Tuesday, January 1, 2019

DJ Interviews: Hardwire Speers

Hello everyone its DJ Dizzy here with another interview. This time I met up with a blues guitarist by the name of Neil Speers who had a lot to say regarding his music career

How'd you get started in music?

In the first bands I played in back in high school we booked community centres and created our own gigs. We sold the tickets, brought in people for the door/security/selling refreshments, etc,  and postered the hell out of areas we played in. After graduating I played on the road in a cover band followed by different bands and solo shows. I started recording about 2008 and now have a full-length album (Breakfast at Epiphany’s) a couple of EP’s and quite a few singles out now.

Who are your inspirations or influences?

As a guitarist my biggest influences early on were David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, bands like Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, BB King, Black Sabbath - and lately been following some great new blues influenced performers like Gary Clark Jr., Matt Schofield, Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Jack Black, The Dead Weather, Alabama Shakes, artists like that. But I listen to a lot of different music all the time, from jazz to rock to ambient to whatever I find cool.

What advice would offer aspiring performers?

Practice the hell out of your instrument - whether it’s your voice, a suitcase with a kick pedal on it, guitar, whatever. 

After that rehearse a ‘show.’ If you’re going to perform for people remember that the music only makes a small part of the reason they come out to see you. The key word there is SEE you. Make it entertaining - from how you dress (which should be one or two levels above what the audience will wear) to making a connection with the audience. If you just stand on stage in your street clothing, looking at the other members of the band and never move - there’s no reason for an audience to attend your show. If it’s just 'about the music’ they may as well listen to you on Spotify or Apple Music. Except they won’t - because they won’t know who you are. Rehearse the hell out of your show, including how you talk between songs - even if it’s minimal talking make sure to practice it so you’re not all awkward on stage. Don’t you hate seeing a band that makes you nervous because they’re nervous? Don’t be that band.

Learn about the business, there’s a lot of negativity but there’s also a lot of people leading the way to create a new environment for music where we can actually make money and have a great time producing the music we want to hear - things have changed since I was younger, I’m not going to be stuck in the old ways of doing music.

Finally, meet the venues and performers in your area. Get out and see other shows, get to know the bookers and musicians - don’t be all about getting to play there, just let them know you’re enjoying the show. Many bands are getting bookings by being good hangs - they’ll get a call from some band they saw asking them to be the opener. It grows from there. Support the local music community and it will help support you.

How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?

“If you want to be remarkable, give them something to remark about.” I dress the part and wear cool hats - which has gotten me jobs. Works for me as a blues player - but may not work for you in your music which is okay, find something that does which people will remember. I’m also going more towards having the textures of jazz in the rhythm section with blues guitar and vocals on top.

Any new gigs or albums in the future?

I’m preparing to record a new album - doing demos now and looking for a producer. And performing as often as I can.

I want to wish him luck & things & special thanks to him for this interview so until then

Stay awesome & I'll catch you on the flipside! Rock n roll!

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