Tell us about:
Your latest single you have released:
New Morning is the final single of four I released in the lead up to my album coming out on 23rd April. This single, as well as the others, are pretty much based around the guitar, as is the album. The single New Morning is one of my favourites from the album, and has a sense of melancholy about it, with the vibes and piano that the producer Paul Stacey played. I love Meshell Ndegeocello’s music and this song is definitely influenced by her, as well as Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsies, and also Doyle Bramhall II.
Your first single and how you felt when it was released:
I can’t actually remember having a first single – the first album I had was called Can’t Take No More, which came out in 2006 in the days of Myspace, and I can remember putting up tracks from that on Myspace and building up a following from people who liked my music. The first single from this album is a track called Third Eye Witness which although has its roots in blues music, also has an indie/alt rock thing about it. That’s a song I wrote with vocalist Gavin Conder, and the response to that has been really great. It’s the first new music I’ve released in over 10 years, so it was a bit of a relief to get it out and I’m really proud of this single and the rest of the album.
Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:
There’s a track on the new album called Crossfader that starts with this churchy organ and descends into this slightly mad, psychedelic thing with Jeremy Stacey on drums who kinda plays this really intense, almost electronic sounding beat, and then the phaser comes in and kind of takes over. It takes you on a bit of a journey that was definitely inspired by some of my favourite records from the 60s and 70s, and also more modern stuff like Tame Impala.
Your favourite song to play live:
We haven’t had chance to play these songs live to an audience yet, however we recently did a live performance of some of the album tracks at Real World studios, which we filmed and will be releasing soon. The track Fego was one of my favourites to play live because there’s so much space in it – it’s one of the most bluesy tracks on the album but there’s a bit of a Pink Floyd vibe to it.
Your most emotional track:
Probably the outro of the track Fego, which has some chords that Paul Stacey the producer came up with, and just with what everyone’s playing and the dynamics of it, it feels like quite an emotional moment.
The best lyric you have ever written:
Haha, most of the album is instrumental – I’m more of a musician than a lyricist. I don’t think I’ve written one that I’m happy with yet, I’m still searching. I think if I keep listening to Bob Dylan that’ll help inspire me to write something great.
Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:
Well it’s sort of the best feeling there is really, there’s nothing like the adrenaline of being on stage and playing with great musicians. Sometimes the nerves can kick in, but I think that can be a good thing. Normally as soon as I put a guitar on, I feel more comfortable. Over the last 12 months that’s definitely something that I’ve really missed, and it’s the main reason why you play and instrument or become a musician, to play live and connect with an audience, the people.
The hardest track to play live:
The hardest ones tend to be the most quiet and simple songs. Sometimes songs that are just a vocal and an acoustic guitar are the hardest because there’s nowhere to hide. When you’re playing loud with a big band, you can kind of weave in and out of the music, but when it’s just you it’s a lot more exposed.
Essential items you always take on tour with you?
I have to have music to listen to wherever I am, so I’ll always take noise cancelling headphones, a bluetooth speaker, my in-ears I use on stage, and various devices with music on. I always like to have a guitar nearby as well. I bought a travel guitar once in Singapore, it folded up to about the size of a cricket bat, but it was awful. Good coffee is essential, I have a few travel coffee gadgets and espresso makers, but I’d rather get out and find a good coffee place.
Describe your fans in three words:
I have fans?
A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:
Pretty Pimpin by Kurt Vile – I never get bored of that song and I love the guitar riff and his vocal delivery.
What we can look forward to from your band this year:
Hopefully we’ll be getting out and doing a few gigs and releasing some new music, as well as some live videos.