G’day folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a soloist?
Danny:Tinkering about on my grandfather’s piano as a child. This began my interest in playing keyboards.
After that my Dad got me an acoustic guitar from a house clearance auction and I thus became a multi instrumentalist!
Inês: My parents exposed me to a lot of music since I was a child, and I quickly found out I could play the melodies by ear on a tiny electronic keyboard. Soon after I fell in love with singing.
Introduce us all to you and your musical history?
Danny: Forgotten Garden is basically a duo. Inês, who comes from Portugal, provides the vocals whilst myself, Danny, a resident of Scotland, plays most of the instruments. We usually use guests for drums and occasionally for other instruments too.
In September 2019 we released our first recording a four track EP entitled “Broken Pieces”. We work quite slowly so after that we’ve released three singles “Jessica”, “Christmas Time” and “Bad Guy”.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
Danny: To always record/jot down musical ideas as quickly as possible after having them. You may think you’ll remember them without doing so but usually you don’t!
Inês: I can’t remember anything meaningful at the moment, but I’ve found this one very useful: Don’t go shopping for groceries when you’re hungry.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
Danny: A large box of toilet rolls from Italy! That was during the first lockdown. None of it has ever been used!
Inês: I don’t think so. I did however buy into the damaging idea that I needed to doomscroll in order to stay informed and “do the work”.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Danny: No, I prefer to look for facts! I think conspiracy theories can be dangerous especially when they lead people into cult like movements such as QAnon.
Inês: Not really. And I haven’t found any conspiracy theory that’s as wild as the fact that the current system we live under is ravaging people, animals and land for the benefit of a very small number of people, all the while convincing the great majority of people that this reality is unshakable.
What was the most fun you have had on stage? What was the worst experience on stage?
Danny: Well, I wasn’t actually on stage during this incident but I was the enabler! One time when I was a roadie for a metal band they did a pub gig and I was charged with putting up their large cloth stage backdrop (band logo etc.) I don’t think I did a very good job of putting it up because halfway through the gig it fell down. It actually completely enveloped the drummer. Much to his credit he bravely carried on drumming beneath the backdrop. He looked though like some kind of demented ghost as his arms flailed about. Eventually he had to stop whilst the backdrop was removed. This was one of those moments that was both hilarious and awful at the same time.
Inês: The best was probably a long long time ago when I played on the last day of my high school and everyone was having a ball. There was just such a vibrant and incredible energy in the air. I don’t remember a bad experience!
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Danny: If you’re an artist then keep your expectations low! There’s a deluge of music released everyday. You might get a lot of people to listen to yours or you might not. Find pleasure in the creative process then that won’t matter so much.
Inês: Don’t lose sight of why you do music. If you do it for love and you are passionate about your music and your style, don’t let the ominous presence of social media algorithms to pull you into adapting your art to create more popular “content”.
What’s your biggest achievement as a band/Artist?
Danny: Probably completing our EP Broken Pieces in the midst of a pandemic.
Inês: I agree! But also the fact that we’ve been having a fair bit of radio play and that we’ve been getting so much positive, lovely feedback to our music!
What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?
Danny: We get compared to The Cure a lot – in fact someone described us as The Cure meets Lana Del Rey! I don’t mind that but I do I like to think that we stand out because we combine a lot of influences together to create something that’s a little bit different.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Danny: My right arm/elbow. I’ve injured it and it’s stopping me doing a lot of things. Oh, and of course Vladimir Putin.
Inês: As someone who’s been living in the UK for the past 7 years, BoJo and the Tories. They can’t seem to do anything right, and they have absolutely no moral backbone.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Danny: It’s an acoustic version of our song Jessica which we released in 2021. Jessica is about a woman searching for inner peace after suffering domestic trauma. It’s basically a stripped down version of the song with vocals, acoustic guitar, cello and violin.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
Danny: The initial inspiration came from a news report describing how the number of domestic incidents had rocketed during lockdown. I then thought of what would happen to a woman if they managed to escape from such a situation. The idea of them always searching for but not finding inner peace came to mind. Essentially the song encapsulates the idea that these sorts of situations cast a long shadow.
What was the recording process like?
Danny: Very easy for me as I only had to play acoustic guitar!
Inês: It’s always very challenging for me to record good quality vocals because I do it at home and alone. I also do it on a budget, in a room with less than ideal (read inexistent) acoustic treatment. It’s been especially challenging during and after lockdown when home offices became widespread, since I happened to share a house with many people at the time. This song was also particularly challenging because I was going through a tough time mentally. But at the end of the day everything worked out well and I’m very proud of the job we did.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Danny: Probably connecting the verse to the chorus. The verses and chorus were arrived at relatively easily. It was a bit more tricky to connect the two in a way that sounded natural.
Would you change anything now its finished?
Danny: I don’t think so – I like it as it is!
Inês: Always, but I know it’s just the perfectionist in me, because I’m very happy with how the song turned out!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Danny: We plan to release another single called “Memoriam”. Hopefully that track will then form part of another EP. When that will happen will probably largely depend on the state of my arm/elbow!