WHETHER you want to call them Traditional or Trad-Punk, Folk or Rock’n’Roll, the Scottish 12-piece instrumental rockers Treacherous Orchestra are anything but predictable.

Their latest record, Grind, released early this year, has shown that traditional music in Scotland remains a relevant and exciting art form.

The raw energy and passion shines through from start to finish, and the fresh sound won them many plaudits, including a nomination for the Scottish Album of the Year award.

There are, however, no plans to stand still, as before the band have even had the chance to fully exploit the success of Grind, they are already planning the follow-up.

We spoke to Treacherous’ Bodhran player and 2010’s Scottish Trad Awards “Instrumentalist of the Year”, Martin O’Neill, who said the band are looking to dip their toes in previously untested waters by adding vocals on the new album.

Current fiddle player Innes Watson is the number one candidate to take on the role, but O’Neill said that collaborations would also be something that would interest the band.

“There is only so far you can go as an instrumental band, so I think there will be some experimentation with vocals on the next record,” O’Neill said.

“We were delighted to have made the longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year awards this year, especially as we were on there with people such as Paolo Nutini. It really felt like we were getting our music through and breaking out of the traditional music circle.

“We want to get our music out there as much as we can. I think adding vocals could really give our music a new dimension, whether they are through a collaboration or from Innes.”

Releasing their debut album in 2012, the group played their first gig as a collective in 2009 at Celtic Connections. The 12 musicians, hailing from all corners of the country, had come together in Glasgow and the city has clearly had an impact on the band. The contemporary and even sometimes aggressive Treacherous sound is as far from the traditional vision of rolling hills and lochs as you can imagine.

O’Neill insists that this has always been the natural path for the band, many of whom are as rooted in the country’s industrial legacy as their forebears were in the highlands and islands.

“Our music and design may seem bold compared to some traditional music but the ideas of industrialisation hit a nerve. Our sound isn’t forced, though, it comes very naturally to us,” he said.

The percussionist spent his childhood in Motherwell, and witnessed first-hand the effect that the closure of Ravenscraig had on the community. It was during this period that he first starting playing music, learning first-hand from his parents, who both played traditional music themselves.

Like his bandmates, O'Neill never confined himself to one genre, instead drawing from all areas of the musical world to bring a new dimension to the instruments he plays, which has led him to be involved with another 60 albums to date, even recording and touring with the legendary Stevie Wonder.

It is perhaps because of this added edge that the band have managed to build a fanbase on both sides of the border.

Returning from the English half of their UK tour earlier this week, the band played Eden Court in Inverness last night, before beginning the journey to Edinburgh, where they will play Studio 24 tonight.

“The tour has gone really well so far. We played Band in the Wall in Manchester which was great as it is such an iconic venue, the crowd reacted really well too,” said O’Neill. “Hopefully we will get the same reaction from our home crowds this week!”

Although the band still manage to tour, getting everyone together can still be an issue, as perhaps is to be expected when there are 12 members to take into account.

“When we do get together to play it can take a while to write new material and arrangements. There will be a lot of throwing ideas back and forth between ourselves but we will have it all ironed out before we go to record – we don’t like to waste time in the studio,” he chuckled.

For now, the band will still be focusing on bringing a very successful 2015 to a close with three Scottish shows in Edinburgh's Studio 24 tonight, The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on December 11 and Drygate Brewery in Glasgow on December 12.

For more information visit www.treacherousorchestra.com or check them out on facebook.com/treacherousorchestra and twitter.com/treacherousorchestra