25 March 2013
Fresh Meat Monday - Jocky Venkataraman
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Jocky, a solo musician who's way too lazy to form a band.
How would you describe the music you make?
I sing a mixture of political songs, songs about me, and gossipy songs about other people - pals, workmates, whoever!
How did you start out making music?
Years ago, when I was 15, I decided to try and learn to play my dad's guitar. At the time I thought I'd maybe form a school band or college band; but due to lack of technical prowess I spent years in my bedroom just learning basic chord progressions and trying to write simple wee songs. I still can't play the guitar well or sing in tune, but I liked the lyrics I was coming up with so I started playing open mics and trying to get the odd gig in my own name. I'm still trying.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
There's probably only 3 ways I have ever written a song. One, feel really strongly about a subject and decide to write a song to get my feelings down on paper. That's my favourite way. Two, come up with a melody, usually a chorus line, and then build verses and words around it. The catchy songs that people remember started like that. Three, make up a guitar part and keep playing them over and over until I manage to come up with words to go with it. It can take months if not years, but a few of my best songs, particularly on my first record (My Heart's In The Humber), started out that way.
What can people expect from your live shows?
My stuff tends to split the crowd, and I probably don't rehearse enough, but I love the thrill of playing gigs, the challenge of winning a crowd over without sounding too bland.
What are you all listening to at the moment?
The new Nick Cave album is fantastic - I'm looking forward to seeing him at the Barras in September. I love the Twilight Sad's acoustic live gigs. And I enjoyed Miaoux Miaoux at Tuts back in January.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
I'm making a live archive of all fifty of my published songs, by uploading one video per week to Youtube throughout 2013. Somehow the total will reach 52 by 31st December! It's at jockys52.com or at youtube.com/jockyvenkataraman . Hopefully people will forgive the shambolic nature of some of the videos - there are some great performances and better videos, alongside some really uninspired rubbish. The tinternet, and indie, in miniature basically!