The first interview I had with Gordon Brown was just after his amicable departure from Heavy Rock legends Iron Claw; that interview was posted here on Metal Odyssey practically a year ago to this day, on October 21st, 2011. Now, with a fresh start and always the positive outlook on the future, Gordon Brown has started a new band: Delta One Six.
A Scottish gentleman with music flowing from his soul, Gordon Brown has a bluesy voice that fits right into any decade of Rock and Roll. This past year, Gordon Brown shared many of his songs that he has recorded throughout his life, via Soundcloud. (See link at bottom of post). The “open-book” approach that Gordon Brown has taken, with the music he’s created, shows to me the honest-to-goodness personality of this man.
Since I’ve known Gordon Brown, he has always taken a nothing to hide approach with his music and has never dodged a question. This is an artist I’ve been rooting for since I first heard him sing. Recently, Gordon Brown answered another round of questions, being his typical friendly and polite self! I’m proud to present to you, this second interview with Gordon Brown:
Stone: Can you give more (untold) details as to why the Iron Claw partnership ended?
Gordon: Very simply, the band wanted to play a heavier style of music than I did. Once the recording of the album was finished things just didn’t work out – if it isn’t right it’s time to move on. There’s no animosity, we don’t see each other as we live in different towns, but I dare say at some point we’ll have a pint or two. At this stage it appears unlikely that Iron Claw will perform live again, I was speaking to Alex Wilson recently and told him that I would consider writing lyrics and singing on any future recordings. As far as I’m concerned that door is not shut, only it would have to be music that appealed to me. The music from “A Different Game” lives on in a live sense though, currently I’m doing Southern Sky with a view to possibly adding some others further down the line.
Stone: How has “life after Iron Claw” been treating you?
Gordon: Life has been good, I am working on some collaborations with songwriters in the USA and have started a new band “Delta One Six”, we’re due to go live on November 9th and have a song being included in a compilation of Scottish Blues acts due for release in November. Throughout my musical career I have been fortunate enough to play with some truly amazingly talented musicians, the boys in Delta One Six are an absolute delight to play with.
People have had the chance via You Tube to see some of the very early practice sessions, they were recorded using a mobile phone, the sound quality, despite being taken from one side is pretty good – I think people will enjoy what we’re looking to create – a tiny amount in the way of effects, just ass-kicking blues/rock played with passion.
Check out Delta One Six below, jamming during a rehearsal this past August! This is cool stuff! Metal be thy name!
Stone: You list the music you “err towards” as British Blues, Southern Boogie, Chicago Blues and “a hint of Bluegrass chucked in for good measure” on your bio. You’ve obviously excelled, on a grand scale, with (Bluesy) Hard Rock with Iron Claw. What is the one genre you want to sing, that comes straight from your heart and soul?
Gordon: The bluesy thing will remain, it suits the way I like to sing. I always end up coming back to the Blues, having said that I’m not a huge fan of Delta Blues, I much prefer the electric sound. It’s fair to say that I do like ballads as well, the Blues I do is a mash-up of Free, Whitesnake, The Allmans and too many others too mention.
Stone: While growing up as an aspiring musician, what records were in your collection?
Gordon: It kinda went in stages, I started off listening to my elder brothers and sisters music, The Beatles, Stones, Cream, Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), the first record I remember listening to was Jigsaw Puzzle Blues, it was the B side to Albatross. When I started secondary school I was a big fan of a band called Slade for a couple of years – then came the Black Sabbath period, but I was also listening to all manner of things like, Atomic Rooster, Wishbone Ash, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pink Floyd, The Groundhogs, Frankie Miller, Blue Oyster Cult, Humble Pie, Thin Lizzy and in particular one band which has stuck with me since that time – the mighty FREE (and Bad Company ), I’m a huge fan of Paul Rodgers.
Southern Rock came along in the shape of Lynyrd Skynyrd at about age 15 and I’ve loved that genre ever since. Punk arrived when I was 17 – I didn’t think much of it, so pretty much ignored it. The NWOBHM didn’t really shake my boat either – I did enjoy gigs by Saxon and Iron Maiden, but found myself still listening to the things I grew up on and I still do! My little confession is that I’ve always wanted to do a blues/rock cover of At The Car Wash by Rose Royce. Unfortunately, so far no-one shares my vision for it!
