Despite playing bass for 18 years, local singer/songwriter Gareth Lee has only been singing as a solo artist for two years. He has recently released his third EP, Goodbye Yesterdays, and he will be supporting Jazz Morley at The Acorn in Penzance on Thursday 7th November, 2013.
This summer he played at a string of festivals including Leopallooza, Boardmasters, Beachbreak Live, Looe Music Festival, Oyster Rock Festival, Maker Festival and Healey Farm Cider Festival.
The singer from Lanner has supported Australia’s No 1 selling singer/songwriter, Pete Murray, and Ryan Keen who was the main support during Ed Sheeran’s last UK Tour.
His accomplishments don’t end there. In 2012, Gareth won the Barefoot & Riverfish Music Studios joint song writing competition where he won a slot performing at the Barefoot Festival.
As well as an accomplished bass player, he is a self-taught guitar player and to date he has written approximately 100 songs.
Gareth tells us about his music and his move from the back of the stage to the front.
How long have you been singing/ performing and how did you get started?
I’ve been a solo artist about two years but I’ve been playing music for about 18 years. It all started out when I got a bass guitar at around 14. I’d always been drawn to bass rather than guitar because I just wanted to be a part of a rhythm section so I could hide away at the back. So, it was pretty interesting when it came to stepping up to be a front man.
Who are your musical influences?
Fink, John Mayer, Jeff Buckley, Jon Foreman , Bleu , Counting Crows , James Taylor, Incubus.
Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?
A lot of it is pretty personal as I tend to write about things I’ve experienced or stuff that has happened around me. People find it easier to relate to the honest stuff.
When and where was your first gig?
As a solo artist, it was in Vertigo in Truro. I’d never sung in front of anyone live before so I was pretty nervous. When it was over I said to myself that I’d never do that again but I soon found myself wanting to give it another go.
What is your favourite song to perform?
The Devil Inside Me. It’s a really fun lick to play on the guitar and one of those that is open for a bit of improvisation.
Who did you listen to growing up and what was your first album?
I was a bit of a 90’s grunge kid so I was really into Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, SoundGarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first album I ever bought was not so cool though, haha. Vanilla Ice ‘Ice Ice Baby’….
Where is your favourite place to play live?
Café Irie in Newquay
What are your aspirations and plans for the next 12 months?
I’d like to head out of Cornwall a bit more to do a few mini tours.
If you could play on stage with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
It would be pretty cool to jam out with Mark Knopfler
What do you think of the Cornish music scene and what improvements would you like to see?
I think the Cornish music scene is really strong at the moment. There are so many great musicians down here it’s a real pleasure to be a part of such a friendly scene. Only thing it lacks is rehearsal spaces. There are so few of them about.
Are there any current Cornish artists you see going far?
Loads! Tom Gall, Jack Wallen, Kezia, Saskia Maxwell, Albert Jones, Sam Williams & The Flock of Bats – the list goes on and on.
What is your most memorable gig?
It was probably the Leopallooza Festival this year. It was just a really great vibe.
Do you have any pre-stage superstitions/ routines?
No, not really,
Describe your music/ style in three words
Bluesy. Funk. Folk!