Acoustic,Alternative,Scotland,Singer Songwriter,Songwriter,UK

Blog interview: Karma Surround

Hello Darren, how are you?

Hi Del, thanks so much for getting in touch and for listening to the new album. Im a big fan of your work and the diverse range of music you cover. My wife and daughter bought me Sgt. Pepper on vinyl for Christmas so I can’t wait to give it a spin (One of the greatest albums ever created – D.O.)
Congratulations on the release of “Songs Lost In The Meanwhile”, how does it feel?
Thanks so much Del. I feel a massive sense of achievement and relief as well. The recording of the album commenced in late 2020 when the first lockdown ended. When the second lockdown happened recording stopped for many months. Overall, the album nearly fell apart but over the course of 2021 its slowly all come together. Under normal circumstances we would have probably set aside a few weeks and recorded everything but its been a gradual and slow process because of the pandemic. 
What’s your favourite track from it? 
My favourite track is “Shining Beat” because its about my Wife and Daughter. They are my shining beat. 
You are a singer songwriter from Fife in Scotland how did it all begin for you?
I’ve always gigged in Fife, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. However, as a singer songwriter I’ve never really had proper songs until the end of 2020. After the first lockdown I met with my brother Michael and played him Shining Beat, Do You Wonder, Can’t Buy The Time, Trust Is A Two Way Betrayal, Just For Today, Can’t Buy The Time and Lets Stay In Today. Michael played me back Keep On, Ticket To Liberty and Good Morning Lassitude. Michael immediately started layering up Do You Wonder with lead guitar and synths. The songs came together one by one as I added harmonica, piano and acoustic. Michael added drums, bass, lead guitar and acoustic. The sound slowly and gradually blended together into Songs Lost In The Meanwhile. 
What did you listen to growing up?
I absolutely adore the Beatles. I’m obsessed with trying to create the acoustic sound on Rubber Soul and Revolver. I have still to figure this out. Im also a big fan of RL Burnside, King Creosote and Denis Wilson. My brother Michael is a massive Noel Gallagher fan.
You work with your brother on your material, how does a typical writing session take shape for you?
I write all of my music on acoustic guitar but it’s Michael that brings the songs to life in his home made and make shift recording studio. Michael is an all round musician and I’m a bit of a scrappy musician that pieces things together. Ideas flow from him but I’m a bit more stop start with writing material. Michael has the ability to blend different sounds together. 
You have your own recording studio that you work from, what’s been an essential part of your set up for you?
My brother Michael has created a home made and make shift studio in the back room of his house. It’s a small space but we re-position everything depending on what instrument we are using. We basically start of with drums and acoustic guitar then layer up the music. The set up includes an electric drum kit, tambourine, Epiphone acoustic guitar, Gibson les Paul electric guitar, Electric bass guitar, harmonica and piano. We use a Behringer Interface, microphone condenser and pro tools mixing programme. Overall, this has enabled us to record when we were able to do so with no time constraints. Although with the lockdowns recording started then stopped which was frustrating because the album would have been out at the end of the summer. Michael had the idea of sending Stars Of The Last Magnitude, Do You Wonder, Keep On Man and Good Morning Lassitude to Abbey Road to master. They did it for a few hundred pounds to help us out which we are eternally grateful for because it was a kind gesture. I recorded Shining Beat, Trust Is A Two Way Betrayal, Just For Today and Let’s Stay In Today outdoors in my local area next to old mining areas such as the mining wheel and old railway to capture the feel of the local area in the music. 
COVID proved to be a challenge for the recording of your album, what for you was a breakthrough? 
It was extremely challenging during the second lockdown. At one stage I phoned Michael and said this isn’t going to work but he said persevere and it will work out. We were able to send files to each other by email to open up, add music and send them back. This worked well to create demos of the songs to work on throughout 2021. The wonders of modern technology. We are blessed to have this technology in our lives. 
COVID impacted the creative industry as a whole what kept you motivated?
I know people in music, art, poetry and other creative fields and everyone said that they struggled being separated. Everyone kept each other motivated especially online. A band I know in England called the goods gone basically told me online how to make music videos and put music onto different streaming platforms. Again I am eternally grateful to them. 
2020-2021 was a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
I learned that if I persevere and don’t give up then something positive can be created. I learned don’t be afraid to express myself and aim high because life is for living. 
Did you pick up any new skills?
I feel more skilled up in social media, making videos and making press packs to send out to different radio stations and reviewers. 
Scotland has a lot of talent out there, are there any artists that you’d recommend?
I recently bought check masses debut album on vinyl. Its a masterpiece. Its a mix of reggae, berber music and indie pop. 
What are you looking forward to next?
I look forward to promoting the music to as many people as possible and gigging around Fife, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow when its safe to do so. 

Karma Surround On Bandcamp


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