DozenQ – Simon Wells

This entry is part 7 of 20 in the series DozenQ

Last year saw the release of Simon Wells’ critically acclaimed album “Sometimes In The Morning”. Fusing together influences such as Nick Drake, Traffic and The Pentangle, Wells reactivated the often-presumed dead genre of English pastoral rock. Melodic, quirky & reflective, Wells’ compositions hark back to the rich period of homespun pastoral folk, a genre that is both charming and thought-provoking.

With a new single on the way and an album scheduled for later in the year, Simon took a few moments out to talk to about his career in music and his plans for the future.

01 How did you get started in music?

Like a lot of people, I spent many a year with a tennis racket in front of the mirror. When I realised I had a talent for music, I starting doing covers with local bands. The reality that I could write my own music was something that took a while to realise. However, once I got some positive feedback from friends and peers, it opened a floodgate of creativity and I never looked back.

Our Sponsors

02 Where did your direction come from?

Probably like many, I was a fan of 60s music – The Beatles especially. Actually, the Fabs helped me absorb the whole gamut of the 60s experience: films, art, books. fashion – everything. As a result, I became totally absorbed with the whole period. Later, punk freed me up from my 60s obsessions and broadened my scope. That in turn allowed me to process music from the early 1970s – a period I feel is long overdue for a renaissance. Listening to so much music, I suppose it was only natural that I wanted to emulate some of the people who’d inspired me- but equally, I was keen to imbue my own sound as well.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Initially, The Beatles, then The Kinks, Who, Small Faces and then more modern day people like Paul Weller and XTC. Today, not that many – but I do like some of Coldplay’s less bombastic material.  But in terms of a major influence, I would say Nick Drake and the whole genre of English pastoral folk are the closest to me. It’s something I feel that still to this day is badly represented, and I am amazed there hasn’t been a revival. What do I despise? I don’t really despise anyone, I just ignore what I don’t like. Life’s really too short to waste time on garbage!

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs?

Just watching and listening to everyday things really. Equally, I suppose if I hear a great song, it does make me want to write something equally good. I take quite an eclectic approach to my songwriting, and much of my inspiration comes from old movies and soundtracks – they seem to stir my creative juices. There’s a track on my album “The Saturday Girl” which is partly inspired by an old Tony Hancock movie (The Punch and Judy Man). The ambiance of the film just drips into that song. I like my influences to be diverse and quirky!

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Hopefully they come away thinking they’ve heard some good songs and that my stage presence was enough to engage them – other than just sitting and listening. Actually, I just hope they leave thinking they have seen and heard something different – and equally, look forward to my future release(s).

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Funny, I usually start with a title rather than a tune. That really starts me off. For example, I had this title: “Cinnamon Cinder” – what it actually means I really don’t know, but I liked the sound of it. Anyway, it set of a train of thoughts – from where the song finally emerged.  It’s rare for me to come out with a tune first. On my album “Sometimes In The Morning” I did a spoken word track entitled “Some Nights I Just Sit And Rot In Coffee Bars.” This came from a line in a 60s book called “Generation X”. I just fell in love with title and felt compelled to do something with it – so there we are!

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

In reality, I hope my music has become more compact. Y’know, when one starts out, you have all these grandiose ideas and yet the reality is that truly memorable and great compositions are mostly understated and simple in their construction. Obviously, one’s songs can’t all be amazing, but I do try and set that as my brief.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

I enjoy live work, but as a singer-songwriter, I do find on-stage chat somewhat difficult. With a band it’s so much easier to hide behind the sound, but as you can imagine, as a solo artist it all falls back on me.  I hope the songs speak for themselves!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

For me, the most perfect song is Tim Hardin’s “It’ll Never Happen Again”, so if there was one song I had to cover it would be that. My friend, the writer Paolo Hewitt, has told me I should record Stevie Wonder’s “Heaven Help Us All” which I may well do in the future. To be honest though, I am quite happy with my own material at the moment.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Hopefully doing much of the same- but exploring new musical avenues and playing lots more gigs. I’m really happy recording too – so much more of that as well. I love the identity of being a solo performer; being in a group can get far too congested. I like my space.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Well I suppose people like Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson spring to mind – seeing as they’re major influences, but I am probably happy just to leave them as heroes than try and work with them (which I’m sure would be problematic). In reality, if the chance arose I would jump at the chance to work with Andy Partridge of XTC. As far as I’m concerned, he’s still one of the greatest songwriters this country has ever produced.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Well, I have a single from the album coming out this spring, “The Saturday Girl”, and it’s backed with some live tracks recorded last year at London’s famous Troubadour club. Following that, there’s a new album coming out later this year. I’m really excited about it. Hopefully it’ll be more of what I explored on “Some Times In The Morning” but with a grittier sound.

Simon’s album “Sometimes In The Morning” is available from 208 records @ . “The Saturday Girl” single with tracks recorded at the Troubadour is released this spring.

Originally posted 2012-01-19 12:16:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Series NavigationDozenQ – The Lovely EggsDozenQ – Young Astronaut

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker