We chatted to Dylan about his experience busking throughout Glasgow, his career so far, studying the HND Sound Production Course at Riverside, and his new single "Nobody Else" (Out Now!!!)
-How long is the Tour with Gerry?
D: We’re playing 11 nights, and the tour starts in early March in Ireland, then we’re over in Wales, England and finish up in Birmingham at the end of the month. I can’t wait!
-You play acoustic indie/pop music, a fairly similar style and genre to what Gerry plays, how did you get into the scene?
D: I left school when I was a bit younger and started busking regularly around Glasgow and beyond, starting with acoustic covers before writing and performing my own material, I ended up enjoying busking so much I pretty much did that full time, until around 2014.
Gerry spotted me playing in Glasgow city centre and saw some potential, he asked me to play a few shows with him and eventually I ended up supporting him a few more times at some gigs . This will be my 5th time playing with Gerry, it’s been an amazing experience! As far as style, I really like a lot of things in the genre and love playing acoustic guitar so it made sense. I’ve found if you write love songs about girls, people tend to love it haha! But for a performing musician, touring really is the pinnacle.
-You’re currently in first year of HND Sound Production, why did you choose to apply for a recording and engineering course rather than a practical, more performance-based course?
D: After I’d played with Gerry a couple of times, I thought it’d be a good idea to try and get my songs recorded, so a few years ago I got some cheap software and equipment and recorded demos of myself in the house. Then I got to the point where I decided I couldn’t rely on just busking anymore if I actually wanted to make money and a career out of performing, so I started looking seriously into recording myself, getting the demos into more professional songs that I could release. Then there became time between touring to write and record new material, then go play it live, then back home to work on more new songs. I sort of blagged my way through the recording software at first, working out the basics and often doing a lot of things in a round-about way. It got to the point that I could only do so much myself and I figured I really needed to learn how to do it properly. I applied to Riverside as I’d heard some great things about it and the equipment, facilities and lecturers all sounded amazing. I figured I’d focus on the Sound Production stuff as I kinda knew what I was doing from a performance side, and I’m just myself on vocals and guitar anyway, and I’ve already made a few contacts in the industry for playing gigs, so Sound Production seemed more relevant to what I wanted to do to expand my knowledge!
- How do you feel HND sound Production has benefitted you so far?
D: Like I said earlier, I felt like I was blagging my way through learning to record and didn’t feel I was getting the best out of what I was actually playing, so actually learning how to do everything properly, both in the studio and through a DAW (closer to what I’d do for home recordings), has made a huge difference already, and it’s really important that you not only learn how to record but also why and various techniques to make your performance and recording the best it can be.
Even the “theory based” classes are so useful, like learning in-depth details of how microphones work and why certain ones are better for recording certain instruments / styles etc, it’s opened my eyes to everything I was doing wrong before! I’ve also got quicker at setting up sessions and the actual recording time has also sped up now I’ve got a more technical approach for it. Riverside’s lecturers and facilities have all helped me hone a few techniques I kind of knew before, but it’s also totally opened my mind to other genres that I wouldn’t have ever listened to off my own back. I’ve also learned to set up a stage for a live venue setting, so there’s plenty of career options to fall back on if performing doesn’t work out. I really enjoy the recording side of things.
There’s a great mix of students with different tastes on my course, and obviously setting up live gigs and recording the Music Performance students really expands your knowledge of stuff like rock, pop and indie, even metal and heavier music. It’s a great atmosphere down here.
-Your new single "Nobody Else" is out now!?
D: Yeah! I actually got to record some elements of it at Riverside in Studio 2 with Shaun Neethling (Engineer and Lecturer on HND Sound Production). Shaun also helped me mix and master it myself, he’s had amazing experience himself over the years, playing, touring and recording some great people. He and all the lecturers at Riverside have such a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry, you learn so much from them, and not just about what you need to learn as part of the course, I’m loving it so far.
Dylan is looking to record more material following this tour, and has even assisted in recording some commercial projects with our Engineers, we’re keen to see what the future holds for Dylan!