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Clifford Launches New Confessions EP

confessions

Dublin native Greg Clifford recently released his new Confessions EP, his third EP in fifteen months which he has complimented with his self titled debut album.

We caught up with the former Elavator front man to discuss his new three track EP, which was released on November 22nd, to see what lies ahead for him in 2014.

1) What was your inspiration for writing Confessions?

I wished to produce an honest EP, incorporating lyrics that are real and important to me, while allowing a predominantly acoustic soundworld to prevail. I wanted to create cohesion between my gigs and the studio efforts. Earlier studio releases of mine didn’t always reflect how or what I performed to live audiences.

The single ‘Confessions Of A Man’ is autobiographical. Like most, I’ve been guilty in the past of appearances and bravado (quite a male trait), but this song is a reaction to the bullshit. I wrote this song when I found myself in a place of serenity and clarity. All sub-conscious disguises were dropped. ‘Take Off Your Mask’ is similar in regards subject matter in that all too often people hide behind appearances, routine and safety. I feel as a nation we’re too accepting of authority. It’s okay to question and rattle a few cages! What’s the worst that can happen! I also feel we allow ourselves become too receptive to lies and garbage TV. It numbs the senses. So this song is an amalgamation of these concepts and realisations. I regard the lyrics as the best I’ve ever penned. ‘Wandering Man’ is, as the title suggests, about a wandering man! It’s based on a travelling musician I encountered once by the name of Felix Sunnyboy Wilson. A real bohemian in nature,objecting preconceived ‘norms’. I dig that.
2) How would you compare it to some of your previous recordings?

It’s certainly my strongest material to date. I worked, again, with NDT Productions, who recorded, mixed and produced the tracks. The EP was, for the most part, recorded in Sun Studio. It’s the first time I’ve tracked in that studio. Great live room and desk. Solid piano there too which came in handy. I tracked the songs in a live context with Ross O’Farrell on bass and Richie Kennedy on drums. We’ve done a few gigs together and they appeared on The Temple Lane Recordings EP so we’ve a great rapport and musical understanding. I wanted to capture a live feel while having a high quality studio recording. Tempo mapping was also utilized as opposed to straight click tracks. After the foundations of the song were put in place I laid down vocals, bouzouki percussion and additional guitars in Karma Korner Studio. Jack Sherry also contributed with fantastic flute and violin lines, as did Chris Rafter on trumpet. With my previous recordings I’ve always laid down my own backing vocals. This time I went for a different approach with up-and-coming singer songwriter Ciaran Brennan appearing as the second vocalist. This helped the tracks immensely as the different vocal timbres blended so well. For me that’s one of the reasons why The Beatles sounded so good; different vocalists and timbres fusing brilliantly. I also had a guest female vocalist in the form of Aimee Lynch on ‘Confessions of a Man’. It’s the first time I’ve had female backing vocals present on a track of mine.
3) What has been some of your highlights of 2013? 

2013 has been a good year in fairness. I’ve had two releases and a successful launch gig back in June in the Mercantile backed by a full session band. That stands out for me. Back in January I performed with Diversus Guitar Ensemble (a 25 piece classical guitar group) at the Shannonside Winter Music Weekend. I’ve toured Switzerland in March and November with an Irish Trad rock band (The LED Farmers) as the group’s percussionist. In relation to my solo work I spent the month of June travelling around Spain and played a few gigs in Malaga and Granada. I loved Malaga. My material was well received; I shifted a few CDs and got to meet some cool people. I’ve also done some session guitar, piano and bass work, so there have been plenty of musical angles this year!
4) What does 2014 hold in store for you?

I hope to make a shift towards a more electric driven sound to be honest. My Gibson Les Paul Custom has been gathering too much dust of late and needs to see the light of day again! It all depends on whether I can get the right musicians to pull it off though. The lads I usually play with have their own projects and groups and can’t commit in reality to the GC band. If that electric band/sound doesn’t materialize I’ll soldier on and do a number of duo gigs with Jack. I’m considering jumping ship and moving to Germany for a while too. I’d like to be out of my safety zone, learn a new language and perform to a new audience. There’s a great scene over there and I’d like to tap into it! I’ll have another 6 track release come late March too. I’ll also be investing in a new Mac and sound gear with the aim of recording my own album totally and creating a raw, genuine, authentic sound. I feel it’s time I learn how to properly record myself and others!
5) Where can people see your next gig? 

The next big one will be The Ceol Train Sessions in the Mercantile. The date is yet to be confirmed but it’ll be coming up in the next few weeks. All info in relation to the gig will be on my Facebook page. There may be a Dame District Market set too. I’m currently in the process of sending mails and texts to venues looking to get back out on the gigging circuit. From around August to October I was lacking in motivation, but I’ve rediscovered the fire and motivation. For too long I’ve beaten myself up and let industry rejections and small crowds knock me. But I’m more objective now; the market here is saturated and it’s massively difficult to forge a worthwhile presence. In ways I’m lowering my expectations while maintaining the drive and work ethic. I want to get back to truly enjoying music.

I must also mention the new EP is free to stream and download from my Bandcamp page :

gregclifford.bandcamp.com/album/confessions-ep

 

 

 

 

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