The 'New' Sound
Updated: Jul 30
The first time I recall myself chest-drumming was while listening to Hansons ‘Middle of Nowhere’ back in ‘97. My fascination with drums and percussion only grew from then on but by the time I got my first kit, it would be 10 years and most of my childhood later. At 17 I was listening to emo-punk, transitioning into grunge and eventually the heavenly blues. Quite frankly, it was the blues that got me really burning for that sound of stick on skin. In April of 2010, a few college set-ups down, a group of friends and I decided to form a blues and rock n roll cover band called The Streetlight People, a band we formed in minutes for a recurring gig night starting two weeks from then. We were rough, but our enthusiasm helped smoothen out the edges before Christmas. Nonetheless, as with most college-born bands there is an expiry date. A point where everybody finds their calling and decides to move on to follow their heart.
Campfire Stories was born out of that era. I had longed to be writing and playing my own music but found it extremely hard putting together a group of people who could passionately dedicate time to completing a project. However, not long after The Streetlight People disbanded I was gifted my first acoustic guitar, sparking off a series of young, raw lyrics and coarse melodies. Over the seven years that I wrote those nine tracks on the album, there were at least a hundred that ended up in the trash. Still, there’s a lot that I would change about the way that album was constructed, from start to finish, but I would never take away the sincerity.
Today, I’m proud to have done it differently and with stark contrast to anything I’ve done before. I am also extremely lucky to say that I have got some of Goa’s finest musicians to get into the studio with me. Joe Ferrao and Clifford Sequeira make up the very backbone of this EP with thumping bass lines and booming drum licks, while Shayne Ballantyne and his wailing guitar lend most of the melodies. Nevin D’Mello, former bandmate at The Streetlight People, also brings in his bluesy electric sound and of course, Michael D’Souza, a stalwart in his own right and within the Goan music scene, has been touring the world with the band Tidal Wave since college or not long after, joins in on keyboard.
Most of the musicians on the album have more than once featured with my cover band Kristian Bent & The Makeshift playing long nights on the Anjuna/Vagator coastline. One can imagine that with the experience comes that ‘live sound’ and hopefully we’ve emulated it well.
Truth be told, this sound is very close to “getting real” for me. Folk and country will always have my heart, but the blues will always have my soul; and there’s a bit of all three on this record.