NOT every band would have the courage to schedule their first-ever gig for Friday the 13th.
But new Inverness three-piece The Oxides are not every band.
For a start, it’s hard to pinpoint the beginnings.
They may well go back to one music-mad 10-year-old turning to his pal with the half-sized guitar asking "Could you play bass on that?’"
"Fifteen years later, we finally got a band together," Jake Bolt grinned at bassist Richard "Archie" Stewart.
But there’s a long-time bond between singer and guitarist Jake and drummer Graham Duff, too.
We’re laughing as we remember an early gig by the duo’s previous band 28 Jacks, a 17-year-old Jake — all dark glasses, long curly hair and frontman attitude.
In between came Jake’s time in Inverness band The Boosts, Archie heading off to study music at Jewel and Esk College in Edinburgh and Duff to leave the drumming aside while working away as a welder.
But it was only after The Boosts went into permanent limbo last year after their last performance at Belladrum that Jake bought himself Pro Tools, started writing songs and realised he probably needed to start thinking about putting a band together.
"I spent a lot of time in the wilderness, so to speak. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start another band from scratch.
"I spent about six months writing songs before I realised I actually had a sound that keeps the melodic sensibility to it – and indie style.
"The first song was In One Ear And Out The Other an out-and-out mental rock song. It’s a bit Musey and Nirvana, though it’s not as indie as the rest of them.
"And I picked up one of the songs I’d started with the 28 Jacks, In Control. I just had a riff and wee bit of verse melody when I picked it up, but it’s one of the best we play in rehearsal.
"By then I knew I’d got to get a band together."
"It took a while to convince Duff, though – he was worried he was rusty, but he’s definitely tits-deep in it now!"
First up, the band has just released their debut EP Order Of The Rising Sun to download from their Facebook page.
Jake said: "We’d had a shortlist of band names and quite a lot of them were really good.
Archie said: "Order Of The Rising Sun was my favourite."
Jake added: "I thought it was such a great title - we didn’t want to waste it, so we used it for the EP."
So why was The Oxides the perfect choice for the band name?
"It’s just a great-sounding word," laughed Jake.
"It’s oxygen plus any element you want – that’s basically my life!"
So what should people expect from The Oxides’ sound?
Jake mused: "It’s tricky — it has that sort of American punk rock thing from about 2000 onwards.
Archie added: "Blink?"
"With a bit of British indie as well," said Jake, like a man creating a recipe.
"Blink-ie?" grinned Archie.
"Yeah, something like that," said Jake.
"I wanted it to be melodic as
hell - and what you could go absolutely mental to, really grungey."
With a song like Her Methadrone on the list, it’s possible there will be a smattering of controversy in the mix.
But Jake quickly pointed out: "If you read and listen to the lyrics, it hasn’t got anything to do with
"I Wake Me Up In Summertime has verses that are very dark, but it flips around in the chorus.
"As soon as we first played it, I knew The Oxides were going to work."
It’s fighting talk and the discussion returns to having Friday the 13th as a first gig."
Jake grinned: "It’ll be OK.
"We’ll make our own luck."The Oxides' Order Of The Rising Sun EP is free to download on their Facebook page. Their debut gig is at Mad Hatters, Inverness, tomorrow (Friday) and they play the Newmarket, Thurso, on Saturday.