Warren Dean is a singer-songwriter and performer from London. When we heard about Warren’s story, where he busked his way around London creating a rock album as he went, we were really keen to share his music and experiences with you. Read the full interview below where Warren discusses, amongst other things, how he would describe his personal style and music, whom he would most like to collaborate with given a chance and what he’s currently working on.
Q: What are you called?
Warren Dean. It’s a pseudonym I started using last year. There aren’t too many Warren’s in music and the Dean part refers to one of my fans when I was starting out stating “that’s a real James DEAN thing to do, rebel against the industry by not showing your face” so I chose that as my surname.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
I’m a musical Banksy (as I’m anonymous also) who made an independent classic rock album by busking throughout entire UK.
Q: What is your musical background?
I bought my first guitar when I was 12-13 and didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. I was really into Guns N Roses & Nirvana at the time and started by playing along to those guys. After a few weeks I bought some books and started to learn how to play in more depth and then started writing my own songs when I was 15-16.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Pretty dramatic! I walked out on my job as a financial analyst and started busking around the UK to pay to record my debut album, Who is Warren Dean? Since then I’ve been doing promotion, radio, interviews etc so 2010 was quite hectic.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I get inspiration from all different sources…musically my favourites have always been US rock bands, System of a Down, Metallica, Pantera, Green Day and lyrically my songs tend to be about situations that have happened to other people, I rarely write personal songs about me, its much more fun to write lyrics relating to people I know and what they’re going through!
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
None really, music’s got really commercialized and that’s one of the reasons I decided to make my own album because the current rock scene in the UK is pretty much dead. Rather than listen to bands and try and like them I decided to go out and do it on my own, writing and recording my own material as the stuff I’m in to has really dried up.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I’d love to get Rick Rubin to produce my next album as in the past he’s worked on most of my favourite albums, but I’ve heard recently he might have got a bit lost on the rock trail and is now working with the likes of Justin Bieber?!?!
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
None! I’ve literally just bought a new iPhone and now have the pleasurable task of transferring over 18,000 tracks on to it. I have everything from Abba to ZZ Top. It’s difficult to find a band/artist I don’t have some tracks by.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I have no set rules to how I write my music; I might start with a guitar riff, a chord structure or some lyrics and then see it goes. If the song isn’t written or structured within an hour I’ll shelve it and never go back to it…I have a LOT of unfinished material and never do re-writes. I recorded my debut album in 5 days and 90% of it was done on the first take as I wanted a raw feel to it.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
The Chorus! Ha ha There’s an old saying, “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” and it’s so true. That’s why I try and add a guitar riff at the start to grab listeners’ attention and make the intro more interesting.
Q: Where are you based?
I’m based in London and have lived here for a few years now.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Its pretty cool, I’ve got everything a young musician could ever want or need right on my doorstep, cool bars, great gig venues, rock clubs… So I’m rarely at home.
Q: What are you currently working on?
My friends are trying to talk me into releasing a Xmas number 1 challenge song to the usual X-factor blandness so I’ll give it some thought and maybe write a track to compete against it. I’m digitally releasing my debut “Who is Warren Dean?” in Japan too and setting up a Japanese version of my website.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Making the album from the UK busking tour and releasing it. I went round and played on the streets of 50 towns and cities throughout the UK and used the money I got to pay to record the album.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
In 2011 I’d like a bit more recognition, I’m not interested in fame whatsoever but to have people listening to my music and enjoying it, telling their friends about me and what I’m trying to achieve would be really cool.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Not at the moment – I’m still thinking of a way to get around the anonymous thing at live shows…maybe with some clever lighting as slipknot have already done the mask idea and I like to be original.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Sure, I’m the anti-establishment artist that’s out there doing it and proving you don’t need to chase a record deal from a major label because you can do it all on your own. I set up my own label and self-released my album because I’m sick and tired with the music industry being all about the image these days which is why I refuse to show my image. In music, the product should be the album or single, not the artist or the artists’ lifestyle. As Warren Dean there is no image so it’s 100% all about the music, so it has to be good enough to get played or recommended, as there’s nothing else to go on.
Editor’s Note: Warren has the enviable ability of moulding catchy guitar riffs and vocal melodies to make appealing and commercial rock sounds. At Song Revelation we recommend that you check him out at a gig if Warren’s playing in a town near you.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Warren Dean just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/IAMWARRENDEAN
web page link: http://www.warrendean.net/
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/iamwarrendean
Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/user/IamWarrenDean