|ROCKWIRED INTERVIEWS DELANEY GIBSON
THE ONLY WAYSinger songwriter DELANEY GIBSON is something else! Sure, female artists who write their own music is nothing new in the modern pop landscape, but there is something that sets GIBSON apart from the rest - especially the current crop; sheer musicality. Her mastery over the piano, guitar, banjo and just about anything she puts her fingers on is intimidating and that tremendous dexterity coupled with her unforgettable songcraft find their way on the artists' debut L.P. 'THE WORST KIND OF WAY' In speaking with GIBSON, 'THE WORST..." was a two year labor of love with sessions split between producers, ANDREW SYNOWIEC and JESSE SIEBENBERG. With 'THE WORST...' GIBSON was able to come into her own as an artist and prove to everyone that the 'worst way' was the only way. " I finally thought that if my way is the worst then I don't care!" remembers GIBSON "I want to do it right. Unfortunately, I kind of came to that conclusion half way through the album so I had to go back and make things the way that I wanted them to sound. There was a lot of back tracking, but it all got to where it needed to go."
DELANEY GIBSON TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT LP 'THE WORST KIND OF WAY'
DREAMING UP SONGS
AND SPENDING TWO YEARS IN THE STUDIO
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with DELANEY GIBSON over the phone. Here is how it went.
I was playing your CD the day the fires were burning in Orange County. I was a very surreal experience.
That's kind of cool in a strange way.
It is. Thankfully the fire didn't get too close.
So needless to say, your music served as this really eerie soundtrack for that day. Now that album is out there for people to listen to, what's all going through your head? How do you feel about the finished product and the fact that people can listen to it now.
It's funny because I went to the Mac Store today and I bought an i-pod. I'm a little behind the times because I just now bought an i-pod and it was a cool thing because from there, I downloaded my entire album onto my i-pod and I was like 'This is the coolest thing ever! Anyone can do this!' It took me about two years to put the album together and it was such an intense labor of love. I wanted to kill everyone and then I wanted to love everyone all at the same time. The fact that it's out now makes me feel ecstatic. I couldn't be happier.
The album sounds like a labor of love. Who all did you work with in putting it together?
At first I worked with ANDREW SYNOWIEC who is a session guitar player in L.A. He happens to be a very good friend of mine and we kind of started the album together and we laid down a lot of the ground work for it. Halfway through it, we had different ideas on how things should sound and I ended up working with JESSE SIEBENBERG. His dad is the drummer for SUPERTRAMP and he's crazy talented! He plays just about every instrument so it was between these two people that I was able to find what I wanted. They both have very different strong points so if I was able to put them together into one person, it would be totally fantastic!
Two years in the making - Why so long?
I had made a lot of demos and EPs that I ended up not releasing so I finally said 'You know what? I'm going to do it the way that I want to do it' which is where the title 'THE WORST KIND OF WAY' came from because everyone kept saying ' you should doing this!' and 'you should be doing that! - You should be a pop singer!' I finally thought that if my way is the worst then I don't care! I want to do it right. Unfortunately, I kind of came to that conclusion half way through the album so I had to go back and make things the way that I wanted them to sound. There was a lot of back tracking, but it all got to where it needed to go.
Talk about how music began for you.
My first musical performance happened when I was in kindergarten. I got a part in this musical but the only reason that I got it was because I could remember the words to the songs and that was it from there. I've done nothing but music since. The role I played was NOAH's conscience in a production of NOAH's ARC. My entire life has been devoted to learning instruments, writing, singing, and everything.
Your instrumentality is really something! How many instruments do you play?
I play piano, guitar, a little bit of banjo. I just pick up stuff and play them. I don't know how well I play them but piano and guitar are my main instruments that I feel pretty confident on and then I just kind of play around with everything else.
I see, because I really fell in love with that banjo progression on the title track. It really stays with you.
It's one of my favorite instruments. I love the banjo.
Growing up, was there any particular artist that spoke to you?
