John Wicks is a singer-songwriter, originally from Reading in the UK and now currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Wicks has enjoyed a prolific and successful music career which started out when he was the lead singer-songwriter for the mod powerpop band The Records in the 1970’s. Recently The Records have re-formed, now consisting of John Wicks (Guitar and Vocals), Dennis Taylor (Bass) and Tommy Montes (Drums). Despite John’s hectic schedule we were delighted when he agreed to complete and interview for Song Revelation. Read the full interview below to discover what John’s currently working on, what his creative process is for creating music and which current artists John is inspired by.
Q: Who are you called?
John Wicks and The Records
aka: The Records (featuring John Wicks)
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Melodic, hook-laden, story-driven songs, with soaring harmonies, fused with hard driving guitars.
Q: What is your musical background?
Raised in a musical family, my mother was an accomplished pianist. Started composing songs aged 14 – joined my first professional band aged 17. Been a singer-songwriter and musician ever since.
Enjoyed major success in the late 70’s early 80’s with my band The Records. We released 3 albums on Virgin Records, the first, entitled – Shades In Bed/TheRecords – produced by Mutt Lange and Tim Friese-Greene, reached #41 on the U.S.
Billboard chart, spawning the hit singles, Starry Eyes and Teenarama. Opened for the likes of The Cars and Elvis Costello, also toured with Robert Palmer, Joe Jackson, The Jam and many others.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
A: 2010 was quite a good year, consisting of writing, recording performing, pretty much like most years, in fact!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Anything, and anyone that moves me, at any given time.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Dave Grohl/Foo Fighters, Jack White.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
All 3 of the above!
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I have yet to get around to the iPod thing, mainly because I’m too busy to deal with all the uploading, and whatever.
Instead, I listen to a mix of stuff on the likes of Pandora. I especially enjoy the element of surprise – discovering artists and music that I was previously unaware of. I listen mainly to classical music on the car radio, whilst driving.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
When it comes to songwriting/composing, I don’t adhere to any hard and fast rules, as such, so it varies. Sometimes a melody will pop into my head, and maybe words will manifest at the same time, or I’ll be strumming my guitar, and a similar thing happens. Other times a cool title comes to mind, and a song evolves and develops from there. Or I might be inspired by something I read in a newspaper. Ultimately, inspiration is all around us, like an energy-field. The knack, I feel – if there is one – is to tune-in to it.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Whilst I like to think that both are equally important, Bob Dylan, and the likes, aside – I feel that for most popular songs, anyway, a really catchy melody is key. That said, I always endeavour to write – what I consider to be, imho – intelligent, meaningful and thought-provoking lyrics. One of my favorite lines is from The Who/Pete Townshend song, Won’t Get Fooled Again. ‘Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss…’ Concise, yet incredibly profound, it resonates strongly, to this day!
Q: Where are you based?
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Well, I’m originally from the U.K. Born in Caversham, and raised in Reading, Berkshire in fact. Pre- Reading Festival days, I might add. That said, if I really liked living there, I guess I wouldn’t be living here! Haha!
Q: What are you currently working on?
Re- records of some of the old Records’ songs, so that I can improve on the original recordings, and also own or co-own the masters.
Also writing and recording new material, which will be made available for download. Once I have 10 – 12 songs completed, the plan is to release a full length CD – for those folks who prefer pyhsical product. And of course, playing out live, with a band, doing some solo acoustic shows, and working on effective ways to promote myself and my music, in this new era.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
My time with The Records during their heyday.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I’m hoping to spread the word, and in doing so, reach a wider audience.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Not too many at the moment, mainly local shows, in and around the LA area, as I’m concentrating my efforts on the business side of music right now. Am working closely with a label on the re- records, and we have plans to repackage my current CD Rotate.
After that, we can think about playing shows further afield, again.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Drink copious amounts of tequila and wine!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
My CD – Rotate, and also my live DVD – Lessons Learned.
Editor’s Note: John Wicks is a prolific and successful singer-songwriter that has enjoyed longevity in his musical career. At Song Revelation we love his catchy riffs, individualism and stage presence.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact John Wicks and the Records just follow the links below:
facebook link: www.facebook.com/TheRecordsFeaturingJohnWicks
myspace link: www.myspace.com/johnwicksandtherecords
myspace link: : www.myspace.com/johnwickssolo
web page link: www.johnwicksandtherecords.com
web page link: www.wickswirks.com
reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/johnwicksandtherecords