The Ninth Wave: Scots ready to reform the rock genre

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Congrats on the release of your new single ‘Half Pure’ – how long has this song been in the works and was it easy to write?

H: It was written around February last year.

M: The demo compared to what the song turned out as is so different, it’s like 30bpm slower.

H: The song was written in one night and then sat until the summer when we recorded it. We recorded it in August so we’ve been sitting on it for a wee while, so we’re excited to get more of it out.

I love the video for the song, you start off looking very glamorous and it gradually gets more and more primitive. Was it fun to shoot that video?

M: It was such a fun shoot, it was really nice to be fussed over! I had people doing my make-up and I love having my make-up done so much. We had to do so many takes because they had to cover us in blood, and then clean it all off and do another take of us covered in blood. It required a lot of patience but it was fun watching all the models really going for it. They did individual scenes crawling about on the floor, going mental and Rhian [the director] was like ‘Fucking go for it! Be an animal for a bit’.

The video shows models walking down a runway and as a band you have a strong aesthetic and sense of style. Was it intentional to have that fashion angle on the video?

M: The song itself is really about how the world is now based on consumerism.

H: It’s about how we’re all part of quite a vain society.

M: So the runway in the video was a place where everyone is there to be stared at, to be judged, to reflect that idea.

When you write music, do you also have a visual in mind or does it come later?

H: For a song that we put out last year called ‘Swallow Me’, we knew exactly we wanted to do for the video, but for a song we’re about to put out soon, we had no idea what we wanted the video to be. It depends on the song.

Last year, you supported Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and I’d say that you can hear elements of their music in your songs – are they a band that inspired you and how was the experience of supporting them?

M: At all the parties I’ve ever been to, the one tune that everyone gets up and dances to is ‘Enola Gay’ and I didn’t realise that OMD sang that until about 3 years ago. It was mental being backstage, because they’re such normal guys. They had such an amazing set-up. Their sound is one that we haven’t intentionally been inspired by but it’s definitely been in our heads from parties. It reminds you of having a good time!

Next week, you’ve got another huge support slot with CHVRCHES at the Hydro arena – how excited are you for that and how did that opportunity come about?

M: We got a message from their manager saying that our music had reached LA and they’re loving it. So we said ‘If you ever need a support act let us know!’ and they said ‘Why not come and support us at the Hydro?’. We were like ‘Are you serious?!’

Has their music and their success as a Scottish band inspired you?

H: It’s pretty mad. Our tour manager is friends with them and people on their team. It’s mad to think how massive they are, yet they’re from Glasgow.

The music industry is still somewhat London-centric even though there are still healthy live music scenes in cities like Manchester and Glasgow – how much have you been able to grow your career whilst staying in Scotland?

M: We do quite a lot of travelling down from Glasgow, we spend a lot of our time in the van, which a lot of London bands don’t always have to do. But if anything, it makes it more exciting for us. We go down to London and make a weekend of it, we try and line up several gigs whilst we’re down there to make the trip worthwhile. I think it’s really helped us, it’s given us a lot more exposure. It’s not been a hindrance at all. The Glasgow music scene is so helpful, everyone helps everyone, if somebody knows a contact they’ll pass their details on.

Do you feel Glasgow has nurtured you or have you had to go to the capital to make that step up?

H: It’s quite a diverse place as well, there’s not so much competition between bands. It’s good.

Going back to the idea of looking outside of Scotland for support – how have you found working with Distiller?

H: It’s been really good. We’ve never been told to do something a certain way that we don’t want to do. They’ve not forced us to do anything that we’re not up for doing.

M: The label paired us up with Dan Austin to help us shape our sound and he’s totally in our heads, he gets us completely and helps us to get things exactly how we want them to be.

Have you been recording at Distiller’s studio in Somerset? It must’ve been interesting coming from Glasgow, with a very industrial heritage to somewhere so rural.

H: Yeah, all of our songs have been written in Glasgow and then recorded somewhere so opposite to Glasgow [laughs]

M: We were recording something on a really sunny day, a song that’s quite solemn, and we were praying that it’d be rainy and cloudy to reflect the mood of the song. We were like ‘The weather needs to be horrible so we can get in the right mindset to record this’, so when we recorded it we were like ‘Close the blinds!’ [laughs].

One of my favourite songs of yours is ‘Reformation’ because of the distinct religious references, what does that song mean to you and do you think you’ll continue to put religious themes into your music?

M: I’m not sure it’s much of a theme, but my grandparents were religious so I grew up around that and that could’ve had an influence.

H: We’ve never really thought about it, it just comes out in our music for some reason.

Finally, without any financial restrictions, what crazy Ninth Wave merch would you create?

H: A full red latex suit would be cool, that’d be good.

So… gimp vibes?!

H: Why not?

M: A free ticket to our next gig for every Ninth Wave gimp suit worn by the audience! [laughs]

The Ninth Wave support The Blinders on their UK tour this April:

26th Apr – O2 Institute 2 – Birmingham

27th Apr – O2 Ritz – Manchester

28th Apr – St. Luke’s – Glasgow

30th Apr – Scala – London

Tickets available at:


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