New Music
16.08.2009, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Remember Remember: "I’m not deluding myself I can be a pop star."

Sitting in the back of a Brighton drinking den, Graeme Ronald, aka DANIEL JOHNSON / STEVE REICH referencing musician REMEMBER REMEMBER, exudes a boyish sense of wide-eyed enthusiasm. Rightfully proud of his self-titled debut album on MOGWAI’s Rock Action Records, he’s currently on tour with influential US noise crew GROWING, for which he put together a seven-piece band. “Using a laptop isn’t the same as a live band, is it?” Ronald’s sweet, Glasgow brogue suffuses our conversation as he gives me an insight into his formative days. “I played with Mogwai as an additional keyboard player. I kept pestering them to let me join the band. I was working on my own stuff with a Loop station and started playing live regularly. Mogwai came down to hang out at one show and then offered to do an album.”

As it’s afforded him so many opportunities, Ronald is proud of his home city. “Glasgow does have a great music scene. It takes going away to appreciate what’s there. The art school or dole queue are great places to meet musicians. It’s a vibrant environment. Best steer clear of the neds though.” The music of REMEMBER REMEMBER mirrors the urban, comfortingly grey, concrete beauty of Glasgow. “It was a conscious decision to make a record that sounded Scottish. I hate it when people sing in American accents. Or think they’re German. There’s a sense of shame attached to being Scottish. Growing up, I was embarrassed by the Proclaimers, Rab C Nesbit, bag pipes. I saw Kurt Cobain on MTV and that was it! Getting older, you look to your own identity to create more honest art.”

Ronald is refreshingly grounded. “I’m not deluded enough to think I can become a pop star off of minimalist drone music,” he deadpans. “Making money is not a priority. Shouldn’t music be free? CDs, selling music – they’re all imposed business models.” Forever the Modernist, he’s already got his sights on the future. “The label wants me to promote this record more but I’m so keen to start working on new music. Touring’s new enough to be exciting but it’s still work. I’m quite up for doing a Brian Wilson and sending out other people to play my songs…”

Remember Remember is out now on Rock Action Records.

Remember Remember’s myspace

For more Steve Reich influenced sounds, check out our piece on Clock Opera.

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