22 March 2012

Introducing - Conor Mason

Continuing one with my theme of trying to introduce you all to something that isn't Scottish, here's a little piece about a talented fella by the name of Conor Mason all the way from Northern Ireland. Having just released his new album on one of my favourite labels, Armellodie Records, I caught up Conor to ask him a bit more about the album, how he ended up on a Scottish label and whether he recalled having to put with a very drunken Peenko at last years goNorth....

Hello Mr Mason, my name's Lloyd. I have very vague recollections of meeting you at last years goNorth Festival, so first off I'd like to apologise for rambling pish in your ear. You and I might well have met, but a lot of the readers of my blog might not know who you are, so would you care to introduce yourself to them?
How's it going there Lloyd. Aye, pretty hazy recollections here too, though the ramblings of pish were more than likely coming from my direction. Anyway, hello Peenko readers. My name is Conor Mason, and I've been doing the Singer-songwriter thing for quite a bit now. I have two previous albums and just released my new album, 'Standstill' with Armellodie Records on March 19th.

I've never written a song in my puff, it looks far too complicated a process for my brain to handle. What sort of process do you go through when you start writing a song?
I'll usually start by sitting at the piano or guitar and rattle out a few chords that sound nice to my ears that day. After putting them into some sort of structure I'll record a rough version. Once I've done this and added various other instruments to the equation start thinking about lyrics. I like to have the music as close to finished as possible, before writing lyrics.

The majority of my music to date has been recorded at my home studio, but I plan to work a little different on the next record.

You're just about to release your new album with those nut jobs from Armellodie Records, how on earth did a boy from Derry get talked into working with a Scottish label?
I lived in Glasgow for about 3 years a while back and met Al and Scott through friends of mine who were living there at the time. When I let Al hear my new album, he was really enthusiastic about putting it out on Armellodie. I'd already been a fan of Le Reno Amps, and when I got to hear music from other bands on the label, I was and am excited to be part of it.

My wee world has pretty much been taken over completely by bands from Scotland, hence I know feck all about the Northern Irish music scene. Are there any of your fellow county men/women that you'd suggest I check out?
The scene here at the minute is remarkable. In my hometown of Derry alone, there seems to be quality bands and solo artists appearing every few months, the most recent additions being an amazing band called Little Bear and singer-songwriter Soak. We're lucky to have such great radio shows here like Electric Mainline, Across the Line and BBC Introducing that help get the little guys music heard by a wider audience and get involved in promoting the live scene.

Last, but not least, what have you got planned for the foreseeable future and do you have any plans to come back to play in Scotland any time soon?
I have nothing planned at the minute, but hopefully I can sort out a few gigs across the water over the coming months.

Conor Mason - Misunderstood

Armellodie Records

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