Interview: Leo Kelly-Gee + Matt Ginno

Published on 31 May 2021 at 15:20

 1: What inspires you to create?

It’s a combination of cool sounds, cool ideas and interesting observations and takes on concepts, usually set off by an evocative riff or thought provoking phrase. For ‘Free’ it was the line ‘In My Mind I’m Gonna Fly Away’ combined with the riff in the chorus which created so much space and inspired us to play around with the idea of freedom. From there we just started exploring all the ways someone could feel free and the song took off from there!
2: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a creative profession?

I think the best advice for anyone being creative is coming to terms with the inherent contradiction at its heart. It’s pursuing perfection while knowing you’ll never quite get there, but knowing when to say ‘That’s Good Enough Now’ and getting stuff out there without just giving up and putting something out there without trying at all and it not being a true representation of what you’re capable of.

It’s also about just getting stuck in! It’s better to fail forwards than to not try and stand still. Even if you start something and it feels impossible, it’s THAT much easier once you’ve started. Whatever feels most scary in your head, use that as a compass and go for that first.

Finally creativity loves to find you working. Lightening rarely strikes twice in the same place but you’ll increase your chances if you stand out in the rain everyday at the same time! Make time to be creative and make it part of your routine and you’ll find it a lot easier to be creative!

3: Do you feel open minded about what you listen to? Do you like going out of your comfort zone?

Depends WHY I’m listening. I work as a guitar teacher and a function musician and so I have two brains which I listen to music with; my musician/artist brain and my fan brain. My musician/artist brain is a lot more analytical and listens to music in order to learn it and so gets a bit overloaded if it tries to listen to music for pleasure as it wants to be able to work it out and play it all. My fan brain on the other hand is a lot more open minded and will listen to anything. It’s just making sure to switch the right brain on at the right time!
4: What outlets do you find out about music from? (Record stores, magazines, samplers, etc.)

For me it’s usually friends’ recommendations and radio, but it can be anywhere really! I learn a lot of songs for my students and so that’s also a great source of inspiration as it gets me to learn songs that I wouldn’t normally listen to!
5: What was the inspiration for your song “Free”?

The main riff you hear on the track I’ve had knocking around for YEARS in some form or another but I never got round to putting any lyrics to it.⁣

I’d noodled around with the riff for hours just enjoying the space the riff created but nothing that ever came up seemed fit the vibe of the song. Although it was definitely bluegrass inspired I knew it definitely wasn’t a bluegrass tune.⁣

Then LOCKDOWN happened ...⁣

After the initial ‘over-optimistic hyper-productivity phase’ subsided and it became apparent that we were in it ‘for the foreseeable’ as my Mum would say, a real sense of despair started to kick in and the lack of work, motivation and general life direction really started to weigh me down. As a result an overwhelming desire to somehow just leave the whole thing behind me and get away really started to kick in.⁣

After a month or so the line ‘In my mind I’m gonna fly away’ (not all the surprising given the situation at the time I suppose!) kept rattling around in my head again and again on repeat day after day until I thought to add it to this riff that I’d had for years and it just CLICKED ... ⁣

The song was meant to be about escape; about breaking away and being ‘Free’ again.⁣

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