We chat to the Scottish band ahead of headline gig at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters 2014 golfing tournament.
What is the inspiration behind the new album?
The inspiration was very much going back to our roots, sort of a combination of where we started in ’89 and combined with the knowledge and experience that we’ve gathered along the way after all these years.
Were you nervous at all before it came out?
No, not at all, not when you make an album. But the reality hits in the first week when you go to radio, especially when you haven’t put a record out for eight years – it suddenly becomes reality. You know, you just go ahead and make it and there’s so much to do beforehand, but the first week when it goes to radio and you’re just waiting for them to come back and see if they start playing it, that’s kind of nerve-wracking.
You’ve done it in a band and on your own, releasing a solo album during Texas’ hiatus. How different is it performing without your band?
Well, I did one solo album and then I did a film project with Phil Ramone. I made it perfectly clear when I made that record that I was not pursuing a solo career, it was just something that was done more out of necessity in where I was in my personal life and where we were with the band. It was something that I wanted to get off my chest as in the way the record sounded, and that’s why that record was made. I don’t really ever compare the two. It was different, but Texas is what I do.
What are you expecting from your performance in Qatar?
I’m certainly interested to see what the weather’s like! I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always good for us to get the opportunity to play for people who’ve never seen us before, for people who’ve never experienced us as a live band, so I’m really looking forward to that. I love a challenge in life so hopefully people are going to walk away from the performance in Qatar thinking ‘Wow I really enjoyed that and I’d like to see more of them.’
Texas has been around since 1986 but you’ve always managed to retain your ‘sound’. However, the wider music industry has changed plenty since then. What is your opinion on the modern music industry and on the music that is being put out today?
Well, music always takes its roots from somewhere, if you look at something like the Robin Thicke record, a lot of this stuff is taken from disco with people like Nile Rogers playing on that record. When Texas made our first record we worked with Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson from Chic, so things haven’t changed that much. Everything is from a source and that source is always folk, country, soul and blues – it all comes from those places. It’s just that there are only so many words in life and those words are just mashed in different ways. So everything goes around and around and it’s just different interpretations of that. I don’t think it will ever stop because there’s always something to interpret from the original sources.
Music is made in a very different way now though. You can make records a lot cheaper with computers and all that kind of stuff, and you can make records for a lot less money without booking into big studios, so that’s really an exciting time for young bands coming out. If you’ve got the talent to write great songs and good music then hopefully there are bigger opportunities for you to get it out there. It is an interesting time right now with people being able to distribute their own records without record companies and effectively cutting out the middle man.
What is the next step for Texas?
The next step is we’re still promoting The Conversation at the moment. I’m currently talking to you from Belgium and we’re about to do a show. We’re on the third single of the record in the UK and The Conversation is still number one on radio airplay in France so it’s going well in France and the rest of Europe. Moving into next year, it’s the 25th anniversary of the release of Southside, our first record, so there are a few bits and pieces getting organised for that next year.
Texas will be on stage at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in the Doha Golf Club on Friday, January 24th. Tickets are QR150 for a day pass, including the show, and children under 15 enter free. Visit www.virginmegastore.me to buy tickets or visit www.qatar-masters.com to learn more about the tournament and entertainment.