Glenn Rosborough has been one of the leading men in the local music scene for a number of years now ever since his days as the front man of Karma 45 and Intermission which soon followed.
Now on the verge of relaunching himself simply as Rosborough, music lovers throughout the land be warned, with his new music and new sound Rosborough is back and get ready to be blown away.
When did you first start out performing music and writing your own material?
I started playing guitar and singing when I was ten. There were a few guitars around the house and some guitar chord books because my dad plays a bit. He told me I marched into the living room and announced I’m teaching myself guitar and just took it from there. I started writing my own songs about a year or two after. They were bloody awful, but for me it just seemed like a natural transition. I was always trying to deconstruct songs and trying to find out what made them work, what chords worked well together, what lyrics were trying to say.
Who or what would have been your influences growing up and what would they be now?
Growing up there was a huge mix of music in my house. We were taught how to correctly put on and take off a record before anything else. Rockstars were household names and what they did and had to say were lessons to be learnt. People like Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and Kate bush, bands like REM, Pink Floyd and The Ramones. They taught me how to question authority and form my own opinions and ultimately not be afraid to have something to say.
That music and that way of thinking stuck with me through life, I still listen to the same music I listened to as a child. There have been some great acts to come along which reinforced what I loved about the latter, such as Tool, Muse and Half Moon Run
You are heavily involved with The Nerve Centre, tell us a bit about the work you do there?
I am the course coordinator for the music course. I with my team build the music performance and music production courses, providing courses that will arm people with the knowledge they need to be a professional performer or recording engineer. I also work closely with our SYNC project which teaches young people about playing, writing and recording. It’s one of the most rewarding jobs you could ever have, I get to help young people write their first song or record their first single and watch them develop into fully formed artists.
You were the frontman of two of the most loved local bands, - Karma 45 and Intermission – but what has been the main advantage of going it alone in terms of the moniker ‘Rosborough’?
Kharma 45 taught me a lot about the industry, I was signed to a major and got to tour all around the place for about 3 years. We played so many huge shows with great acts and I have some great memories from that time. I don’t think I really found my feet as a writer until I started Intermission. I was the main writer in that band so it was up to me to make sure the material was good enough.
I took all the lessons we learned from working with so many great producers and engineers while I was in Kharma, so I tried to apply some of those lessons to what I was doing. I locked myself in my studio for hours and just kept writing and recording. Writing music is a lot like playing a piano, you have to practice. I think all that time spent meant I had the confidence to make material under my own name
What music are you currently listening to on your iPod?
At the minute I have Puscifer, Nick Cave, Meshuggah, Sia and Florence and the Machines playing mostly. I have a huge passion for good songs rather than genres so I keep things quite eclectic.
Your own music doesn’t seem to lend itself to one particular type of genre and the range of your voice is incredible which means you’re not limited in any way. When writing do you set out to be wide ranging or is this simply your influences coming through?
I don’t know, I tend to just sing what makes me feel good in terms of melody and range. I sang constantly as a child so I’ve never really worked on or chosen a type of singing. There were a lot of female artists like Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette etc while I was young and I would have sang along to those quite a lot so it may have come from there. I think it all comes back to how you listen to music in the first place.
Great songs is what it’s all about really, rather than ticking boxes. I’ve tried writing to particular genres and feels before and it’s only ever resulted in terrible music I don’t like. I like to keep myself as free and as open as possible when I write. It’s more what the song dictates than what I think it should be like.
Glenn Rosborough - One by One
Generally, which comes first, the music or the lyrics?
For me, I collect lyrical ideas, and I leave them floating around in there. When I write I usually write music first but with an overall idea of theme in mind. I then start to form lyrics around that musical theme. When I write, I write with a movie scene in my head.
I get the setting and place set first, then the characters, and then the dialogue. That’s what usually happens, other times you can strike lucky and everything comes at once, you are done in twenty minutes and then it’s on to the next one... I wish that happened more often!
You took some time away from the music scene but now you’re back (yay!) what was the reason for the brief time away?
I was writing, and writing loads. I tend to be quite strict with times, carving out hours through my week. It’s my job, and although it’s creative, I try to be “on it” as much as possible. I heard a great quote recently that describes how that work ethic applies to creative jobs by the painter Chuck Close, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work”. I used to stress about not having ideas, but ideas come when you work hard in the creative environment.
Over the past few months I think I’ve finished about 30 songs. All this tinkering away has put me in a great place when it comes to doing shows, I’ve a whole new catalogue to choose from live, and I feel this new material is a great reflection of where I am now.
What new releases can we look forward to hearing and what are your plans for the future?
I’m currently shooting a video for a new song, I’m hoping to have it up before December. There is going to be a lot of music which no one will have heard. I’m also starting to gig now over in the mainland with my first London dates happening in mid-December.
It’s going to get pretty busy, which I’m most looking forward to. Sometimes it’s hard as a musician to hold back what you’ve been working on, but now I feel I’ve tested the water enough and I’m ready to embark on the next phase, most of which will be gigging as much as possible. A part of music which I love almost as much as writing.
Photo by Drumully Irish Arts (facebook.com/galleryrobert)