But luck doesn’t have much to do with the Cold Years story. Theirs is ultimately one of defiance, grit and determination. It’s one that should inspire and spark hope in others who can relate to the challenges of their circumstances and struggles. If they can make it work from the relatively remote wilds of Aberdeen, with all of the odds stacked against them balancing day jobs, relationships and real life responsibilities, then anyone can. And that isn’t limited to musical pursuits. The irony of being laughed at while filming the Life With A View video is not lost on Ross. It’s a song about not caring what others think and chasing your dreams, no matter who stands in your way or says you shouldn’t. It’s a blazing carpe diem call to ‘fight the good fight, drink the good booze’ and squeeze every drop of joy you can out of life. That’s a resolution that can only come from a place where that kind of optimism once seemed far out of reach. But no more.
“I’ve sorted a lot of the problems I had out,” Ross now states proudly. “I dropped all of the negativity I was carrying around with me. I cut all that shit out of my life. I’m done writing songs about being miserable. Now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I have a much more positive outlook on life. We’re all in a really good place at the minute.”
Even if that place, physically, is still Aberdeen? Well, for the time being…
“I don’t want to live here for much longer, it’s grating on me now,” Ross admits, weighing up his love-hate relationship with the place he was born. “Your hometown is always going to be a part of you and you can never escape that, but I’ll go anywhere – anywhere that’s not fucking Aberdeen! I’ve been restless here for so long, it’s not a part of me that I associate with anymore.”
That spirit, he says, will be reflected in the next batch of songs the band work on, having been busy getting ahead of themselves by writing new stuff during the recent lockdown. That’s a different story for another day, though. This one is still developing and while there are a lot of reasons to be downhearted about the state of the world right now, Cold Years are living proof that good things can come out of the most trying of times. Paradise may be about life in a small city in the north-east of Scotland, and the feeling of growing up somewhere and feeling like you don’t fit in, but Aberdeen could be your town and Paradise could be your life. In a way, perhaps it already is.
Paradise is released on September 4 via Inside Job/eOne – pre-order your copy now, along with other merch bundles.
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