Glasgow native Ross Clark has been a familiar name on the Scottish music scene for a couple of years, bringing to it a nice Tennessee whiskey-barreled and brewed twang laced with his own top shelf spirits. Now with a conglomeration of talented folksters at his side ('The Scarfs...'), a tour extending south of the border and a tasty new album to boot, 2009 is looking sweet for the bespectacled country soul.
So what do you like to do when you're not busy being Ross Clark?
When I'm not being Ross Clark I'm not really sure. I cover some shifts for Kane, the wrestler (WWF), I act as his body double when the big fights go down. All I do is play music with my friends, I think that any time that I have should be spent jamming, although I am partial to some coffee/cigarette outings and getting a bit drunk with my friends. I like to watch films too.
Why The Scarfs and how did you round up these guys?
I got the band in order to translate better what goes on in my head when I write songs. I met the band through playing shows, they are my best friends and I love them. I couldn't think about playing music with anyone else. 'The Scarfs' comes from a dream. I dream a lot.
How did a boy from over here get a hankerin' for Americana?
I suppose I have always loved blues and some country. My dad got me into Neil Young. I think he is the greatest songwriter ever! I connect with country music in a big way. The sound of banjos, mandolins guitars, drums and bass run like a river that flows between my ears. I think the Neil Young lyric 'banjos playing through the broken glass' sums up my sound I think, idealistically anyway.
What would you say about the brand spanking new Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down for those who haven't heard yet?
I love that album, it's a fresh-sounding outlook on a sometimes doomed generation. Doom gets me excited though, it's like just before you kiss someone you really like.
Frightened Rabbit have made it to Pitchfork and you're about to tour with them. You must be a little thrilled.
I'm really excited about touring with Frightened Rabbit, I've known those guys longer than I've really known my band; They were the first band in Glasgow to believe in me. So, to go on tour with them presents me with an opportunity to step up to the plate and hopefully make everyone smile. I'm ready to do this tour and the band are too. It's going to be amazing. I'm looking forward to playing in England, I've never done that before. It's time I think for me and the boys to make some fucking racket down south.
And I've gotta know, what's your favourite Hank Williams song?
My favourite Hank Williams song is ... Cold Cold Heart.
Ross Clark and The Scarfs Go Missing play Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh 1 Mar (sold out); Limbo, The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Mar 5 (along with Randan Discotheque and Snide Rhythms); Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mar 8 (with We Were Promised Jetpacks and Over The Wall).
Also published in The List, here.