After the session, we naturally wanted to know a little more about the man and his music. So, Stylusboy? Are you a bit of a vinyl junkie?
“I am quite a fan of vinyl I have to say. Most of them are up in my loft though now. My love of vinyl has no real reference to my name though. That came about when I was making my email address quite a few years ago. I have a name that would have meant lots of numbers being in the email address and I didn’t want that. So as I was sat in front of Epson Colour Stylus printer and my email address became Stylusboy! When I started playing live gigs I thought it would be a good name for me to perform under. It does seem to intrigue people…”
When I first came across your name I imagined you to be a bit of a hip hop head. What kind of music gets you going? Are there any surprises in there? Doom Metal? Glitch?
“All sorts of music gets me going. Being a acoustic kind of person I do have a number of people that I love to listen to like Foy Vance, Ian Archer and Damien Rice but I like louder stuff like Idlewild, Elbow, Radiohead, Block Party and stuff like that. The stereo in my car has been broken for ages so I never find out about new music through the radio, it is usually online. I have found some amazing people like Sophie Madeleine, Wes Finch, Julie Collings, Atlum Schema and Stickboy.
“So Doom metal? Not really….although there are a few metal bands from teenage years…Extreme and Stryper!?”
How did you and your collaborator Rachel Grisedale meet and when did you decide to perform together?
“I met Rachel quite a few years ago when we were at the same church. We used to play in different church bands together and did a couple of a covers gigs together. After I had a recorded most of ‘Fingerprint ep’ I got in touch with her about singing on it. I always loved her voice and thought her voice would sound great on my recordings. So I sent her the demos and she came round to my house and recorded it all in one evening, most of it one take! I did a launch gig for the ep last September with a full band and after that we talked about doing the smaller acoustic gigs together. Now Rachel comes along to most of the gigs. She is a superstar!”
What was your son’s reaction to ‘A Song for Noah’?
“Noah has just turned two so whenever I get my guitar out he gets his instruments out and we play together. I think he probably likes the song, well hopefully! Lots of other people really love it and I’ve had lots of comments and messages about it.”
What are your plans musically for the rest of the year?
“I have a number of gigs booked up until May and hopefully a few festivals in the summer. I have started writing some new songs too. Myself and Rachel are working on some tracks for another ep which we will hopefully start recording in May. I have another interesting idea for the art work for this one and will do a single and promo video from it.”
What’s going on in your Coventry? Can you teach us Brummies a thing or two about your city’s music scene?
“Lots of great stuff is happening in Coventry. There a some great bands like Shackletons, Fix Monday, Echo Empire who are doing some great stuff. There are a number of acoustic people who are writing some lovely stuff; Al Britten, Wes Finch and Thom Kirkpatrick
“I help run a monthly night called 07:OH:03 ( Seven oh Three) where we have two acts each month at Esquires Coffee House at the Transport Museum. It’s been going great, getting really busy. Andy who runs the night with me has been making a podcast every two weeks and I do a little feature on that. You can find out all about the night on www.7oh3.com.”
For your ‘Fingerprint ep’ you included a different photograph to each ltd edition copy, where did that idea come from?
“When I was making the ep I really wanted the physical cd to be something really interesting. I know that so much music is downloaded and that’s a good thing, but physical cds are still something special. So I sourced some recycled cardboard sleeves and decided that ‘Fingerprint ep’ would be a good title. The idea that in everything we do we leave a little fingerprint. So my songs hopefully leave a little fingerprint when people listen to them. I have printed my fingerprint on each ep sleeve and to make them even more individual I have taken lots of abstract photos that then get included. So each ep is unique!”
Much to our embarrassment, when you came to record at Blue Whale, we didn’t have any strawberry tea for you! Have you forgiven us yet?
“Well now you mention…erm yes of course. I do rather like lemon and ginger tea. Having played a gig a Christmas where my voice had not been good all day I drank two cups on lemon and ginger tea and my voice was great! So now I drink it all the time.”
Any thing else you’d like to add?
“Just a big thank you really. Me and Rachel both really enjoyed the Blue Whale session. Anyone reading this can go to www.stylusboy.co.uk to find out more about me. I love hearing from people and having conversations. If you go to www.stylusboy.bandcamp.com you can download my ‘Fingerprint ep’ for free and you can also download this ‘Blue Whale Session’ for free too!!