Words are great. You can use a thousand of them in one sentence and end up saying absolutely nothing. And in the same breath, you can paint pictures, conjure grand tales and captivate an imagination with just a handful. I was racking my brain earlier, trying to find something to write about, something to say. And I came across an idea in the a supplement in one of the weekend papers.
The concept of which I found so interesting revolved around a short story competition. One where the only resource available to the writers was six words (of their own choosing of course). The idea for this, stretches back to 1920’s when Ernest Hemingway, within the confides of a bet, penned a complete story in just six words.
‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn’
And whilst the concept is far from new, it has sort of, kicked me back into action where my writing is concerned. How can I hide behind the excuse of having nothing to write about when all I need is six words. Now, finding the words is a whole other story, but a challenge I relish and look forward to all the same. Everyone has a story to tell, we just need to find the words. I can write my story in six words, or closer to the mark, I can write it in six million. The important thing is that I keep writing. Because that’s where inspiration is born, a craft is honed and more than anything else, it’s where a voice becomes audible.
And now, in a slightly unrelated note…
OK so here we go, I think it’s about time that I got back up on the proverbial horse and returned to the faithful blog. I do apologise for my lengthy absence but I had the small matter of my final year of College to deal with. But now as I write this post I am free. Free from exams, free from painfully long essays, free from pointless lectures and above all else free from educational slavery. Of course I have to mention that the aforementioned freedoms are subject to me actually passing my final exams and assignments. Fingers crossed though!!
So what have you been up to since my last post here? I’m not addressing any one individual in particular, just trying to be friendly and open up a dialogue so I can tell you everything that I have been up to. So for the past couple of months, as I mentioned above, I’ve been working towards my college degree. This included the production of a documentary film called ‘Under The Influence’ which examined the relationship between video games and their users, but more about that on another day. I also appeared on the radio (can one appear on a primarily auditory medium?) and was asked to give a spiel on the upcoming Irish Festival Season. The blog post for which can be found here. I also have the mp3 file from the interview which I may put up at some stage.
Over the past few months I have received a large number of music submissions from some great bands. Whilst I have not had the time to blog about them it is fair to say that my study playlist was anything but dull. I’ll be catching up on these reviews over the next few weeks so be sure to watch out for the likes of Red Elephant, Analogue Wave, Wolfgirl and many other talented bands.
Finally, you may have (or not) noticed the Roksan logo on the right hand side of the blog. Relax, it’s not some bad attempt at naming my favourite Police song. The good folks at Roksan Audio have kindly lent me their Radius record player for which I will be using to add a new vinyl review section to the blog. I haven’t exactly settled on a name but I’m looking at something along the lines of ‘The Vinyl Countdown’, ‘The Vinyl Frontier’ or something equally as cheesy. To ensure the fruition of this soon to be launched section I am looking for vinyl records (yeah probably the most obvious one) but if you are in a band and have decided to press vinyl or happen to own records that you would like to donate then please get in touch. Secondly, I will be looking to interview some vinyl enthusiasts and collectors, so if you would consider yourself to be such person then please also get in touch.
And so think that’s it. Now that the silence has been broken you can expect a lot more reviews over the coming weeks, months and possibly even years. But for now let’s stick with tradition and finish with a song. (Bet you didn’t see this one coming)
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?
So as promised, below is the Spotify playlist for my Top 10 Tracks of the year. Have a listen and be sure to let me know what you think?
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.