What’s more important to you at the moment, Live gigs or studio sessions?
Right now, live appearances. I’ve written music for years without ever intending to try and recreate anything live. Now that I’m doing just that, I realise how incredibly fun it can be once you get over the whole “nervous shakes” thing. But recording music will always be my first and most abusive love.
Do you enjoy playing live gigs?
I love them when they go well. I’ve gone to a lot of concerts so I know what has connected with me when I see someone playing an acoustic show. It supposed to be personal, yet not put you above the audience even though you’re up on stage. It’s a tricky line to walk, but I’m figuring it out.
Do you find it a solitary experience playing as a solo artist?
It does get lonely up there sometimes. I’m enjoying playing the songs in a stripped down fashion but I’m starting to realize that they’re meant to be powerful. I’ve been considering getting some other musicians together to help me present the album in the way it was intended: really loud
How do you manage to ‘fill the stage’?
I usually get models to stand around me, ala Robert Palmer, and they mime playing instruments and just generally look pretty. But with an acoustic show, moving around the stage while playing is difficult because if you screw up something you look a lot less like David Lee Roth and a lot more like an asshole that can’t play. I just try to give the songs the right amount of emotion in my singing and playing so that people will hopefully be moved enough to ignore their waitresses. Sorry, waitresses.
What scale is your recording operation? (Home Studio, Production team etc)
A couple of Shure mics, a stereo mic, a mac and instruments all set up in my home office. I booked time in a real studio once, but realised quickly that if you’re going to experiment with songs while there, you better have some serious cash. It’s just so easy to set up a home studio now that it’s kind of crazy to pay to use someone else’. I MacGyver’d a studio and I’m happy with that.
Does this add/subtract to Golden BC’s overall sound?
I think that it adds infinitely. While I understand that engineers and producers have years of knowledge that can really add to a recording, I know what I want to hear coming out of those speakers and it may take longer at times, but I’ll get it. Experimenting with sounds while recording the new record would never have been possible for me if I had used a studio outside of the one I built.
Do you have any experience in the area of music production and recording?
Besides my own work, no. I started recording with Audacity, then Garageband, now Logic Express and have taught myself the whole way. I’m not exactly going to produce someone else’s record, but I’m getting better at perfecting my processes as you can tell in the difference between “The Truth in the Facts” and “Just Take It”.
Does your skill level hinder your ability to truly express yourself?
What are you trying to say? J
Sometimes, but I think that’s the case with most musicians, even the amazingly talented ones. To me, music is always the best when it’s simple in structure, lush in sound. So you could have a song like “Get Rid of It” where there is so much shit going on in the song but the whole thing comes from two chords that play the whole time. So skill is kind of irrelevant when it comes to expressing myself, I’m just going to start playing the guitar like a percussion instrument and sing to that if I can’t come up with something better.
What do you aim to achieve with your music?
I want to have a truckload of Junos dumped on my lawn. Otherwise, I think the biggest aim of my music is simply to get people to listen to it and buy it. I know that sounds kind of shitty to say, but honestly, the money all goes back into making and releasing more music. I see it as an encouragement to create more music, and an investment from a fan that I will repay tenfold.
How close are you to satisfying these goals?
No Junos yet, but if Celine Dion doesn’t put out an album this year it could be a possibility.
So you released an album last year, Just Take It. Are you happy with how it turned out?
For the most part. There will always be things that I’ll wish I had done differently but once it’s out, I’m not about to George Lucas anything. But really, its my most fully-formed record and I’m very proud of it.
How did you find the overall process of creating an album?
Tedious at times. This was the first time I had attempted to have an ongoing theme through an entire album and sometimes getting the pieces to fit took a little smashing. “The Idiots” was rewritten about 4 times before it ended up as what you hear on the record. It was a folk song, then it was very ambient sounding, then I ripped apart everything and made the final version.
How has it been received?
Pretty well so far, its kind of strange record to review because it can be all over the place from song to song. But I’m hoping people will give it a few chances to grow on them because, (and I’m not biased at all) it’s a pretty great record.
