I was writing poems from the age of 13 and when I was 19 I was bought a guitar by my father. I started putting my poetry to music. Fast forward a few years and and was about to move out to Spain (end of 2002). I went to my local bar who had an open mic night. I was persuaded to get up even though I only knew my own stuff. After playing two songs I was blown away by the reaction. – @freefrm_gravity
Listen to the Live interview
Episode #351 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :
GETTING TO KNOW FREE FROM GRAVITY
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I was writing poems from the age of 13…
and when I was 19 I was bought a guitar by my father. I started putting my poetry to music. Fast forward a few years and and was about to move out to Spain (end of 2002). I went to my local bar who had an open mic night. I was persuaded to get up even though I only knew my own stuff. After playing two songs I was blown away by the reaction.
Then in 2010 I came back to UK to pursue my dream – to play in front of 10,000 people and have them sing the songs with us. My inspiration for this was going to see the Eagles at Wembley on their hell Freezes Over tour. I was sitting in the crowd when they started playing “Lyin Eyes” – the whole crowd just started singing along in unison and the chills went down my spine, and I had a “moment” of thinking “That has to be the most amazing feeling as a song writer – to have that many people singing your songs. In 2010 I wrote “I have A Dream” about that experience. That was my inspiration to live the dream.
Dance With me:
A Spanish couple I knew invited me to their wedding
one Saturday evening after the drink had flowed all day. In a somewhat less than sober state, I promised them I would write a song.
Two months later whilst sitting in my apartment one Saturday afternoon I was playing with the acoustic guitar and strumming a little pattern. I started writing and within about 30 minutes the initial song was born.
When I played it for the first time, live to Jose and Laura, (the couple I wrote it for) I was playing at my local bar (Spinach) and the Police came in right in the middle of that song and told me to switch off (I didn’t think it was that bad). However the owners mother (a 70 year old sweet lady but don’t ever get on the wrong side of her) basically told the police to get out and leave well alone until after 1 AM.
So the song was eventually played in its entirety. I did a Spanish version so that Laura and Jose would at least understand what it was all about.
The song was played on Bay Radio (Costa Blanca) in November 2008 by DJ Bob James in a “World Exclusive”. It was the first time I had ever had one of my songs on the radio and it felt incredible. I had a lot of people listening online and in the Bay Radio region
Support Artist: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/freefromgravity4
In 2008 I had the song “Dance With Me” recorded and sent it to my sister.
She had been playing it in her lounge and my niece (then 6 months old) was bouncing in her baby bouncer to it. My sister put a video on youtube (I didn’t even know what Youtube was back then) and sent me a link. A lot of people were asking what the music was and leaving great comments on about it.
Crazy Lady has very definite overtones of Pink Floyd,
from the Solo guitar at the intro to the vocals on full echo (in an “Us and Them” kind of way. Saints and Sinners is a bit of a rebel song. It is about the extremes of good and bad and how they are both affecting people from just living their lives. The theme is come along and join the party and forget what everyone else thinks for a while. Tea, Coffee or Something, is about a homeless guy I met and I sat down with him, talked with him, bought him a coffee and a sandwich, then met him again – and now we are trying to raise cash and awareness to get him off the street.
Step Into The Sunlight, is a song about depression –
I suffered from it mildly in 2009 (but never realized it until I actually wrote and recorded that song. “Dance With |me ” is discussed above.
I live in South Sea – on the South Coast of the UK.
It is a fantastic place. Every weekend we have 2-4 live bands on each Saturday and Sunday at the band stand which is a bandstand surrounded by a hill right on the ocean. 3-8,000 people each day go and it lasts from June until August. We also have Victorious Festival (largest on the South coast), Mutiny Festival, The Wickham Festival and Portsmouth Festival on the annual calendar – so we don’t have to go very far to listen to some great known and unknown bands – some of the local bands are excellent.
Most Saturdays I love to go down to the beach with beer and a BBQ and just chill out watching the bands on the band stand – or just enjoying the sunshine.
We also do the odd Guerrilla gig where we will go out and just play somewhere.
It is fun. We have now started doing Guerrilla gigs whereby we sit down with homeless and play beside them getting people to put some cash into their pot. Its fun and raises awareness for the cause. I was technically homeless once -I was fortunate to have an employer who let me sleep in the warehouse but it could’ve been so much worse – there but for the grace of God go I,
Its a tough world we live in but if it was easy then everyone would be a Rock Star.
I think because I have a business background, I tend to view music as two parts. Firstly the creative process – the writing and recording of the songs, the putting together the shows etc. Next is the business side of things – the promotion of the product (Songs and Shows) and getting it out there. I can detach myself from the creative process and take criticism on the chin – if someone doesn’t like our music it is their opinion and it is highly likely that more people will dislike it than like it, so I am pragmatic about it. There are a lot of sharks in this industry – but there are no more or less than most other industries.
The biggest Con for me is companies
promising to help you up the ladder and doing nothing – PR companies for example. Also promoters that don’t actually promote – the amount of times we promote the hell out of a gig only to find the venue and promoter have put a single event on Facebook.
Finally musicians themselves – trying to find like minded musicians who are committed, willing to put the effort in and make music their thing rather than just a hobby – its tough.
The pro’s are playing in front of a crowd and getting them to sing and dance with you, experiencing moments. Having a vision and a plan of how to get there helps to overcome it. Reliving that feeling of exhilaration when you are playing live overcomes pretty much anything.
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference.
I prefer releasing singles or EP’s Firstly I am fully aware that with an album release people tend to pick and choose the tracks they want. So it makes you, as a songwriter, try to ensure that every song you put out passes the Old grey Whistle test and is the best you can produce.
Also if you release an album you have one shot, tour it then do it all again. If you release it in singles then you have 10 – 12 reasons to connect with your fan base and tour.
The greatest thing about social media
is the fact you can directly interact with fans and people who like your music in a way that was never possible before. People can comment (good or bad) about what they think. Previously to this Record labels tended to cosset their artists and keep them out of the public eye. Now the listening public has the opportunity to connect with someone they really like and vice versa.
David Gilmour. He is one the my greatest influences.
As a lead guitarist he just has that ability to find the right notes at the right point. He plays a really laid back style which allows you to drift into the music and each of his solos has a unique and distinctive feel – they tell their own story as part of the song – they are not superfluous to it.
His voice is also pretty good also.
I have never been cool nor trendy.
I write music to air my feelings and tell a story and hope that the people that are listening have a connection to that story. As our music is a throw back to the sounds of the 70’s and 80”s with a modern twist (someone once described it as “An Old pair of boots with a new pair of laces”) then being current isn’t a description that would apply to us.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”
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