Hi! Everyone

This weeks FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK is multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer & performer THE BURNING CURTAINS

This photo is from a rehearsal and features ex-member Brian Hoyle on drums. Brian plays on the single ’SOMETIMES’Photo Credit:Copyright The Burning Curtains ©2018
 1.Please introduce yourself

In It’s current incarnation, The Burning Curtains is the solo project of me, Stuart Campbell. A Mancunian, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and performer. I have two singles on current release and a debut album scheduled to drop this summer. My brand of industrial post-punk indie has been regarded as one of Manchester’s best kept secrets. My own musical credentials span four decades in the city, my first outing was in a punk band called ‘Total Chaos’, playing my first gig at the tender age of 16 in 1979. Many other bands and projects have followed since then with varying levels of success, most notably as producer for That Uncertain Feeling on the Dead Dead Good record label, and working with the likes of iconic bands such as 10CC and even as promoter for The Stone Roses before they were signed in the early ’80s. 

2. How did you get into music?

Basically Punk happened the year I became a teenager! I was at the same school with many other notable Mancunian musicians, Mark Burgess and Dave Fielding of The Chameleons, Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present and others. Middleton In North Manchester became a hotspot for the post punk music scene that still has resonance today and influences many new bands that emerge from Manchester. Middleton was also the home of The Mock Turtles, The Sunhouse and more recently The Courteeners. As well as being in the middle of this musical explosion there was the influence of the late great John Peel who helped put Middleton on the map. He even called it ‘Rock City’. Getting into music was I suppose due to the environment that I was living in and Punk’s mantra was anti-elitist in terms of music, anyone could pick up a guitar and play.

3. What instruments do you play?

My main instrument was always the Bass, but I describe myself as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. I play all the instruments now, particularly since TBCs’ old drummer Brian Hoyle, departed mid way through writing and recording the album. I decided to pick up the sticks and play them myself along with the guitars, keyboards and vocals. It’s a big job but at least it gives me full artistic control.

4. Who are your influences?

In terms of music my influences change with my experience I suppose. I’m currently listening to a lot of John Cale but I always have an eye to bands of my youth like  The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Fall, Gang of Four and one of the best manchester bands ever in my opinion Dub Sex. Aesthetically I’m drawn to ‘60s & ‘70s TV cop shows from The Sweeney to the Streets of SanFrancisco. I love British and Italian Neorealism, the French avant-garde and classic Americana and even went to film school to study in the ’90s. So I draw a lot of my influences from many facets of the arts and they are not difficult to deduce from my music.

5. Tell us about your latest release

The latest release is a single called ’SOMETIMES’. It’s an introspective look my own personal experience working in the often claustrophobic atmosphere of bands and the retinue of ego and insecurities that accompany them. As a bass player, you are sometimes seen as subordinate to whoever fronts the band, the prevailing hierarchy followed from those who adopted the title of ‘Lead’, lead singers in particular! who took it to mean band-leader even though they were evidently the least qualified to have that responsibility! Maybe it’s a dig at them, but the lyrics reference how other peoples behaviour can be detrimental to your own, you end up as bad as the perpetrator, you just reflect that negative environment in the end. There is a redemptive element in the song, a memory, perhaps of the original dream and purpose. It’s currently on release and available worldwide through all the usual digital outlets.
Photo Credit: Copyright The Burning Curtains ©2019
6. Whats your songwriting process? 

I tend to write or work out the rhythm first, after all as a bass player working closely with your drummer is where I honed my skills. The rhythm section is the glue to any band and once I have that nailed I’ll work on the arrangement. The melodic parts, i.e. the Guitars and Vocals, I add last. They are the tinsel on the tree! This is where I can get really creative and sometimes I can work on different versions of a song and then cherry pick the best elements. The lyrics usually start with a hook which will evoke an experience or memory and the words will just pour out of me.

7. Which musician/ artist would you most like to collaborate with & why?

I don’t really have any one person in mind. Musical projects tend to come and run their course and they usually come together by accident in my experience. In that sense I’ve had some amazing accidents, I’ve been privileged to have worked with the late John Lever (The Chameleons), and played with some great musicians including Yves Altana (Oskars Drum & Peter Hook and the Light), Kryztoff Korab (Mock Turtles) and Gary Lavery (The Reegs). There is one guy I’m currently discussing working with and that is Harry Miller from one of Philadelphia’s great ’90s bands Our Fading Smiles, we hope to be getting together later this year.

8. If you were on a desert island what 3 musical gear would you take? 

My Gretsch is all I need!

9. Where can fans find your music (links etc)?

Our band website has links to all our music and videos. There are reviews, tour news and a merch store too.

The Burning Curtains official website 

Social media links

I would like to say a huge thank you to THE BURNING CURTAINS for taking part in 'Featured Artist Of The Week' 😀😀

Until next time