The Saint recently had the opportunity to interview the St Andrews a cappella group The Other Guys. Before the winter break, The Other Guys released a music video for their cover of ‘Fairytale of New York’, originally released by The Pogues in 1987. Tristan Weller, the group’s musical director, spoke to The Saint about the production of the video, their experience collaborating with female vocalist Amelia Poole, as well as what is to come from The Other Guys in the new year.
The Saint: The music video for Fairy tale of New York was a collaboration with Amelia Poole, will we be seeing more collaborations in the future from The Other Guys?
Tristan Weller: ‘Fairytale’ was our second collaboration having already worked with long-time friend and partner of the group, Oscar Foxley, for our original ‘Christmas Gets Worse Every Year’. This year we felt it only right to bring someone in to do the female solo and were lucky enough to have the very talented Amelia come along and express interest in the part. Both collabs have been a lot of fun and (I think) have led to great videos! It’s fun and helpful to bring some new ideas, and a new voice, into the mix so it’s definitely something that we would consider doing again in the future.
TS: Can you tell me a little bit about the filming of the video and the work that went in to the production?
TW: We produced the video with Henri Cooney from Lightbox, who also filmed our video for ’24K Meghan’. We enjoyed working with him the first time around so we were keen to get him on board for this latest project. We drew up a storyboard for the video in October, taking inspiration from the original Pogues video while crafting our own interpretation of the song. We wanted it to be a bit ‘grungier’ than previous videos, combining pretty shots with some more everyday scenes. We were aiming for sweet and sentimental with just a touch of sorrow – hopefully that came across! We recorded the track with our producer Nick Girard around Halloween and filmed the video over three days in mid-November. Henri then went away and did the editing for us. So it was a project that we worked on for most of the semester – it took a fair bit of work but was actually pretty painless compared to previous videos I’ve been involved with!
TS: Is there anything coming up that we should be looking out for from the group?
TW: We are competing in both the ICCA’s (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) and SACC (Scottish A Cappella Championships) next semester, going away on a ‘retreat’ to Brussels in Spring Break, and getting ready for our Edinburgh Fringe Show, ‘Making Waves’, in August. We’ll also be doing at least one more public concert, and may try to release something in May (if we have the time) – no promises though! Another busy semester for us, as ever. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for all the latest on what we’re up to!
TS: What will make The Other Guys stand out from the other a cappella groups in St Andrews this year?
TW: It’s not really a case of standing out and competing with the other groups – they all do their thing and do it well! We just focus on what we do best which is producing bangers and having a laugh doing so.
Mr Weller concluded by reiterating that their group has benefitted this year with the addition of five new members. (Seb Flame, Peter Folkes, Henry Hayden, Felix Hobbs, and Ali Blair) He added, “We’ve bonded very quickly and that’s made it a great environment to work in. We’ve had a great semester so far, with some great gigs and a lot of good socials. Fairytale was a great way to cap it off!”