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Interview with Terry Guy
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Oh wow. That's a big question. Lol. I would have done 1 of 2 things I think. I love food so I would have definitely taken a stab at training to be a professional chef or I would have been a cinematographer. I love directing my own music videos for my music, and being behind the camera for those, so I think it kinda makes sense that I would have gone in that direction possibly too. Either way, something artistic and creative would have still been on the cards. Although my beginnings started out with me making Dance music on Logic at school, I've delved into so many other creative things over the years such as writing poetry, doing photography as well as musically experimenting with other styles such as Rock, Indie, Industrial and Blues. I just love being an artist.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I feel like feeling inspired, as a trigger for the songwriting process, has always been a natural thing for me. The inspiration is either there or not, so I can't force it. So in my spare time, there's no telling if during that time I'll be inspired or not. All I know is that my favourite day away from making music consists of eating some delicious Korean or Japanese food, drinking Red Desperados, watching fucked up Horror movies and having lolz with my friends.
How long has your band been around?
I don't have a band. It's just me, myself and I
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Well I was brought up in Peckham, south east London and without a doubt, coming from a working class background, being a young, queer, gay boy during the 90s in a rough area, and seeing others become affected by the class system 100% had a huge influence on my music from my mid to late 20s upwards, and it was the reason why a lot of the songs on my debut album came about. "Cloud Zero In Society" was pretty much an empathetic record of me expressing how I feel British Society has been affected by issues such as Homophobia, Terrorism and Social Injustice. Although it wasn't politically charged, I was inspired to write lyrics about how social issues have traumatized people.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Terry Guy is my real name and it never felt right to change it as my artist name.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Oh fuck, now we're talking throwbacks. I loved performing at Oxjam in Cornwall several years back. It was a great festival and the vibes went through the roof. Everyone simply went there to play music and have a great time with like-minded, beautiful people that just wanted to throw down and enjoy. It was one of the best weekends of my life. Saying that I also got to play in one of the London venues I've always wanted to play in which is the Amersham Arms. The stage there is a pretty decent space and the crowd are brill. They go there to listen to music and enjoy the vibes. I also forget sometimes that I performed to a Queer Art audience at a daytime event at Heaven in London, which was also pretty sick. Beautiful memories. Good times.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
100% The Notting Hill Arts Club. I had the best time up on that stage that night. The crowd were moved, which moved me, and I felt a connection with my audience from the get go. I performed a lot of songs from Cloud Zero, and there were even some people crying in the audience. I genuinley wish I could live that night again. And as far as venues I'd love to perform at, it goes without saying that I would love to play at The O2 Forum in Kentish Town and Underworld in Camden. I haven't done much of the Camden scene so, for me, it's definitely next on the cards for my London gigs.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Avril Lavigne, The 1975 and Martin Grech, just to name a few, would have to be on that line up. I love them and it would be an honour to share the stage with them and even perform with them on some duets of their songs. Performing "If You're Too Shy, Let Me Know" on stage with Matt Healey would be indescribable.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Literally I would tell anyone getting into a band right now to flipping enjoy it and not to take things too seriously. I think when I was younger I took making music and collaborating with others way too seriously. It was almost like there was no room for lolz and looking back I could have had more fun with it. Part of it was definitely fun. Then other times I was very uptight. No regrets as I eventually learned to fully enjoy it but that would be my advice to both myself and anyone starting out. Literally have as much fun with it as you possibly can. In other words do a fucking YOLO.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
As I said before, I would tell myself to stop taking shit too seriously, and get on that stage and rock out a lot more sooner than what I did.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably "Brown Eyes." The song was a reaction to a dear friend of mine being diagnosed with HIV, and there was a hot moment where I truly thought I would never see him again, either due to suicide or him just running away. It was a very scary time and I genuinely thought I had lost a friend to the ignorance and hatred of our society. I wrote that song as my way of reaching out.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Well, Getting Drunk In London has a habit of being requested the most which makes me laugh but I love it. That song as well as The Dirty Nasty Truth and You're A Liar are ones that I have a lot of fun with performing live. It's those moments where I can get my guitar out and really use my voice.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
As I mentioned before when I was referring to whether or not I get inspired on days where I'm chilling away from music, there isn't a straight forward process for me when I'm making music. And as I don't have a band, and have written the majority of my music on my own, I don't necessarily have anyone breathing down my neck to make music. It happens when it happens. I could be sitting on the bus and a melody will appear in my mind's eye or a chord structure or even a full song and then sometimes I will record whatever it is that I'm hearing, in Vocal format, on my phone i.e. I'll hum the bass, or sing the hook that I'm hearing in my head or I will rush to the nearest instrument and try to figure out what it was that I was hearing in my head. Sometimes a lyric will come to me because of something I've seen or heard in passing and inspiration will derive from that. Or I could just be having a jam at my piano or guitar and I will play something randomly, which will appeal to my ear and then I'll continue from there. There is no specific process. The inspiration or the moment, as it were, is either there or not.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
It depends on the song, but with my debut album which I released last year, in hindsight, I think the message that I was delivering is that I care and I care about a lot of things, perhaps too many things. Cloud Zero happened as a result of me being a very sensitive person, and specifically sensitive to my surroundings, in this instance British Society.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
As I've said, I don't have a band but all I will say is that in the past when I've had backing bands supporting me when I've been touring is that having too many egos in the room can become an unnecessary mess, so touring on my own can be much better sometimes.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
As predictable as this will sound, my main plans are to make more music, specifically finish my second album, tour and concentrate on being a music producer as well as being my own artist. In a nutshell, I just want to do all the things I enjoy.