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A Dirty Dozen with SIMON McBRIDE – August 2020

| 25 August 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Simon McBride will release his 3rd EP Trouble digitally on October 23 via earMUSIC and already gives a first insight into the upcoming release. After the release of his EPs Show Me How To Love and 100 Days in 2019, Simon now starts the third chapter of his rocking journey with a cover version of Bryan Adams’ “Kids Wanna Rock.” The energy that Simon McBride puts in every string he pulls, make this version one of a kind. Simon McBride who is guitar player, singer, songwriter and a band leader all in one, comes from Belfast in Northern Ireland, a place that resonates of the best music traditions like Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher as well as bands such as Thin Lizzy, Stiff Little Fingers, and obviously U2. His biography tells many stories, from his band touring with no sound engineer, driver, roadie, playing 30 shows in 35 days, to him regularly sharing stages with Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Don Airey.” We get Simon to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well, my latest release, which is a cover of “Kids Wanna Rock” by Bryan Adams, is a great song in which I tried to do my best interpretation of. I generally don’t like doing direct copies of songs as I like to put a bit of me into every song I do. So for this song in particular there is an added section in the middle which kind of goes into a prog rock thing; it’s only for a few bars but it’s there and it’s different and it works so it shows you anything goes.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I got into music through my dad, who was a massive music fan. There was always music on the house. It was mostly Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, which is quite funny and wonderful as I now play for the singer Ian Gillan and the keyboardist Don Airey. So it was inevitable I was going to be into music in some shape or form. What got me into playing guitar and singing was probably the first time I heard AC/DC. I was just hooked. I wanted to be that guy running round a huge stage. There was a guitar in the house which belonged to my dad, so when he went to work I used to sneak into his room and pick it up and bash whatever on it. I then discovered a little chord book so I started to learn a few chords and so and so on.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I have gone through stages in my life in regard to performers and influences. I started with AC/DC, and Bryan Adams, then moved onto guys like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Gary Moore, and Van Halen. I grew up in the 80’s, so I was an 80’s child. I then moved into more bluesy stuff like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Free. Then I went onto bands in the progressive market like Yes and Toto and I was hooked and to this day I would have to say Toto would be my favorite band. I wouldn’t say that I sound like them but we are all just products of our influences.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

It’s so hard to narrow it down but if I really had to pick 5, I’d say my 5 Main Influences would be Toto, Yes, Queen, Gary Moore, and Free.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would have loved to have got the chance to work with Chris Cornell. He was one of my favourite singers and musicians of all time. He was just such a creative individual with a killer voice. The melodies he did were amazing.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe my music as primarily rock based with popular hooks and some fiery guitar in there. I have been fortunate enough to have never had a cringeworthy comparison. There have been a few reviews which I have disagreed with. For example, someone said I sounded like Rory Gallagher and had a lot of Rory’s traits, which is funny because I couldn’t tell one of Rory’s songs. I appreciate that he was an amazing musician but he was just never on my radar. It must have been the Irish connection, LOL.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The best thing about being a musician essentially is being around and creating music all the time and being able to really enjoy your job. For me, I like the traveling, too. Some may disagree but everyone’s different.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

It’s usually the bass player Dave Marks, who likes to cook. I like to cook, but when I’m at home in my own space. I’m the one who gets the drinks as my two musicians don’t drink so it’s great and cheap for me, LOL. I would say it’s my drummer Marty McCloskey that would be the first to get the guitar out and start a singalong. He is such a free spirit and extremely talented — not just on the drums.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I think it was the first time I met Ian Gillan. I wasn’t really star struck. It’s just Ian has this strong confident presence about him. It’s weird. And when you think about it, he’s an icon. It happened in Bulgaria on the first day of rehearsals for the Contractual Obligation tour. We were playing “Smoke on the Water,” and I had never really played it before so the first time I got to play it was with the guy who wrote it! So I was a little nervous. But at the end he stood up and said something like, ‘Well that wasn’t s**t,’ and we all had a laugh and I get on very well with Ian these days, as he’s such a lovely guy.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I am doing my dream job. But I like working with my hands and making things so i’d say anything creative like a carpenter or something like that. Or a guitar builder!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are many things i’d like to go back and change but a lot I can’t mention, apart from the fact that sometimes I feel I was born 10 years too late LOL. There was a time I put my faith in someone within the industry who promised the world and I got sucked into that bull s**t but did absolutely nothing, and to this day I actually don’t know whether it would have affected the outcome if it was done differently. But I believe everything happens for a reason. I have moved on, I have achieved some incredible things and at this point I have a great record label behind me, earMusic. So onwards and upwards.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Being a Massive Toto fan, I would have to say the self-titled album from 1978, it has everything in it, from great musicianship to great melodies, vocals and amazing guitar playing by Steve Lukather. I still listen to it today and am inspired and amazed.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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