WATCHING others torment and abuse one another on social media has been a persistent source of personal frustration for singer-songwriter Pete MacLeod.

The Coatbridge man has some fairly outspoken views on the matter, having witnessed some vile treatment both in Scotland and across the pond in his former home of California.

And it's not just the name-calling and general bile that riles him. He views the various online platforms as a source of de-personalisation, with many forfeiting their identities to go shopping for likes.

This idea of selling out is something he has battled throughout his career, as the music industry is one steeped in the battle for commercial success over artistic freedom.

Despite his trials, the Scot – who will play at the inaugural Forthside Festival in Stirling this May – is not prepared to see the world descend into complete narcissism without a fight.

"It is really hard to be yourself these days," MacLeod said. "Many of us are raised and moulded to be what our parents or our teachers want us to be from a very young age.

"With everyone commenting on this and taking videos and pictures every time something or somebody moves it's getting harder to just be yourself.

"What happened to living in the moment and letting people express themselves instead of having an opinion on everything? There are so many people sitting behind their phones and tablets, judging everybody, and failing to live their own lives."

In the hope of shining a light on social media dependence, the singer will release his single Firing Line on March 1. The track comes complete with provocative artwork with the sleeve depicting MacLeod standing blindfolded against a wall as if waiting to face execution by firing squad; though he is really facing a line of average every-day people holding up their smart phones.

"For a lot of people, there's nothing 'social' about social media," MacLeod adds. "For many, it's about being anti-social.

"Those people who use it do so in a manner which they could not get away with in the real world. Yet they feel it's something they can get away with because they are behind a phone.

"This is the Firing Line; this is what we do to each other, and is it better for us to live this way? The artwork for the song also portrays this and fits perfectly. We are all part of this firing line, whether we choose to be or not.

"Can you tell me where you go in this world where you can live and work without an email address, smart phone, laptop, internet? Become a monk? Perhaps, they've been on point all along. I can't imagine monks going to the local gym and taking a selfie to put on their social media."

MacLeod will be touring the country in the late-spring, early-summer with dates in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

North of the border, he will be among the main acts at the inaugural Forthside Festival in Stirling in early May, with a special one-off performance in Dunoon in June.

He will finish the year off with a headline show at The Garage in Glasgow on Saturday, December 7.

"I can't wait to get out there," he beamed. "Playing for audiences is where I come alive.

"The Glasgow show will be my biggest headline gig to date. Radiohead at The Garage was the first gig that I ever went to. So, it has a special place for me.

"I'm looking forward to the Forthside Festival as well. I've always had a strong connection with Stirling, ever since I was a kid. It's going to be great to play there again. Especially as it is not one of those events run by a corporate company.

"When you look at most of the other festivals, they are all booking the same acts because they get punted the same acts from the same agents.

"Forthside should be something unique for the area and I hope to see it continue for years to come."

May 4: STIRLING, Forthside Festival
Tickets –

December 7: GLASGOW, The Garage
Tickets – or 0141 204 5151