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Interview with Danny Short

Multi instrumentalist and denizen of the great metropolis of Horwich has his debut album out on Invisiblegirl records - see review later in the 'zine - we took the time out to ask Danny about himself and his music...
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Bolton in 1975 and have since lived in Horwich, which is a small town just outside of Bolton. I have two older brothers and one younger sister.
What are your musical favourites?

I like to think of myself as being an eclectic type when it comes to music, so I suppose that is going to be reflected in my song writing. At the core of my main musical influences are the obvious tastes: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, The Fall, Syd Barrett and The Monkees. But I am also inspired by more obscure artists such as Richard Youngs and Jandek.

AMM gets a mention in your Biog - are they an influence?
I am not overly familiar with AMM’s work. That particular reference came from Alex Stone, a colleague of Julia’s who wrote the album intro you refer to. He is a great artist in his own right, and has a myspace page at www.myspace.com/alexstoneuk


Tell us about your career to date?
Well, since the age of sixteen I have been reasonably active with various different groups/musical projects. The most high profile of which was “Big Arm” which featured Paul Ryder (Ex Happy Mondays and brother of Shaun) on vocals. I played drums and sang back up vocals for that group. We went on to do many good things, such as supporting Ian Brown on two U.K./Scottish tours, and we also released an album named “Radiator” which was well received. It was certainly fun while it lasted. However, I am currently not part of an active working group. This is not a problem though, as I have recently been enjoying the fruits of concentrating on my own material. Bands can be hard work at times and most of the time are a compromise. The wonderful thing about being solo is that there are less egos to please! In other words, I can do what the hell I want.
What's the story behind the album?

The album is a collection of recordings of mine from the last nine or so years - Hence the title; “Collected times”. The idea to put a compilation of my recordings out on Invisible Girl records was Julia’s. She contacted me with this proposal in December of last year. So I guess the project has taken four months to realise taking into account the choice of tracks, mastering, artwork etc. I play all the instruments on the album apart from one track where a few of my musician friends lend a hand!

Your main instrument is the drums?
Well, whenever I have become involved with groups in the past, it always been solely as the drummer. The Drums are the first instrument I tried my hand at at the tender age of 12, and I got my first professional paid gig  when I was sixteen as resident drummer at a popular working men’s club in Farnworth. Ever since then I have been involved in with many different gigging bands.  Playing guitar and writing was always something I regarded as a “side project” of mine. Though as my confidence as a writer has grown I have slowly started to take my writing much more seriously. However, in spite of all this, I would still say the drums are the instrument on which I feel most confident. I am nowhere near as confident on the guitar, although I do enjoy playing guitar very much!
Where can our readers get your album?

You can download my album by visiting Julia’s brilliant website www.invisiblegirl.co.uk


There is a lot of variety on the album - how did you put it together?
Like I mentioned before, the album is a compilation of my recordings  from the last Nine years, so there is bound to be a lot variety in terms of style. I have a short attention span when it comes to music. For instance, one day I can be listening to something electronic, then something more Avant-garde the next. Then maybe something a little more mainstream like Lilly Allen or whatever! So, yet again, this is all bound to be reflected in my music. I also like to try and use some unusual sounds on my recordings, such as  Theremin, Violin, 12-string guitar, accordion and 5-string Banjo. I am quite a confused musician. Not a bad thing in some respects!


What's the last album you bought?
The last album I bought was a Cd-r named “The great level” by Andrew Paine and Richard Youngs. They are two great artists whose work never fails to inspire. This latest release of theirs is certainly no exception.


I happen to known you do a cracking Mark E. Smith impression - care to comment? 

This is true! Impersonations seem to be something I have a natural knack for. I remember doing my “Jools Holland” for Ian Brown on tour a few years ago and he could not stop giggling! MES is quite an easy voice to crack. Lets face it Mark has an extremely individual voice doesn’t he? In fact I recently did my MES impersonation for none other than ex Fall bassist Steve Trafford, whom I often bump into in rehearsal rooms, and he was speechless! The look on his face was a picture! I also surprised Ed Blaney with my MES once. He (half jokingly) reckoned we could do a Mark e Smith/ Ed Blaney album together as a result! So, my MES impersonation must not be a bad one I guess! No plans for a Fall tribute band though Im afraid…..Well, not yet anyway. Ha ha!
You recently did a gig at the Kings Arms in Salford. Any more gigs planned?

Although I have no immediate plans for playing live, this could well change in the very near future. My performance at The Kings Arms in Salford last month was most enjoyable, so I dare say there will be more stuff of that nature in the pipeline.


What was it like working with Julia Adamson?
Julia has been nothing short of wonderful with regards to my album being released. She is motivated and passionate about her work. A bit of a rarity in the world today.


And finally, where was the  album recorded?
“Collected times” was recorded either at home or in a rehearsal studio of one sort or another. None of the tracks have been recorded or mixed in a “proper” studio. Therefore the album does possess a kind of “Home made” quality to it. I have not actually recorded in a “proper” studio for quite some time now. Recording at home is a much more comfortable and cheaper scenario!