Hi Graham, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
After getting in contact with yourselves very well thank you for asking! It’s been very busy on my end and an absolute privilege to be invited on for an interview.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “At The Crossroads”?
I wrote the song some time ago and tried to take a more simplistic approach to songwriting. I thought the ‘less is more’ approach would be nice to attempt on this occasion. I was also working with my friend Kitty Roisin who kindly played the keyboard and sung the backing vocals, she’s an incredible musician and it was superb to work with her. It’s been a very self contained project all said and done.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
This was written in the spirit of going too far in love and realising too late the price we pay. I figured most of us have been there on one occasion or another, while I try to veer away from writing typical love songs as it’s a well trodden path this is really more of a song of remorse and shame.
The single comes off your new album Kolmanskop – why naming the album after this track in particular?
As far as I’m aware this is very literally the only song and album composed about the deserted town of Kolmanskop ever. It was a chance to get experimental which I hope was conveyed most in that track particularly. It’s not likely you’ll have seen that name crop up very frequently let alone in music, my assumption was if it was unusual it may spark some interest. The wonderful team at Hourhouse Pictures have also created a music video for this track particularly, they’ve really embodied the journey which is truly what I wanted a listener to take away from this.
How did you come up with the idea of making a concept album?
I’m hugely inspired by a band called Thrice, they are well known for previous concept albums particularly in their later work. I’ve always found the idea of tying everything in with a common theme quite alluring, I fancied giving it a shot myself and seeing how I got on.
Why the abandoned mining town?
There’s something about derelict places which on some base level garners questions like dust. I couldn’t imagine anything more dusty than a disused mining town (check it out on Google, it’s awe inspiring!). I was a fitting backdrop to ask those introverted questions we sometimes pose to ourselves without any distraction, complete solitude as far as the eye can see with nobody to query your thoughts. I also grew up in a mining community in my primary years, it’s an ode to some of the stories my father used to tell me of work in the coal mines.
How was the recording and writing process?
Frankly it was exceptional fun! There were several unusual techniques used, I dehydrated myself for 24 hours before recording Kolmanskop and all of the percussion was created using sound clips and emulations including a pickaxe which we had to record in studio. It was pleasure to work with both my good friend and current keyboard player Lawrence and the good guys over at Runway Studios. We tried various percussion techniques on the electric guitar by turning up the gain and hitting in in various places for the track titled ‘Where Quiet Blooms’ and Lawrence crafted his own sine wave especially for ‘At The Crossroads’ to give it some bass. I know it subtle and you may not notice much of it depending on what you’re listening through however I wanted to offer music you could find new details in on each play.
How did England influence your music?
While it’s a harsh environment in the industry at present I’ve learned a lot from some exceptionally talented friends on my journeys. It honestly has been completely made by the people I’ve met. My friend Dan Chapman is a stunningly good vocalist and took some time to teach me to be better, I’ve met many in the west country including Dan who have made me realise just how little I know. I actually wrote the song ‘I Know Nothing’ based loosely on Dan and several other friends. There’s a whole plethora of exquisite musicians and bands in this country alone that could easily be your next favourite artist, it’s just about taking the time to find them.
What was it like to play at Pinewood?
At first? Terrifying put bluntly. It’s such a prestigious place to be invited to let alone perform! I was in good company however with a local promotion company called Dreamchaser Entertainment who nurtured me when I was starting out. To play on the same spot as some of your favourite films had been recorded was an experience I’ll never forget, it was also a sublime opportunity to meet new friends and one I shall be forever grateful for.
Any plans to hit the road?
As soon as someone calls me I’m normally right on it! To be honest I’d prefer playing a smaller gig in a unique location over a larger gig on a bigger stage so I’m very open to options no matter what the venue size, it’d be great to hear from anyone reading this if they’re interested in creating some quirky shows.
What else is happening next in Raving Wild’s world?
I’ve recently attached a Kaoss Pad to my guitar to use in conjunction with my loop pedal and harmoniser, to be honest it had me scratching my head for a little while but I’m getting used to it now. Practise practise practise as always!
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