Hidden Door

“When the World Was Full of Wonder”: Interview with Callum Easter

Callum Easter has been a part of the Edinburgh music scene since 2008, when he turned heads and pricked ears as a member of alt-rock band The Stagger Rats. Since then, he has pursued solo endeavours and released two critically acclaimed EPs; Delete Forever and GET DONT WANT.

Easter will be playing on the 2nd of June, supporting fellow Edinburgh natives Young Fathers at their sold-out show. We were able to catch up with the song-writer and multi-instrumentalist beforehand to hear his thoughts on the Edinburgh cultural scene and Hidden Doors role within it.

Your music has been described as idiosyncraticdue to the way it combines diverse influences, escaping easy classification. If you were to tackle the task of describing it to someone who had never heard it before, what would you say?

I’d say it sounds familiar. I’d say it’s not for everyone but really it is. I’d say it sounds like a feeling you had, now a distant memory, maybe from childhood. Like when the world was full of wonder and the dark things around you had no context so you didn’t think anything of them.

You first broke onto the scene as part of The Stagger Rats, an Edinburgh five piece formed in 2008. How has the Edinburgh music scene changed between then and now?

I don’t think it’s changed. I feel like there’s always pockets of good stuff happening or individuals or groups happening but it doesn’t join up. It’s never been a scene to break a band or artist, not whilst I’ve been around anyway. People go elsewhere to make it.

The culture in Edinburgh’s not quite right for music and there’s not enough ad-hoc venues open to locals doing original stuff. I’d like to see that change and I think it can but it’s gonna be a while and maybe further out of town.

Do you think Hidden Door has had a hand in changing the Edinburgh cultural landscape? How so?

Yeah, I reckon. Leith Theatre is back on the map. That’s a much needed space for the arts in Edinburgh. I’m not sure about the landscape in general though. There’s a lot of concern about where Leith’s going as far as developments in the area. Gentrification and all the faceless stuff that comes with it. Leith Depot faces closure and that’s a much needed venue in the area too. There’s a crowd funder called ‘Save Leith Walk‘. Even if you can’t stop a development you disagree with community engagement has to be part of the process so you should voice your opinion.

What does Hidden Door mean to you?

Hidden Door this year is an opportunity to showcase what I do to the fullest house in the area I live and work in. I’ve got a debut album I’m putting the final touches on called ‘Here or Nowhere’ which sounds like everything I wanted it to sound like. So it will be a chance to premiere some tunes from that too.

Callum Easter will appear on Saturday 2nd June with Young Fathers. Evening tickets are sold out but full festival passes are still available.