Gay Against You Sends Out Righteous Signals

A cacophonous sound is being let loose from the bonny city of Glasgow.

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New on the scene is Gay Against You, a truly fruity musical duo from the bonny city of Glasgow, who see the release of their second album Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes in August. With a thoroughly imaginative and unclassifiable style of music jacked up by their flamboyant live performances and wild fashion sense, GAY (dig the acronym) are an interesting proposition for those who have a liking for experimental, cacophonous, and kooky songs.

A case of the marmite-test, one expects you’ll either love them or hate them. I catch up with the refreshing team that is Lachlann Rattray and Joseph Howe for a lowdown on the GAY story, size-zero music, friendship, and the science of music and clothes.

Dazed Digital: What’s the story with the name?
Joseph Howe: Gay Against You backwards spells "the lost original recording of 'Smile' by The Beach Boys." Satanic!
Lachlann Rattray: Its true, Satan came to us in a joint dream and told us to form this band.    

DD: Where have you come from and where are you going?
Joseph Howe: we started the band four years ago when we moved into a shared flat because it was the right thing to do. Since then, we've expanded, both into separate flats, separate cities and now separate countries. Next step I suppose is separate bands and self-fulfilling prophecy!
Lachlann Rattray: It's actually a Glasgow by-law that everyone living together in a flat must be in a band.   

DD: How would you describe your music?
Joseph Howe: The easiest way to describe it is that it’s like pop music with all the shit bits taken out: mostly no repetition, no wastage, and no fat. Lean music. 
Lachlann Rattray: Yeah it’s filter pop: we strain out the crap like membrane bioreactors.

DD: Tell us some more about your new record Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes.
Joseph Howe: It's a record about friendship. We had to really work at being friends sometimes through the process but I think it was sort of therapy for the band. I think it’s the most successful - at least for me, personally - thing we've done as a unit.
Lachlann Rattray: Our record label was really worried about us splitting up so they hired us a group psychologist. He really helped us with dealing with our huge egos and eventually we actually managed to work together to make the record. So I guess this record is really a tribute to him.

DD: An unruly mess of unmelodious compositions, or the deliberate cocktail of experimental music… what should we believe? 
Joseph Howe: I would hope that people would be able to pick out at least some melodious parts this time; I mean its still pretty wonky but there's a lot of songwriting that’s gone on behind the scenes. Two words: through composition.
Lachlann Rattray:  I think anyone basing their opinion on the live show would pick the former but I think the new album is pretty different, we put a lot of thought into it and Joe spent hours mixing it and getting it to sound like it does; We also got the Vatican to bless all our equipment before we began, so I'm pretty sure it will be at least as good as Jesus’ new album.
Joseph Howe: Also, this time you can hear the vocals better and it's got guitar solos and stuff like that.    

DD: Where do you buy your clothes? 
Joseph Howe: Humana (a European second-hand-superstore kind of a place), flea markets.
Lachlann Rattray: I have been taking evening classes in sewing, which has been a lot of fun. I also recently got a heat press and have been making satanic t shirts. I am pretty sure that by 2012, I will be ahead of the governments target for self-sufficiency.    

DD: Is there a correlation between your music and your sense of style? 
Joseph Howe: I guess they are both similarly home made and slightly off-kilter. It’s difficult also to pin us down to a really distinct style both sartorially and musically.
Lachlann Rattray: Yeah, it’s true. I think if you where to graph the relationship between our fashion and musical styles, I think you would produce a Torus Knot, with the co-prime integers p and q, where p equals our fashion cool points and q is inversely proportional to the number of time signature changes in our music.  
   
DD: Vinyl, tape, CD, or MP3? 
Joseph Howe: I'm very pleased that our record is coming out in three out of four of those formats! (We should've organised a tape release too). For me, vinyl and tape are the only formats that don't feel like junk, disposable.
Lachlann Rattray: I wish our album could have come out on all the digital formats like .wav .wmv. .aiff .ogg. .flac .aac. - but mp3 is pretty good. I look forward to the day when people get nostalgic for CDs.
 
DD: To all the haters who just don’t get you, what do you say? 
Lachlann Rattray: Hello! 
Joseph Howe: To stop worrying about it and just get on with things. Also, Hello!    

DD: What’s next for Gay Against You?
Joseph Howe: I have a new band I’m working on at the moment, called 'Ben Butler & Mousepad.' It’s a sort of experimental synth-funk project. Got a single coming out later in the year - do a wee search for it on the internet.
Lachlann Rattray: I too have a new band, called "Teenage Ricky." I wanted to call it "Neighbourhood Gout" but I was overruled. I'm also pretty into drawing pictures of Satan and President Ahmadinijad and Elvis.
Joseph Howe: we're hopefully going to be doing some touring around the UK before the end of the year, too. It’s been a while so keep an eye out for that! Also, we've just dug a bunch of previously mostly unavailable material - including videos- out from the vaults and we're looking into ways of sharing that with everyone.
Lachlann Rattray: Yes, come see us on our tour, we are working on a way of starting our own religion. That way we can get government sponsorship.   

Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes is out August 3 on Upset the Rhythm Records
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