul Weller and classical rock. So when we write songs each person’s influences come out and when it’s all put together, we have our sound.
Has Myspace helped you?
Yeah, it gives people information about where and when the gigs are. When we were just starting out it gave everyone a lot of useful information, but even now it’s just growing and growing. We’re getting two to three thousand plays a day, when we used to only get a few hundred. We can also contact people and be more intimate with our fans. You can be more one-on-one with them. So yeah it has helped us and is still helping us.
Do you think websites like Myspace and Bebo websites help bands a lot?
It helped us out in the start, but now with the more and more people who are joining it a lot of things are opening up with Myspace. But Bebo is trying to take over from Myspace and there are a lot of people trying to get on the both of them.
Bebo isn’t my thing at all.There’s two Dykeenies Bebo pages, none of which are actually run by the band. As I said Myspace really helped us in the start, but now it does seem as if there is a bit much of it.
Where’s your favourite night club?
We like the Garage, ABC is good as well and sometimes we go to Firewater. When we’re in town it can be pretty annoying when people recognise you and start annoying you. Not everyone, but some guys laugh at you or try and wind you up. So that can be quite annoying. It doesn’t happen often, but we do like our privacy just like anyone else.
Steven Ramsay is a lead guitarist and vocalist for the Dykeenies. They’re from Cumbernauld and their new album ‘Nothing means Everything’ hits the street on Monday 17th September 2007.