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INTERVIEW: Scott Dean

Hi Scott, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great, thanks for having me.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lucky Seven”? Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The song was inspired after working as a croupier at Gala casino, Leeds during my gap year and returning to final year at Leeds University.  I have always been a snooker/pool player and played for teams around the UK.  This environment flourishes with gamblers and how this drug can take a hold of you.  People can be willing to gamble until everything has gone and disregard and lose all sight of reality!

Any plans to release a video for the single?

As of yet Gareth (engineer and producer for ‘Neon”) and I haven’t dived to much into planning a video for Lucky Seven.  The album is very fresh to us and I guess at the moment I’m focusing on gigging as much as possible and showcasing this track and the rest of the album to the public.  I’m sure a video will be on the cards very soon.

The single comes off your new album Neon – what’s the story behind the title?

Neon is the title of the album as well as one of the tracks on there.  The neon light we visualised as a cross between night and day.  A feeling of insomnia and someone who is troubled.  Although both Lucky Seven and Neon have dark lyrical content they both have an uplifting/anthemic feel to them.  The chord progressions and guitar lines move in a major key, with a few dark twists along the way.

How was the recording and writing process of the album?

Initially we recorded the first track “The City Falls” which was inspired by The Dark Night Rises. The recording went really well and we had so many other ideas floating around and being laid down we decided to go for an entire album. We recorded everything in Gareth’s home studio using Logic Pro X and bounced round ideas on guitar and bass.  We made a habit of laying every idea down and listening back seeing which we like and which we didn’t.  I think listening back to recorded ideas and taking them away with you helps so much!  You can nurture them over time and finally get through to the cool riffs and the right vocal line.  The album took a year to record and I would visit Gareth 1-3 times a week and work on each track over a long day/night sessions.

What role do guitarists like Joe Satriani play in your musical style?

My guitar teacher Tony Webster introduced me to Joe Satriani.  From the age of 13 I would spend hours learning to read music and learn Satriani tracks.  I started gigging back then and would include them in my set and play live to a backing track.  To learn, play these style of tracks and improvise you have to work hard on your theory and understand the keys you playing in and on guitar “modes”.  These are basically different scales you can use within one key to improvise.  This style of guitar playing is real tough to learn and you have to work on different techniques for years and have a strict practice routine.  You learn to play things precisely and in detail.  I don’t practice like I used to but the hours I spent as a teenager definitely helped shaped my playing to what it is today.

Do you take a different approach when you write for a TV series or videogame than when you are writing for your own project?

Yes! With the TV stuff we are given a brief beforehand and you have to write to fit that particular style.  For example, we did a theme tune for WWE (tribute to Paul Bearer) and it was to be in the style of Snow Patrol, anthemic and uplifting with a feel of winning.  Another was for feel good USA adverts and to be instrumental with just acoustic guitar.  The different styles challenge you as a musician and take you out of your comfort zone.  When you’re in such a hard industry you have to take any opportunity you get!

What aspects of the obsessions and addictions that this society embrace inspired the lyrics on this record?

Wow, that’s a deep question!  Well definitely gambling.  I’ve seen first hand what that can do to people and had close friends make a mess of things.  The entire album has 7 stories which I can list individually:

* Disagreement and arguing with your girlfriend

* A friend breaking into a house and taking everything you have because of gambling

* Addicted to watching movies and jumping into the story you’re watching on screen

* Drug addiction and trying to help someone, only then to see them throw it back in your face.  (This was inspired after watching a DiCaprio movie called “The Basketball Diaries”)

* A “Cold Sea”.  A society that’s so amazing and then so dark.  You see someone else’s success and want to be just like them and have what they have.

* Meeting a girl for the first time but not having the nerve to go talk to her

Any plans to hit the road?

At present i’m gigging hard in London and Birmingham (my hometown as a child) and putting “Neon” out there.  Have recently had a Skype interview with A.K.A Radio in Florida and would love to venture out to the USA and do some gigs, as well as other countries too.

What else is happening next in Scott Dean’s world?

I’ve just formed a relationship with PR company “Saint In The City” and am looking forward to seeing what happens one the next month as we are pushing Lucky 7.  I have a couple of festivals too over the Summer and I’m looking to getting back in the studio with Gareth to record some new material.

Listen here.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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