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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW KEVIN PATRICK McGOWAN

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

After watching Jimi Hendrix play ‘Wild Thing’ on Swap Shop- a kids tv program in the early 80s, (yes I’m that old).

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

I bumped a guitar out of a catalogue and started listening to Hendrix, I would get the chalk off my snooker table and put it on the stylus arm to slow down the vinyl and hear all the notes. I didn’t have any lessons so I’m self-taught. I found a Beatles album in my mum’s vinyl collection and was blown away, I decided then that I would sing and write songs. I co-started a band called “Coloured Dreams” and toured over Europe; had many lineups before splitting in 2007, started solo, and have played all over the world including the states at the IPO festival in L.A. I’m now getting more into the production side of things, but gig regularly with a few musical lineups

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?

I can always do better, but for me, it’s the journey that matters, I’m doing what I love so it’s worth it.

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

I think I’ve learned that songs aren’t books, when I look back at my earlier songs some of them have like 7 verses, intros lasting a minute etc.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

Social media is bombarded with music. For me the best way is doing gigs, telling people about your socials, and if they like you, they will follow.

Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

I have been sober for nearly 20 years, I have webbed toes on one foot, I like Spotify……

What are your thoughts on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

You wouldn’t be able to print what I think of Spotify and what it has done to music.

O WE WOULD!! Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

Yes, of course, we are lied to on a constant basis.



Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

More guitars!

What was the worst experience on stage?

When I was in my first band, we were on tour in Switzerland, it was the summer, and it was an outdoor gig. There was no stage, and the floor was mud-baked dry by the sun, when we were playing people were dancing and their feet kicked up clouds of mud dust, we couldn’t see and were choking trying to sing, a nightmare.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I can’t whistle!

What makes you stand out as an artist?

Stand out? Mmmm maybe stand down as I’m only 5ft 3.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

It’s called “Right Kind of Town”, it’s a song basically celebrating the working class.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune.

This song has a wee story to it. I was recording, co-writing, and co-producing an album for another artist, and on a daily basis, we would come into my studio with the songs we had written the previous night and then decide which ones we would use.

One time one of the co-writers brought a song to the table, it was a song basically mocking the working-class background I had come from and bringing down working class people and towns. 

I was raging inside, I told them under no circumstance did I want anything to do with a song like that, my response was to go away and write a song called “Right Kind of Town”. I was going to offer it for the album, but I thought “no, I’m keeping this one”.

The song was all about not being ashamed of where you have come from, that no one is better than anyone else, and that you can achieve something no matter what problems or disadvantages you have, it reminded me of how lucky I was to come from the background, family etc. that I came from, I learned so many lessons of life on those streets and from the people that frequented them. Your past can be your best asset, it taught me to appreciate the wins and learn from the losses.

What was the recording process like?

As always, I try to put in the old and new, especially with production, so I usually listen to an album I like the production of, and something the complete opposite of what I’m recording. This time it was ‘Animals’ by Pink Floyd, I love the use of panning in this album, sounds start on the left of the stereo field and end on the right, so I tried to incorporate that into this track, as in tracking. I played all instruments myself and mixed them and produced them myself as well.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tune?

Well, the song was in response to a putdown from another writer, but instead of an attack back, I found it better to be positive and try and get out a positive message.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

I think I would beef it up a bit, sounds a bit too nice in parts, but I feel like that about most digital recordings.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Only that there is lots more to come. When I was drinking I never recorded most of the songs I had written, never took the time to fully learn what was needed to survive in the music industry, didn’t learn how to use the equipment correctly, etc., since I’ve been sober I’ve been working on that. I have lots of songs that haven’t been recorded and I continue to compose, so yes lots of music to come, so if you like songs that deal with social issues, introspection, etc. then give me a listen

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