When Chordblossom came into existence, it was always our aim to shine a spotlight on the artists and bands that make up the music scene in Northern Ireland. We’ve been doing it for over ten years now and one of our favourite methods is our Introducing feature.
Put the kettle on, curl up on your sofa and and join us for a quickfire Q&A with some of our favourite new musicians. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover your new favourite artists.
This iteration of Introducing features the musical talents of WhiteRoomNightmare who is gearing up to release a new single next month, with a full album to follow.
What was the inspiration behind your artist name?
I had a recurring childhood nightmare of being stuck in a pure white room with no windows or doors and humanoid shadows would start to appear along with whispers expressing displeasure or disappointment like ‘Why didn’t you…’ or ‘If only you’d…’ and I couldn’t answer. Shadows gradually filled the room and whispers grew steadily louder until they became angry shouts. Then I’d wake up.
You’ve just released a new single. How did it come about and what does it mean to you?
It’s 2 versions of the same song. The original version of Are You Happy Now? has been hanging about in half-finished form for years now and was once called Reverse Trigger. The reason for this is that the main riff came about while I was goofing about on the guitar playing Trigger Inside by Therapy? Fun fact, it’s also been one of my ringtones for about 7 years! Lyrically it’s about an old relationship which, with hindsight, should have ended sooner than it did because neither of us were happy.
The other version is a ‘Christmas’ song. Ever since i started this musical adventure, my wife has been urging me jokingly to write a Christmas album. Now, I never had any intention of actually writing a Christmas album, BUT there is a line in the original AYHN? ‘as fickle as a fortune telling fish but sorry honey, you’re no cracker’ which is vaguely Christmassy and I eventually decided to write a full set of similar lyrics, threw in some synth choirs and sleigh bell-like percussion and made a Christmas version. The basic lyrical theme is someone deliberately spending Christmas on their own, bingeing boxsets and watching seasonal films like Elf and Die Hard.
Have you any more releases or studio time lined up for later in the year?
I will be releasing an album in mid 2023 which will likely have another few singles supporting it beforehand.
Tell us about your song writing process.
I rarely write the music for a song in one go. Song writing, for me, is like working on an infinite number of jigsaws at once without boxes to indicate how the finished articles should be. It generally starts with a guitar riff and then I build on that with drum and bass tracks. But then where does it fit? Does it fit with existing pieces or form part of a new song?
Sometimes I can easily match this with other pieces and make a full song but quite often it ends up sitting on a hard drive for months until I have a eureka moment. Many hours of recording, listening and editing go into completing one song. Lyrics almost always come once the music is complete and I draw inspiration for those from past experiences, current events, books/films.
Who were your favourite artists/bands growing up? Have your influences changed over time?
I got into rock and metal music from an early age and the likes of AC/DC and Iron Maiden were favourites and still are. I first got the urge to create my own music in my late teens/early twenties when myself and a couple of mates tried to get a band going with me on the drums. We jammed on songs of bands that we were all into and that were popular at the time like Nirvana, Green Day, Deftones, Tool.
90’s grunge and alternative metal basically and I guess that those bands have influenced my style of music more than those I listened to before or after. That’s not to say that there aren’t other elements in play. For example, I love the Big 4 thrash metal bands, particularly Metallica and every now and then I find myself heading into heavier territory as a result. Variety is important, I feel.
With the NI Music Prize done and dusted for another year, what’s been your favourite album and single released in 2022?
Favourite album has without doubt been Wynona Bleach’s debut Moonsoake. It’s a great blend of dreamy rock riffs and catchy vocal harmonies. I’ve been listening to them for years since when they were known as R51 but to my shame I’ve never managed to get to any of their gigs.
Best single for me was Gone Girl by Cherym. I’ve been playing their latest EP Hey Tori regularly. The production on it is just superb. The guitars and drums sound massive and they’re another act I’m yet to see live but I hope to sort that out soon.
If you weren’t a musician, what line of work would we find you in?
That’s an interesting one. I make music but I have a full time job in the Civil Service so does that make me a musician or am I only a proper musician if it’s my main source of income? In my current situation, I make music in my spare time and I’m only able to do so because I’ve used my wages to buy the necessary equipment.
If you could collaborate with one artist or band from NI, who would it be and why?
I’m not particularly outgoing and prefer to be a lone wolf to be honest which is why this is a solo project. Having said that, if I ever write a song that I feel would benefit from having another singer or musician involved than I may very well reach out.
It is intensely difficult to be successful in the music industry. What does NI need to do to invest in/develop to boost your chances?
I don’t feel qualified to answer that particular question as I’m not a full time musician and have no aims to play live. Likely not the kind of artist that the industry is focussed on developing.
What does success look like for you?
For me just having my songs heard and appreciated by as many people as possible is what I’m aiming for.
If you enjoyed this feature and fancy discovering some more new artists, we suggest you jump on over to our archive of Introducing pieces.
If you are a band or musician based in Northern Ireland interested in taking part in our Introducing feature, we recommend submitting new music to us via our Contact page and if we enjoy it, you’ll no doubt hear from us.