With the release of his second record Open Dream, Singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Wes McClintock takes us on a unique sonic experience that cleverly mixes diverse approaches, and today we’re gonna have a chat with him to dig deeper into his world.
1st of all we’re happy to have you with us on Rock Era Magazine.
- You have a surprising, diverse sound with different elements, what were your early influences? And which ones were on your mind while writing Open Dream?
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. I was about 14 when I really started appreciating music. Myy first real obsession was Simon and Garfunkel and the first song I fully fell in love with was The Boxer. I then became obsessed with classic rock and would spend full days in my room playing bass along to any song I found had an interesting bass line. It started with Black Sabbath and soon went into playing full Beatles albums start to finish. When writing this album I was constantly thinking of the late 60’s – 70’s style production that is still my favourite. I feel you can’t beat the production of Abbey Road, The Wall or Rumours so I tried attaining that sound as best I could.
- Your sound shows musical maturity, how did your journey as a musician start?
Before playing guitar or bass I had a set of drums. While jamming with a few friends I soon realized I wanted more control over the sound so I sold the drums and bought a Squier Stratocaster and a tiny amp. My friends and I started a band as two guitarists and a drummer but soon realized a bass was necessary for our trio. I sucked it up, bought a Danelectro Longhorn and fell in love immediately. After that I was always the bassist in any band I played in.
- As a multi-instrumentalist, which instrument took you so long to learn? And are there any you are willing to start playing?
The longest any instrument took me to learn was and is definintely the piano. Stringed instruments always made more sense to me but the piano mystified me. I’m still trying to improve my playing and recently bought an actual piano which is very inspiring. Anytime I drop a big amount of money on an instrument I know I’m going to play it as I’d feel pretty foolish if I didn’t. I recently found out about this fairly new instrument called the Harpejji which I really want to get my hands on. It’s a cross between a piano and guitar so it’s right up my alley.
- You have a unique way of forming your compositions and arrangements, how usually does your writing process go?
I always write on my acoustic guitar, It’s the easiest way for me to come up with ideas. I just play around with chord progressions and if something sounds good I immediately record it as ideas can disappear fast. I then start humming melodies around these chords until I’ve found something that works. The lyrics come last as I write the words according to my melody. I feel my writing grew with this album as I never used to spend so much time finding the melody and would often write words to match the chords which was less interesting.
- Can you tell us more about No Service and Open Dream‘s concept? And how do the sound differences reflect the album’s concept?
No Service wasn’t initially going to have my name associated with it as it was more of a fan-fiction album. I was originally calling myself Roger Floyd as most the album is a rip-off of Pink Floyd songs. At the time I was finding myself struggling with our obession with technology and thought a great way to let off steam would be to make a concept album. I’ve done a lot of comedy through the years and always loved parodying artists so I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could make a modern day Pink Floyd concept album about the downfalls of technology. Looking back I wished I just made an original album but at least I feel I got my point across.
Open Dream was once again me trying to prove to myself I could make an even better album but this time by being authentic. This one wasn’t meant to have a concept at the beginning but I realized as the lyrics began to form it too had a message. The overall concept is life – being born, trying to make art, having too many distractions, not understanding jobs, falling in love, escaping cities, feelings about religion, lying to each other, loneliness, capitalism and death. For a fairly upbeat album these lyrics are kind of sad sounding but all came down to my own personal truth.
The two albums sound totally different as I upped my production quality in the time between. That in itself really helped Open Dream shine brighter than No Service.
- If you could pick a song from your catalog so far to introduce someone to your music what would it be?
I’d say Imaginary Songs from Open Dream. That song probably took me 300 hours to figure out. I have 50 versions of my many attempts to get it where it needed to be and feel very proud of the final version. I knew if I couldn’t get this song to a place I was happy with I wouldn’t have the right to release my album at all.
- Are you planning any future releases? Can you give us some exclusives?
I’m currently writing a third album and have about 5 songs and many more ideas on the way. I’d love to share them with you but like Open Dream I’m going to keep it a secret until the whole thing is done.
- Do you have any gigs/tours planned to support Open Dream‘s release?
Sadly I do not. If there is enough interest I would definitely form a band and start touring again as I miss playing live shows and really want to play these tunes in front of an audience.
- Thanks for your time, wishing you the best of luck. Cheers!
Thank you for having me!