What’s your most memorable moment in music?
Well, I’m lucky to have had a few – supporting bands like Springsteen and Arctic Monkeys, and playing exciting festivals from Moscow to Mexico, but personally I think finishing the song “Petardu” from our third album was a breakthrough for me. The song meant a lot and i couldn’t finish it until i felt it was right, so when i finally did it felt like an achievement. Big gigs and festivals are amazing, but it’s the little things like that give you confidence and a push to remind you why you do it.
When did you first find your love for music?
I always loved music, but no-one in my family played an instrument or had much musical experience apart from local choirs or mass, so i was upstairs driving everyone crazy with the noise from a pretty young age, feeling that nobody “got” me. Of course they did, and when i finally got drums and a guitar they supported me through many dodgy karaoke nights and drives to tiny pubs or practice spaces to sing or play. I never thought i could make a living from it, it was always for the joy of it. I try to keep that in mind as i continue!
What do you love about teaching?
I found it quite daunting at the beginning, but i feel like i know now that helping people, trying to inspire them and steer them in their musical careers is very important. Obviously everyone is different, so teaching has to be as dynamic and interesting as it is personal – this side of it keeps it fun and interesting for me too.
What advice would you give to aspiring songwriters?
It’s always the same really – its about putting the work in. The more you listen, the more you practice, and the more you push yourself the more joy you’ll get out of the whole practice. Songwriting is a personal thing, so all you can do is inspire them to work and be creative doing it, and try to be encouraging and helpful with the outcome. Sometimes, i’m learning from young songwriters – and they remind me of myself when i was making noise upstairs.