The Dunts: Gerry Cinnamon has set the blueprint for Glasgow bands like us

Glasgow band The Dunts made their debut at SXSW across the pond last month, and have certainly made a name for themselves with their self-proclaimed brand of "council punk".

Ahead of a summer of festivals - including TRNSMT in their home city and Camden Rocks in London - we caught up with the four-piece's frontman Rab Smith to chat about Glasgow's hottest homegrown talent spearheaded by man-of-the-moment Gerry Cinnamon, the fickle music industry and their big ambitions...

How was SXSW?

SXSW was absolutely insane. Can't even believe it really. It's obviously a music festival in a city, but it's only when you get there that you realise - it really is just like taking a huge music festival from a field or whatever and placing it right in the centre of Austin.

We couldn't believe how many people were walking about at all times.

From the streetfood to the strangers we met, absolutely everything was class.

Special shoutout to Hoboken Pie.

Must have had about 15 slices of pizza from there whilst in Austin.

Has it made you want to have a go at cracking America?

It's definitely given us the itch to go back and see what we can do in terms of cracking America. It's a big place ... but we've got big ambitions!

It’s a great way to warm up for the many festivals you are playing this summer. What can festival- goers expect from your set?

We're a band who don't take ourselves too seriously, but we do like to ensure we're providing a quality show for anyone watching us live, regardless of where we are/how many people are there.

Festival-goers can expect a lot of energy, some mild patter (depending on how drunk we are) and Kyle (our drummer) being a ghoul.

We started paying more attention to the order of the songs in the set last year before we started playing festivals to make sure everything flows nicely, too. 

As festival regulars have you had any wild encounters backstage?

Nah, nothing too crazy has happened backstage.

Nothing scandalously wild has actually happened to us yet but we will embrace any such encounter with open arms.

When we were camping in the Artist Camping area at Belladrum Festival, I think we all got heavy drunk and it was more funny than wild. The next morning, we found David (our bassist) sleeping in the boot of the car we had like a sardine in a tin. 

There is a lot of great music coming out of Scotland. Who should we be listening to?

Baby Strange, Rascalton, Voodoos, Heavy Rapids, The Ninth Wave, Neon Waltz, Gallus, Lucia, Crystal, The Van Ts, The Vanities, Fauves.

Would you say your background and being Glaswegians has given you a thick skin to cope with the challenges of the music industry?

It's hard - I don't think anything prepares you for the harsh realities of the music industry.

You never really know who's looking out for you and who isn't.

People who you could have sworn were with you can dump you with the click of a finger for the next band to generate a bit of hype.

It's happened a few times to us and obviously it hurts.

As Glaswegians I like to think we're good at spotting snakes but we have been fooled once or twice by people who clearly know how to talk and know what we want to hear.

I think the important thing in the music industry is to maintain hope and keep working towards goals in general.

Don't put any special amount of faith or belief in any person who isn't in your team because it can lead to heartbreak - it's upsetting when things fall through or when people turn out to be not as interested as they say they are.

We're a very honest band, very transparent and all we look for in people we're working with is people who believe in us and people who get what we're about.

I think not a lot of bands talk about stuff like this during interviews, not sure if it's taboo or unwritten that no one reveals the kind of stuff that goes on behind the scenes, but that's our experience of it anyway.

It's a fucking tough battle for four boys from Glasgow with no existing connections to the music industry.

We've not got powerful friends high up who can help us out or any of that shit.

Everyone in Glasgow helped us. That's all we needed. Sometimes it seems like it's an uphill battle but that's the way it goes. We don't give a fuck. We'll get where we want to be eventually and we know that to be true because our commitment is unwavering. Try and stop us!

What do you miss from home when you are on the road?

I miss chippies haha. You get fish and chips in England but it's not really the same - I don't know anywhere out of the central belt of Scotland where you can get a pizza crunch supper.

If you've never tried it, get up here and get one. It's really unhealthy though, so keep it to one a year.

Pizza Crunch Supper:

Although you are inspired by punk and indie, who else are you influenced by that your fans might not expect?

I love stuff like this:

I'm a fan of loads of composers and especially stuff like John Murphy - my favourite film composer. He's responsible for the soundtrack to '28 Days Later' (we covered 'In The House - In A Heartbeat' in late 2017 and I'd love to do it again. '28 Weeks Later', 'Sunshine' and others. Search him on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. 

If you could work with any punk legend dead or alive, who would you pick?

It's probably fairest for me to say Johnny Rotten here since we wrote a tune about an interview he did, see 'Witch Hunt'. Colin had the idea for it and it's one of my favourite Dunts tunes!

Gerry Cinnamon is doing great things. You worked with his producer Chris Marshall on your EPs. Would you like to collaborate with Gerry, are you friends?

Gerry is killing it all over the place right now, well deserved.

To be fair, I'd love to be able to say I'm pals with Gerry but I don't think any of us have ever met him so don't think I'd get away with coming out in an interview and saying we're pals, but our management team are pals with him.

We've obviously been fans of his and been watching how he's been killing it for a while.

He's followed us back on Twitter and Instagram and he's liked some of our posts I'm sure - so it's all friendly.

I'm sure our paths will meet properly at some point and I'll tell him about how he's set the blueprint and paved the way for scheme boys from Glasgow wanting to make it big. If the chance came up of course we'd collaborate with him, who wouldn't?

Watch the video for The Dunts' 'G53':


4th May - Live At Leeds Festival, Leeds

5th May - Hit The North Festival, Newcastle

1st June - Camden Rocks, London

13th July - TRNSMT, Glasgow