Jul 30, 2010 12:00AM

we chat to grum

Heartbeats, the debut album from Scotland's Graeme Sheperd (aka Grum), is playing in clubs around the world, so you could forgive the guy for letting the excitement of it all go to his head. In reality, however, he maintains a low-key attitude and his feet are firmly planted on the ground. Oyster caught up with Grum, and found out about parodying popular music videos, touring with The Twelves, and why he thinks it's important that artists don't take themselves too seriously.

?I started writing the album two years ago; I wrote a single and some guy said I should do an album. It felt right, so I did,? Grum explains, telling Oyster that ?musically [he] wanted a crossover that was both cool and accessible.? Generally detached during our interview, a hint of excitement escapes as Grum discusses future collaborations. ?The ultimate would be Kylie? or Madonna,? he says, having already produced remixes for Lady Gaga.

Talking about his album, it's obvious that Grum isn't interested in artistic pretentiousness. The video for the track ?Can't Shake This Feeling,' is visual proof of Grum's approach to music, of not taking it all too seriously. Grum calls it ?a piss-take? of Eric Prydz's ?Call On Me' video, the opening moments featuring scantily clad modelss preparing for a workout; then as the music kicks in, instead of working out, they start working on massive piles of food. An extreme eating competition, where more of the food ends up on them than in them. It's this same unconventional attitude that's setting Grum apart from many of the artists of today.

His approach to music probably has a lot to do with his upbringing. He spent his childhood in a small Scottish village, and says he grew up on a diet of classic rock and synthetic pop. The calm nature of his youth didn't mesh so well with tertiary study however. After moving to Leeds to start a music technology course at University, he was far more interested in ?playing around on [his] laptop? than actually attending class. Grum tells Oyster that he feels a real affinity with the ?simplicity' of music from the 1980's.

?A lot of music from that time, the production is very simple, rough almost; it gives it a sense of charm,? he explains when asked about his fascination with the decade. Incorporating influences as far-reaching as the Human League and the Sex Pistols into the album, as well as a cover of David Bowie's ?Fashion', Grum has worked hard to recapture the mood of that era. With a nod to the current day, he names ?The Hurts' among a select few that are having a big influence on his current material.

Despite his confidence with recordings, crowds are something that Grum is still trying to figure out. Admitting that he just ?goes with it? and that planning a set never works for him, he says that he usually just lets the night dictate what happens.

While he talks with slight embarrassment about his live failures, he's much more interested in dishing the dirt on his recent tour buddies, Brazilian group The Twelves.

?They just don't stop eating sushi... Actually it was a long running joke,? he laughs. We're excited to see what's next for the artist.

Oystermag

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