The Bucket Playlist’s interview with Petty Cassettes

 ‘We’ve taken rocky acoustic, think a grungy Toy Story!’

by Sara Seddon at The Bucket Playlist

Glasgow-based punk rock ‘n’ rollers Petty Cassettes have brought out their single ‘Rydo & Julianne’ today (24 September), a song that explores the nuances of an abusive relationship.

The band comprises David (vocals and guitar), Francesco (bass) and Ciaran (drums). ‘Our names comes from every decent band name being took,’ David joked. ‘Our old name was ‘Gallus Avenue’ but there’s already a band called Gallus.’

They describe ‘Rydo & Julianne’ as ‘a modern day twist on an iconic love story, which unfortunately depicts the all too true reality of some young couples who have fallen in ‘love”. As David puts it: ‘I wrote it, the foundation came from stories you hear behind closed doors. In Kilmarnock (in East Ayreshire, Scotland), where my girlfriend lives, a lot of these things get spoken about,’ he said. ‘I’ve witnessed abusive behaviour, male toxicity is brushed under the carpet. It’s disgusting, we wanted to shine a light on it. This topic hits too close to home for far too many people, the band included, so we hope this song and the lyrics gets to those who need it the most and they find the strength to escape their nightmare.’

I say that that it’s a massive, soaring song with a melody that is at sharp contrast to the darker lyrics and they agree: ‘It’s kind of a happy pop song,’ Francesco said. ‘The theme is deep, so you wouldn’t expect those major chords and tempo changes.’ David nods: ‘Usually, what I’ll do is come with a melody on the guitar. It was one of those that wrote itself. ‘Rydo’ rhymes with ‘Glasgow’ and adding ‘Julianne’ turns ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on its head. I tried to write another song on this topic before but it didn’t work.’

‘It’s a common theme in my writing, there’s more depth and context than might first appear’

Essentially, they’re keen to infuse their songs with a depth that is only truly apparent when you listen to the lyrics, which is also true of their most recent single, ‘Sensitive Boy’: ‘It’s a common theme in my writing, there’s more depth and context than might first appear,’ David said. ‘We write happy anthems but people who seem happy can often be the ones who aren’t doing alright, so it’s important to check in on friends. I grew up in quite a rough part of Glasgow. When you’re older and mature, you can look back at what was happening. It’s very therapeutic to put it into songs, I’m almost possessed when I’m doing it, it’s medicine.’

As the track kicks off: ‘It’s time to go home now, washed up and broken on the bedroom floor. It’s time to go home now, never have I felt like this before.’

Next up is an under-wraps cover of what they call a ‘legendary song’ to mark a big anniversary which will come out on 19 November. ”Rydo & Julianne’ is the last of the old, it’s Petty Cassettes 2.0 now,’ David joked. ‘We wrote and wrote and developed in COVID, it saved us.’ Francesco joins in: ‘People are gonna love it or hate it, we’re a bit scared.’ David laughs: ‘We’ve taken rocky acoustic, think a grungy Toy Story!’

From their songs released to date, Petty Cassettes have shown that they can quickly shift from energetic rock songs to ballads. Influenced by different genres, the result is an explosive mix of upbeat-indie-rock that would be brilliant live. 

Another single ‘Lately’ (2020) has a brilliantly fuzzed up intro and I ask what pedal they used. ‘It’s a chorus, distortion pedal,’ David said. ‘Francesco is grinning: ‘You should hear it live!, he tells me. David agrees: ‘We enjoy playing that one.’

‘The amount of talent on our doorstep is unreal’

Locally, Francesco is a big fan of rock group The Dunts: ‘They’re the first band I saw when I moved to Glasgow, I got blown away, it was love at first sight. I’d love to share the stage with them.’ I ask him how he ended up in Glasgow? ‘I had to move away from Bologna for work. I moved to Scotland with my girlfriend, I found my forever home, I’m chained to these guys (laughs). I’d never been to England before but I wanted to go to Scotland because it’s so green and I love to hike.’ David joins in: ‘The amount of talent on our doorstep is unreal. Vlure (a Glaswegian alt-rock band) are really good as well.’ 

I ask them how they think the Scottish music scene is changing and that I get the impression that Scottish bands are finally garnering the attention they deserve and they agree: ‘There’s been a new hype, a night called ‘Sabbath’ at The Priory (a Glasgow music venue),’ David said. ‘They’d had The Dunts, Gallus, punk new wave and other bands have tried to copy them, it’s done wonders. There’s Glasgow, art school, chic out there Walt Disco as well. They’re quite 80’s, synthy, theatrical and flamboyant. The lead singer is like a Broadway David Bowie!’ I say what a brilliant band name it is and David laughs: ‘Isn’t it?! I’ll pat the back of whoever came up with that! They were at TRANSMT (a music festival on Glasgow Green earlier this month), they were the best. Luke La Volpe is another one, he’s reminiscent of old men singing a shanty in the pub but he can really sing, what a voice! I bet if you look into his history, he’s got his voice from his grandad who uses to sing shanties,’ he said mischievously.

If he could tour with anyone, Francesco picks Johnny Cash: ‘I will always say that I’d like to tour with his entourage, there were so many musicians there, there was Elvis and all these other musicians in a van doing their thing. I’d even be happy to be the one bringing them glasses of water, they are all massive heros of everyone else. There’s them and then there’s the rest of us!’ David is mulling the question: ‘Mötley Crüe would be fun but I would say David Bowie or Queen because they guided what other people would listen to, they were at the helm of the ship guiding everyone.’

(Photo below headline from left to right: Ciaran, David and Francesco.)

this story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on September 13th.

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