by the partae

How did you start?

I’ve always wanted to be a songwriter, even when I was a kid, I joined school choir, learnt to play guitar and then formed a band as soon as I got to college, we were lucky and got a record deal when we were 19 and that was a long time ago!

Where are you based?

South of Manchester, UK.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

I sometimes get full songs in my head with pictures of things attached to certain songs..its nice but freaky. I work out stuff on my keyboards and guitar at home and use garage band to demo and then take these into the studio as skeleton tracks to work over or record some parts with the band, the last record after the tracking was done I worked mainly just with the sound engineer, I thought I’d never finish!

 What are you working on right now?

Words and recording some vocals for a soundtrack project with band members Pete and Raz, we started last year. I’ve also just finished doing B-sides for singles.

What is your gear setup?

I use a variety of synths and keyboards old and new, I’m not snobby about stuff, I don’t take ancient stuff on tour usually because it breaks easily so I have Roland stuff live Gaia and SPD x, I have a Gibson Firebird Guitar and a Wem Amp, at home I’ve got a Roland Juno and a variety of organs and string synths, in the studio I use mini moog, Korg, Jen, Arp..theres a big list.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

I like to travel and I go running now and again to clear my head, it helps me think better or think about words to write, its a good escape. Its helps listening to mixes of stuff too, you need time and space to to that its all part of the process.

 I also like fawning over Scandinavian design books, I discovered the Swedish Artist Hilma af Klint this way and her vision and story provided some of the themes to songs on ‘Modern Kosmology’

I also went to Finland to do make the video to ‘Did you see Butterflies?’ as I’ve never been, its quite a magical place, very inspiring.

How would you describe your music genre?

cosmic pop? I dunno,

Do you know any music theory?

Not much, I can probably get by, and work stuff out slowly but I cant sight read fluently  I’m probably better at reading guitar tab! I’ve always just played what is in my head and by ear, I know that a lot of songs on my last album are in the key of D…

What are your plans for the future?

Keep playing live and making music, I’ve got a few side projects on the boil atm and I’d like to one day have a huge studio at the bottom of the garden.

How did you get into music?

I used to watch ’Top of the Pops’ when I was a kid, I saw Kate Bush on there and wanted to be her, I loved pop music and disco, I used to have a Bontempi organ and would play in front of the TV to bands like Ultravox or Gary Numan!

What are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to a lot of Lebanese and Egyptian music at the moment, its something I started to get interested in a few years ago but I’m still a novice , I cant speak or read Arabic so it takes time to know what each song is called , its more traditional and orchestral female vocal led stuff I like, Fairouz, Sabah, Warda Al Jazairia.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

Kate Bush, David Axelrod, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Yoko Ono.

When are you playing next?

Bluedot Festival, Jodrell Bank, and supporting Goat in London, festivals like Le Guess Who in Utrecht and Liverpool Psychfest, then a tour in Oct/Nov in the UK.



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