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BLUES PLAYER

"Expressing oneself through music is amazingly rewarding on so many levels. Even when I have gone through more introspective periods." - Dom Brown

Posted: April 26, 2024
I am a hard worker though I believe in a healthy work and play balance. Music is supposed to be fun most of the time. Expressing oneself through music is amazingly rewarding on so many levels. Even when I have gone through more introspective periods, when I may have written more melancholic music, there is always so much excitement and pleasure when a new song is finished. Performing in front of an audience and getting a wonderful reaction and feedback is something to be grateful for. It should be treasured.

That is what is another definition to the saying “Fake it until you make it”. Many “professionals” use this terminology. It’s like a mantra or chant. However, the reality of this statement gives people a false sense of how success is really achieved. Ultimately, the longevity of any professional comes from dedication and hard work.

I have seen the results of this statement. Professionals in the music industry thinking they can fool consumers into believing they have talent, when they really don’t. True talent will reveal itself one way or the other. I can name a handful of artists that have gotten by in the music industry by “pure amusement”. They had no talent, but they created a following that were amused by their fake persona. These individuals only end up fooling themselves. They don’t have a reputation that proceeds themselves. They don’t leave a legacy, or even a path way for other artists to follow.

The misconception is that “faking it”, will eventually allow you to learn the concepts, knowledge and application of a subject once success is experienced. Those that are able to succeed with this mindset are an anomaly. It appears that many have either conceptualized a measure of success, and thus will believe true talent is not required. Given the attention surrounding Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms, this absurdity is openly accepted. However, any small or little success you may receive, is only temporary. This isn’t acceptable for those that want to make a living off true talent.

One of the hardest and dedicated workers in the music industry is Dom Brown. This is not a random statement to draw attention to his music. Guitar Thrills Magazine doesn’t believe in the use of gimmicks. In reality gimmicks are the same tools used by those who are faking it, without true talent. Guitar Thrills Magazine has observed the hard work from Dom Brown. He is always in the studio, working to perfect his musical ambitions and talent. Brown doesn’t wait to ride out the success of a smash hit. Instead, he goes back to work, looking to make a lasting mark in the music industry.

It isn’t necessary to give Dom Brown the normal introduction that we give most guests. However, for those that do not know him, we will provide an opportunity.

ABOUT DOM BROWN – Disclaimer, all information about Dom Brown is protected by copyright laws). No reproduction is allowed without his explicit consent.

Dom Brown first toured with Duran Duran in 2004, standing in for lead guitarist Andy Taylor. In 2006 he was made full-time lead guitarist. Over the past 19 years, Dom has performed on four world tours and recorded three albums with Duran Duran, co-writing over 20 songs on their last two albums – All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods.

2022 was a fantastic year for Duran Duran with a headline performance at Hyde Park, London to 70,000 people, 3 sold out nights at The Hollywood Bowl and Madison Sq Garden, performances at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, for their Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction and a New Year’s Eve show in Times Square for the countdown to 2023.

Dom has co-written six released songs with Mark Ronson and shares other writing credits with Anamatronic (Scissor Sisters), Mr Hudson, Kelis, Jahméne Douglas (X Factor 2012 runner-up), Sandi Thom, Tom Grennan (BBC Introducing 2017 nominee) and Nick Hodgson (Kaiser Chiefs). Dom composed and produced the music for an hour-long episode of BBC1 drama, The Canterbury Tales.

In 2012 Dom set up Church Row Studios in Wandsworth and was involved in recording, producing and engineering both established and up-and-coming artists. In 2016, he relocated and founded Rockwood Studios near Tooting Bec Common.

Artists who have worked in Dom’s studios include Duran Duran, Mark Ronson, Mark Owen (Take That), Ian Hunter, Anna Calvi, Sandi Thom, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Jahméne Douglas, Chris Spedding, James Walsh (Starsailor), Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats), The Rebelles (featuring Tracie Hunter), Ryan Ashley and Tom Grennan.

Over the years, Dom has collaborated with many top producers such as Mark Ronson, Danja, Jimmy Douglass, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. As a session musician, he has performed live or recorded with artists including Justin Timberlake, Liam Gallagher, Paolo Nutini, The Sugababes, Emma Bunton and The Appletons, among others.

Dom has also performed on TV with Elton John, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Take That, Robin Gibb, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Eddie Grant, Eagle Eye Cherry and Girls Aloud.

Dom has released three critically acclaimed solo albums (the latest, In my Bones in 2021) and a critically acclaimed blues album with Blue to Brown (featuring his voice artist father Rob Brown). Blues, soul, funk and rock genres are all true passions and he has explored these styles extensively throughout his life.

Interview with Dom Brown and Guitar Thrills Magazine.

Guitar Thrills: Hello Dom. It is awesome having you interview with Guitar Thrills Magazine again. It isn’t because you have all this FREE time on your hands. You are a busy person. I am happy that we have your ear, when possible. Thanks and good to meet you!

Guitar Thrills: What do you think about the topic of “Faking it, until you make it”. I think it could be a little controversial. Since, there are those that have this mindset. We know it’s not just the music industry, it also affects the corporate community as well. It is obvious, that you do not give any validity to this concept. However, what do you think about the idea, is there any value to it

Dom: I’m not a huge fan of this concept and believe that whilst it is a lot easier these days, with social media etc, to ‘fake it, til you make it’ the cream always rises to the top and the fakes eventually get seen for what they are. To have longevity in the music business as a musician, songwriter or performer you need some raw talent mixed with dedication and hard graft.

Guitar Thrills: You are a hard worker and it shows by the material that you produce. Who or what has created this type of standard for you?

