Interview – Brian Barron

Brian Barron is an interesting song songwriter and musician, with a unique sound to his music. I enjoyed his latest song, Junky Boy, so decided to have a chat to find out more! Read on below to see how we got on.

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Junky Boy, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about this song and where can it be purchased?

It’s an old song – I wrote it at least nine years ago as I remember trying it the first time I was in a recording studio. I had no business being there then, but wanted to hear how I sounded. Caravaggio used light in specific contrast to dark in compositions to create drama and tension. I kept that in mind when cutting this track. It’s on my Bandcamp for sale here

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Music is one aspect of life. Being able to play in front of an audience is a privilege. Some people don’t have a roof over their head or food in their belly. I wrote a lot, got better acquainted with my voice and explored more of Ireland than ever before. I definitely wouldn’t say it hindered; hard times produce hard songs. Nothing wrong with a bit of dust in your eye and grit between your teeth.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I write when it comes out all at once or not at all. Usually, a bunch of different things combine to be a catalyst. I could be meditating on a song, over and over in my head – it’s just stuck there – and then I’ll read something or hear a good line in a movie or snippet of conversation and then all of sudden it’s on the page. Recording was hard in the past but it’s getting easier. I just want to sound like myself and whoever is playing with me in the room. That moment in time.

Are there any plans to release an EP or album anytime soon?

My second album should be out soon – that’s called The World Keeps Turning. I’m going to cut a small EP next week, and I’ve been writing some spiritual/gospel kind of numbers that I hope a friend of mine will duet on.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I try not to be influenced by anything or anybody these days. I listen to the same old stuff I’ve been listening to for a long time. Once In a blue moon, I’ll stumble onto something new with an old soul like Billy Strings. I could listen to The Staple Singers every day for the rest of my life and be happy – John Prine too – I’m glad I saw him play; I’ll never forget that.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I’m based by the Blessington Lakes in Wicklow. It’s a pretty magical place. You can get lost there. I genuinely have no idea what the scene is currently like here in Ireland. Trends come and go – folk, post-punk… There’s always a resurgence of this or that. Traditional with a capital T is our backbone, it’s going nowhere.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

No unfortunately, I’m just getting back into playing live, but I do hope to tour this album now that it’s possible. It wasn’t with my first. So keep an eye or an ear out!

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

I’m not very well known – I can’t imagine anyone would have expectations, but if they did, I’d say don’t and you might be surprised. Come to see me if you like your stories in rhythm, rough edged and uncompromising.

Any last words for the fans?

The world is either flat or round depending on where you stand, but if you extend your arm, I’ll shake your hand.