By ROSINE ALLEVA, Rock At Night EU Editor
I was invited to AIDAN CONNELL & THE DAYBREAKERS concert on an evening at the Atlantis in Basel. Great discovery!
AIDAN CONNELL is a Blues-Rock singer-songwriter. He grew up in Berkshire and has been pushed by his grandmother to begin to play the Guitar. ….And what an awesome idea! The first thing that attracted my ears was his voice, it was kind of familiar. After a few seconds I thought, yeah, there is something of Jim Morrison!
Amazing guitar riffs, lyrics and the melodies were playing in my head days later. It was quite a long time I didn’t enjoy music so much. It reminded me all the great concerts I discovered when I was a teen. Fantastic combo with Anthony Pain on drums and Conor Cotterill on bass. A bit sad there wasn’t a bigger audience. But those who were there, including me, were all blown away! You may guess I’m a big fan!! Just before the concert, we had a little chat for Rock At Night.
RAN– Don’t you think that living in England is quite a big help to have a good start for a musical career?
Aidan Connell– England might be a good place to develop music but London is not the best place to stay as a musician. It‘s like something to export, you know, like ketchup from England. There used to be many bands but there aren’t so many anymore cause it‘s too expensive to live in London. Much of the big bands moved to Manchester, or Glasgow or some suburbs places cause it’s almost impossible now to be a musician and live in London.
Yeah, of course growing up in London is way better than growing up in France (sorry) cause you have all music influences. African music, Jamaican music, Eastern-European music. All sorts of things. If you grow up in the middle of France, I don’t think you experience this as much to be honest.
RAN– And becoming a bit known, you get more opportunities I guess
Aidan– Well, yeah, to get out of London! (Laughs)
RAN– You certainly get the chance to meet more professional musicians in UK!?
Aidan– Yes, you can meet famous people on the street .…
RAN– How did you start playing music, What has been your grand mother’s influence…?
Aidan– She was very insisting I played music, I don’t know why. In my family, they all love music but they’re not musicians really. My grand mother wanted me to play saxophone, I guess .She‘s from a Jewish background so I guess it’s normal to play an instrument. If you grow up in a Jewish family, everyone plays piano, violin… I probably would have made more money as a sax player!! (Laughs)
RAN– Your song “I hate Rock’n’Roll“ Why this title?
Aidan– Well, close when I moved to London, there’s a scene around with a lot of bands like The Libertines and stuff. It isn’t my cup of tea, super glamorized, self destructing life styles, and I was never interested in drugs. My mum was when she was a kid… So, I was never into this but then, through that, I befriended a few people like Johnny Thunders, Supercool, and even at the music school, they were all in the life style and a lot of those people died when they were 23, 24 on drugs. My first girlfriend when I was 17, she died from all this drug scene.
That’s why I was like “I hate Rock’n’Roll”. You play a show, you don’t really mean what you say, it’s just about the life style and not about the music.
RAN– You also mention that nobody bothers about what you’re saying, people don’t listen when you play….
Aidan– Yeah, sometimes….That’s why we play loud, so they don’t have to listen! (Laughs)
RAN– You have tremendous good critics, how does it feel when someone like Jeff Beck mentions you’re a “natural successor to the British blues-rock crown”?..
Aidan– We were talking about some friends earlier, very upset with idols, I’m not upset. Cause if you meet people you admire, it’s a privilege but it still doesn’t pay the rent (Laughs). I think it’s true in London, when you have a record out, maybe have some marketing, like for my first record, everybody’s hyped up. It then after one year maybe, you don’t have another record, people don’t really remember.
RAN– And what did you think about the French audience the last few days?
Aidan– I think most of French people, anyway, listen more to the lyrics than the music. In UK, sometimes people ask about words but they care more about music maybe.
RAN– Who would you like to collaborate next with ?
Aidan– Who? Well, maybe Jeff Beck cause he likes to play with young musicians I guess.
RAN– I saw him at the Baloise Session with the Bones, loved the unexpected, surprising mix of the styles! Anything special that you would like to explore musically?
Aidan– Horn section, no joking. Maybe it’s a cliché but I probably would like to go to Mali or something and play with these real griot musicians. That’s a completely different kind of a rich tapestry of different types of roots music. I guess some bands have tried to do it like Robert Plant did it unplugged, but yeah something like that perhaps.
RAN– How did you all meet?
Aidan– I met Conor when he was a lot younger cause I ran a studio in London and I met him there. When he got a bit better, I auditioned him, gave him a call asked him to call back (Laughs). Yeah, so we’re here…We play together since January.
RAN– Your debut album GRIO had really good reviews in Classic Rock or Afro Punk, what are your next projects?
Aidan– We quickly made copies of the last EP for this tour, called Bluesbreaker, to be out in UK pretty soon.
RAN– I heard one of the songs was already regularly played on Planet Rock radio!
Quite a good start! I wish you and the Daybreakers all the best!!! Thanks for this interview and I will definitely come to see you guys in London, you’ve got a new fan!
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