Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Duncan Stagg & The Threadbare Band Q&A

Your name:
Duncan Stagg.

Where are you from?
Bristol, but currently living in Abu Dhabi for a little while.

Name of band:
Duncan Stagg & the Threadbare Band.

Who else is in your band?
The line up for the upcoming EP was:
Me - Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Alex Hawker - Horns, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass
Jai Widdowson-Jones - Drums
Since then we have been playing with the marvellous Chris Axe on bass for the live shows.

How would you describe yourselves?
I guess Americana/country rock would be the broad term. I started out writing and recording in my bedroom, so there was always a melodic acoustic aspect to my writing. Since getting together with the band though, I have been enjoying playing the sort of drunk country rock bar tunes that go great with the sound of breaking beer bottles. So I guess a mix of that really!

Who are your main influences musically?
I would say Sam Beam of Iron & Wine has been a huge influence. His songs are simple but so stunning, they are like lullabies for adults. It seems so easy when you break it down, C Am F G and a nice melody, but you could spend a lifetime trying to achieve what he does with it.
Deer Tick influence the other side of me, John McCauley is a great songwriter. He has some amazing lyrical ideas and great musical moments, but when you see them on stage with all the energy and antics, it seems like all of that is so natural and he's just there to have fun with his friends. That's a great thing to see.

What do you hope to achieve in music?
I want to write a great song, play a great show with some great friends and generally have a great time! It's a lot to ask for, but dream big right? I also want to see the world, but I have no money. So if I could do that on a tour then that would be really handy!

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
When I had just started playing and singing (I grew up a metalhead guitarist wanting to bust double-tapping solos over everything), I posted a few videos on youtube of me covering some songs, such was the norm. Then out of the blue I had an email from John McCauley of Deer Tick asking if I would be up for playing a song with them on their UK tour. I didn't believe it for a while but sure enough, couple of months later I was onstage with them at End of the Road Festival! That was crazy.
More recently, I played at my favourite bar in Bristol (Under the Stars, the one on the boat) surrounded by all my friends just before I left the country. I tricked them all into going there under the pre tense of a leaving party, but got the band together and we managed to shoot a music video as well. It's still being edited at the moment but I'm really excited about it!

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
I haven't had any dramatic on stage problems really, I've missed cues and started in the wrong key after a few too many brews etc, but nothing too drastic.
I have written some truly awful songs mind. I recently found some of the really early stuff I wrote when I was a typical heartbroken teenager. It's horrifying to think I might have showed them to somebody.
Also don't get drunk at a party and start playing the guitar. Sometimes it may work and it will be a great night, but more often than not you will just look like an idiot.

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Tough one, if I wanted to represent Duncan Stagg & the Threadbare Band then it would probably be Tiger Cub from my upcoming E.P. It's big and loud with a horn section, call and response backing vocals and a guitar solo. So it's a lot of fun!
If I wanted to represent Duncan Stagg the chap who writes and records in his bedroom with a few glasses of wine, then it would probably be Tales. Gentle fingerpicking acoustic, a story and a few nice harmonies. Tales also happens to be one of the few tracks that I have a video of, so there's that.

Where can we listen to it?

Where can we find out more about your music? 

Anything else you’d like to say that I forgot to ask?
The E.P. will be coming out pretty soon. I'm waiting until I'm back in the UK before I release it, would be pretty pointless if the only shows I could play were via Skype.
Until then, I have a few covers and things on my old soundcloud page, or there are a few videos on youtube I did with my good friend Sinead Clare (fantastic singer and artist) and Mike Isaacs (great producer, he did my E.P.).
Also, thanks for your time!

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