Calum Baird has new single out, Modern Man, at the end of this month, 20th September. A song that focuses on the social construct of masculinity and the values and systems around it, The Fountain thought it time to catch up with Calum to tell us more about the new single and futher plans.
TF: A new single, how exciting, what has the reception been like so far?
The new song has received great feedback so far. It is not out on full release just yet, but I have played it to friends and other musicians who have been very complimentary about it. The song has had a few plays on radio, a handful of blogs and online music blogs have given reviews/previews of it and they have been good as well. The final word will be when the song is out on the 20th.
TF: With a title like Modern Man, I suspect it is contemporary, can you elaborate more on the track?
The song is a critique of masculinity as a social construct and the values and systems that develop around it. With the song, I really wanted to explore “manhood” which I see as a constructed, inconsistent and often elusive concept that relies on often toxic stereotypes that foster equally toxic attitudes in the way men are expected to approach the world around us. So there’s that on the one hand, but on the other, I want to explore my own relationship with this concept. In general though, the title isn’t so much about being a Modern Man but more about what it is to be a man in today’s modern world. The final chorus, “I’m a modern man trying to navigate the world as best as I can. I’m a modern man, but when it comes to ancient stereotypes, frankly, I don’t give a damn”, is one part of the song where I’ve tried to capture this and talk to it. I also wanted to try to ask, though, what place the toxic stereotypes around “being a man” have in a world where there is a push for greater recognition of equality. For me, respect for equality of class, gender, race, sexuality and so on is the perfect tonic to what is often called “toxic masculinity”.
TF: And is the first from an EP or an album that we can see the release of later in 2019?
I have no plans to release any more music this year, but next year there may be more to come from me. I’ve written quite a lot this summer and would like to put some of it out next year either as a single or maybe an EP.
TF: Will you be promoting the single with a tour at all, will we have the pleasure of seeing you live?
No plans for a tour for the release. I did a tour in Germany in May with the German Left Party as part of their European election tour. We went to Augsburg, Regensburg, Nurnberg, Wurzburg, Dresden, Halle, Leipzig, Berlin, Cottbus and Potsdam. I am playing a gig in The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, on September 27th. Playing as well will be the excellent female singer-songwriter, Shuna Lovelle and Jack Hinks. Jack and I recorded the song in his flat, he’s the producer on the song, he sings on it and plays guitar and rhodes on it also. It’s a real independent production and I’m grateful for Jack’s help with it. Beyond the 27th of September, I have a few gigs between then and the end of the year which can be found on my website.
TF: What has been your favourite gig to date?
Wow! This is a great question. I have played some great gigs in my time. I’ve played at Festa do Avante in Portugal in 2016 was amazing. The crowds were really passionate, engaged in what I was doing and I was treated really well and looked after the whole time by the organisers. I’ve played a few gigs in Berlin as well. Last year in, 2018, I played at Festival Musik and Politik in Berlin, which was brilliant as well. But I think my favourite gig was the Scotland Against Trump rally in George Square, Glasgow. The unity against Trump and his hard, right wing agenda was incredible and I was really proud to be a part it.