--cont. (Interested in the influences part 2)
Posted March 22nd, 2007 09:14 PM by Kevin Hewick
Not for the first time Wes I am very flattered by your insights into what I do, thank you so much for such a thought provoking post.
I did and do admire Jean Sibelius a lot, "Tapiola" is my favourite by him and I love Vaughan Williams, Britton, Holst, Walton, Elgar - "Overture:In the South" by Elgar is another piece that I find deeply stirring.
In my blanked out days after Factory/Cherry Red I listened to lots of BBC Radio 3 and picked up on all kinds of turn of - mid 20th century British composers like the one's just mentioned and Lambert, Ireland, Warlock etc - then on the other hand I grew to adore Beethoven, Chopin and the songs of Richard Schumann.Charles Ives as well, so taken by his work ,"The Housatonic at Stockbridge"..Oh, I soaked in hours of it while I was on the dole sigh..lol!
Only thing was being utterly 'unschooled' and mentally not in a good place with low morale some of it made music seem to vast a mountain for me to ever climb again.To be honest to this day I wonder if I am too limited in my musicality - I am self taught on the guitar and cannot read music and have little grasp of scales in the conventional 'learned' sense.Because of all the years and years I've done it I can play by ear to an extent, I can work out songs as well as write my own.I can play lots of cover versions.
I learned a lot about guitar by playing along to records - Who, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Bowie, Neil Young and Crazy Horse - and, later in the punk/new wave era things like Talking Heads and The Pretenders, on the bass with some of those quite a lot too.I never was in bands much, and most of those were 'bedroom bands' that never performed anywhere - I didn't see myself 'doing' music on a serious level until I was 21.
I often describe my songs as mid-paced middle aged dirges lol..All very strummy guitar and all that.I try hard not to 'oversing' these days - once I'd have sung the grocery list as if my life depended on it..I think I oversang lots on the Factory/Cherry Red tracks of 1980-84.
These days people do digital demos with pro-tools or whatever - I don't understand any of that at all.My finished products are starker than most peoples basic demos never mind their finished multi-track studio productions. (continued on next page---