02 July 2014 (released)
02 July 2014
Not only does Blair Jollands have the potential to be widely loved by music fans around the globe but he's a real 'musicians musician'. His free track 'My Way Home' was the lead in to his forthcoming single 'Carve It Up' and from these two promising releases, we can tell the, as yet untitled, album is already something to get excited about.
Blair took some time out to answer some of our questions as we get to know a little more about the New Zealand singer-songwriter, what makes him tick and the meaning behind his songs.
MN: 'My Way Home' was the recently released free track, it's quite atmospheric. Can you tell us what the track is all about?
It's about someone who's walking on borrowed land. The plight of a refugee. The displaced. Lost boots sniffing out familiar soil.
MN: Can you tell us more about the album coming out after summer?
I wanted to revisit my routes with this album and just focus on song writing and not the style it would be produced in. I felt that my previous records, except my first one ('Hotel'), were more genre driven so I made a conscious decision not to do that with this one. I feel very proud of the result. It is epic!
MN: How did you get involved with Boy George's label More Protein?
My track 'Everything But You' was playing in a promoter's office. More Protein shared the space with them and they hard the track. George loved it. I guess it's because he loves Bowie and my voice and music has similarities. He released a bunch of singles, EPs and two of my LPs.
MN: Your next single 'Carve It Up' is out soon - is there a story behind the track?
It was politically inspired. The Arab Spring gave birth to the idea. Libya and before that Iraq and the west's dirty dealings... but then, as songs tend to do, they reveal their true meanings once they're recorded and they've become their own entity. It became clear to me that it was actually about ego - the need to get to know our true selves and to ultimately let go of our ego selves.
MN: You now reside in London but you're from New Zealand - why and when did you move to the Big Smoke?
I was traveling around the states for several months busking and gigging until I basically ran out of money! I had a one way ticket to the UK so I used it. That was 1995 and I didn't mean to stay for long±
MN: What's it like being a musician in London?
You have to be good out there. There's no room for rubbish and there's no mercy from punters. They are very spoilt for choice. It's character building! You've also got to be street wise. There are many people who call themselves promoters who are out to rip off hungry artists
looking for gigs.
MN: If you weren't doing what you are now, what path do you think you would've followed?
MN: You've produced many a soundtrack as well - can you tell us more about your work for film and television?
I'm a sound designer - that means heightening the sound of each scene to augment the picture. Its very creative. I always carry recording gear with me. I've recorded everything from farts to Aston Martins. It's a weird and wonderful job. My most recent projects include 'Pride' starring Bill Nighy and Dominic West. I urge your readers to go see this film, it is awesome. I'm also working on Sky Atlantic's 'Fortitude', which will transmit early 2015. I mix a little of my sound design into my music which gives it another dimension.
MN: You've been compared to Rufus Wainwright and Leonard Cohen but who would you compare yourself to personally?
I humble myself in their greatness but I have borrowed from Bowie, Byrne, Beck, Elliot Smith, Dylan... to name but a few.
MN: Give us 3 reasons why new music fans should check you out?
1 - It's refreshingly original
2 - It's thought provoking songwriting
3 - It has an epic quality and and its very cinematic in sound.