We try and cover a wide range of pop here at MP!; from the chart-toppers to the new kids you haven’t heard of yet, bubblegum to indie rock/pop. Cut Ribbons are a band we’ve been following for a while, on the cusp of breaking through with their festival-ready alternative sound – and did we mention they are Welsh?! We got on the phone (or, ffôn) to band member Aled for a natter about music, Maccy D’s and sheep. Cymru am Byth kids, Cymru am Byth.
Hello Aled! How are you and what are you upto today?
I’m fine, it’s a lovely sunny day here in Llanelli. I’m just here in the studio, just working on the last track for the album.
Could you tell our readers a little bit about how you started out?
We’ve been going as a band for about four years now. Every member is from Llanelli originally though we’ve lived in many different places. We all convened back in Llanelli and decided to put a new band together after previous bands dissolved. It was natural progression to start a band with these members and they are natural musicians.
Where did the name Cut Ribbons come from?
Well that was from the genesis of the band anyway. It was because everyone’s other project work were coming to an end and Cut Ribbons is a new start – like the cutting the ribbon.
When the album comes out, would you do a deluxe edition where the CD comes packaged in a ribbon -a bit like Love Actually where Rowan Atkinson puts all the cinnamon and stuff in?
Well we’ve done – with Jen Long, our manager – tape only records, so we’ve put out cassette tapes with loads of ribbons on! Hand tied them ourselves, it took absolutely ages.
You’ve been going for four years, does releasing new music – like your new EP – still excite and/or make you nervous?
It certainly feels like something is going on in the band now. We’ve been keeping our heads down the last few years, we’ve been touring but it feels like we’ve been searching for our sound you know? I think the sound can’t be rushed. But now we’re about to release our second EP and working on the album, it really feels like the ball is rolling, its really exciting people are starting to hear us. I wouldn’t say nervous but just really exciting.
You’ve got to play at festivals here there and everywhere, is there a dream place you’d want to play?
Obviously Glasto would be amazing. We love playing festivals anyway, the big stage is great because music sounds really anthemic.
On the reverse, where’s the worst place you’ve played?
Good god, this a hard one. There’s been a few. There’s been a few places, in the early days, where we’ve turned up and there’s no mixing desk. Everyone runs round like headless chickens. Now we get to play really nice venues so we’re on the other side of it now.
Your musical style has elements of pop alongside the alternative, indie-rock parts, do you think you’d ever make a full-on pure pop song?
Well, we are in a bit of a transition at the moment, We’re actively trying to explore new sounds at the moment. I think certainly the brand new stuff we’ve been working on in the studio, a lot of those really, really are pure pop. All the synth, there’s really an eighties feel but on the right side, on the cool. But certainly the singles for the album are really pure pop.
A lot of mainstream artists get indie acts to write songs for them, would you ever consider writing a tune for someone like One Direction?
(laughs) I’d think I’d have to draw the line at One Direction. That is something that really does appeal to me though. It allows me to write in lots of different genres. Obviously I’d like to pick who sings my songs. One thing I’d really quite like to do at some stage is write for film. That’s where our sound is taking us at the moment, we want this cinematic soundscape. The brief when writing is seeing it in a huge scene in a film. That’s something I’d definitely like to explore.
Onto the quickfire questions: Can you say the really long Welsh town/station name?
Yes, I can! Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch [perfectly pronounced, we can confirm. If you want to know how to pronounce that beast of a word, here you go]
Well done. Your new song is called ‘Walking on Wires’. Have you ever gone wire walking?
No I haven’t! I’d love to try it, I’m sure there’d be a lot of injuries but we’d give it a go.
Should Wales go independent?
Really nice in theory but I don’t think so economically.
Who’d win in a fight between a jam donut and a celery stick?
Argh! I’d go with Jam Donut. Got all that energy. Celery stick is just cardboard.
If you could make a Cut Ribbons cocktail, what would be in it?
Best item on the menu at Maccy Ds?
Right, we frequent McDonalds quite a bit so ummm McFlurry. All of them. Mixed up.
Best novelty pop song to get down to on a night out?
Gotta be something by The Vengaboys.
What’s the next big thing in music?
Oooh that’s a really hard one. Vengaboys reunion!
What is the most annoying misconception about the Welsh?
It’s gotta be the sheep thing hasn’t it?
Pick a classic song to go on our Playlist.
Tears for Fears – ‘Head Over Heels’.
Thanks very much to Aled for the intervew. Cut Ribbons’ debut album is due to be released in early 2015, but before that, the new EP ‘Sail’ is out October 20th. Here’s the lead single ‘Walking on Wires’