In a music world lacking originality and punch, breakthrough indie-grunge talent Daisy Brain offers a modernised nostalgic sound with his texturalised guitar tones and sharp-edged lyricism.
As part of this month’s Conversation Skills – DDW sat down with London-based emerging music talent, Daisy Brain aka Will Tse. This year, Daisy Brain has been keeping busy, making huge waves across the UK indie-grunge scene, from a huge string of SOLD OUT shows and festival appearances to triumphant EP releases.
What comes as hard work for many, appears effortless for this rising talent. Represented by Locomotion, Daisy Brain has just released his latest track ‘Small Matters’ last month, another sharp-edged textural entry into the artist’s ever-growing nostalgic rock catalogue.
Sitting down with DDW, independent artist Daisy Brain discusses his future musical aspirations, the icons who’ve inspired his work, and most importantly, the perspective you must have to successfully fulfil your dreams.
Small Matters’ has that very nostalgic Dinosaur Jr guitar/grunge vibe. Are there any specific guitar icons that helped influence and shape your sound?
Yes! I have always admired J Mascis, Dinosaur Jr’s frontman and guitarist’s style. I love how sludgy and messy his guitar playing is and the same with Stephen Malkmus from Pavement. I love it when people take old-school rock-influenced guitar licks and make it sludgy and gross to listen to.
If you could pick three musical dinner guests, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
Kurt Cobain, because I just want to know… everything! Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth. Johnny Rotten from The Sex Pistols, just because I want to know, I want to know everything! I want to understand the experience and what it was like growing from a fashion brand to turning into punk icons.
Where are your go-to places to find peace of mind and inspiration?
My bedroom, for one. I don’t go anywhere so that’s a really hard question to ask, I’m usually just in my room making music. I used to work at a pizza place so I’d spend a lot of time thinking when I didn’t have customers and I’d meet a lot of people and usually they’d tell you their life stories when they’re waiting for a pizza so sometimes that can help.
If you had to pick one Artist, who inspired you most, who would it be and why?
Probably Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth because he taught me that you don’t have to be a great guitarist to be the best guitarist for your own project. He went on to explain that he didn’t even know how to play the guitar properly when he started up Sonic Youth, it was all about weird tunings and finding what worked for him rather than playing these crazy licks and doing what everyone else was doing. It was more about the texture a guitar could add to a song.
What track is your guilty pleasure?
I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan.
Jimmy Page had a Les Paul, Hendrix the Upside down Fender Strat and Eddie Van Halen, the Frankenstrat. What would be your iconic/dream guitar and why?
The Fender Jazzmaster because of how you can just throw them about, and the pick-ups always seem to be incredibly hot, so it picks up noise like no other guitar I’ve played before, they’re really dynamic with their sound, I just love the way they feel and I love playing them.
If you had to pick one person who has helped play a pivotal role in your success, who would it be?
Russian Dan (Dan Hvorostovsky), the guy I write everything with. He’s a harmonic genius. He understands music like no one I’ve met before.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned so far?
Keep your blinders up, stop watching what everyone else is doing. Stop judging yourself and comparing yourself to other musicians – you’re on your own path.
Do you have any secret traditions you follow before going on stage?
Usually, I go really quiet and stop speaking to everybody and sometimes I end up going to the bathroom and avoiding any sort of conversation until after the show.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
If you’re bored, you’re not trying hard enough.
How do you want the world to remember you?
Genuine, honest, thoughtful and talented.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I see myself on a poster in some person’s bedroom, that’s where I see myself.
Name one thing you can’t live without.
My laptop. I need to create. For example, I’ve been on a holiday before and got incredibly anxious about not being able to make any music because I haven’t had my laptop with me. I need my laptop with me at all times.
What don’t you want to die wondering about?
What it would have been like if I gave up doing this, doing the things I love.