Terry Shaughnessy's interview. Be ready for his band, it's absolute ace! The Universal.

1) Hi Terry, the new songs are very impressive, a new fresh air, a new inspiration?

Cheers Yann! Glad that you’re liking the songs. You’ve got good taste! I’m not sure about a new breath of fresh air or even a new inspiration, just the constant pursuit of trying to better myself as a songwriter and a musician and to hopefully make the next thing better than the last thing I did. It’s the Mod ethic, as I see it....always trying to evolve and do things better. I suppose if anything, the current state of good, old England has made it’s way into the songs. It seems to me that across all the fronts - social, political and musical – everybody seems to be out for themselves and what they can get, when what we really should be is unified and making a stand together against this unhealthy climate of fear and dumbing down that seems to be hanging over us. It doesn’t matter what the daily papers or the news tells you, we can still initiate any change that we choose to, people just have to believe.

2) You're working with Denise Johnson, female vocalist on "Revolution", the song everyone can listen on blog's player, who also worked with Paul Weller, how did you meet her?

I met Denise at a Trio Valore concert. Then a bit later in the year, she came to a gig that we did at the In the City Convention in Manchester. She really liked the band and the songs, so she came and sang backing vocals on 4 or 5 tracks on the album. It’s a pleasure and an honour to have her singing on the album.

3) you were a solo artist didn't you? Why did you turn to a band?

It was always my intention from the outset to have a band but when I first started playing gigs, I didn’t have one and I just wanted to get out and play my songs, so I played a lot of shows with just me and my acoustic guitar but also in that time I played a few band gigs with a lot of different musicians, as I was trying to find the right people who would compliment my music and my idea of putting your ego aside and always giving yourself up to the song and what it needs. I’ve now found the right people and the band is going from strength to strength. I still like playing the songs acoustically though, so me and my guitarist, Piet Koehorst still do acoustic shows.....I’ll take any chance to get out and play live!

4) What are your main influences? On vocals, Guitars, songwriting?

Obviously, I’m a music fanatic and I listen to all different kinds but I’d have to say that the one constant amongst it all are those mid sixties Mod bands – Small Faces, The Who, The Kinks – and without doubt, The Beatles. These bands were pioneers in their songs, sound and their look. I would have to also mention Curtis Mayfield, The Meters and Neil Young at this point. As for influences on vocals in particular, I’d have to single out Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. I’m not saying that my vocals match up to theirs in any way, but I’d say it’s more about the way that their vocals move you and make you feel. Their vocals are a truly honest expression, that’s what music should be about, not some sanitised, auto tuned, calculated exercise. As for guitars, I’m not sure if they’re influences on me but I think that Steve Cradock, Jack White, John Frusciante....and of course my guitarist, Piet Koehorst!....are amongst the best players around these days, and my reason for this would be that they play with passion and feel. There seems to be a lack of that these days, I think. People are more interested in being famous than being good at their craft. I can’t finish answering this question without mentioning Neil Finn, I think that he’s an amazing songwriter, sometimes he seems other worldly to me and I’d gently push you in the direction of his two solo albums –‘Try Whistling This’ and ‘One Nil’. Just to close, I’d also have to point you in the direction of the new Melody Gardot album too......

5) When will the first universal LP be available, where?

The first Universal album will be available at the end of April, beginning of May 2010. The release date is pencilled for April 26th but it could go back a week or two. Initially, it will be a digital release, you’ll be able to get it from iTunes and all the online stores, HMV etc., and of course directly from our MySpace site our debut single ‘Day In Day Out’ will also be released.

6) Simon Cooper, the B'Ham spy, told me you drove 200 miles to do a two guitars almost acoustic gig, so passionate for playing live?

Yes, this is true. I live for playing live and I’ll go anywhere to play my songs....and what would be the point of music without passion? You’ve got to have the fire in your belly! Playing live is the ultimate test of you as a musician and the ultimate test of your songs. I play festivals to people’s living rooms and everything inbetween.

7) Do you have a planned tour?

There are a lot of gigs already on the gig list, which you can check out at the MySpace site and Facebook group, and as the year progresses there will be tours and more gigs.

8) Are you in touch with Paul Weller in any way?

No, I’m not in touch with Paul Weller in any way.

9) Did you know than top toff Mark Baxter and Lord of the mods, John hellier Dig your music? We met them in Baritalia last month and they told us how good you are!

All’s I can say is that they’ve good taste too! They’re both top boys and impeccable in everything they do. So to have their endorsement is an honour.

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