We caught up with BIMM Institute Manchester songwriting student Jamie Ainslie about their latest release, ‘F.T.S.’ for Track of the Week!
Inspired by the great Frank Turner, Jamie’s style is riffs galore. This angsty tune has a really old-school feel, reminiscent of early 80s rock and metal. Turn it up loud, and have a dance!
Take a listen and discover more about the track below.
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
F.T.S. just began as a simple idea, playing a distorted guitar riff over a really basic drum beat, and then it just went from there. It was one of those songs where I had the main pattern down pretty quickly, and then it became a game of adding different ideas and seeing how far it could go. The whole track came together in a relatively short space of time.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
Since I’ve been doing this solo project, my writing style has mainly been coming up with the acoustic core and then expanding it to full band arrangements. So in terms of artists, I would look towards Frank Turner and Oasis as a couple of examples that also do that.
I come from a rock background, and I’m a big fan of Royal Blood and Muse, so once in a while, I’ll write a track like F.T.S. where those influences will filter through, and it becomes all about the guitar riffs. It’s great for me as it allows me to mix things up a bit on the writing front and keeps it interesting.
What is key to your sound, and how do you make your music stand out?
I guess the key to my sound is that I like to try and make the tracks sound as lively as possible. Mainly, so that if you saw me playing live with a band and you were in the audience, you would feel the energy coming from the stage. The best gigs I’ve been to are ones where it is like that for most of the set, so I suppose it’s a way of trying to replicate that in some way.
How does your songwriting process work?
My process is typically music first and then the vocal and melody lines second. I either have a subject matter or an idea that pops into my head and then I’ll try and replicate it on the guitar to match, and then visualise full band arrangements as I’m working things out. Or it could literally just be me messing around on instruments and then something might click and go from there. Melodies and certain phrases can appear in that time but writing all the words can appear either fully formed or they take time and effort to get it right.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Northern Rock Music!
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
Studying at BIMM Institute has been great on a collaboration front, getting to work with other artists on a regular basis and seeing them do their thing. This track was actually recorded at BIMM a couple of years ago and a few friends from my year helped bring it to life, so I probably wouldn’t be sat doing this if it wasn’t for them!
I think I’ve become better at writing as well, some of the lectures do challenge you to write in a way that I would have never have thought about before. It has opened my eyes a bit, I would like to think I’ve come out of BIMM more rounded in that department.
What’s next for you?
At this moment in time, I’ve got a couple of recording projects that are ongoing, so they will hopefully see the light of day at some point. As much as things are freeing up right now, some things are still quite unpredictable and changing last minute, so we will see!