Chris Molloy whose new EP Heavy Love was released a month ago is getting ready for the action. The Lisburn singer- songwriter was away from the stage for a while and it seems that he is ready for it like never before. He describes the new record as a reflection over the love, a source of inspiration for many artists; “the two main themes are love and loss – and they interweave throughout the record. Memory plays an important factor – the past – which seems to leave me writing these melancholic tunes! The themes are not undiscovered country in terms of songwriting, but I try to stick my own penny’s worth in there…”
I got a chance to speak to Chris ahead of the launch
►Hello Chris! How are you keeping?
Fairly medium (laugh). I went to The Hudson to watch the Frampton fight, then went to the party afterwards so it was a pretty late one. Suffering now.
►It is a pity that I haven’t seen you playing since we met at The Empire last year, I hope to see you more often in 2016!
The truth is that I haven’t played a whole lot since. I was playing like a man possessed for a while and then I stopped and recorded a good bit of the material so the plan is to get back to the performances now.
►Heavy Love was released at the beginning of March, how do you feel before releasing such a personal piece of work?
Apprehensive would be the word? (laughs). My last release was in 2014. I was looking forward to get Heavy Love completed, I recorded a good bit of it at home, but at beginning of the process I went to Vick from Earth Music Studio. We both sat down to record the base of this EP, but I wasn’t happy with it and I scrapped it. I left it for about a while. Then I came back to it and I scrapped it again – I think I got to the point where I had to get it done in order to move on to something else. The record was finished just before Christmas 2015 and I have recorded a video for it as an “excuse” to get it out there, you know? The comfort of recording at home and not having a deadline also played a big part in the re-arrangements.
►As the title of the album suggests the topic is not easy to work with. Are you talking about your own experiences with love or were you inspired by someone’s story?
I don’t want to cliche it, I think it is not one particular event, it’s more of certain aspects of relationships that I’ve had in the past. I’m sure it’s the things we have all been through. Love is full of complications, often when you love someone you might not like them at the same time. Using word love is very dangerous.
►What about the arrangements for the live performances?
For this record it is going to be acoustic, I will get few friends around and do acoustic gigs. I am ready for the stage, to get out there and play, to enjoy this experience and meet new people and get people together – that is what the music is about. I am hoping that people will like it, I am ready for touring. It was a labour of love (recording the record), happy love – funny enough! I really enjoyed the process so I am looking forward to get the play the shows.
►You were touring with Ciaran Lavery towards the end of last year, how did you meet?
Yes, but I wasn’t playing, I was taking photographs. Ciaran is in very good form, really talented man. We used to play in a band together, I played organ in Captain Kennedy a few years ago. That was good fun 11:17… that was a seven piece Americana band, unfortunately daily family duties got in the way for few members and the band didn’t hold on after two guys left.
►You are a very multitasking artist, in between writing the music you do photography, drawings, recording with your brother, how do you cope with all of this?
I like to be around the creative process, it is interesting- the photography would be my work for more of ‘making money’ way. The circle of art around Belfast is amazing, there is so many talented people here. For me music is not a hobby, it’s a passion, it’s all about wanting to do it.
►Where did that passion come from? Were you playing instruments at a young age?
Yeah, I remember there was an old organ which my mum and dad bought when I was four or five years old, so I was trying to play a ‘one finger song’ (laughs). I enjoyed it and embraced it. Obviously The Beatles helped a lot – my dad gave me a free reign on his records; being at that age I probably scraped the life clean out of them! My whole family is pretty musical, my dad is a great guitar player and a wonderful singer (just don’t tell him I said that). My oldest brother also plays guitar. I always watched people playing guitars in the house, it inspires you to pick it up and wanting to play as well.
►Does the fact of being a multi instrumental singer makes the decisions harder when it comes to pick the songs to be released?
Absolutely! I have three or four books full of songs, not all good (laughs). I believe in a five percent rule- five percent of all the things I do would be good and worthwhile. For this EP I felt like the songs I have written just matched, I think they work together. The next record is going to be different, because I want to be upbeat and maybe a little happier. I have the songs that I wrote lately which I want to record and I hope they will work together too (laughs).
►What are your plans for the near future apart from touring Heavy Love?
I have an idea for a new video, but I think I will release it in about a month or so. The concept is together,but I need to ask few friends to help me out. I am also getting ready for the live shows, I have an upcoming gig in Bar With No Name and I’m contemplating getting a piano player for a couple of songs, we will see what happens. I will invite few friends to come around with their guitars, play few songs and have a good time.
►Looking forward to see you then! Once again congratulations on the new EP!
You can watch the video for the first single ‘Stop and Let It Go’ recorded with Ross McClean fromthe new album below. Chris launches his new release on Friday 8th April 2016 with a great acoustic line up at the Bar With No Name.