Glasweigan quartet Long-Distance are a band that use the power of music for good.
The indie rock group’s latest track, ‘Violent Type’, gives a voice to voiceless domestic abuse victims, as a means of raising awareness for their plight.
It’s the latest in a series of singles from Long-Distance that aim to effect social change, with proceeds from Violent Type being donated to Simon Community Scotland, a charity of insurmountable meaning to the band.
While there is a palpable darkness that emanates through Long-Distances music, reminiscent of bands such as Joy Division, Glasvegas and Jesus and Mary Chain, there is also undeniable heart that the band embrace. Within the depths of gloomy synths, heart-racing drums and pining vocals, there is a glimmer of hope that the band can make a difference – and it’s infectious.
We talked with Long-Distance about ‘Violent Type’ and delved deep into their inspirations and what they hope to achieve with the captivating track.
First of all, give us a brief summary as to what ‘Violent Type’ is about?
Violent Type is a song written from the P.O.V of a domestic violence victim, but rather than focusing on the events or actualities of that type of situation, it explores the guilt people suffering this type of abuse might feel when it all kicks off.
From where did you draw specific influences for the lyrics?
There wasn’t a singular or specific event or experience that inspired this song but it’s a subject that’s got into our lives in a lot of different ways. In terms of the lyrics and what we actually wanted to say, we spoke to people close to us, people who we knew had experiences with this and researched as much as we could to give a real representation of how someone in that moment would feel. Some of the lyrics are real phrases we heard or read.
What made you choose to cover the topic of domestic violence victims?
It’s something that means a lot to us. We can’t write songs that don’t mean something.
Your music favours the darker side of indie rock – who are your main musical influences for songs like ‘Violent Type’ and why?
Violent Type was a slight step in a new direction for us. Our last single Be a Man was, other than slightly indulgent, a builder but I needed it to play out that way to wrestle the emotions of that song. This is way more immediate and bursts into life at points as a way of showing the unpredictability of the subject matter. We also wanted the melody to almost offset the lyrical content, so our influences for this one were actually quite poppy. When writing this we listened to Prince, as we always do, The xx and things like Hot Chip and Kendrick Lamar too.
From the start of the process to the finish, how do Long-Distance write a song?
I honestly don’t know. I can never remember where something starts or finishes or what it sounded like as a draft or just an idea. But I know it always starts with something special. We write as a collective. All four of us sit and write together and we could be playing around with something and then someone just plays something that makes us all look at each other. It gives us that moment of ‘right, what is that?’. It could be a progression, a guitar line, a beat. Or even when a song takes a new direction and turns into a vibe. Sometimes it’s not the vibe you thought it should be, but you know it just has to be now.
You worked with Kevin Burleigh on ‘Violent Type’. What effect did his contribution have on the end product?
Kevin is unbelievable and the thing we like about working with him the most is there’s no bullshit. If he doesn’t like something, he’ll say. We’ve worked with him a good few times now and he always approaches songs differently. He keeps us on our toes as well, which is always a plus.
The profits from ‘Violent Type’ will be donated to Simon Community Scotland. What do they do and what made you choose this charity?
Simon Community Scotland are a vital charity that support vulnerable and homeless people across our country. They have an astoundingly committed and resolute street team that are out every single day supporting people living on the streets. We chose Simon Community Scotland because homelessness, for me, is such a prevalent issue. From a selfish point of you, it is also something that scares me more than almost anything. All four of us are basically a couple of missed pay days away from potentially being in a situation like that. We don’t feel it’s something that should be happening in the time we live in. We volunteer as much we can but if this is another way we can help and raise a bit of money and shout such an important charity’s name so some people can hear, we’re gonna keep doing it.
All your previous songs cover important social topics and have in some way contributed to a philanthropic cause. What inspired you to take this route with your music?
We volunteer as much we can but if this is another way we can help and raise a bit of money and shout such an important charity’s name so some people can hear, we’re gonna keep doing it. It wasn’t even much of a conversation, when we were in the planning stages of this band, it was just always something we were going to do.
Finally – which lyric from ‘Violent Type’ means the most to you and why?
“On the wine tonight/and I feel my blues slipping away”
If I told you why, I’d be betraying someone’s confidence.