There is nothing “normal” about Edinburgh. I passed two hours reading epitaphs in an overcrowded, haunted kirkyard before following adverts scrawled in chalk on the walls of medieval buildings to the Wee Red Bar (which I never would have found had it not been for a handful of strategically placed wall scribblings, because Edinburgh is a city that never fails to confuse the hell out of me—and I love it for that reason) where The School would be playing later that night. So, when the eight of us—87.5 % of the band and me (violinst Steph was not present)–piled into the van that would tow them about the country on tour, I had no idea what to expect.
By the time we’d finished, Liz (lead vocals, keyboards), Ryan (bass), Rich (drums), Fran (trumpet, backing vocals), Kay (violin, backing vocals), Harri (guitar, glockenspiel, backing vocals), Ivan (guitar), and I had covered everything from the new album and the Cardiff music scene to chat up lines and 6 Music. And what I found amongst more than half an hour of clever, insightful answers to questions I didn’t even know I wanted to ask were seven people with real interests, opinions, and the sort of multifaceted personalities you’re not allowed to express in the grown up “real world”—the sort of people I miss having around.
An excerpt from the interview is below, but I highly recommend you read the transcription in its entirety here.
The School Interview
TIH: How did this particular lineup end up together? [pause] Judging by your reaction, it’s probably fairly complicated.
Liz: It is pretty complicated. I started in 2007. I used to be in a band called The Loves, and we did some demos of songs that I was writing which were 60s influenced but more girl-group kind of things and then I recruited Ryan to play bass.
Harri: I saw an advert you put on the internet that said “anyone who can play anything, please sign up”, but I was too scared…
Liz: Yeah, we’ve had quite a few band members. They’ve come and gone because we have so many instruments. It’s just different people’s commitments and stuff, because there are so many different parts going on. In Cardiff, it’s quite a small music scene so musicians are kind of rare.
Fran: I was actually looking for some place to live, so I typed in “musicians in Cardiff” and came up with “wanted: female backing singer and trumpet player/musician” and I was like that’s me!
Kay: I found my advert on my own website, which was interesting. So I deleted it and took it.
Rich: I got in through the old guitarist. He recorded a demo of another band I’m in and they needed another drummer, so I joined that way.
Liz: Yeah. The rest were stolen from other bands. Ivan, I met at gig he was playing and I thought Ah, guitar…