Pretty much everything that I listened to I loved, but I grew up listening to a lot of DOLLY PARTON, a lot of JOAN BAEZ, and randomly a lot of pop singers like LAURA BRANNIGAN.
Oh wow! That's going back.
I don't wanna give away my age.
You're probably my age if you remember LAURA BRANNIGAN.
No that old! I'm in my twenties still.
I'm thirty three, what do you mean "that old"?
I'm in my early - mid twenties. I'm still a girl.
It's just amazing to me because the songs seem a lot older than you are.
Since I started so young, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted. I've also been studying opera since I was nine so I've got quite a classical music background also. I love everything! KURT WEILL is one of my favorite composers of all time.
Oh yeah, MACK THE KNIFE and PIRATE JENNY!
All of that German Cabaret, I absolutely adore.
Are your parents musical also?
No one in my family is. It is the weirdest thing. No one can play an instrument and no one can sing and that goes for the entire family such as extended relatives. There is no one.
What a gift?
Yeah, my parents are kind of dumbfounded. My mom is really creative - she's a costumer and does a lot of theater, but my parents are very supportive, so I was really lucky.
Your press release talks bout how you performed with STREISAND, MANILOW and BOCELLI? In what capacity?
I was a back up singer. It was at the KODAK THEATER and it was with DAVID FOSTER and all of these amazing people. It was probably one of the highlights of my career so far. It was fantastic. I opened for ANDREA BOCELLI at a fundraiser in San Diego at the Museum of Contemporary Art. That was also wonderful.
How do you go about songwriting?
It's always different. Usually I sit at the piano or sit down with my guitar. I write the music first and then the lyrics come afterwards. Some of the songs come from personal experience but I have an insane imagination so a lot of times I've dreamt the song or I just kind of come up with this scenario that I would've liked to have lived in my life and write about it. So I kind of live through songs more than I've actually partaken, if that makes any sense. I don't know if that's good or bad thing, but I have dreamt entire songs and wake up the next morning and write it down like that song CHICAGO on my CD. That song was a dream that I had. I had a dream that GAVIN DEGRAW was performing that song in a club and when I woke up, I figured that if GAVIN is going to cover it, I had better write it down.
When did you start writing your own music.
I was always coming up with lyrics and melodies when I was a kid, but in terms of playing an instrument and singing and recording something, I would have to say I was around eleven or twelve years old.
Of the songs off of 'THE WORST KIND OF WAY' stand out for you at the moment and why?
For me, the song 'I THINK I HAVE O.C.D.' is one of my favorites because that was actually a true story. I don't think I have O.C.D., but I'm afraid of a lot of things. That song is really kind of a sweet love song. 'THE WORST KIND OF WAY' is kind of my favorite song on the album because it's kind of gritty and it shows the direction that I'm going in for my next album which I'm halfway finished with.
I think the artwork for the CD is wonderful. Who did it?
It was a combination of me and my photographer JEANETTE VILLAREAL. We're best buddies and she does all of my photo shoots. I had a graphic artist out of Montreal who did the layout and design with me going back and forth like 'fix this!' or 'add this!' I definitely wanted the look and feel to have some kind of influence from the WIZARD OF OZ, with the black and white picture of me when I was five years old with the ruby slippers.
Yeah, and the CD has the 'WICKED' lettering. I didn't think about that when I was reading the liner notes.
We were going for a WIZARD OF OZ motif.
Have you ever thought about penning something like a musical?
I would love to later down the road, but right now I'm trying to focus on being a solo artist right now.
You said earlier that you're working on your next release.
I'm halfway done. It'll be done in the beginning of next year.
What will be different if you don't mind giving a hint?
We've got three cover songs on this one and I've never released cover songs, so that will be really cool and they've turned out amazing. It will be a little darker and a lot more fiddle and string arrangements.
Are there any music videos in the works for any of the songs?
If anyone would like to help me fund that, that would be great. It's quite expensive to make a video
What would you like someone to come away with after they've heard THE WORST KIND OF WAY?
The CD ranges in mood. When I listen to an album I want it to either help me figure out something in my life or to let me escape and I hope that this album does that for someone.