THERE’S always something insatiably exciting about witnessing a musician cast off the abitrary chains that they’d unwittingly acquired in a musical project in order to once again have free rein. No longer constricted or railroaded into an underdeveloped project in order to satiate the zeal of a fanbase, an artist stepping out of their comfort zone and into pastures new can act as the catalyst that brings an untapped well of creativity to the surface and serves as the fateful mother of reinvention.
In the case of Ross Clark, the demise of his revered band saw him deftly shed the collective mindframe that had steered them in order to recalibrate and embrace the expanded horizons that he saw before him. Now operating under the guise of Fiskur alongide Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan, the two singles that have seeped out of the studio and made their way to the public have been nothing short of relevatory and quickly garnered the project an abundance of hype and speculation.
As the industry eagerly awaits their next move, they have also found themselves with a steadily bustling calendar including a support slot with Glasgow’s premier eclectic indie rock outfit Pronto Mama and a special headline show as part of the revered Celtic Connections
With so many prosperous irons in the fire, now seemed like the appropriate time to garner an insight into the brazen new auditory world that Ross Clark is constructing for himself.
First and foremost, How did Fiskur and its central musical manifesto come together?
After Three Blind Wolves split up I had a lot of time to think, I hadn’t been on my own musically in 9 years. I like to go fishing to relax and clear my head and as I had what felt like a massive breakup I would find myself deep in thought, casting away on the River Kelvin thinking about what music meant to me now. I began to write, for no reason other than creative expression, I wanted to hear what I could do on my own. It was when I let my old friend Andy Monaghan hear them, things started to move. I got into the studio in the Frightened Rabbit HQ and began to record. As I didn’t have an idea of what these new songs should sound like, I was more enthusiastic about trying new things like electronic drums and synths, it was an experiment.
Although the project may be in its infancy, you’ve already received widespread plaudits and some very enviable support slots including tour dates alongside We Were Promised Jetpacks and more. Have you been pleasantly surprised by how quickly the public have gravitated towards the music or had you anticipated it?
It’s been so great to be so new and for the music to be supported by musicians that I love and respect, the praise I have received so far has been really encouraging and makes me even more enthusiastic about releasing new tracks.
You’ve spoken of how Fiskur is a project that is “not distracted by the trappings of making music in this modern world.” Was this born of a frustration with the hastiness with which some bands fit themselves into constraining categories or just a personal desire to make something that defies all expectations of what a Scottish musician can do?
It’s all about personal desire and good art, I feel that in my old band I perhaps didn’t appreciate the achievements we made because I was constantly focused on the ‘bigger picture’ this time round I want to focus on what’s important, making music I’m excited about and not taking the experience for granted.
You’re on the cusp of a support slot with Pronto Mama at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. Considering they’re a band that similarly eschew the confines of genre and preconceived scenes, are they a band that you’re looking forward to playing alongside?
I have known the pronto lads for a long time and have had the pleasure of playing shows and causing it for many years now. They have just been getting better and better and I would say their most recent release is up there with their best. I’m a pronto fan! Haven’t seen them in a while so I’ll be getting on it after my set and pushing my way to the front!
For the uninitiated, what can those that head down to catch you ahead of Pronto mama expect from the set?
An interesting insight into what goes on in my head and some songs about sweating.
Pronto Mama’s King Tut’s show is completely sold out but those looking to catch Fiskur firsthand can do so at The Hug And Pint on the 30th January with tickets available right now.