Stone: Which well-known bands and/or musicians of today would you want to work with on a “special guest” level of recording?
Gordon: Warren Haynes, Paul Rodgers or Greg Allman would be top of my list, Glenn Hughes, Buddy Guy and so many more including Iron Dave from Diablo Canyon. I think the real answer would be “anyone who asked”!
Stone: These are turbulent times in the world right now; many countries economies and wars have taken it’s toll on the human spirit it seems, yet music seems to be the universal language of peace, hope and friendship that unites fans and bands worldwide. What are your thoughts on the power of music to unite and heal?
Gordon: I agree with you 100% that music brings people together and I would say one genre more than any other to do that is Metal. Music does much already to unite people to combat famine etc. in terms of providing money to assist, alas, I think we humans are too wrapped up in making a profit and fighting over oil.
Stone: If you could change the record industry overnight, what changes would you mandate?
Gordon: Fair contracts for bands. Too many bands sign themselves away just to become a “signed band” and end up being ripped off or having their recordings buried. The most important thing for most bands to understand is that you get back what you put in, if you don’t work hard you’ll go nowhere – the music business is 90% business and 10% music – sad but true!
Stone: Gordon, there is no denying you have an amazing voice and music is in your soul. For all aspiring vocalists out there, what are the golden rules to follow in protecting your voice? Is a true lyricist born or made?
Gordon: Don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, avoid air-conditioning and take lots of exercise while eating a healthy balanced diet. Well, I drink, smoke and probably don’t exercise as much as I used to. My simple Golden Rule is practice, practice, practice! I probably sing somewhere between 1 and 2 hours per day (most days!). There are certain songs I use as “training songs” in which I simply sing along to a record and try to match the high and low notes, (for example) Ronnie James Dio singing Heaven and Hell and Catch the Rainbow, maybe a bit of David Coverdale and always some Paul Rodgers, I find it helps with the way I like to phrase songs, I don’t try to imitate them, quite often I’ll do a harmony to their vocal, if possible get some lessons and learn how to breathe properly.
On stage I am always accompanied by Vocalzones, Strepsils, Vicks (for up my nose!) a flask of hot tea and about 3 litres of water, before a gig I do lots of breathing exercises and some scales just to warm up, occasionally I’ll gargle a glass of whisky (sometimes I might even drink it!) but my firmly held view is that when I’m on stage I’m working and therefore no excessive alcohol intake.
Lyricists, I think they can be both born and made, probably more born than made though, I think you have to be in tune with the music and let it talk to and guide you as to the direction the lyrics should take. Unless of course you have the lyric but no tune to go with it, I think that’s harder to do and those who can put a tune to lyrics are born.
Stone: You have showcased your musical evolution on Soundcloud. I find this “open-book” approach to your musical resume commendable and inspiring. What and/or who has been most influential to you, in creating your life’s soundtrack?
Gordon: In everything you do, there is something that shapes the person you become, every person you meet from your parents onwards define your path. Personally, I think I’ve led a full and interesting life so far, it’s had its highs and lows, but I’m very much an optimist, if you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself down and keep moving forward. The open book approach and putting up videos of band rehearsals and recordings that weren’t the greatest was a gamble, it could have put people off completely and fortunately that hasn’t been the case.
Very simply, I think that people can appreciate an honest approach, they know that live music isn’t about every note being perfect (even the best bands/artists make mistakes), live music is about finding a vibe and making the audience believe in what you’re doing.
Stone Says: I’d like to thank Gordon Brown for this interview and for being such a cool long-distance Metal Buddy!
Go listen to/enjoy the timeline of songs from/sung by Gordon Brown, by clicking the link below!
* For more info on Gordon Brown & his music, click on the link below!
* To read the first interview I had with Gordon Brown, click that link below!
Gordon Brown – Former IRON CLAW Vocalist Reflects On His Tenure For “A Different Game” Album, Discusses Departing The Band
LONG LIVE GORDON BROWN.