With all the new bands emerging it’s hard to find a solid band that stick to you and your ears – something that sounds different to what is already around; but now we have the answer – Sahara.
Sahara formed in early 2015 and consist of Adam Campbell (17) vocals/guitar/harmonica, Megan McNally (16) guitar, Keir Henderson (17) bass and Ally Scott (18) drums. The young band are highlighting everything great about the music business – that they are flexible and the sound is reminiscent of the 90 (though can move into most areas). Sahara are the new band that you should be keeping an eye out for.
In May this year, they were invited to support Model Aeroplanes at their sell-out gig in Dundee. Writing and recording their first song ‘Ask Me Again’ in May, it was named as one of XFM Scotland’s breakout tracks, resulting in blogs and radio stations from the USA, Australia, Belgium, France, Venezuela and more in the UK playing and posting about them – which they found surreal.
Sahara have just finished recording their brand new version of original song ‘Rearranging’ which will be posted hopefully sometime this week. Gigslutz caught up with them to find out more…
Adam, Megan, Keir and Ally it is lovely to hear from you. How are you, what’s going on?
Hi, we’re doing great, thanks! Brilliant to be a part of this.
Getting used to the interviews yet? Or does it all feel a bit surreal at the moment?
No, I don’t think we’ll ever get used to the interviews. We still feel like such children, haha!
Would you say the dynamic of the group (being both girls and boys) works best – thriving off of each other’s energy?
Yeah, we would say the dynamic of the group works brilliantly so far. It’s still early days yet, but since forming early this year we’ve already got a bunch of songs under our belt which we’re all really happy with. Having three boys and one girl in a band is quite unusual, especially in Scotland, but it’s great to see that more girls are becoming more prominent in indie music – Haim, Wolf Alice, Babe Punch, Honeyblood etc. But to us it’s an irrelevant factor! It definitely works well.
Who would you say were your main influences?
We have a wide range of influences which change all the time. We have individual influences – Ally, Adam and Keir are really into artists like Tyler The Creator, Cypress Hill, Kasabian and The Wytches just now. I (Megan) am loving The Vaccines at the moment after seeing them at T In The Park, and Circa Waves are probably my current favourite band. I’ve also always been a massive Libertines fan, so them, Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things will always be massive inspirations for all of us. Aside from our individual inspirations, we have certain bands that we all enjoy and can meet in the middle with when coming up with new material which is always useful.
What was it like to be invited to support Model Aeroplanes? Was it a rush of adrenaline or a rush of fear?
Being asked to support Model Aeroplanes was a definite rush of adrenaline because I was already such a fan of their music and this was only our second ever gig. It was amazing for us as the whole thing was organised by DF Concerts, who are in charge of the majority of high profile gigs in Scotland (including T in the Park), so we knew we had to impress. The gig was already almost sold out when we were asked to support – I think we got the last 70 or so tickets and managed to sell them all which we were surprised about! Model Aeroplanes are great, both as musicians and people.
When you wrote your first track, “Ask Me Again”, was it a spiral of inspiration?
‘Ask Me Again’ was such a spontaneous song which came together almost instantly out of nowhere. Adam had this great riff which he showed us in our first rehearsal and the song just about fell into place from that point.
What was the inspiration behind the track?
It wasn’t really inspired by anyone in particular, but we felt like it was a natural gig opener – sort of like ‘Comin Down’ by The View.
You seem to be gaining interest around the world, thanks to XFM Scotland – do you believe it gave you the push that you needed as a band?
Being featured on XFM is something which I never expected to happen in my whole life, let alone within the first month or two of being in a band! XFM is a station which I listen to all the time, so to be featured was a real pleasure. It definitely gave us a push – it still hasn’t sunk in that blogs all over the world have posted about us. If anything, it’s making us more determined to keep going and get out there.
As you are re-recording “Rearranging” right now – what is different and what makes it a fresh track? ‘Rearranging’ is a song that myself and Adam wrote in a previous band. The original version that we published was recorded with another drummer and bass player who were great. It would have been unfair to them if we continued using that version, and we really felt that Ally and Keir in Sahara could really add their talents to it and compliment it which they have done really well. This version does the song more justice – certain parts have been changed and improved to a standard which matches what we all wanted it to sound like originally. We spent a whole day recording it in attempt to get it sounding as close to perfect as we could, as it’s always everyone’s favourite song that we play at our gigs so we don’t want to settle for less than that! We’re yet to hear the mixed version of it, but we were all unbelievably happy with the sound of it in the studio.
Have you got any plans on releasing an EP, or in the near future an album? Or is it merely enjoying yourself at the moment?
We would absolutely love to release an EP, it’s just really difficult to do as we’re all still young and obviously have limited funds to do it. It’s really difficult to officially release music on your own, so it’s just a matter of finding the right time and people to help us do so!
Any plans on touring at the moment? If so, we’d love to come along!
Touring also comes under that last answer – getting to experience different cities to play music would be a dream. It’s again really difficult for us to get a gig out of Dundee but we would jump at the chance of playing elsewhere. A great way to get exposure is by supporting established/popular bands, it’s almost impossible to get noticed to do this (especially in Dundee), but I definitely think playing with Model Aeroplanes was a step in the right direction. We just need to focus on spreading the word at the moment!
Huge thanks to Sahara for answering our questions!