What’s the last song you listened to?
In The Flesh by Pink Floyd. I’ve been recording with George Sloan at Half Bap studio in Belfast this week and played it to demonstrate that classic Hammond B3 organ sound at the start of the track.
What artist or album has gotten you through lockdown the most?
There’s been some quality releases in 2020 even through lockdown ad the local ones stand out.
‘Analog Catalog’ released a mixed tape which is sublime and features Aaron Shanley, Aoife Wolf, Bui – it’s been on heavy play on my old tape deck. I also topped up my vinyl collection with the Bandcamp Fridays and picked up releases from The Zang, Junk Drawer, Kyron Bourke, Arborist, Malojian, Joshua Burnside and Amy Montgomery. I’ll also include Van Morrison on that list too – not for the protest songs but for ‘Vedon Fleece’ an album I was introduced to by a friend and has been a great summer record.
What’s influencing your music right now?
Drone instruments, India and Ireland. I’ve West Indian ethnicity and have always been a big fan of drones. My first two records are scattered with multi-tracked accordion. I picked up a harmonium and have been jamming with a friend who returned from India with a collection of bansuri flutes. I’ve been taking vocal lessons and enjoying the musical heritage of Sean-nós that bands like Truband and Lankum draw from. Not very rock’n’roll but the guitar amp is in my living room and has been getting a good work out to while the house next door is vacant. You might hear me riffin’ away in the early evening if you’re about the Cavehill Road in Belfast.
Tell us about your new single ‘Timebomb’. How was it written?
The opening acoustic riff is one I’d been playing around with for a while and over time the lyrics and structure arrived. When it came to record it with Michael Mormecha at Millbank Studios it began to come together. We added layers of accordion and then feedback. Double tracking the guitar solo at the pre-mix stage was also an important step as it’s the climax of the song. As the pandemic began, the shadows of lockdown and the increasing sense of isolation and growing global sense of political exploitation really began to take hold was when I decided to include the Ed Snowden samples.
For me, he is someone personifies global injustice – vilifying people who should be lauded as heroes for trying to do the right thing. Their inclusion really brought the message of the song alive.
The video only serves to augment that further and includes footage I shot at the June protest in Belfast brought about the senseless killing of George Floyd in America.
What would you like people to take from listening to ‘Timebomb’?
People will take what they feel is of value from it and that’s always rewarding for me as an artist when I hear other people’s interpretation. Certainly the energy of the song and the music that underpins the “message” is there to be enjoyed.
As a movement of concerned peoples and individuals living in an age when people are being pushed further apart, it’s important for us not to not lose sight of the bigger picture, to strive for the truth, by asking difficult questions of political/local leaders, using our voices and rights as citizens to action peaceful change and not to be deterred from doing the right thing for the greater good of us all. We are the movement, we are alive, we must also keep moving, creatively and otherwise… “there’s still time”…!
Timebomb by The Mad Dalton is out now.