Dom: I am a hard worker though I believe in a healthy work and play balance. Music is supposed to be fun most of the time. Expressing oneself through music is amazingly rewarding on so many levels. Even when I have gone through more introspective periods, when I may have written more melancholic music, there is always so much excitement and pleasure when a new song is finished. Performing in front of an audience and getting a wonderful reaction and feedback is something to be grateful for. It should be treasured.

Guitar Thrills: How long do you allow the success of a song to sink in, before you are back writing and preparing for the next one?

Dom: My greatest commercial successes are probably the songs I co-wrote with Duran Duran on albums that made the Top 10 in the UK, the US and other countries worldwide. To me some of my favourite solo songs are one’s that didn’t end up getting the exposure I think they deserved but I get so much satisfaction knowing that people love them. It’s wonderful to get positive feedback out of the blue for a song I wrote 20 years ago for instance. I tend to go through periods where I’m writing everyday and periods when I’m less productive but it wouldn’t be the success of a song that affects the writing process.

Guitar Thrills: You recently released an album called “In My Bones”. Can you tell us where you came up with the idea for the album? What kind of time was invested, and if there are additional musicians or artists that contributed to the success of the album?

Dom: Yes I released it in 2021 during lock down. As soon as the country was put into lockdown I began writing the album. It seemed like the golden opportunity to really knuckle down and do some writing. I already had a few songs in their early stages that I wanted to finish but a lot of the songs were written from scratch. I was really inspired to do something quite eclectic. I played most of the instruments on the album myself, as it was difficult to get musicians to come to my studio due to the strict lockdown laws. Musicians I did manage to get down include top drummers: Darrin Mooney, Andy Treacey and Ian Thomas. Anna Ross (Duran Duran) laid down some lovely backing vocals throughout the album and Chris Worsey some wonderful cello on about six songs. I wrote all the songs myself apart from ‘Whisper To The Wise’ with James Walsh (Starsailor) and the lyric to ‘Shadows’ with Jennifer Ann Keller. Also Dan Carpenter played trumpet on two songs and Jessie Wagner (Lenny Kravitz) and my young son performed backing vocals on a song.

Guitar Thrills: I can’t wait until your next release. Can you provide any insight as to what it will be about or called? Also, you are performing with a band called “Uncovered The Electric Rock Experience”. This is an amazing concept. Uncovered performs classic songs from some of the best artists and bands of all time. How did this come about and what feedback have you received from fans?

Dom: I don’t currently have an album I’m working on as I’m about to get quite busy touring with Duran Duran. I’m also developing my, relatively, new band ‘Uncovered The Electric Rock Experience’ and that’s been taking up a fair bit of my time. I’m very excited about the band and formed it in early 2021, again during lock down. We originally began rehearsing at my studio before streaming 4 live shows on You tube from there. The band is made up of fantastic musicians all successful on their instruments and all perform wit major artists. The feedback has been incredible and we have built up a decent following with fans coming back to see us perform regularly. It’s a covers band with an edge, performing mostly Classic Rock: Led zep, The Who, Hendrix, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Fleetwood Mac etc but we also do some Tina Turner Aretha Franklyn, Prince amongst others My concept is to carry a torch and hold a flame for these ground breaking artists, many of who are no longer with us. We perform close to the original recordings but leave room for some extended endings and improvise in the spirit of the original artists.

Guitar Thrills: I know it is common when artists first start out to be enticed to take the fast track. It is rare for someone to jump out the gate and be an instant success. Everyone must pay their dues. If someone is inclined to believe otherwise; they are in for a huge surprise. What suggestions would you give to someone that is just starting their music career?

Dom: I agree it’s not easy to make a living in the music business and I think it’s probably getting harder in some ways due to the shear numbers of people going for it. I would definitely say that hard work, commitment and dedication are vital to succeed in the business. It’s a lot easier to learn an instrument quickly these days compared to when I was starting out as I didn’t have the internet available but nothing beats going out and playing live. In my day I paid my dues playing in every pub and club that I could get a gig… you learn so much about performing that way. An accomplished musician coming straight out of music college won’t have that basic experience of performing and won’t have developed their unique performance style. I recommend that any musicians hoping to make it in the live domain do as many gigs as possible in the early days when starting out.

Guitar Thrills: What sort of personality traits, or sense of morality has contributed to your accomplishments? (Example: Honesty, Trust, Patience, Loyalty).

Dom: I think all of the traits you listed help you get ahead in the business, along with the dedication and commitment we discussed earlier and also a sense of humor really goes a long way.

Guitar Thrills: This question is not directly related to the topic, but is something we consider often. What does your stage plot look like when you perform live? Also is the Fender you “go to” guitar and why? Is there any other brands, that you prefer to use, and are you looking for a specific sound?

Dom: I have entirely different set ups for Duran and my other projects including Uncovered The Electric Rock Experience. With Duran I use many guitars throughout the show including Fender Strat’s, Fender Tele’s and Gibson Les Paul’s. If I could only have one guitar on a dessert island it would def be a Strat. I use the Kemper system for amplification and effects with Duran. I’m just about to start using a lovely custom Strat type guitar made by Manson’s Guitars… will use this with all my projects going forwards now.

In my other projects I use all analog pedals going into valve amps (mainly my one off custom made Ghetto) and also use Fender (mainly my ’63 Strat) and Gibson guitars and have a lovely ‘60s Epiphone Riviera that I use too.

Guitar Thrills: That is great to hear. I know you are busy, and so I will wrap up the interview. However, I have to mention that you are doing a great job. Despite the amount of work you have on your plate. We do appreciate it. We will keep in touch, and look forward to having you interview for us again. Are you up for it?

Dom: Thanks it’s been fun chatting and I’m sure we can do another interview at some point.

Guitar Thrills: Awesome. We look forward to it.

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