Solo Musician Interview: Scott Candlish

Scott Candlish Photo

Tell me about yourself?
I’m one of the many hundreds of singer songwriters from Melbourne but now live in the beautiful city of Edinburgh and have been for almost 2 years. I have a healthy ambition for traveling, writing music and being stupid/having a laugh with friends and not taking things too seriously. I also love a pun…no matter how much of a howler they are.

What Instrument(s) do you play, if any? And how long have you been playing your respective instruments(s)?
I solely play acoustic guitar and sing. I’ve been playing and writing for about 10 years with the first live gig in late 2010 as a nervous wreck of a teenager.

Who are your biggest influences?
I generally have a blend of influences ranging from heavier rock to alt/indie folk. Certainly this new EP channels my influence from Bon Iver and Ben Howard, but also lots of artists who fall into the indie folk subgenre. My biggest influence on playing guitar and songwriting in the last 2 years has been Lindsey Buckingham. His fingerstyle playing I fell in love with, so creatively structured and beautifully melodic.

What song(s) do you remember most from your childhood?
My dad would play a lot of folk songs that he used to listen to and play himself. In terms of pop music it was actually the first time I heard Linkin Park when their video for In the end came out that I’ll never forget. I was 10 years old and wasn’t listening to radio so that was the first song that got me tuned in, it also happened tk be the first record i bought. This experience is closely followed by the memory of Tenacious D’s Tribute which came out at a similar time.

Do you perform covers and if so what’s your go to?
While living in Edinburgh my main job a lot of the time has been cover gigging in venues. I’ve loved doing it but certainly learnt a lot of good/bad things about it. You come across many venues that have cover performers playing the same popular songs so it became a bit of a fun game playing songs that were popular enough for crowds but unique as well. I have enjoyed playing Africa and the Chain the most.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Alt indie folk rock, if you can shorten that any more.

Do you have a process for writing your songs?
Sort of. It mostly always begins on the guitar and is dictated by melodies first, then it grows gradually from there. Some rare occasions melodies can pop up and lead to full songs later on.

Have you released any music yet, and if so how has it been received?
I’ve now released 3 Eps, hopefully well received. It’s hard to tell once it’s out it’s out and you appreciate every listener.

Are you planning any music releases for the near future?
After this third EP release I’ll need to reassess my options but would love to record a full length album in the next year or two.

If you have released music, where can fans to be find it?
I have music available on all online streaming platforms such as Soundcloud, Spotify and Youtube etc. Go for it! Also have physical CDs I sell at shows.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
I have been performing mainly in Edinburgh the last 18 months with memorable gigs at Sneaky Pete’s for the EP launch, I have loved playing open mics at The Wee Pub Grassmarket and Live at the loft, brilliant little intimate havens for songwriters in Edinburgh. Least favourites are the cover gigs in louder venues where it feels like a desk job.

Do you have any gigs in the near future, and if so where and when?
Currently on a tour of UK and Europe involving Berlin, Paris, Lyon and Barcelona that finishes in late April.

How do you balance your music with other obligations?
It’s pretty much my life and has been since living in Edinburgh. I’ve learnt at least for myself it’s super healthy to have something else going on to break up the stress of it all.

Following on from that question, what has been your biggest challenge as a performer and have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so then how?
Staying focussed and motivated, not getting burnt out can be the most challenging aspect. By having another hobby or outlet is a way of overcoming that to balance out the stress.

What advice do you have for beginners?
Work out where you would like to be or do and work backwards from there. Work with the right people for you and your music. Network and be relentless with your ambition. Most importantly don’t listen to your inevitable negative thoughts!

And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, living or dead, would you have dinner with and why?
Too hard to answer. Hard to answer this without overthinking it. A good laugh with Jack Black over dinner would be amazing.


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