'Music to move mountains' is how Big Country would describe their unique sound. Maybe they won't quite manage that, but they've certainly been moving the charts with their single East Of Eden. The group have been incredibly busy thi9s year: they've toured America and have just released a new album, SteelTown. They've also just completed the first leg of a big UK tour which will be getting under way again soon after a short break.
The big country of America has taken to the band in a big way, as singer Stuart Adamson explains:
"We've been successful in America, the album went gold and stuff like that, but that's the business side of the success, not ours. To us it was just more gigs, more people to play to. It means that the things I'm writinf about are reaching people outside Britain.
"All the songs are based on my experiences in Dunfermline, or the things I've seen other people going through. So to see that connecting with people in other countries is really gratifying."
One reason Americans have taken to them so much, the group reckon, is that they're a good old-fashoined aband who rely on guitars rather than modern electric tricks. "In America they like us because they've always loved groups that don't use tape machines and synthesisers," explains drummer Mark Brzezicki. "We sold out in places we'd never heard of. They said they liked our album, they found it tuneful."
Stuart also believes that the lyrics are important. "Too much pop is concerned with being cool and trendy," he says. "But I'm not like that. I believe in standing up and being counted. So many lyrics are terrible."
Although the band have enjoyed their tours of America and Britain, they're keen to point out that it's not the glamorous pop star sort of life you might expect. In their programme for Channel 4 series, Play At Home (which was shown late at night) they set out to show just what it's like being on the road.
Bass player Tony Butler explained: " It's very boring. We wanted to show touring without the glos. In every 24 hours you find a couple of enjoyable hours."
During the programme Stuart was presented with his two-year-old son, Callum, while on stage. And he reckons that Callum has quite alot to do with the success of Big Country, "He has made me more sensitive and a much better person. He's also improved my song writing," says Stuart.
"Now I'm less selfish than I used to be. I'm more aware of other people's needs. Those feelings have rubbed off on the other guys in the group and the result is that we are happier and work well together."
Although Stuart spends alot of time away from home he still see's his wife, Sandra, and Callum often. Stuart's father was away from home a great deal as he was in the merchant navy, so now Stuart is keen to be with his own family as much as possible.
"I feel much better when they're with me. When I leave them at home I think about them all the time and end up very miserable. I know it's hard for them to come with me. There's alot of hanging around and time wasting, but I think it's worth it."
So it seems Big Country have plenty to be happy about these days, and Stuart agrees. "I think the group's a real group now. It's not just a bunch of ideas between the four of us, it's something that's substantial whether it's on stage or record.
"It stands for something and has become a rallying cry for a lot of people. It's the most satisfying thing that has ever happened to me in my life."