Gary is no stranger to the high octane lifestyle of the touring scene. As founding member of The Japanese Popstars he has been there, done it and travelled the world performing in the best venues and lining up alongside the biggest names in music.
Recently Gary has decided to put the band on hold and turn his attention to Confute, his solo project that he launched in 2014. Local establishments have also been benefiting from his vast musical knowledge and contacts through his new found role as an Entertainment Consultant, most recently for Silver Street and the Cellar.
Last month saw the release of his latest EP titled ‘Unexpected EP’ and with various remixes and gigs on the horizon, 2016 is setting itself up to be a very busy year for Confute.
In your vast musical CV, what are you most proud of?
A lot of people who I speak to seem to relate most to the James Vincent McMorrow collaboration ‘Shells of Silver’ from the Controlling Your Allegiance album, so I’m probably most proud of that.
Getting to work with the likes of Robert Smith from The Cure was very surreal and unbelievable, definitely a dream come true along side all the other collaborations on that album. Robert was so nice he brought us, and our Manager to the Royal Albert Hall to watch The Cure perform their first 3 albums.
We were sat dead centre watching them on stage and then went backstage to meet him afterwards. You’re standing there chatting to Robert Smith, and then spend the rest of the night chatting to Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream. It was just insane.
At the time we were actually sitting there watching The Cure and thinking, ‘how great would it be to play here, in the Royal Albert Hall’ and a few months later we were there supporting Orbital on tour.
The Japanese Popstars - Let Go
What advice would you give young producers starting out in the music business?
I would say work hard and avail of all the resources that are available. Celtronic Studios here in the city is state-of-the-art and there aren’t many studios that can compete with the equipment they have invested in.
I was self-taught whereas now there are a lot of tutorials online and there are music schools that can teach you how to produce at a world-class level.
Dedication, self-belief plus investing vast amounts of time in to learning and practicing are other requirements.
Be open to collaboration because new ideas and opportunities to work with other people can be an invaluable experience. Remember to stay humble and if you do get some success, don’t forget where you came from.
What were your musical influences growing up?
There was always Irish music playing in my house when I was growing up. Both my sisters did Irish Dancing and sing opera amongst other styles.
My older sister Jennifer was in the original Riverdance show and my little sister Michelle is actually now performing at the West End in Lord of the Dance. I also attended James Mc Cafferty’s singing classes and was involved in and even won some events like the Derry Feis.
My dad was big into his Glam Rock, the more serious type of Glam Rock like T-Rex and always listened to the top 40 as well as watching Top Of The Pops and Top Of The Pops 2.
If you listen to my track ‘Destroy’ with Jon Spencer you can definitely hear it chugging like a Glam Rock track.
Where did the concept of Confute come from?
When you get into the music industry you need to be tough skinned. You hear ‘no’ a lot but it doesn’t mean you give up. Confute just means to disprove people.
I don’t set out to disprove people though, it’s just that I was told ‘no’ from some people and I thought I’m going to give it a go anyway’ and maybe I can disprove even myself, so it’s a motivational thing that drives me.
I had always written solo material alongside The Japanese Popstars but never released it and over the years it has built up. I noticed that it all fell into this specific genre, although I don’t think it’s totally pigeonholed into Techno and therefore thought it was time to share this music and thankfully most labels and listeners seem to enjoy the direction I am headed with Confute.
Confute 'Renege' Original Mix
What are the future plans for Confute and The Japanese Popstars?
I have a remix coming out soon for Irish production duo Phraktal. They hit me up last October to do a remix for them so that should be out this month.
I have collaborated on a track called ‘Parting Ways’ with Will Monotone for his album “In Colour” which was released on 2nd February and I had actually booked him in to DJ at The Cellar last Saturday which was an incredible night.
On February 13th I’ll be performing a charity gig at Pitchers Bar called ‘Valentine’s Vinyl Revival’ in aid of CALMS, who I am a patron for and also a percentage of proceedings will be going to Sport Against Suicide. It’s an Old Skool night so I will be doing a special eclectic set.
The 5th March I’ll be going to London to play Mr.C’s Superfreq party in London. I’ve actually met Mr.C a few times, but first spoke to him in Dublin at the RDS when The Japanese Popstars supported Underworld and I had a few drinks with him in Boston last year too.
It’s another one of those ones… Mr.C from The Shamen! It’s mad because I’ve met everyone that’s ever inspired me.
I am currently completing an EP to be released later this year on his Superfreq label too.
There are more Irish gigs and festivals being lined up and I will be back Stateside in May to play the Together Festival in Boston and possibly New York and Chicago, all being well.
As for The Japanese Popstars I’m not writing any specific material at present Japanese Popstars but there is always a chance I’ll be going back to it.
The door was never and will never be completely closed on that project; I’m just concentrating on doing other things at present and seeing how they go.
Busy times ahead for Confute. You can keep abreast with all the latest Confute news via Facebook, ResidentAdvisor and make sure to check out the new ‘Unexpected EP’ on Soundcloud. While you’re at it, why not check out the fantastic Celtronic - who Gary is involved with – at www.celtronicstudios.com or on Facebook