Making noise together

Published

Zoey Van Goey’s MJ McCarthy talks to Oisín Kealy

How long has the band been together, and how did you meet?
We’ve been together almost exactly three years. We all met in and around Glasgow Uni. Kim & I met whilst studying in the Film & TV department late 2004, then I might met Matt shortly after he moved to Glasgow in Mar 2006 and by May the three of us were making noise together. We played our first show, under the name The Lost Marbles, in the Liquid Ship in June ‘06. After we realised that there were a number of other bands with that name scattered around the world (mostly wedding bands as it happens), we changed to Zoey Van Goey in Sep ‘06.

How would you describe your sound?
In a live setting there’s a lot of instrument swapping, usually some mixture of guitar, drums, casio, korgs, viola and girl/boy vocals. In terms of other bands, reference points while we recorded our debut album included Mercury Rev, Cocteau Twins, Flaming Lips, Fairport Covention, and a hundred others.

What can you tell me about the new album?
The earliest tracks used in the final mix of the album were recorded Dec ‘06 and the final mixing happened Jan ‘08 so just over 2 years all told, with most of the work happening summer of 2008. The majority of the record was recorded in Chem 19 and in terms of engineering, mixing and production in general, Paul Savage contributed massively to the finished product. Working with him was a fantastic experience.

Stuart Murdoch worked with you on an early release, how did he become involved? Have you had any further involvement with him?
I met Stuart through a friend of mine and he came to see a show early 2007, liked what he heard and came to see another. After a bit we cheekily asked him if he’d produce our first single and much to our surprise he said yes. The session was great fun and Stuart’s advice and support in all kinds of ways ever since has been invaluable. He’s about to release an album of songs sung by girl singers, entitled God Help The Girl , and Kim has some backing vocals on that I think. Also, in a different kind of collaboration, we recently modelled t-shirts for the B&S webshop.

You seem to keep busy with other projects. Any irons in the fire now?
We’re all lucky enough to have some element of music in our day jobs. Matt’s a researcher on a project studying the promotion of live music in the UK (partly run by Glasgow Uni), and Kim & I are both freelance musicians. Kim’s currently putting together a string quartet and I’ll be performing in The Art of Swimming by Lynda Radley at the Citizen’s Theatre from May 12th – 16th.

What is it that you like about the Glasgow music scene? any highlights of the festival?
I think the sheer amount and variety of music being performed live every night, and the sense of community, a willingness on the part of more established bands to listen to up and coming musicians. Being the least rock and roll member of the band I headed for bed pretty soon after we finished but I hear from the others that Jeffrey Lewis and We Were Promised Jetpacks both played great sets.

(The Cage Was Unlocked All Along is out now on Left in the Dark)