Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
10 Questions with...
Rising Stars
Rock Stars
Backstage Heroes
Celebrity interviews
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website

Ten Questions with...


Chris Singleton released 'Twisted City' in 2006 and immediately became a GRTR! favourite, championed by Reviews Editor Jason Ritchie who wrote about the 'glorious ride of well crafted pop rock tunes'.

Chris played the GRTR! Rising Stars Stage at the Cambridge Rock Festival in 2007 and has promoted his music gigging via buses and Tube stations.

His second album, 'Lady Gasoline', is released in June 2010.

Chris Singleton
Photo: Pal Hansen

Could you tell us please what are you currently up to?

I am currently getting ready for the release of 'Lady Gasoline'. I'm rehearsing the new songs with my band, The Distractions, for a show in The Troubadour Club on 10 June and practising wearing a tie.

Could you take us through your new album 'Lady Gasoline'?

Lady Gasoline was recorded, like my last album, 'Twisted City', mainly in my own studio. This time though I involved more people - mainly a band (so it's probably got a bigger, more live sound at times than the last album) but also a couple of other engineers and knob twiddlers. And we finished it off at Abbey Road where it got a going over by mastering engineer Steve Rooke - the guy behind the Beatles remasters. The last bit was a lot of fun and full of rock anecdotes.

In terms of the songwriting, unlike the last album it doesn't really have any overarching concept behind it (the last record was loosely conceived as a tube journey through London).

It's a more direct, in your face record, which is about the usual subjects that tend to inspire most musicians: love, lust, desire, sex, that sort of thing.

The title, 'Lady Gasoline', is a bit tongue in cheek - it sounds like a 70s porno movie, but I figure that it sums up the record nicely.

In the end I started to think of Lady Gasoline as sort of super-muse that walked all over the songs and left her sexy bootprints on them.

The two tracks that aren't about ladies, gasoline ladies or otherwise, are 'Lou Reed' (a song about selfish hippies who fancy themselves as Lou Reeds but don't quite cut the mustard) and 'Sold the World' (a song about how English politicians like to sell off things that matter to people - useful stuff like water, transport, energy, schools, postmen...). Those two songs are weird interludes in an album that is otherwise basically about girls.

On this new album your band are now called the Distractions. How did they come together and do the band have a big input into the music?

When I moved to London in 2004, the idea was to do a bunch of gigs promoting 'Twisted City'. So I did a load of auditions for musicians, during which I was effectively a friendlier version of Simon Cowell.

Eventually I found these fantastic guys, John, Paul, George - no hang on, Andy, Stelios, John, Zane and Ben - who I asked to play live with me. And when it came to recording this album, I wanted them on board for it.

In terms of band input, if I'm honest, I generally am quite prescriptive about how I want things done (the band would probably describe me as very prescriptive!), but they play all their instruments way better than I ever could, so their musical personalities, skills and taste do end up colouring the album in a very nice way.

John Gibbons' gospel vocal arrangements in particular are really distinctive and probably represent the biggest new sound in my music. I decided to call the band The Distractions (it was either that or The Professionals) because it had a nice Elvis Costello-esque sort of ring to it. And let's face it, they are a distraction from me. I'm the main man for God's sake.

You've done some novel ways of promoting your music in the past such as busking on the London Underground, gigging in a bus etc. What have you got planned for the new album's release?

Hmmnn…no stunts this time I don't think. The tube stuff was fun, and generated a bit of press - but this time I really want people to make judgments on the music, not stunts.

Maybe that's the wrong approach, and I should probably get out there making a tit of myself again on a bus, but I'm hoping that this time we can build on the buzz we got going with 'Twisted City', but put more of an emphasis on rock and roll rather than public transport…as much as I like trains.

What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?

I think the most memorable live show for me was one I did in The Borderline in London in November 2005. This was the first show I'd done with the lads and I don't think we've played better. It was before 'Twisted City' was released and it was an exciting time. We were first on and we were way better than all the other bands that came on after us.

Are there any other newer bands out there who have impressed you lately?

I'm too stuck in the past really. I actually don't listen to much new music. Bad I know - maybe I'm just overwhelmed with the sheer volume of the stuff that's available now, what with Spotify etc. I just keep returning to my old favourites - Bowie, Lou Reed, all that sort of thing. It's a good way of avoiding Scouting for Girls.

That said, I've really been enjoying Nerina Pallot's new album, 'The Graduate' - she is insanely talented. Her stuff reminds me of my own in a way - not because it necessarily sounds that similar, but because I think she loves a clever pop idea. That's what I'm all about. Cerebral pop, tinged with a rocky edge. Bloody hell, better not let NME read that description of it.

Have you ever been approached to front another band and if you could front any one band who would it be and why?

Some dude in Dublin asked me to join a boy band once, when Westlife were big, at the start of the naughties. I wasn't interested, and I'm too old for that sort of thing now.

I'd have to join a man band. If I could join a band I'd have to aim high - it'd have to be Pink Floyd, the Beatles or the Spiders from Mars. Failing that I would have loved to have been involved in creating the music for the original production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse? Does the whole social networking phenomena actually get you new fans and sales or just a lot of friends?

The internet has on balance been a good thing for me. 12,000 people have downloaded the free version of 'Twisted City' so far, and I have a vibrant little street team who are all plugging my music online.

I'll find out when 'Lady Gasoline' is released whether or not any of those 12,000 listeners will actually buy it. I hope they do. I know where they live, so I'll send my boys round if they don't.

Has the upsurge in online and digital rock radio stations helped get your music out there or are some of them too formulated i.e. they will only play the classics by any particular band and not anything new.

I'm pretty rubbish to be honest, because I have my head in the 1970s when it comes to listening to stuff and have not really explored that aspect of the internet. So I don't know if they're formulated. But hey, even if they are, I'm pretty formulated so fair enough. I hope they are playing my stuff though and I hope it helps.

I read quite a bit about music on the net, but for some reason I'm old fashioned when it comes to internet radio: when I listen to the radio it's still on a wireless and it's still Radio 1 or Radio 2.

Incidentally I was in the audience for a Radio 2 show recently, Terry's weekend thing. I suppose that makes me a Tog. Ringo was on it, and a chap called Boggy Marsh.

Message for your fans...

Download my free album at and like it so much that you buy the not free one on 28 June.

Chris Singleton's album, 'Lady Gasoline' is released on June 28.

Interview © May 2010 Jason Ritchie
All rights reserved.

Special feature

Artist website

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group