WHEN you’ve been a fixture of a nation’s music scene for so long, it’d be easy to get complacent. Playing the same songs night in, night out, some musicians would be content to phone it in and collect the lucrative pay checks without any semblance of internal conflict. Beloved by hundreds of thousands around the world, Kieren Webster could’ve simply rested on his laurels during The View’s hiatus. Instead, he’s throwing himself headlong into a new project that will see him employ his well-established song-writing pedigree and set a course for uncharted territory. Plying his trade under the succinct moniker of Web, the Dundee expat turned adopted Glaswegian is raring to go as his new outfit’s debut show at 2019’s St Luke’s All Dayer inches ever closer.
“I’m just preparing for the gig,” Kieren remarks with a notable exuberance in his voice. “Yeah, it’s good. We’re just going to be ready just in time for the gig so that’s good. I’ve just been going through all my equipment, there’s guitars everywhere. We’ve got Andy on bass and Gav on drums. We’re a three piece at the moment. Andy & Gav are brothers. They play really well together, good guys. I’ve known them for a few years now, I first met them at Benacassim and we’ve been mates ever since.”
In terms of how the project came together, Kieren insists that it developed in almost serendipitous fashion.
“Eh… yeah. I hadn’t really been doing enough musically. So, at the start of this year, I just decided that I had to literally get my act together and get on with it so that’s what I’ve been doing”, he states. “During that time, Andy and I started jamming together and then Gav came in and started playing the drums. I didn’t even know Gav played the drums at this time but it all just clicked. We’ve just been cracking on from there.”
Whilst The View’s penchant for experimentation was well pronounced, there were some avenues that went largely unexplored. Freshly unshackled from any preconceived notions of what his music “should” sound like, Kieren now has free rein to infuse his output with the DNA of artists that had went uncovered beforehand:
“Yeah…. I’d say there’s a lot of the same influences as before but there’s a lot of new influences as well,” he proclaims. “I’ve sort of been… nurturing the dark side. A lot of people I’ve sent the demo to have been saying it’s kind of (Jesus And The) Mary Chain-esque, sort of shoegazy. Which I’m happy about ‘cos… that makes sense as I listen to them like every day. The Fall as well, I’ve been listening to a lot of them over the last sort of year or so. They’ve been quite influential in the way that they don’t really care and they just go for it. It’s something that definitely comes through in their records.
Yet for all that he’d recently tweeted about the genre’s healing properties, Kieren is abstaining from putting his spin on Jamaica’s greatest cultural export:
“(laughs) Nae reggae happening. Maybe in the future, never say never. At the moment, naw. I would like to be in a reggae but I think I’d have to go back to the playing the bass. It’s all about the upstroke, the rhythm.”
Imbued with the freedom to plough ahead in his own creative headspace as opposed to cohabiting, Kieren seems genuinely taken aback by how much he’s relished the chance to work with a previously unobtainable freedom.
Yeah, I am actually. I wasn’t really too sure if I’d be up for that as I’ve always worked with people in the past, like really closely but it turns out that I’m really enjoying it”, he reaffirms. “It’s cool, you just need to trust your gut. Andy and Gav are really good guys to work with that have got opinions and are great musicians but it’s good to have… a vision and stick to it. “
Set to reflect “different subject matter” that has come to light now that “I’m getting older”, he’s also forthcoming with the revelation that Glasgow and its current status as a creative hotbed has played an inextricable role in his material:
“That’s one of the reasons that I love Glasgow as there’s so many good bands and they always seem to be playing. There’s always a gig to go and see. Inspiration is inspiration isn’t it but I feel like there’s a lot of it here in Glasgow. It’s definitely influenced my songs that I’ve been writing for this group. I suppose there’s no way around that as I live here, you know what I mean? It’s really cool.
Primed to unveil the project to the world at St Luke’s third annual All-Dayer, it’s clear that it’s an event that he’s been eagerly anticipating of late.
“Yeah I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been down a good few times and I’ve always really enjoyed it so I’m excited to play it this time. I’m looking forward to seeing Tijuana Bibles, Strange Bones… Snash. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone really.”
Three months later, Web will bring their new material to Tenement Trail 2019. Relocated from the hustle and bustle of the inner-city to Glasgow’s flourishing east end, Kieren seems eager to finally add his name to the list of renowned artists that have graced its stage.
“Yeah. There was always talks about playing that with The View but it never actually done it so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s always a good day out. I’m interested to see it moving East… See what happens, I’m sure it’ll be good, aye.”
As for what his manifesto for the future of WEB entails, Kieren is eager to have the full experience of a band’s formative years and watching its gradual rise once more.
“Web is definitely my main project and will be for the foreseeable”, he states impassionedly, “We’re just wanting to take the natural approach and see what happens. I’d like to have a good festival season next year and maybe have an album out. If I had my way, that’s what’d be happening. All the trimmings. I just missed gigging in general eh? Playing music is good for the soul.”
Tickets for Tenement Trail 2019 are available right now via TicketWeb.