Check out the cool rock music webzine, Rockulus Maximus online here.
Here is my interview with Gary Clarke:
When you followed us on Twitter, that was my first contact with you. What are your thoughts on ‘social networking’?
Social networking is a fantastic tool for independent musicians like me to get in touch one-on-one with new fans and update current fans with new content quickly. I spend a lot of time working with and updating my accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
On checking out your official website www.WillBlack.com we found ourselves being impressed with the amount of activities you have on the go. Could you please explain all the things you’re involved with and share with our readers what your motivation is please?
In addition to performing nightly at Hog Penny Pub in Hamilton, Bermuda I also host and produce a monthly 90 minute podcast called The Blinding Heights. This show highlights various high quality independent pop and rock acts from around the world. I’m also currently running a crowdsourcing campaign via PledgeMusic to raise funds for my 2nd album, “Dangerously Close” www.WillBlack.com/pledgemusic.
I’ve always enjoyed having control and responsibility for my music career and taking an active role in writing/recording/promoting my brand of rock n’ roll is important to me.
Being a singer/songwriter, we were wondering what your main influences are and do you think they show in your own compositions?
Growing up I listened to a lot of different rock bands but really gravitated most towards guys like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and John Mellencamp.. but I’m also a big fan of Prince, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses and Stevie Ray Vaughan. There’s no doubt you can hear my rock influences throughout my original music.
How would you describe the music scene in your native Canada?
To be honest, I’ve been performing regularly outside of Canada for the past 13 years, so I don’t have great insight into what’s happened there with the music scene. However, I have lived in Toronto off and on over the past decade and I’ve seen that the live scene there for rock bands has really shrunk, much like it has throughout most of North America. Another reason that creating a strong presence worldwide via the internet is a necessity for a musician like me who spends most of the year performing on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (Bermuda).
Your debut studio album “Dancing With The Dead” was released around 2008 and consists of eight songs. Why hasn’t there been anything more recent recorded and released?
I’ve released about 15 demos since then, but my next album “Dangerously Close” (due out Spring 2013) will be my first fully produced, full band album since “Dancing With The Dead”. The main reason it’s been this long is that I wanted to grow my fan base large enough to the point where there was demand and financial support for a new studio album. The PledgeMusic campaign that I’m running to raise funds is a scalable project, meaning that the new album will have as many songs as my fan base supports.
Can you tell us a little about the song “Senorita Ballerina” which was a single from your debut album?
It’s basically a tune about love and obsession through the eyes of a fan standing in the front row of a ballet show. I was inspired to write this after seeing my first ballet performance in Tallinn, Estonia a number of years ago. I arranged a cool string line on this one that really makes the song work for me. It’s also available as a free MP3 download for all new subscribers to my newsletter at www.WillBlack.net.
Artists like Ginger Wildheart and Jackdaw4 have both experienced great success utilizing the “artist-friendly’ system offered by PledgeMusic.com, how did you first hear about it and what are your thoughts on this concept of recording and releasing music?
I had heard about PledgeMusic and the other crowdsourcing websites mainly through artists that I had interviewed on my podcast, The Blinding Heights.
I think the model of crowdsourcing is great because it forces the artist to really work within the financial means that their current fan base will support. It’s also a cool way to get exclusive items into people’s hands and get them involved with an album project in such a way you wouldn’t normally get through a major label artist.
A big part of being successful as an independent artist is creating personal relationships with your hardcore fans and including them in as much of the musical ride as possible.
What can fans and newcomers expect from this next studio album “Dangerously Close”?
The first single is called “Pretty Garden” and you can preview it right now by watching the video on my PledgeMusic page www.WillBlack.com/pledgemusic. It’s a step forward for me in both terms of growth as a songwriter and a producer. Since I self produce my own music, I rely on working with a world class studio like Metalworks in Toronto and their excellent engineers to help me get the kick-ass production you hear on “Pretty Garden”. I will also be working with L. Stu Young to mix the album and Nick Blagona to master – both highly respected individuals who have worked with hundreds of well known artists.
Why did you settle on that title for this new album?
It’s a title from one of the songs I’m considering for the album. When I was searching for a name about 6 weeks ago, this one jumped out at me right away. I like the sound of it and it’s got some different meanings that have worked well in promoting my album campaign. It’s also unique and hasn’t been used in any major music album releases by any other artists and that helps when creating music that’s going to stand out on the Internet.
What has been your favourite highlight since venturing out into the wide world as a musician?
Playing music for a living professionally has been such a great opportunity that I am more thankful now than ever. I’m looking forward to the next 15 years 😉