Big thank you to Rob Richings for chatting with Bluesdoodles
BD: We catch you on a break in your current touring
RR: Tom Baxter is great fun to open for and this is the second time so it must be working, just completed three dates in Scotland and have further dates through November with Tom and one opening once again with Fisherman Friends. Fisherman Friends from Port Issac is a very different style of music it is an unusual combination it seems to work the crowd gets my music and the auditorium is warmed up for the main act. Tom Baxter has fantastic guitar skills and his support has been fantastic.
BD See end of interview for dates and links to venues
BD: I see you close your touring at The Convent on the 21st what are your plans for the rest of 2015 and beyond?
RR: Busy time ahead day after the last show I am off to Sydney to record my album – (BD: wow why Sydney?) I met the producer in Paris of the band Passenger, well and so off to a studio in Australia. I went over in August and did the pre-production so will be spending a solid ten days concentrating on finishing the album. I have got to nail it whilst in Austrialia so giving it 100%.
BD: So will you be using session musicians?
RR: Yes, happy to use session musicians to shape the tones on the album. My shows are not about reproducing recorded material I prefer the stripped back form for my live act.
BD: We have talked about the excitement of the album, you currently have a EP Half Way Up.
RR: The EP is four tracks that all work well together and are a taster for the main event. The album will be all new material as we go forward I have plenty of material so no need to duplicate.
BD: So what inspires you as a song writer?
RR: I tend to use real life experiences, I was quite ill for a while with major surgery having survived and come out the other side I have lots of material. I also people watch, sit back and observe what is going on around me. I do not have Colitis any more after a series of serious operations and surviving the cancer caused by the Colitis. I spent a long time in hospital. I got over it and music helped my recovery, gained lots of inspiration and my song writing improved so there were some positives.
BD: How do you approach you writing is it lyrics then melody or the other way around?
RR: Happens both ways. Sometimes, it is a chord and the lyrics build around that. Or I find a line and build a song around the idea. I really think it is important to get the song across. I am never sure where the first line comes from. Yes there are formulas to shape a song but you need the inspiration when that hits the hard work begins as the song takes shape.
BD: What came first singing or the Guitar?
RR: Guitar is an important part but not the main it is underneath the songs that are the important part of my act. I am not a fancy guitar player but I am good at capturing the sound underneath the lyrics. I picked up the guitar around 12 or 13 and did covers of Nirvana and Brit Pop of the 90’s. I was self-taught and the covers developed my guitar skills.
BD: So who has influenced you?
RR: There have been lots of influences including Ron Sexsmith and Damon Albarn his music is immense across genres and has stood the test of time and of course Tom Baxter. I used to listen and watch Tom and always thought I would love to be asked to support him and it has happened.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?
RR: It would be a trio of vocalists myself, Damon Albarn and Freddie Mercury – what a front man to have.
BD: Describe what an audience should expect from your singer/songwriter approach to music
RR: I am one man and a guitar with strong hooks into the lyrics that tell a tale. Simple guitar, strong words and I will often explain the song and background before singing to help connect with the audience.
Read what Bluesdoodles said about the excellent EP Half Way Up HERE and we are looking forward to the album out in 2016.
Sneak preview then catch him live before Rob Riching sis off to Australia
13th – St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings (Fishermans Friends support)
19th – Phoenix, Exeter (Tom Baxter support)
20th – Railway (Attic), Winchester (Tom Baxter support)
21st – Convent Club, Stroud (Tom Baxter support)