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Interview transcript ( shortened )

Questions, listed for quick links



So Richard let's start at the begining, your father was a professional musician, what sort of music did he play?

He was really involved in military band music, a real change from what I’m doing. I spent my younger days listening to him composing or going to concerts.

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You play all the instruments on the new album in addition to the production. How did you get the time to learn it all?

I first started playing the guitar when I was about ten.  One day I woke up and there was a guitar there and I just started playing. I started working in studios actually as a runner first of all and then doing some engineering. 

I don’t quite know how I learnt it, I mean, I wasn’t taught. I’ve always been fascinated by learning things. I work on a need to know basis, when I get to the urge to need to go and know about it, I just go and learn it. This project has been very broad. It’s really everything from creating the website to the video editing, music production and engineering and producing.

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You worked on the production side of music. What did you learn?

I really learnt all of the tools that I’m using now. Starting off as a runner and in down time I was fascinated by the equipment and used to get in there and you know, try and learn everything.  And then one day, the engineer who was supposed to come didn’t turn up and I was the engineer for the day.

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Why are you choosing to sell and market the album on the web?

The web opens up a lot of opportunities as it puts me on a more level playing field as a major recording artist. I might not be as well known but my website is the same click away as a major record company’s. I’ve got to make sure that the website is attractive for people to go and visit and that the experience they get from it encourages them to stay and hopefully buy something.

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Is this model the future for unsigned bands?

Yeah, absolutely. A band I’ve really got back in touch with recently is Marillion. They are really at the forefront of web publishing, they have had 3 top 10 singles on download. They’re not getting re-regular airplay, but their fan base worldwide is huge and that’s a good bench mark for me to work towards.

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So the power of radio DJ’s will diminish?

Absolutely. If you like it great, if you don’t, that’s fine too. The power is in the hands of the audience now. They are not just being being pushed stuff by a record company. For an unsigned artist doing everything myself, the web is a perfect medium for us to try and get it out there.

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What’s the best gig you ever saw?

As a kid I used to try and get tickets for everything.  It has to be Live Aid. It’s quite apt that we’re nearly 20 years after Live Aid, in fact I was given recently the DVD box set of which brought back so many memories. I still don’t know quite how Adam Ant got on the bill, he managed to pay someone I think, Adam if you’re listening, sorry about that.

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What’s the best album you’ve ever heard?

My favourite album has to be Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. It had a tremendous effect on me as a kid and really started my journey in music. I was just fascinated listening to Dave Gilmour’s guitar solos, wanting to emanate them and try and practice them.  As a guitarist he’s a master of the understated. Where a lot of guitarists would have more complicated runs, he would just have a sustained note which was extremely powerful and it’s something that I’ve definitely learnt from. There’s a few of those on the album itself I think.

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Do you hear Pink Floyd’s influence in some of today’s bands?

Yeah Absolutely, I don’t think Radiohead fans realise how much the band sound like Pink Floyd, especially some of the earlier Floyd albums. There is a definite renaissance of that era coming back in again. A lot of people are going to start revisiting early Genesis and Pink Floyd albums as a result.

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Which acts did you work with?

It varied because I was the house engineer. T’Pau, there’s  a name from the ‘80’s, The Mission, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

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How different is it now compared to those days?

Its not very different, when you go back to the basics, its still a microphone and a guitar. The technology enables you to make it a lot clearer and be able to edit it more freely than you used to be able to. With tape you used to be able to cut with a razor blade now its a non-linear process you know, a bit like word processing. It  gives the artist a lot more freedom than before. There is more creative choice.

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Let’s go through some of the tracks on the album.  Start with Sunrise.

It’s an upbeat track that is one of those songs that you want to put on in the car. It’s the open road driving track. It has a positive message. A lot of the tracks on the album were written at a difficult time in my life but this track is about a new beginning.

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What’s your favourite track on the album?  Have you got one?

Have I got one? It s the one I’m writing at the moment. It’s always the case. It’s the one you you’re involved with at the time is the one you are passionate about. 

I think once the album’s finished I then would have to be able to step back a bit and see which is a favourite. I mean I have a some ones I like on there at the moment, ‘Tomorrow’ is a possible single off the album.

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Where do the ideas come from?

Well it depends really on the track, ideas come from different directions. I remember being on a train recently and just looking at a red light and that sparked off a lyrical idea and I went with that.  Or occasionally I’d be just relaxing strumming a guitar and a chord sequence would come out. For example there is a track on the album called ‘Hiding away’, and that was a real lyrical idea that came a long time before the music, it happened with an experience I had over in India.

I was shocked by the poverty in Mumbai and it was just a poem initially, and I thought maybe one day I’d put that to music.

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Who will be interested in buying the album?

Everybody I hope. Perhaps 30 somethings are going to be more into it than the younger generation. Someone who is into singer songwriter music, like David Gray or Travis or who has been influenced by Pink Floyd and early rock bands.               

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You’re going to play a track for us now, can you tell us the reason for your choice?

I wanted to try and do something a little bit different than how it will appear on the album. The track is called ‘Dream on’, which on the album is a classic rock ballad with a big ending. But I won’t be playing it like that I’ll be playing it straight acoustic. It’s also going to be with a vocal harmony pedal that I can use.

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Will it give us a flavour of your live act?

Yeah absolutely, the live work is going to be a bit of a blend really, between playing some backing tracks because obviously I’m an individual musician, I haven’t got a band yet

I will do both acoustic sets and mixed sets but this track I’ll be playing now is slightly different than how it will appear on the album.

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THANKS very much Richard and we look forward to hearing ‘Dream on’ a track from your new album ‘ and back to me’ going to be released in 2005.



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