Room Thirteen caught up with Baxter for a chat. Scott McRae and Jamie Tinkler were kind enough to answer some questions about their plans for an album, Touring and what they've got planned for the future. Here's what they had to say:

R13: First and foremost; how are you? How’s life?
Scott McRae: All is well in Baxter land; we have just finished a big run of gigs and are now holed up in the studio with our Pringles and Red Stripe.

R13: So for those people reading this interview and don't know who you are, can you give us an introduction to Baxter?
Jamie Tinkler: We are a South London based band with a bit of a commercial indie rock sound; most critics have been saying that we are along the lines of Snow Patrol and Kings Of Leon, though we don’t hear it ourselves.

R13: You've just released an E.P. - will an album be following any time soon?
JT: Absolutely in fact the EP was recorded early in the year, so it has taken a bit of time to get it out. Now that we have the momentum we are looking forward to getting the next single out closely followed by the album.

R13: Which tracks are you the most excited about sharing with the universe?
SM: That’s a tough one as the EP tracks have been on the go for a while, and we are used to them, though, the track, ‘End of the World’ is one of those anthems everyone should listen to. As we have been writing and gigging heavily since the EP was recorded, the sound has evolved into a rawer and harder sound, so I am looking forward to getting that music out as it really reflects the live vibe. Keep an eye out for the next single, either ‘Keep Calm’ or ‘Dirty Romance.’

R13: Who inspires you musically? Do you draw on this inspiration in your own music?
SM: Everyone has their different vibes in the band, and that sort of question always causes controversy. As the main songwriter I am more of a song man and get excited about well put together tracks with strong hooks. To be honest that can come from anywhere be it Motley Crue, Joy Division or Girls Aloud for that matter.

R13: You've all been a part of different music projects how has this contributed to your current sound?
SM: Although the band has a diverse background generally speaking we have similar views to music. Myself and the drummer have been in other bands together so have a good understanding. Jamie has settled into our style really naturally, and obviously he has a great voice which makes it easy as a writer.

R13: You all seem to be committed to a career in music, first X Factor now Baxter, how does the reality of a career in music compare to the dream?
JT: It’s much harder work!
SM: To be fair Jamie is the only one who has walked down that road as he was on Pop Idol, Song For Europe and the X Factor as well as being in several boy bands he has done more than enough to make up for all of us. From the outside looking in, I would say that for pop music it is an easy route to market these days. The problem is that people forget that you are supposed to graft and earn your success as opposed to just waiting for people to do it for you. There are thousands of good looking folk out there with the right haircuts, but how many of them are out there working, gigging and writing? Not many I fear.

The problem is that these days’ people don’t care about things like credibility and honesty. They are more interested in just being famous. Jamie is a good example of someone whose view has changed as he was happy to fool the nation by cheating to get on to X-Factor in order to be famous. Talking to him now his mentality has changed, and he is happy working and rehearsing. It is definitely more exciting achieving things for yourself than waiting for some TV producer to turn you into something people care about.

R13: What do you enjoy more; playing to an audience that you have to win over or to an audience who already know and support you?
JT: They are both the same I reckon. There are so many good bands out there, and we are fortunate enough to be involved in great line ups, so you always have to raise your game and be at your best. There is no better feeling when you know you have killed it live, and it doesn’t matter if it’s to familiar faces or randoms who you hope will become familiar faces!

R13: What has been the most exciting thing to happen to you since you have been performing?
SM: It's interesting as between Jamie, Dave and myself we have been involved in the festival circuit and playing higher profile gigs, but to date the achievement of releasing our own EP and selling out the 100 Club as a self promoted night are up there as that is all from our own work.

R13: Music is a love, but the business is essential. How do you cope with juggling the two?
SM: We have an agreement whereby I manage the band and also run the label with the band signed to a regular agreement. It works better as you can have too many chiefs and with anything you need clear direction. It keeps me motivated as when I write a new track I want to get it out, so I enjoy running the whole process. As a first release, the EP was very much a learning curve, but we have some good people around us that we can bounce ideas off.

R13: Do you think it's more important to perfect yourself as a musician, or to be always changing and reinventing yourself?
JT: I don’t know about being perfect as it’s hard to define. Some people want to master their instruments and to play the best whereas I am interested in getting the song done with the right feeling.

R13: Reaching out to fans has been made so much easier with the internet. Is it important to you to use it to your advantage?
SM: I remember before the internet how hard it was, spending all your money on stamps to mailout then hoping word of mouth would make your gigs busy. The internet is awesome for bands as you can build your fanbase then tour with confidence that you are not heading out on some money eating Spinal Tap inspired tour where you end up travelling to play to no one. Also, as a fan of music you can find and hear new bands yourself and are not so reliant on one journalist’s opinion before making the decision to check out a band.

R13: People keep trying to compare you to other singers; what has been the funniest comparison that you have heard of so far?
JT: The flattering ones like Bono and Rob Thomas are awesome, though, because of my boy band past H from Steps is always in and around!

R13: Which upcoming or already established artists are you a fan of? If you could recommend any artist to our readers who would it be?
SM: I caught a Spanish band at Bennacassim called The Unfinished Sympathy and thought they were class. Check out their track ‘This Living Kills’ or ‘Love Athletic’ to get a feel. Also, a band that has been around for a while but not quite caught on is a band called Mew, they write some really cool stuff. In our network we always enjoy gigging with British Standard from Essex

R13: Looking back at everything you've achieved, is there anything you'd change?
JT: People pick up on the reality and boy band past, but the way I see it is I made a good career for 10 years as a singer. There is no point in regretting the past as all these previous things gave me the chance to do lots of exciting things and hopefully give me the drive to get back there on my own terms, be it with the help of Baxter or something else.

R13: Baxter is a far cry from X Factor! So what more do you see ahead for yourself? Where would you like Baxter to be a year from now?
SM: For us it is about going to the next level, doing the festival circuit next year and making the best album possible. I would like to see Baxter reaching a wide enough audience to afford us the opportunity to play to more people and have more people get into the music.

R13: How do you feel about the future? What are your plans?
JT: Very positive. The band is great, and we are writing better and better songs. It’s exciting times as our profile has risen well in the last 6 months, and we are keen to see where it leads. The plans… that’s down to Scott!
SM: The plans are record and release the single then album. Then it’s back on the road and back knocking on doors to get the bands name out there. Its not rocket science. It’s all about the graft!

R13: Finally, if Burt and Ernie were to have a fight to the death, who do you think would win?
SM: That’s easy Burt… Ernie was a mouthy fecker who always had too much to say. I reckon Burt has some stored up aggression that given the chance will manifest itself in some serious damage to Ernie!
JT: Who are Burt and Ernie?