It’s a few weeks into lockdown now and people are looking for more music to uplift their souls. We took a moment to speak with the alt-rock duo PYRO about their latest release ‘I’ll Understand’ among other things. Here’s what Cameron McLean and Connor McCarthy had to say.
OSR: I know this is a cliché question, but how did you come up with the band name?
Connor: I don’t actually remember where it came from. I think we just thought it was an alright name for a band.
Cameron: Not really sure how the name was created. I just like the word.
OSR: Were there any other band names in the works or was it a simple decision?
Connor: Simple decision
OSR: What was the recording process like for I’ll Understand’?
Cameron: The recording process was one day in the studio with Mark Morrow. Nothing bad to say, he has a flawless workflow! Very easy as always.
OSR: ‘I’ll Understand’ is a platform for mental health awareness. How much influence do you think musicians have when promoting awareness of, well, anything?
Connor: Anyone can promote awareness for mental health, but I think it’s good to send these messages through music as well as them just being talked about.
OSR: A lot of bands are focusing on mental health issues at the moment increasing the level of awareness, particularly cases of depression. Do you think any mental health issues are under-represented? For instance, epilepsy awareness or personality disorders?
Cameron: For us, writing this song wasn’t necessarily about depression but more of an overall awareness of mental health issues.
Connor: I believe it’s only beneficial to acknowledge that these things do exist and, as music is such a good way to send a message, present an idea or way of thinking that musicians in their nature want to make people happy. They take these subjects and write about them to add a little light where it’s dark. I don’t think we are under-representing any mental health issues. I just think as depression and anxiety disorders are among the most common issues people face these are easier to relate to.
OSR: You don’t have to answer this but have any of you dealt with mental health conditions directly or indirectly?
Cameron: I have never dealt with any issues myself but have had a lot of very close friends that have struggled a lot with different forms of mental health.
OSR: Are there any charities you place particular focus on? Maybe you can tell us about them.
Connor: For this release, we plan on raising funds and awareness for Tiny Changes which is a mental health charity started in memory of Scott Hutchinson. He was the frontman of Frightened Rabbits and sadly took his own life. The charity aims to raise awareness for mental health issues, provide encouragement and funding for research and support systems for those in need.
Cameron: We were going to use the launch night to raise money for the charity, however, that has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. We are currently setting up a JustGiving page where people can donate once the single comes out. We will also reschedule the launch night to a later date and will still be raising money there.
OSR: You mention an upcoming music video. What can you tell us about it?
Connor: The video looks amazing. It portrays different mental health issues. We wanted to show different issues just to acknowledge that mental health has a wide spectrum.
Cameron: You’ll just have to wait and see it.
OSR: We always try to lighten the tone of an interview with “random questions”. So, what board game are you most fond of?
Connor: I declared myself a heavyweight champion of Trivial Pursuit as the last two times I played it I won. It would have to be that.
Cameron: Board games bore the fuck out of me, however, I do love a stupid game of Scrabble.
OSR: You have inherited one million pounds. What is the first thing you do with the money?
Cameron: Buy a stupid car and drive around being all flashy. I am self-indulgent as fuck, yes.
Connor: I would probably go see some nice places.
OSR: Can you recommend some new bands for our readers to check out?
Connor: The Gritty Kings, Dictator and Megan Black come to mind.
Cameron: There are so many good bands coming out of West Lothian at the moment, most of them are very good friends of ours and have been gigging together for a few years now. For instance, Mark Sharp, The Bicycle Thieves and Luke La Volpe.
OSR: Any final message for your fans and potential fans?
Cameron: It would be great if you could all listen and share our new tune and tell all your pals to come see us.
Connor: “A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity” – Marcus Aurelius