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Singer/songwriter Chris Singleton releases his debut solo album in September and it is a damn fine album (read the review here).

Check out the extremely catchy 'Get Up' for proof (you can listen to this song and two other songs at Last FM.

Over to Chris...

1. What are you currently up to?

I'm about to start rehearsing the live stuff again with my band. We're doing some shows in London during September and October to promote the album.

2. Brief history of how you got into the music business and the style of music you play

Got into the music industry at the age of 11 when I figured out how a record player worked. Found "Revolver" by the Beatles in my Dad's record collection and it was downhill from there! Or uphill, depending on your point of view - but that's how I got into music. I play a lot of retro-rock and pop tinged with a bit of electronica.

In recent reviews they've described my voice as a mix of John Lennon and George Harrison, and my songwriting as McCartney-esque. 75% of the Beatles. Could be worse, although I must say that I do have a lot of time for Ringo.

Chris Singleton

3. Could you take us through the songs on your excellent debut album and where the lyrical/musical ideas came from?

The basic idea behind "Twisted City" is that it's a tube journey through London - each song is a stop on the journey.

I wrote a lot of it on the move, as I was travelling frequently between Dublin and London for two years. I'd jot down ideas for songs on old tube tickets, boarding cards, you name it. I'd even record myself singing onto my mobile phone's voicemail. Looked like a nutter when I did that.

In the end I had this mad collection of musical bits and bobs on various bits of travelling paraphernalia, and I eventually put them all down properly in my little studio, and that's how the album came about.

Lyrical and musical ideas?

The lyrics are about two things really - firstly, relationships (love, loss, the usual) and secondly, trying to 'make it' as a musician in London. I see the album as a bit of a documentary of what was going on in my life for two years.

Musically it's influenced by a lot of things. The Beatles loom large in it I think, as does Bowie and a bit of the Stones.

It's all influenced by old 60s and 70s acts really, but because I've got a room full of contemporary music equipment - samplers, synths and computers etc., I think all my influences got a bit warped and hopefully the album sounds fresh as a result.

4. How do you view the current live scene as regards new bands getting exposure?

Don't know much about the live scene really as I've been concentrating primarily on recording. As for bands getting exposure, I think the exposure you get is directly proportional to the marketing spend!

5. How has the Internet helped spread the word about the band? Do you think downloading is helping or killing music?

The Internet has been very useful for me, I've used Myspace quite extensively to get my songs out there and the feedback's been very positive.

I think on the whole downloading is good for singles, but not necessarily so good for albums, as people get into the habit of picking and choosing individual tracks and don't necessarily hear albums as the artists intended.

6. Who would you ideally like to go out and tour with?

Supergrass - I think they're great.

7. What bands/artists do you admire and/or are an influence?

I like so many different acts that it's hard to list all the ones I admire.

Obviously I'm a big fan of 60s and 70s acts like The Beatles,Kinks, Bowie, Pink Floyd and so on - that period really was a golden era for music.

In terms of contemporary acts, I've got a lot of time for Supergrass, Aimee Mann, Belle and Sebastian and Primal Scream.

8. What have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

Hard to say really, because I feel like with this record I'm just starting out! I guess the low points have been the times when I've got a lot of `nos' from record companies, and the high has definitely been getting the opportunity to release this record.

9. What ideally would you like to achieve ideally by this time next year?

I'd like to have sold a truckload of copies of Twisted City, and have my next album recorded ready for a September 2007 release!

10. What's the most rock 'n' roll moment you have had so far?

This interview! No, I guess getting the album mastered at Abbey Road was fairly rock and roll. Certainly one of the most expensive moments I've had so far!

11. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

My album "Twisted City" is out on 19th September, and my single, "Worry Number One" is out on 12th September. You should be able to buy them from all good record shops, but if you live near a bad one, you'll be able to get it on iTunes, and various other online retailers.

12. Message to your fans?

Hello to both of you!

Album review

Artist website

Interview © August 2006 Jason Ritchie. All rights reserved.

Cambridge Rock Festival

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