So finally, what do you have planned for 2013? Any new projects on the horizon?
After taking 2 years to make one record, 2013 is going to be hyper productive. I have a plan to write, record, and release 40 songs this year. There may be a full length album here or there, or maybe just a lot of EPs, I haven’t really decided how to divide it up yet. But yeah, there’s going to be tons of new Golden B.C. stuff this year as well as some live appearances, maybe even with a full band. Wouldn’t that be nice?
And so here we are, number one. I know I said that I would put this up yesterday but I wanted to build the suspense. There was also the small fact of it being New Years Day and the previous nights festivities did more than enough to keep me from blogging. Which reminds me, Happy New Year!! I cannot think of a better way of starting 2013 then with my number song of, well last year.
2012 has been a great year for the Irish indie-rockers, Delorentos. They graced the stages of prestigious festivals both at home and abroad. They also released their third album, Little Sparks, which has received critical acclaim across the board. And low and behold, my song of the year just so happens to come from said album.
Delorentos – Bullet In A Gun
(Check out the very special live acoustic version below.)
So there we have it. My top 10 tracks of 2012. What did ye make of that? I’ll be amalgamating all individual song’s into one post and putting a Spotify playlist together in the coming days. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page for more details.
Keeping inline with the tradition of all music websites publishing ‘Top Lists’ around this time of year, I have decided to release my very own. As you can probably tell from the title I have decided to publish my top 10 tracks of the year. So lets kick this highly original idea off with number 10.
10. The John Wayne – Little Green Cars
Since the release of their debut single, Little Green Cars have experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity. The Dublin five piece band consisting of Stevie Appleby (vocal & guitar), Adam O’Regan (vocal & guitar), Donagh Seaver O’Leary (bass guitar), Dylan Lynch (drums) and Faye O’Rourke (vocal & guitar) formed almost three years ago and have been playing and recording ever since. They have had a phenomenal year at home with major festival appearances and an abundance of coverage. With a 2013 album in the works and a growing fan base in the states and overseas it may not be much longer till ‘Little Green Cars’ becomes a household name.
Stay tuned for song number 9
Hey guys, this is just a quick post to let you know that I have launched a Facebook page for my blog. You can find this illusive page on the right of your screen under the Join The Club tab or you could just follow this link.
Like my blog, this page will be a place to discover new music while celebrating the old. I hope to create a mini community where people can share their favourite bands, musicians, DJ’s or whatever. All I ask is that you go easy on the pop music.
And now how about something good?
See what I did there?
I get a lot of emails from bands and PR companies alike asking me to listen to their album and possibly write a review. Regrettably I do not always have time to get through all these requests. But I’m hoping to rectify this, a little bit anyway, by showcasing some of the very talented bands who got in touch in the past.
I’ve decided to get the ball rolling with Golden BC, the solo project of Canadian singer-songwriter Brian Offredi. His debut album, Just Take It, was released last month and can be streamed here.
On first listen, Just Take It, seems to be a highly conceptual and atmospheric record. The album was two years in the making a fact which is clearly reflected in some tracks. The attention to detail on tracks like ‘John’, with its intricate and chilling ‘musical knife strokes’, is refreshing while the rough edgyness of ‘Afraid To Wake Up’ and ‘The Idiots’ makes for a layered and well-rounded record.
Below is an excerpt from Golden BC’s official website.
“On a dark and stormy night in May 2006, Brian Offredi (a.k.a. Golden B.C.) sat down with a bottle of Jack Daniels and an acoustic guitar and decided he was going to write his first song—despite the fact he’d never taken a guitar lesson and had owned the instrument less than a day. He pledged that he would not get up until both the bottle and the song were complete. The next day he woke up with a ghastly hangover and pages of illegible scribbles that vaguely resembled lyrics. Eight months later, he released his first EP.”
You can download ‘Just Take It’ from Bandcamp for the reasonable price of $5CAD. I have no idea how that translates into Euro, Sterling or whatever currency you use, but it seems like a fair price all the same.