Tuesday, 22 November 2011

We're Only Here For The Banter - The Lonely Boy

The Lonely Boy is the stage name of Sean Gilles, who joined me on the Scottish Fiction show a few weeks ago. Sean was talking about his music and his influences and  has been kind enough to also complete a Q&A session for the blog. Have a read below and also listen again to the show to a special live performance of Michael Jackson's 'Dirty Diana'.

Hello, how are you?

Hello, I'm good! How are you?

I'm very well thanks. Tell us a wee bit about yourself.

Well The Lonely Boy is a solo project I've been working on, I tend to do all the music myself. I have a band for live performances. And the music varies, it's kind of rock, pop, experimental. I like a good long number, and I love how under The Lonely Boy name I can experiment. I'm not sure if that explains my music that well!

How does performing under a stage name work for you?

Well I used to perform under my own name as Sean G, because no one can pronounce Gilles. But I didn't like that because it was very personal. With the name The Lonely Boy it could be a band, it could be a solo project, you can get experimental, you can do so much with it rather than stuck with just your name.

How do you about transferring the music you make onto a live stage?

Well the easiest option is to do acoustic myself or sometimes with a mate who also plays guitar. Or I have got a band, drums, bass, lead guitar and rhythm. I don't go too mad in the studio that we can recreate it on stage. We change the tracks slightly, bring something a bit different to the live experience. I love it when bands go out to create something a bit different from just listening to the CD.

You've been involved in music for a while, how are you with getting up on stage and performing?

To be honest, I don't really like being on stage! I love being in the studio, writing music, and when it comes to performing I'll get up on stage and give it my best. What I like about The Lonely Boy is that it doesn't need to be all live performances, it could be a studio project.

How do you find being a solo artist as opposed to being in a band?

I love it, it's so much better. That's one of the reasons I went towards the solo stuff. In the studio it can get too many opinions going about, but by myself I can get a track done in an hour, two hours. But with a band it's a whole other story.

Who would you describe as your influences?

Biggest influences I would have to say, and lots of people will say this, but it has to be The Beatles. Ever since I was seven, I heard Sgt. Pepper and that was me hooked. But also Ryan Adams, love him as a singer songwriter, love the fact he does what he wants. I also tend towards the 1960's / 1950's, people like Buddy Holly.

What is your songwriting process like?

First you need to start by not attempting to write a song 'cause it will never happen. Every time I go sit down and think I'm going to write a song it never happens. It's gotta be that spur of the moment, playing chords and working out something nice, then start singing over it. I always write the music first and lyrics are always last. Sometimes I don't even write down lyrics, I've just made them up in my head and sung them so much that they are in my head.

I always find the simplest songs are the hardest to write. The ones of mine that you think are complicated I've wrote them in like 15 minutes, the wee simple ones can take forever. I've also got bits of paper everwhere, post it notes and stuff like that.

What could we expect to see from your live shows?

Well it depends. Acoustically I can do whatever I want, I wrote most of the tracks as acoustic tracks. With the band it's full of energy, especially one track 'End Of The Line' which takes a lot of energy, lots of shouting. I like gigs where you can see peoples heads starting to bop, and get involved.

What does 2012 hold for you?

The plan is being in the studio a lot, trying to record an album. Actually I've stupidly decided to record two albums, one under The Lonely Boy alias, the other with my other project Lonely And Lola. So it's good to be able to go between these two projects. And I want to try and get these albums done, and then start gigging again, hopefully get some good supports.

What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?

I'd probably say two years ago I did a west coast of America tour, from LA to San Diego and then all the way back up ago. I played the Viper Room in Los Angeles as well. I loved it, there was such a good vibe, it was so different to playing in Scotland. I always feel like with gigs in Scotland, because you do such a lot of them, it's often a case of texting your mates 'are you coming to my gig?' But when we went to Los Angeles we told a few people about our gig in the Viper Rooms and just through word of mouth we managed to pack out the venue.

What Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Some bands I've played with that I love would be Lou Hickey and Sonny Marvello. Also She's Hit, I went to see them a couple of months ago and loved them. Such a good atmosphere on stage, and they have that something, you should definitely go and see them.

Thanks very much for speaking to us!

Why not listen to the show again below? And also check out more from The Lonely Boy on his website and on Facebook?

Scottish Fiction 7th November 2011 by wilsonnj

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