After bursting on to the scene just over a year ago, Glasgow based high energy trio The Wee Reprobates took to the stage of the cities iconic King Tuts Wah Wah Hut as part of the venues summer series with a sold out show with pals in Soapbox.
Prior to the gig, I caught up with singer and guitarist David Walls, drummer David Roberts (big div and wee div) and bassist Aaron Stokes (Stokesy) to discuss the last year of the band and what’s it store the rest of 2023 and beyond.
Hello lads, let’s kick off and if you can just introduce yourself and tell the readers who you are?
DR - I’m big Div, I hit things.
DW - I’m wee Div, I shout really loud and jump about like a dafty.
AS - I’m Aaron and I have a bass and I play it sometimes.
You’ve recently posted on socials that you have been a band for a year now - how’s the first 12 months been?
DW - it’s been through quite a bit of change, it first started off just me and my friend from school at the time but we just never felt the connection with things and parted ways - within around 30 minutes of announcing this Big Div messaged me asking if I needed a stand in for my gig and yeah I went from that.
DR - and I’m still here.
DW - went then went for a rehearsal and decided we needed a bassist, I’ve known Stokesy for a year or so and brought him in for our first proper gig as a 3 piece in HMV in January. This was basically a public rehearsal for free.
DR - it’s been really fun for me, having not played drums for 5 or 6 years and just throwing my name in to say I’ll do it, it’s been very revitalising for me because it’s what I enjoy and love doing. I’m also doing something I never used to do in terms of music, it’s keeping me young for sure - it’s been a rollercoaster but it’s been fun.
DW - it’s just been mental, to see what we’ve done in the last year is wild, I can’t really get my head around it all, tonight’s a sell out - the first gig we done under this name there was maybe 20 people there to see what we have now is beyond mental.
AS - I always said by the end of this year I wanted to play Tuts, now I’m about to play to a sold out room. It’s insane really.
Carrying on from that, what’s been a stand out highlight from the last 12 months?
DR - it’s a hard one, this is really wee Divs things, it’s quite vague for me to say because I’ve been gigging for close to a decade now, I started playing at 14/15 to almost no one to then touring the country so I’ve had my fair share of highlights so the last year is mainly his highlights I’d say.
DW - for me I just can’t get my head around what we have achieved in such a small amount of time - I look back at a time without Div and Stokesy and then I couldn’t imagine where we’d be now, it wasn’t until we played The Hug & Pint with Soapbox when it clicked this could be something special. The energy that night was massive.
AS - That night was when it clicked for me that they’re something here, I seen a space for us to get in and do something.
DR - I think I'd say a highlight for me is seeing so many bands in the scene routing for wee Div to do well - everyone including myself can see the enegry he gives and just shows what all this means to him. Seeing that commitment is great to see and more and more people are seeing it. He used to turn up to gigs under age desperate to get in and get knocked back time and time again but always came back to try again for the love and support of the scene. People don't forget that.
DW - As Div says having those bands look out for me is surreal - pre lockdown is when I really took a deep dive into the whole Glasgow scene, bands like Gallus, The Dunts, Pleasure Heads - from trying to get into their gigs to have them look after me and support what I do is a really strange feeling but it just shows the brotherhood within the Glasgow scene and that everyone just looks out for each other - its a very nice thing.
AS - I actually got memories today on Snapchat I was out in Glasgow busking with an acoustic guitar, I never imagined a year down the line I'd be playing a sold out King Tuts in a punk band. I knew what I wanted but was never sure how to go about it all - I always wanted to play bass in a band but never really learned that much at the time and just messaged wee Div one day to see if they wanted me.
DW - He actually messaged me one day and said I have bass, not I can play bass and now here we are. You have to admire his dedication he travelled from Isle of Man tody to Edinburgh to get through here for tonights gig.
You touched on it slightly there, but who are your influences?
DW - For me it has to be bands like Green Day, from when I used to hear my dad play them I was like this is massive imagine doing that - I think like Green Day and Blink 182 kind of got me started in music. Playing wise the bands from the Glasgow scene are a big reason, like Baby Strange, Gallus, Spyres, The Dunts, findng they bands has been great. They have all been a big drving force for me, as Big Div said having these bands all look out for me and say the things they have been is insane and to now consider them all as good friends is mad looking back.
