The land north of the Scottish border is notorious for its plethora of guitar-driven Indie bands, but also for its dramatic landscape, the latter of which being part of the inspiration for record label owner and musician Daniel Patrick Quinn.
The music released on his label Suilven meanders between rustic Folk and airy Ambient, effortlessly working its way round any perceivable form of fashion. Here's a modest attempt to shed some light on the label's background.
EoIpso: Why have you chosen the Suilven (a distinctively shaped mountain in northern Scotland) as a symbol for your record label? Is there a hidden meaning behind it?
DPQ: I chose it simply because it is a fantastic hill and it is such a strange looking word, of unknown origin. That whole area north of Ullapool, the Inverpolly Nature Reserve, is one of my favourite places to visit.
EoIpso: It seems you're much into solitary walks out in the boonies. Is this where part of your inspiration comes from? Would you consider yourself a naturalist?
DPQ: Wandering the hills is certainly an inspiration, in a variety of ways. Many of my lyrical themes are geographical and non-urban, so there's that direct link to topics. Also, I tend to be able to get my mind flowing best when I'm moving, and I do come up with many of my better ideas when I'm out on the hills. Even if it's raining and you can only see as far as your feet, you tend to come back down from the hills with a clearer and more positive head. I'm not sure that I'd consider myself a naturalist, but I do regard it as important to keep in touch with the natural environment, and retain a wonder for the sheer immensity and complexity of it.
EoIpso: So is wandering the hills your way of coping with the lunacy of the world?
DPQ: It was, for a while, when I needed to get away from London when I was living there. It's not a reactionary hobby these days though. It's simply about going for a wander and getting a perspective on the land.
EoIpso: Why did you move to London in the first place? And what made you decide to leave for Scotland?
DPQ: I moved down from
Lancashire to study philosophy in London, but more importantly I went
there because I thought it would be the best place to get a group together.
It didn't turn out to be. It's primarily a huge financial zone/prison,
and I wasn't interested in spending half my time backslapping idiots for
the sake of getting a gig in Camden or whatever. And I felt I'd be betraying
my roots anyway. I had no genuine interest in writing urban songs that
have already been written about a million times. There are far more deserving
topics to be uncovered in less likely areas, i.e. the north. So I came
up here to Edinburgh. And funnily enough, the worst thing about Edinburgh
is all the smug southern English rich kids who infest the place and create
demand for dire, characterless pubs.
The Suilven, seen from the east