What is your names?
I go by the name of The Gaffer.
What is your genre of music?
I would say somewhere between alternative rock and pop music
Give us a little bio about you.
I’ve been playing on the Edinburgh music scene since I was 14 with three different bands, and The Gaffer is my first venture into solo music. I was determined to let the world hear the best of my songwriting, so I thought that by self-producing and mixing I would be able to do that at a more prolific rate. With three songs released since I started back in 2018 that obviously hasn’t been the case, but I’m getting into the swing of things now.
What made you go into music?
I would say a love for performing on a large scale and an obsession with the Killers’ album “Sam’s Town”. When I started playing the guitar, I was attending a community music workshop for high school children called Totally Sound, and I fell in love with the concept of writing, recording and releasing music
Are you a signed?
No, I’m obviously too rock n’ roll for labels to take a chance on.
You are releasing two singles, what can we expect from both?
“Rain” has 70s R&B/disco instrumentation about it, and is admittedly a bit funky. I love its hooks and its hard-hitting optimism. It has moments of grit but it’s easy enough to sing along to.
“Drive Away And Lose You” is the song experiment that I’ve always wanted to make! It’s bouncy and catchy and features some of my most focussed production work ever. Dynamics vary in this tune which makes it an interesting listen
What is the meaning behind each of the songs?.
Both songs are kind of a mirror of each other. When I wrote “Rain” back in 2015 I wanted to tell the story of two people fighting for a relationship that obviously wasn’t working out but was too hard to break away from. “Drive Away And Lose You” is about giving up on people who hold you back and put you down, and achieving your potential.
Describe each track in two words.
Rain – Phat bass
Drive – Radio effect
What was the writing and recording process like?
My writing process back when I did “Rain” was totally different to how I write songs now. I had the chorus chords and knew it needed some powerful lyrics to match, then the line about “dark clouds will come but they’ll go all the same” just came all at once. The verses were inspired by Cage the Elephant’s “Take It Or Leave It”, but after listening to “Love On Top” by Beyoncé one day I decided to turn the whole song on its head and into an R&B song. “Drive” was me trying to create the catchiest song I could by using the best parts of three individual songs I had written in the past. The key change in the middle seemed like too crazy an idea to work at the time, but I stuck with it and I think it has just the effect that I was looking for!
I started recording “Rain” back in 2018 but gave up on it when my work at the time became a bit overwhelming. I revisited it in 2019 with the intention of making it the B-side for my song “Dancing Alone”, but I didn’t think I was doing the song justice with my production standards back then. Something clicked towards December last year and once vocals were done (they took absolutely ages!) I was really happy with the product. I only started “Drive” in January this year as an instrumental, and wrote the lyrics to the song as production moved along. You have no idea how frustrating it was getting the right sound for the radio effect chorus parts!
Who did you work with on the Single?
Me, myself and I.
Do you have any Online shows coming up?
Yes! After the success of my last livestream show, I can’t wait to do it again. And I should have a better microphone by then too!
If so let us know how to get notified.
Like “The Gaffer” on Facebook and I’ll remind you about it non-stop.
What else can we expect in for the rest of 2020?
Hopefully a new EP at some point, I’ve been on a bit of a roll with my writing recently. I would also like to do a live show with a full band but obviously that’s all up in the air at the moment.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Yes, but they don’t know about it yet. I’m looking at you, Ewen!
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Of course, the idea of collaborating has always been something that appeals to me. I also like the idea of writing original songs for other people to play, so if anyone is interested in that, message The Gaffer
Do you play any instruments?
Mainly guitar and bass, but I know enough of the drums, keyboard and violin to make good noises with them.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I try and replicate the “euphoria moments” I find in other songs, the kind of moments that put you on a high! I also try and note lyrical ideas here and there in life and turn them into full songs. One thing I’ve been trying recently though is starting a song on my laptop with no idea where it’s going to go and what it’ll sound like. Sort of like noise experiments.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years? Still riding on the success of “Dancing Alone” and hopefully having my album out by then! As long as I’m still making music and people are still listening, I’ll be happy. A mansion in San Fransisco would be a nice touch
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I’m a primary school teacher, but when I’m not doing school work I like playing nostalgic video games, going to football matches and pub nights. Walking my dog every day has kept me sane during lockdown though.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
“Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins after playing it on Rock Band 2. I adored that song as a 13-year-old and still do. It made me want to be a rock star.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
When it comes to music production, don’t try and make music that sounds higher quality than it is. You’ll only be disappointed, so work with the sounds available to you. If a song’s good it will shine regardless of the quality.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Some of the best songs ever written have no more than three chords. And when you perform, at least pretend that you’re having fun up there!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are”.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I love a small pub on the Royal Mile called the Jolly Judge. It’s always full of people who have great chat and stories.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Being totally honest, my home and bed. Tours are exhausting!
2/ Who do you see first?
Probably my girlfriend. If she’s not around, my dog.
3/What do you eat first?
A ham, brie and jalapeno sandwich. It’s the simple pleasures.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My guitar, a lead, contact lenses, a pint to drink onstage for my street cred and my friends who know the words to my songs!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes, I have a Facebook page
I’m aiming to get a few other socials up and running in due course, but every bit of information about The Gaffer will be on that Facebook page in the meantime