Ian McGlynn is no stranger to The Indie Music Database. If you had a chance to check out our 25 Indie Songs of Christmas last year – you’ll definitely remember him for his magically nostalgic Christmas song ‘Listen to the Choir Sing‘.
In this week’s edition of Fresh from the Post, we got a chance to check back with Ian and got to know more about his music, sample a couple of songs as well as talk about a new project just under his sleeve.
I’m always curious as to how people get where they are. How did you get started playing music?
My parents had me modeling at 18 months old and so for me this was really the beginning of the entertainment world. I modeled until I was 7, giving it up to further my musical studies. By the time I was 7 years old, I already had an agent and a vocal coach in NYC. I was singing professionally and was playing the violin, drums and piano.
My mother was a classically trained pianist and my father was a rock ‘n roll drummer so there was music playing in our house 24/7. It’s just always been a natural part of my surroundings.
I love films and I’m a big fan of music in movies. I know you’ve done some work scoring for a couple of films. Can you tell us more about that?
A few years ago an executive producer, Bob Hariri, of independent and major motion picture films discovered my music on my website and approached me to write some songs for the films he was working on. One of the films "Off the Black" starring Nick Nolte and Timothy Hutton was close to being finished when I met Bob. My songwriting partner, Chris Newkirk and I had a song called "Nowhere" that was perfect for the end credits but I was still in the process of recording it and they needed something immediately. I had an instrumental version of the song already recorded and so we squeezed that into the end credits just in time. It’s a great film. If you haven’t already seen it, you should definitely rent it.
Bob was also beginning to work on a major motion picture film starring Meg Ryan and Antonio Banderas. So together, we flew down to Shreveport, LA and met the director and actors and got to see some of the filming. Once returning home, Chris and I wrote two songs specifically for the film. They ended up choosing one of them which you can hear somewhere in the middle of the film. The film is called "My Mom’s New Boyfriend" and the song is called "Listening In". It’s one of the songs we released for "Summer of Ian" and is available on iTunes.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Gary Nadeau writing mini scores to a couple of shorts he’s recently filmed for Dwell.com.
And most recently I got a chance to write a little ditty for a commercial. It was another Gary Nadeau production and I wrote it with my good friend Dave Macarone. If you look closely you’ll see me acting in it alongside my partner-in-crime Darling Cait.
How is the process different (scoring films vs. making music for your album)? And which do you prefer the most?
They are quite different. Writing for films you have a guideline. A script and story already set up to follow and put music to. Writing and creating music for an album is wide open. No rules unless you put them there yourself. It’s more of an organic process. At least for me it is. I like them both. There’s a thrill to writing for film. An opportunity that I look forward to. Writing and creating albums or EP’s or a single is just very necessary for me. I have to or else I don’t exist.
What/Who do you list as influences when creating music?
I have a lot of influences from the past 5 decades. Over the years they have all played a part in influencing ideas, instrumentation, etc…when it comes to writing and producing my music. Off the top of my head I would say The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Peter Gabriel, The Posies, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Tom Waits and Yes. And then there are all the films. Kubrick and Lynch films are at the top of that list.
Anything planned for 2010? Will you be doing another "Summer of Ian" or are there other projects in the pipeline?
Right now there aren’t any plans to do another "Summer of Ian". But maybe we should do an "Autumn of Ian" this year. Or maybe not.
I’ve actually been busy with a new project that Chris and I just started this year. It’s called "Ian McGlynn & The Dead Radio". I’m in the process of recording a 4-song EP for release this spring. It’s quite different from my solo material. One of the rules was no piano. It’s more in the synth-pop direction. Fun and uptempo. And there are some surprises to it that I can’t talk about just yet. So stay tuned! To keep up with all The Dead Radio news keep visiting the website: http://www.ianmcglynn.com/thedeadradio
I’ve also been very busy performing with Darling Cait and eupana. Darling Cait (http://www.darlingcait.com) is an incredible singer/songwriter who recorded her debut record (releasing this spring) all on toy instruments. Eupana (http://www.eupana.com) is a lovely "shoegaze" band. Our next show is at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn, NY this Saturday night, April 3rd. We play at 8 pm sharp.
I really enjoyed the Christmas song that you shared with us over the holidays. It was one of my favorites. It has that classic sound to it as well as a very Christmassy feel. Thanks for sharing it 🙂 We usually ask artists that we feature to share a couple of songs to our readers as well some background info about the songs – like what inspired you to do it, what’s it all about. Can you share some songs that you’d like for our readers to hear?
Sure, I’d love to share some songs with your readers. But first, thank you! It makes me happy to know you really like the Christmas song. And thanks again for featuring it on your terrific blog. I’m already thinking ahead to maybe doing another one for Christmas 2010.
The first song that I’d like to share with your readers is from my latest full-length album "This is the Sound". The song is called "Small Town, Big Hearts". It’s about the small pleasures and moments in life that you share with your loved one.
Small Town, Big Hearts
The second song is also from my latest album "This is the Sound". It’s called "Northern Lights". Very simply, there are a lot of things and people in this world that you cannot trust. There are also a lot of really bad pick up lines out there. I once heard a guy try to pick up a girl with this line, "I can see the northern lights shine in your eyes". So we used it in the song. Girls, never trust that guy.
The third and final song I’d like to share with your readers is one of the "Summer of Ian" songs we released this past summer. It’s called "Nowhere" and it’s the full version that is not in the film "Off The Black". It’s one of those depressing relationship songs.
Last but not least, I always ask artists to give their own definition of what indie music is to them, since the definition often changes depending on which person you ask. What’s your definition of indie music?
I think you are correct. Everyone seems to have their own definition as to what it means. I think truly independent music or "indie" music is music free from any machine or major label or even major/independent labels. I think it’s artists revealing themselves in their truest form. You are hearing 100% of that artist. Unfiltered.
When you’ve got talent and boundless creativity, you’ll always find things to make you busy – and this is why Ian Mcglynn is one busy man. This unique blend of talent and inspired creativity, as well as a passion for music that radiates in his music, is one that makes it absolutely difficult not to love and enjoy. If you’re looking for something new to treat your ears with, I’d definitely recommend checking out more of Ian Mcglynn’s songs.
If you’re in the neighborhood, you can catch Ian live at the Trash Bar in Brooklyn, NY at 8:00pm on April 3, or you can sample more of his songs on his website at ianmcglynn.com