Scotland Week: Casual Sex on Scottish Independence, Nuclear Weapons, and Gerry Rafferty | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, October 30th, 2020  

Scotland Week: Casual Sex on Scottish Independence, Nuclear Weapons, and Gerry Rafferty

"The planet that funds, plans for, and readily accepts the idea of nuclear retaliation...is the planet that only lives as long as its biggest ego allows." - Peter Masson

Sep 04, 2014 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Web Exclusive
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We have a special theme on Under the Radar's website this week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we will be posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. For some of the Scotland Week Q&As we emailed out the same set of Scottish related questions to various different musicians from the country.

For this interview we talk to Casual Sex. The Glasgow-based post-punk band features guitarist and lead vocalist Sam Smith, guitarist Edward Wood, bassist Peter Masson, and drummer Chris McCrory. The band has previously released the "Stroh 80" single and The Bastard Beat EP, and has a debut album in the works.

Read on as Peter Masson discusses his favorite Scottish albums, bands, and films, as well as his thoughts on the Scottish Independence Referendum, in which in a few weeks the people of Scotland get to vote on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom and have Scotland become its own country. Masson points out that all the views expressed in this interview are his and not of Casual Sex as a whole.

What are your thoughts on the Scottish Independence referendum? Are you for or against independence? Could you explain why?

Peter Masson: In the build up to the referendum there have been a mixture of approaches and practices adopted by many different people. I have heard a range of ridiculous lies, from the clearly invented on the spot "in an Independent Scotland, people on benefits will be kicked out of their homes" to the manipulative "anyone who votes no is an embarrassment and obviously doesn't like their country." A lot of the lies have only served the purpose of exposing the greater truth and also highlighted that the complexity of this referendum is really quite simple: should Scotland be an independent country? 

On the 18th of September 2014, the people of Scotland will only have three choices to make. 

Vote Yes.

Vote No.

Or don't vote at all.

I am, of sound mind and whole of heart, for independence. I did initially have reservations about how independence may be going against my better community minded instincts, but quite some time ago though, that idea changed. 

I was wrong.

As I took a bit more of a personally honest and open look at the world we live in, I have realized that the Independence of Scotland is the best thing for the future of all countries in the U.K. And here are some of the reasons why.

As the prehistoric boys club of Westminster is slowly dismantled through effective democratic process, there will be the acceptance that the remaining countries of the U.K. cannot continue living as a part of a system where power is held by an elite few who live in complete disregard of those they pretend to serve and who actually serve only to protect their own interests.

As Scotland then makes good on its refusal to be a nuclear missile base, watch what happens when attempts are made to find these pointless weapons new homes elsewhere on this island. 

If it's not good enough for Scotland, then I can assure you that it's not good enough for anyone else. Why should any person on planet Earth be expected to contribute their money for a weapons system that can never be used? There are no circumstances when a nuclear missile could be used. If people think that nuclear weapons are a form of defense then they best be making plans to move to the moon because the planet that funds, plans for, and readily accepts the idea of nuclear retaliation or warfare of any sort is the planet that only lives as long as its biggest ego allows. (These egos also happen to belong to psychopaths.)

Scotland is a country that is destined to be more socially just and more intelligently run than is possible under a Westminster government. An independent Scotland will surely go through some of its greatest challenges to date, since Independence will be the first of many steps and not an arrival point.

What Scotland also has on its side to be ready for this is that Scotland is more politically energized than I have ever known it to be and there is change in the air. If Scotland becomes an independent nation or if Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, I am certain the people of Scotland will remain active and resilient as we keep a hold of the power of having our voices heard. Heaven help the next politician to try and cross the Sons and Daughters (both native and adopted) of this country.

Scotland has the power to show the rest of the United Kingdom that social justice and equality are not only an effective way of running a community, but the only way. 

Yes, we are going to have to break out on our own to do so but so be it.

How do you think Scottish Independence might affect the arts and the Scottish music scene?

It can only be a positive thing. What artist would not want huge, positive political change as a source of inspiration? 

What is your favorite album by another Scottish artist and why?

About a year or so ago I bought my first Gerry Rafferty record. I've known his name since I was young but I was moved to buy a record by a documentary I saw. It's called City to City and it's brilliant. Why do I love it? I can listen to it at any time and it always works. Great harmonies, great playing and great songs.

I love it so much that there's a scratch across the first three or four songs on side one of the vinyl and also song one on the second side, which causes them to jump. I played the record to death when I got it and stopped noticing the little 'flaws,' but when two of my friends were round recently I could tell they were absolutely seething as "Baker Street" was being butchered and I was doing nothing to sort it. 

I'll need to replace that record actually... 

Lyrical highlight: "Feeling tired but I feel good, because I did everything I said I would."

Album cover highlight: "Many thanks to everybody that helped the making of this album and curses to those who hindered."

If you have never heard this record, please change that.

Which Scottish musician/band most inspired you to start playing music?

I'm privileged enough to come from a background where music was everywhere and lucky enough to grow up in a house that had a piano and a guitar. The Scottish musicians that most inspired me to start playing music are the family and neighbors that I grew up with. They were the ones that were able to play their instruments and be the life and soul of a party and the ones that could seemingly join in with anything and make it work. All styles were played and it's a great thing for a young mind to get to hear.

It wasn't just covers though. I got to see what it was like when people played and sang songs that they had written themselves and how an honest song can really touch people.

Who is the most underrated or underappreciated Scottish musician or band?

Uncle John & Whitelock.

Who is your favorite new Scottish band or solo artist?

I saw Fat Goth recently at the Belladrum Festival. I don't know how new you want new to be but I saw these guys and thought they were a cut above. But so are Randolph's Leap and Call To Mind.

What is your favorite film that takes place in Scotland?

My favorite film that takes place in Scotland is the stuff of legend. It's as powerful as it is raw and can only be deemed to be poetry in its purest of forms. Apart from being present at its recording, I've actually only seen the film in its entirety once. There weren't that many copies made but this only adds to its beauty and romance. The film is called A Night to Remember.   

You're unlikely to have heard of it and if you have, I'm sure it's not the film you're thinking of. The film I'm talking about is a straight to DVD release. It's also less a film and more just 90 minutes of football where you can watch a Scottish Cup game from February 2000. 

A game where a team by the name of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, consisting of many part time players (including a 39-year-old goalkeeper who was a part time builder, Jim Calder. One goal conceded, many saves made and I'm still waiting for the T-shirt with him laying bricks on the goal line), took on and beat a Glasgow Celtic whose players had a combined value of many, many millions of pounds. I won't list the names that were in that Celtic team but names there were, let me assure you. It was a massive shock in the football world and some people will tell you that one of the best things about it was that it inspired the headline "Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious,: a play on the Mary Poppins classic, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That simply isn't true. The best headline was "Glory Glory Caleylujah."

Who is your favorite Scottish author and what's your favorite book by them?

John Niven: Music From Big Pink

 



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