“I have been told, rather accusingly, that I have an ‘American’ sound. I don’t know why that is a bad thing! Growing up in the 90’s America led the way musically…”
– LEE GORDON
EMMA J SMITH – PHOTOGRAPHER
LEE GORDON – SINGER/ SONGWRITER
DARREN WOOLNER – BASS PLAYER
We get to know Singer / Songwriter Lee Gordon, in the run-up to his debut single launch BEACH HOUSE!
Sam & Kat: “When did you start playing?”
Lee: “I could always sing, I think. Well, I always liked to sing. One of my first memories probably around 4 [years old] was singing along to Michael Jackson with A head right in the cone of one of the old giant wooden speaker that sat on the questionably patterned beige, brown and black carpet in our front room. I loved the feeling of being immersed in the music. No one in my family is musical. I didn’t grow up in a house full of music. My Mum did love Motown and Stax though and I still have her old Otis Redding vinyl. He is definitely an inspiration and an example of exuding pure soul into your music.
I first knew I wanted to play when I was around 11 and at a friends house. His uncle turned up with a red Fender Strat and showed off to us playing questionable versions of old Clapton and Cream. I was hooked. I knew this was for me! I got a cheap copy of a Strat for the next Christmas and spent hours a day trying to play it. I had my first band at 13 I think. This began my journey into music and all of its genres.”
S & K: “Are there any famous musicians you learned from while growing up?”
L: “I started with Eric Clapton, which led to Blues (Muddy Waters/ Robert Johnson), then Guns and Roses and Rock music which led to Metallica (the good stuff, Master of Puppets, Ride The Lightening etc) and metal (Slayer, Anthrax, bay area stuff). Around 15 when grunge hit it blew me away, the guttural angst of it all, the lyrical style, just struck a chord with me especially Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. I’d say their sound still influences me to this day. Eddie Vedder is a hero of mine for sure. It was late teens when I got my first acoustic guitar and wrote my first ‘singer/songwriter’ song. Then the likes of Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Counting Crows, Ryan Adams. I grew up on Rock, Metal, Grunge and Singer/songwriters coming out of America and I can hear all of them in what I write now and have written previously. I have been told, rather accusingly, that I have an ‘American’ sound. I don’t know why that is a bad thing! Growing up in the 90’s America led the way musically (unlike these days when we have some serious Talent!) I suppose it was inevitable given my taste. I write from the heart. It’s not stylised in any way. It is 100% me.”
S & K: “Who or what do you find inspires or influences you most in your music?”
L: “It varies, I write from a very emotive place though. Songwriting is my first love and real catharsis for me, and whatever I may be feeling is laid bare in my process. I, like most others like me, write better when life sucks! I have people I admire and look up to but I don’t take direct influence from them as such, I do always seem to write in a certain way. Fiddling about on the guitar will give me a chord progression or riff of some kind, which will kick start a melody and topline which I will just vamp on, then the lyrics will slot in over all that. Lyrics are very important to me and I put every ounce of energy and brainpower I can muster to really throw myself heart and soul into the words. I love a hook also. For me, a song has to have a really good hook somewhere. My songs always come from an emotive place.
S & K: “Your debut single Beach House releases next month, can you tell us a bit about that? – Has it been a long process getting to this point?”
L: “BEACH HOUSE was written on a rainy day at a beautiful house on the North Cornwall coast surrounded by my family and then-pregnant wife. The sound of the ocean really influenced the style of guitar I wrote for this song, it rolls and repeats to give that sense of the water hitting the shore. The double bass really made the song come to life, again focusing on the comforting…