Q: From the sound of the lyrics, It seems that “Lair” is about a failed relationship, is this correct?
Aidan Cross: Absolutely. It’s one of those songs that sort of reveals itself to you as you’re writing it. I certainly didn’t have any particular story or theme in mind when I was jotting down ideas, which began with the line “Please just get somebody cool to play me in the movie all about your youth”. So it all circles back to that central idea, in the end.
Q: Your vocals and the way you create truly poetic lyrics is remarkable; can you walk me through the writing process of creating, “Lair”?
Aidan: Thank you, that’s very kind. With most songs I write, it’s a collection of scattered lyrics and ideas in my notes app, which eventually find a home in a track somewhere. This one, in particular, is full of one-liners, and is very much designed to be a bit quirky and catchy. Within another song, and another context, I could see why the humor of it would come across as awkward or pretentious. Even the title is essentially just my idea of a joke. But I’ve never written anything like it before. I was probably listening to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers at the time. She has this ability to write kitchen-sink lyrics that are hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. I wanted to do something like that.
Q: Do you remember when you first fell in love with music? Was your family musical growing up?
Aidan: I think everyone falls in love with music twice. First when you’re wee, and then when you need it the most as an adult. I’m lucky. I grew up in a house full of noise. My siblings are all outstanding musicians (my brother, Iain, is the Drummer on this track) and my Mum is a music teacher. My Dad is also to blame for a lot of my music, as he raised us religiously on Queen. Is there a better influence? I’m pretty sure I thought Queen was just the only music there was for a while. What do you mean there’s singers other than Freddie? The Strokes were my second true love. They’re the band you want to put a ring on. It’s such a rubbish phrase, but their music spoke to me as a late-teen with pure clarity. The emotions they still create in me is somehow both tangible and indescribable. I do my best to express those same feelings in my own music, in my own way.
Q: The production of “Lair” is exceptional! What was your favorite part in creating this track?
Aidan: This was the first track that I started on the album, so it was a tough nut to crack. I was teaching myself how to record and produce at the same time, so the whole process for this one took about a year. My brilliant friend Ruby, who’s on backing vocals, recorded her parts way back in the summer of 2021, while I did my vocals in April just passed. My favourite part in recording Lair was getting to vastly improve my guitar and bass skills. I’m not exactly Hendrix, but I’ve come a long way, even since starting this track. I must have re-done each instrument about 20 times.
Q: In your own words, how would you describe the music you typically create?
Aidan: Sad songs pretending to be happy and happy songs pretending to be sad.
Q: What was the best piece of advice that you’ve received that has carried on during your time as a musician?
Aidan: Mark Morrow, a wonderful producer who I worked with in Edinburgh for a few years, told me not to keep messing with a track just to make it feel new. I think about this even when I’m writing. The goal should never be to make your Magnum Opus. I mean, of course you want every song to be better than the last, but your perception of perfection grows with your ability. Chasing perfection is just a treadmill.
Q: If you could collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be?
Aidan: David Bowie. It’s such an obvious pick, but it’s an obvious pick for a reason. The mystery, the unpredictability… nobody ever quite had him figured out. But I honestly think he’s become so culturally mythologized that we often forget how he was just some guy who put his heart into what he did. He would make an album as abstract as Low, and then release something as simple and profound as Heroes, all within the same year. His musical evolution doesn’t feel calculated but totally honest, and I’d be desperate to know how his writing process reflected that. He’d hate my music, but I wouldn’t even care. Or maybe Baccara
Q: What’s next for you?
Aidan: Keep running the treadmill. I’d love to perform live again, which I haven’t properly done since before the pandemic or since moving to London. I sure miss playing with a band, so that’s definitely the next step.
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano
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