On The Phone With : Ricky Ross
The Daily Record 30th April 2005


The Deacon Blue star still enjoys playing with the band but he also loves working on his solo material

Your new solo album, Pale Rider, is a more subdued affair than your last LP This Is The Life. Was that a conscious decision? It's difficult to say what's a conscious decision when you're making an album. I was aware it was happening, as I wrote the songs. But the album had a different balance this time last year and then I decided to take some of the more 'up' tracks off it. On tour, it's going to be piano-vocal and guitar-vocal. I love simple songs.

I wish to God I could write a song like the first one on the album, She Gets Me Inside, every time. When I wrote it, I was like 'Where did that come from?' And every time I've played the title track live people always respond positively to it. You still tour and perform with Deacon Blue. How different an experience is touring your solo material in smaller venues?

With Deacon Blue, songs would be thrown into this melting pot, but when I do things on my own, it's different All the things I do in an acoustic solo show are the things that make it a different kind of thing completely.

I toured the last album acoustically and with a band, but it dawned on me that I'd been doing something quite creative with the solo acoustic thing. I get nervous but I'm getting better at dealing with that, and there's a nice intimacy to things this way.

Besides, every time we've got together to do Deacon Blue shows, which we've done very few of over the last few years, they've become increasingly more enjoyable. But we wouldn't want to do it full time again. You kicked off the Tsunami Wave Aid gig at the SECC this year. Being the elder statesmen, how did you get on with some of the younger Scottish bands. It was lovely. These things can often be fraught backstage. I remember doing the Poll Tax benefit gigs in the '80s and there were all sorts of feuds going on behind the scenes.

But that wasn't the case at the SECC. I spent a lot of time chatting to Fran and Dougie from Travis about songwriting. It was a great night and I was genuinely shocked and surprised when the audience knew our stuff so well. I'm never any good at explaining why. I suppose we've become part of Scottish pop history. Paul English