Future fuelled by past

TALKING about The Xcerts’ new album must be a heartbreaking task for band frontman Murray Macleod.

The concept behind There Is Only You is that the songs deal with his “rocky road” through past relationships until he reached the point where he wanted to spend the rest of his life with one person.

MEMORY – frontman Murray Macleod poured his heart into the album

MEMORY – frontman Murray Macleod poured his heart into the album

The only trouble is half way through recording, the ‘one person’ said she didn’t want to be with him any more…

“It’s a tough thing to open up like that,” says Murray. “I don’t want to be too much of an open book because it’s a personal thing, but I feel comfortable enough to talk about it. It’s quite cathartic actually… it’s cheaper than therapy.”

As The Xcerts head out on tour to promote this third album, he adds: “Singing these songs is really cathartic too. I’m hoping singing about the memory of that person rather than what that person means to me now will work.

“I don’t really know that person any more, so I’m happy singing about the memory. I wrote the song about a certain time in my life and it’s a snapshot.”

So, what does his ex think of the song and the album? “I don’t know. I have no idea if she’s heard the record or not. I hope she’s proud, I’d be really chuffed if she was.”

Apart from the personal fallout, Murray says The Xcerts – who relocated from their native Aberdeen to Brighton a few years back – are extremely pleased with There Is Only You.

“This album has taken the most amount of time of any of them,” he explains. “It was relatively easy. We had so many ideas and we scrapped a lot of songs. The only issue we had was trying to make the songs as great as possible.

“I’ve spent a lot of time writing. We formed the band when I was 13 – half my lifetime ago as someone reminded me the other day – and I was never interested in learning other people’s songs. I love other people’s songs but, if they’re great, I think why mess about with them? I was always interested in creating and writing my own stuff.

“We’ve done cover versions and that’s just confirmed my opinion. I’m a massive Bruce Springsteen fan and we covered Secret Garden. I just thought why would anyone want to hear this when they can hear Springsteen do it?

“It’s like when people remake great films, I mean why did they remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Leave it alone, it’s perfect.”

With their third album in the bag, there is now pressure on the three-piece to garner more success, and Murray says: “We’re nowhere near where we want to be in terms of sales or big shows, but we’ve always wanted it to be gradual rather than exploding.

“We’ve always said if we felt like we had stepped backwards, it would be time to get real jobs and I don’t think we’re there yet. As long as we’re moving forward I’m happy and this album is definitely a step forward.”

THE Xcerts play at the West End Centre in Aldershot on Saturday, November 15.

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