Where are you from?
I come from a little village in North Lanarkshire, Scotland called Glenmavis. It’s near Airdrie and was a great village to grow up in surrounded by fields and woods where as a kid you could explore. I have lived all over since. Airdrie, Coatbridge, Glasgow West End, Stockholm, Sweden for a four year spell and Edinburgh. I now split my time between Airdrie and Edinburgh.
How long have you been playing your respective instrument(s)?
I was singing from the age of 5 and I suppose my voice is really my main instrument. At family parties and during the festive period singing was highly encouraged in our family. Late learner on guitar, not picking it up until 17 but musical throughout my childhood playing accordion between 8 and 17.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Wow, hard to define really. There’s a kind of retro psychedelic sound in there perhaps but it can be fused with EDM and touches of bhangra and folk. I call it hippierock or ecorock lol.
What are your influences?
Love, Jefferson Airplane, Kula Shaker, ELO, The Beatles, Big Star, all retro psychedelic stuff with modern influences in there too. I have a page devoted to influences on my homepage at http://www.electrobuddha.co.uk andI refer to books as well as places in the world as influential.
Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?
Not very often but recently in memory of my late father, I recorded one of his favourite songs ‘Wichita Lineman’ which brought a tear to the eye.
Do you have a process for writing your songs?
Good question! Sometimes I might start with a good loop like I got for ‘Everything Is Groovy’ with the piano loop in that and then everything else just flowed. Other times, I pick up an acoustic guitar instead. As well as this sometimes a little ditty will pop into my head that I just have to record as it’s driving me crazy and then I put lyrics to it.
Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?
Hahaha, well yes but more as when I worked as a stagehand in Stockholm. Thin Lizzy were in town obviously without Phil Lynott. Anyway, the bass player turns to me just before they are to go on stage and says he needs to pee. He asks where the nearest toilet is. I point through a massive expectant audience. By now he is desperate so I suggest he pees out a window for quickness. He tries too but ends up peeing all over the four foot ledge between inside and outside of the Munchenbryggeriet in Stockholm. I nearly peed laughing as I held the window open. True story and I have many other star tales but they remain secret!
What song do you remember most from your childhood?
Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty, summer 1977 West Cowes, Isle of Wight, hot summer’s day playing pinball in a little seaside cafe looking north to the English mainland. Great holidays in a lovely little wooden chalet there. I must go back!
What has been your biggest challenge as a performer? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so then how?
Two things I guess. The passing of my parents was very difficult indeed. This led to a kind of writer’s block for at least 3 years I’d say. However, I wrote a song called ‘Eternal Light’ for my mother and father and that started a flow of thought and ideas for the next album.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?
You can go to Soundcloud and put in Electrobuddha there or you can find me on Spotify, Itunes, Deezer and very much most digital outlets. Please download though as streaming doesn’t put food in the belly!
Have you released anything yet/if you have then how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?
Yes I have released four DIY albums and one collection album now. It has all been taken quite favourably but I guess I could always use sales so please support independent music by downloading. Next album has 2 to 3 songs to be finished to complete it. It will be entitled ‘Roller Disco’ and is due for release around late spring / early summer 2018. Watch this space.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
I like Bar Bloc in Glasgow because it’s cosy really. They also make you feel welcome. Southside Sessions in Glasgow was great too.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
Currently trying to secure some festival slots actually and really like the look of the Eden Festival down near Moffat. Would love to put a band back together for that one and take my camper Kai down there for the weekend. He is a VW T5 and in my spare time I take off with Julie to the Scottish Highlands in him.
What do you think about downloading music online?
It gives us the struggling musician earnings so anything that can do that is good. There is though something to be said for vinyl. I fancy releasing my next album on vinyl too and do a limited run. I am currently pursuing this idea and can hopefully bring it to fruition.
What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Scotland is pretty clique-like when it comes to music. If the usual suspects do not like you they can prevent you getting ahead sadly and you could be the most talented individual in the world, but if you’re unliked, you can pretty much forget it. Perhaps Scotland has too much cronyism in relation to radio djs not giving unsigned talent a break. They in turn are best buddies with some leading music writers so the problem can persist. All I ask for me is to be judged on my output really. Isn’t that what the music is about? So walk your own path, make up your own mind and dare to be different whether you are a dj, musician or writer.
Tell me about your act and If you can share some social media links?
Electrobuddha comprises of Scottish solo musician Mark Hamilton McCaffer whose music has been described by a leading Scottish national as ‘The Stones meets The Beta…
And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, alive or dead, would you have dinner with and why?
Stuart Adamson of Big Country. I was a massive Big Country fan as a kid. Why? Because in an 80s sea of synthesizers, guitars that sounded like bagpipes cut through the butter like a knife. I met him once at the Big Day in Glasgow. He was a pure gentleman and made the time to chat. I was an awestruck kid. A press photographer took our picture together. If I could ever find that photo then I’d be a happy muso!
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org