Interview: Model Aeroplanes

Flying high since bagging a record deal back in 2015, hotly-tipped Dundee quartet Model Aeroplanes arrive in Sheffield this month for headline duties at new music event Triangle – Live in Sheffield. Keen to give them a friendly Yorkshire welcome, Oliver McKinley got on the blower for a chat with lead singer Rory Flemming-Stewart to find out what we can expect.

You’ve spent most of the year out on tour. What are you up to now you’ve got a bit of respite?
It’s been a big year for us touring-wise. We’re in the studio at the moment just polishing off eight new songs. The touring has actually given us that time to develop, which with the four of us has taken time. In the past our sound might have been more of a plain and simple indie-rock band, but with these new tracks we’ve been working on changing that sound a bit.

Has anything in particular influenced this change in direction?
Well, I’d say that our influences are quite eclectic so it’s hard to pick one thing. When the four of us were growing up we were listening to rock and heavy metal, then a bit later it was post-punk, soul and RnB. More recently, and I guess quite ironically, it’s been the absolute classic rock of Prince and Bowie that’s been an influence on us developing a more contemporary sound. I’ve been listening to the music being released by the Philophon label based in Berlin; they produce this really cool Afrobeat sound with a lot of the musicians coming from Ghana.

Speaking of labels, you signed with Island Records in 2015. Was it intimidating to be signed by a music giant, or just plain exciting?
Quite intimidating actually! I don’t mean the people who work at the label, but there is a prestige involved and a lot to live up to. That said, they’re easy with creative control and they have given us that space to grow and to develop. It’s exciting too.

You’ve all been pals since your early teens. How has that dynamic developed over the years?
It definitely fuels the creative process, as we all have an equal say into everything. That can obviously make for a lengthier songwriting process, but like in any long-term relationship you have to work on compromise.

There’s often a summery feel to your tracks but they tend to be accompanied with darker lyrics. Do you consciously like to make that contrast?
Well, our style is quite autobiographical and you need to be honest in your lyrics if things aren’t going the right way. Some of our work has been written with a specific person or event in mind and it just comes together naturally. We write songs about heartbreak because they can speak to so many people and can be a help to some, but it’s more a natural thing than a conscious decision.

What about your career to date has made you most proud?
That we haven’t released an album yet, which might sound a little strange, but I’m proud that we haven’t rushed into things and that we’ve taken things slowly. We’ve done so much with so little money. I think we’d have regretted rushing something out and then being a flash in the pan, and instead we’ve been able to mould ourselves to into what we want to be.

Model Aeroplanes headline Triangle – Live in Sheffield on the Crystal Stage, Oct 17th. Tickets for the full event cost a mere £8 and are available from

Triangle – Live in Sheffield: The Lowdown
A new music festival to be held across three city centre venues, Triangle will see 12 bands take to the stage at 3 venues – Crystal, Maida Vale and Walkabout – on 17th October.
Local favourites I Set The Sea on Fire and Manchester rockers Sly Antics join Model Aeroplanes as co-headliners. Also on the bill are The Harringtons, No Hot Ashes, Cold Summer, Citrus Heights, Release, Where Fires Are, Divenire, and The Hyde.
Tickets (a mere £8 as it stands) will provide access to all three stages. Head to seetickets, ents24 or the Facebook page listed above to get yours.

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