London-based, Scottish singer-songwriter and drummer, Chris McConville has some fascinating experiences from a performance point of view. As part of his solo project, McConville is about to release a new single ‘Fire’. We had a chat with this talented artist discussing ‘Fire’, his greatest accomplishments and what inspires him.
What made you enter the music industry?
In my early teens, my older brother’s band was looking for a drummer so I volunteered. I was lucky that he and the other bandmates thought I could pull it off, I thought: “I better learn how to play the drums then.” As soon as I started playing I was hooked and music became my main passion and drive, whether it’s being in a band, collaborating or creating on my own.
You have an upcoming single called ‘Fire’ to be released in early May. What can you tell us about the track? Does it have any significant meaning?
‘Fire’ is a tribute to Tony Eke of my previous band The Blackhill Pioneers. Tony sadly died last year after a short battle with cancer. It is a song that we were unable to finish before his death and after I got the ‘go-ahead’ from Simon, the co-writer, I developed my own version. I had always connected with the song from the beginning as it has a strong emotional pull. ‘Fire’ is about having belief in yourself.
What is your creative process?
I have a home studio that allows me the time and space to craft music and songs on my own. Sometimes it starts with a beat or a strong title idea. I like to be open, improvise and play around on the instruments to find interesting parts that compliment the song. Right now, I have a lot of instrumental music that is almost finished, but it’s hard sometimes to add words because they have their own appeal as is. Currently, I’m enjoying a quicker creative process due to the isolation lockdown situation caused by Covid-19 resulting in a three-track ‘Isolation Improv EP’ available on Soundcloud.
I also enjoy the collaborative process of being part of a band as a drummer.
Who inspires you to make music from a personal and professional standpoint?
From a personal perspective, I am inspired by the musicians and songwriters around me whose music generates an emotional pull and has a communicative power and effect.
From a professional perspective, someone like Ian Brown whose solo albums are always on the forefront of modern, cool-sounding production techniques. Great sounding records and songs with a message.
So you feel your music has evolved from Now Summer’s Gone in 2012 to ‘Fire’? If so, how so?
Yes, I do feel that it has evolved in that Now Summer’s Gone had a lot of collaborative help from my brother, whereas ‘Fire’ was a development of me playing each instrument and self-producing. NSG has quite a retro 70s acoustic rock vibe and I feel ‘Fire’ has more of an indie rock sound; modern production with classic influences and elements of electronic music.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a musician and why that accomplishment?
The rollercoaster experience of getting signed with The Bishops where we released three albums and toured the world. To share a few highlights: working with analogue producer, Liam Watson, going to Japan, playing Hammersmith Apollo and opening the main stage for Oasis at Benicassim Festival in Spain.
Why? Because I got to have the experiences that most musicians dream about.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continuing to improve in music production. I would like to build a solid niche for my own music as well as continue to be involved in other musical projects as a drummer. I would also like to explore ways that music can help others.
How would you describe your sound to people?
What would you like people to take from your music, particularly the upcoming single?
It would be great if people could connect with the song and feel something, hopefully, uplifted. I would like it to introduce people to Tony’s work and for him to be remembered.
Do you have any message for our readers?
I hope you enjoy the new single. Stay safe and well during this time and see you on the other side of the lockdown. A music video for ‘Fire’ will be coming out later in the year.