The Xcerts (Interview)
With their recently released album Hold On To Your Heart, Scottish expats The Xcerts managed to snag the Top 40 spot they’ve deserved for years. Well known for their mastery of singalong-inspiring songwriting and all-encompassing live shows, these guys are now bringing it all to the Main Stage at 2000 Trees. I talked to frontman Murray Macleod about mid-set marriage proposals, avoiding dental cavities, and his band’s very busy schedule…
You’re hitting 2000 Trees 2018, and the festival begins in just a few days. How’re you feeling about it all?
We are incredibly psyched! We adore 2000 Trees; the crowds and organisers have always shown us a tremendous amount of love over the years, so we’re looking forward to doing the thing and seeing everybody.
When you were growing up, which gigs had a real impact on you?
The first show I ever attended was Placebo at the Music Hall in Aberdeen. That concert blew my mind – it felt otherworldly!
I couldn’t believe a big-production rock and roll show was practically on my doorstep, and I was in attendance. It was like someone showed me another dimension and said “you can stay here if you like.”
The first time I saw Biffy Clyro was also a game-changer. I saw them play to around sixty people at the Forum in Aberdeen, and it was a real lightbulb moment in regards to me thinking I could do that. It was a pretty raw set, and it felt achievable.
What was your first ever festival experience? How did it go?
My dad took myself and Jordan [Smith, bass / backing vocals] to Glasgow On The Green. We saw The Dillinger Escape Plan, Slipknot, NOFX, The Offspring…it was yet again another very eye-opening experience, and I loved it.
Any festival survival tips?
Stay hydrated, and don’t skip on brushing your teeth! Lose your mind, not your teeth.
What’s the oddest thing that’s ever taken place during one of your shows?
This isn’t odd, but it was very surreal! A couple at 2000 Trees 2016 actually got engaged during our show. It was really bizarre for the three of us, as the tables turned and all of a sudden we had front row tickets to a proposal. It was a hell of a thing to be a part of and witness.
Do you ever get nervous before going onstage? If so, what helps you deal with that?
I definitely still get a little bit nervous, but nothing that some deep breaths and a strong Jameson and ginger won’t sort. We like to call it “showman juice.”
Which other 2000 Trees bands are you looking forward to checking out?
We are only there on the Saturday unfortunately, so will be checking out Basement, Hell Is For Heroes, Bloody Knees and Enter Shikari.
Beyond 2000 Trees, what have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We have a few more festivals to play; we’re hitting the road with The Goo Goo Dolls which is totally fucking nuts; we’re also heading out on tour with our buds You Me At Six a little later on in the year, which should be a hell of a trip – and we have a couple of new releases coming!
I’m sure there will also be more show announcements, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Xcerts play the Main Stage and Forest Sessions at 2000 Trees on Saturday July 14.
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