Do you have any dream collabs? Either live or recordings
AS - ABBA. You's can laugh but one day we will do an Abba cover I'm pushing it, it will happen. The petition will be started soon I'll be taking it to court.
DW - To be fair we did actually try it in rehersal, it was Does Your Mother Know and Super Trouper and it kind of worked.
AS - What do you mean kind of? It was shit hot.
Dw - It was shit, unsure if it was hot.
DR - We technically have already done a collab - when we recorded Places, Eamon Ewins from Gallus played the solo on that one. Big shout out to him for coming in and ripping a stomper. So yeah there's been one so far.
DW - Theres none that really come to mind, with what we do theres a wild number of people we'd love to have but its a hard choice to really pick out.
DR - Belinda Carlisle. Keemon.
AS - Primal Scream are my favourite band so I'd love to do something with them. I reckon they could come out with some wacky shit. I've just given us a whole gig right there. Abba, Wee Reps and Primal Scream. Throw in Soapbox.
Is there any bands you're listening to just now? Old and new.
DW - Mainly the Glasgow scene for me, I really need to venture out there but I just love how local it is and there always new music from the bands so thats's always my main go to just now. The Big Day mainly just now I'd say, they are absolutely killing it, their sound is just so unique, they're so eye catching.
DR - Always for me its the likes of Deaftones, Alice in Chains, Belinda Carlisle of course. German techno, Dutch techno - yeah its varied. Gallus are a stand out as well with the new album, it’s unreal. There is so many different genres of music I do listen to it can go from Alice in Chains to Wu Tang Clan but mainly now its 90's grunge, what's happening around Glasgow with Gallus, Dead Pony, The Big Day. That's daily repeats. There's also Katy Perry Friday's
DW - My daily mixes on Spotify are either metal bands or Glasgow bands theres no inbetween really. I do listen to other stuff of course but the bands in Glasgow just captivate you, it's a sense of pride you feel. It makes you want more.
AS - I'm just really into ABBA. My taste is all over the place, Fontaines DC, ABBA, Foo Fighters, Primal Scream, all sorts man. The more you listen to the more ideas that come to you so it’s a good thing.
What's the response been like for Places You Shouldn't Be?
DW - Very very good, it was actually released on my last day of school in April so my mind wasn't massively on how is this going to do I was trying to enjoy my last day of school and it hit 500 streams in like 2 days and it really took me by surprise it was a surreal feeling. I was like wait people are actually listening to this. Then we done our single launch the week after on the Wednesday and by then before we went on stage it was sitting at over 1000 streams, that's when it started to become real that music I've wrote in my bedroom is being played by all these people. The song does mean a lot, it's been in the set since day one. I wrote the song after I seen The Vanities in The Hug & Pint in Glasgow and at the time I was around 15/16 and I was just describing a place that I shouldn't be and all the mental sights I seen.
What's the rest of the year looking like for The Wee Reps?
DW - It's very open but looking very good. There's a lot that's being spoken about right now but nothing actually confirmed as yet. With selling out tonight and our last gig with Soapbox were on such a high right now, things are really good. We don't want to slow down.
The last question is aimed at Big Div. What's your favourite crisps?
DR - Oh he's done me. Belly's absolutely full of crisps. Salt and vinegar party mix, share bag for one. The thing is, I'm a crisp connoisseur , there's not enough crisps in a normal sized bag so a share bag is where it’s at. So Salt and vinigar party mix followed by quavers. They're just cheesy goodness.
AS - With a pint mine are flame grilled McCoy’s, without probably the Thai Sweet Chili McCoys. Crisps matter if there’s pints involved, you just can’t have spicy crisps with booze it doesn’t work.
DW - I'd probably go for cool original Doritos, they're so good. Them or I'm with Stokesy on the flame grilled McCoys. This is the most in depth we've went for any question asked its a big answer.
DR - I'm going to the shops for crisps now.
A huge thanks to the boys in the Wee Reprobates for taking the time to chat to me. Debut single Places You Shouldn’t Be can be found on all streaming platforms.