Barrie-James O'Neill is a rock musician from Scotland who started his music career from being a member of the band Kassidy. For years music has been playing the most important role in his life. Two months ago he released his first solo album “Cold Coffee”, recorded in 13 days with the help of producers Rob Schnapf and Scottie Diablo. In the interview Barrie talks about his music inspirations, his work on the album and future plans.
You became popular as a member of the Scottish alternative folk rock band Kassidy, but in 2014 you decided to left them. Do you feel better as an independent artist or do you miss the times with the group?
In a band you share any joy when it comes, all the fun, and any bad times too. There's support from each other for when bad shit happens. When you're solo, it's all on you. Bad review, it's on you. Bad album, it's on you. You have all the responsibilities, you write all the songs, it's on you. I've been writing songs since I was 12 years old, and performing. So that's 16 years I've been writing things like songs down on paper. It's the reason why I'm alive today. It's all I have to me so I don't mind doing all the writing, or being alone in it all because I'm used to it. Besides I love it.
On 8 April 2016 you released your debut solo album called "Cold Coffee" - I know that this recording was done very quickly. How do you remember your work on this album?
I remember 14 hour days of playing instruments, laughing, and learning, and discovering. Being in the studio is where I like to be. I like thinking about what's next in the process of recording a song and thinking how to make it sound like how it sounds in your head, and sometimes loosing a little of your mind on that. It's a blur really cause it was a year ago. I had wished to work with Rob (Schnapf) for a while, so it was a pleasure on my end. Not sure about his end. You need to ask him... He's a master of his trade. But it all wouldn't of been possible if it weren't for Scottie Diablo.
I have heard some of your songs and I must say that a lot of them are a bit melancholic and sometimes even depressive. Does your music reflect your personality?
Thank you. I have no idea what it reflects. I just need to make it.
Three years ago you did a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood' song "Summer Wine" with Lana Del Rey, on your Youtube account we can also find a cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". Who is your greatest musical inspiration and why?
Well there's a lot. Right now it's Frank Zappa. Why Zappa? Because he never played by any sort of rules. He pushed his art beyond the fringes. I love that.
You are from Glasgow, Scotland - your country is famous all over the world from pipes, kilts and great Scotch whisky. What are your favourite aspects of being a Scot and what do you appreciate the most in your country?
I like the soundtrack to Braveheart. It's cool.
Your music career seem to develop quickly - you have released the album and you have a lot of gigs in your hometown. What can we expect from you in the future - is there a chance for you to come to Poland?
Hopefully more songs. I'd like to make a lot more films. We'll see... And it would be a privilage to play in your country. Hopefully I make it there one day.
Thank you very much for the interview.
No problem at all. Thanks for your questions.
If you like to follow the next musical steps of Barrie-James O'Neill, please visit his official Facebook profile: