John Rush has been bubbling under for a while now, with last album ‘Under the Apple Tree’. He is now promoting his next single ‘Sister”, released on June 29th.
1. So the inevitable first question – how are you doing under lockdown? Highlights and lowlights…
I’m doin’ as well as can be, I’m healthy, that’s all I can ask I suppose. It’s been quite a creative period on a personal note, I wrote a lot of new material and managed to do some odd jobs around the house. Just can’t wait get out and about like the auld days.
2. Growing up, what were your major musical “Eureka” moments and main influences?
Growin’ up my Dad was into Elvis and that was it for me, from a ridiculously early age I was shakin’ my leg ‘n’ singin’ Hound Dog at my Mum ‘n’ Dads’ Hoose parties.
3. And when did you first get involved in music yourself?
When I hit 11 The Beatles came into my life ‘n’ that’s when I picked up the guitar ‘n’ wanted to write songs and music properly started takin’ over my life. It’s funny I was talkin’ the other day, my friend ‘n’ I entered a school talent show, tryin’ to do our version of ‘Love Me Do’ by The Beatles when we were like 13.
He was on acoustic ‘n’ I was on Harmonica, but knowin’ next to nothin’ about music really we never thought to think that the harmonica had to be in the right key with the song, so it must have sounded absolutely atrocious hahaha – needless to say we never got in.
4. Tell us about “Sister” – how did it come to fruition and what were the inspirations?
Like most of my songs it came from just noodlin’ on the guitar, its a simple minor blues thing. The lyrics are just an apology “If you’re gonna love somebody, you’re gonna hurt someone”.
It was more a realisation I suppose, it’s inevitable that you’ll piss everyone off at least once, small or huge. So it’s about putting your hands up and just sayin’ “Sorry man… we still good though?
5. What has been the highlight of your career so far in terms of live performances?
“The sell-out show at Room2 was definitely a biggie, loved that gig. I got a memory the other day from Facebook sayin’ in was 10 years ago that I supported Ocean Colour Scene at a sell out show in Dundee, that was pretty epic.
Playin’ at Sofar Sounds in New York a few summers ago was a moment that I’ll never forget, seen a shootin’ star that night after I played. Struggles to get better than that. I’ve been very lucky so far, been a good few moments.”
6. In your career so far what have been the greatest source of support, when maybe at times things weren’t happening as fast as you’d hope?
Again, I’ve had a lot of support from family and friends. My Dad bought me my first guitar and was droppin’ me off at gigs all the time. My mum had to put up with a lot of missin’ dig money while I was pursuing a “career” in music.
There’s been a lot of folk that have helped positively, even folk that were goin’ out their way to be negative will probably never know how much they helped in a way… Most recently David Blair (23 mMusic Management/Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five) has been a great support, we started working together around a year ago and things have went strength to strength since. He’s a great soundin’ board.”
7. What is the most unusual or ill-fated gig you have played?
I’ve played a lot of ill-fated shows, I’ve been giggin’ 20 years so if I haven’t done ones that have went horribly wrong I’ve not been doing it right. It was usually drink related, so my own fault. I can handle a PA not working so well or a lead packing in.
But the worst shows are when you don’t perform well enough cause that’s down to you, they are the ones that really hurt for a few days. I won’t go into detail but folk who were present for those ones know what I’m talkin’ about. Luckily I give myself a 2/3 drink maximum before goin’ on these days.
8. How do you write, ie from jamming or does inspiration come to you out of the blue, or bit of both?
These days I just get a wee melody in my head and I’ll keep that with me for a few days and try mess around with a few lyrics in there. Walkin’ about usually gets my lyrics flowing. Best lyrics usually come when I’m doin’ somethin’ on auto pilot, makin’ a cup of tea or something.
9. What would be your dream support slot – artist and venue?
I’ve seen Noel Gallagher a few years back and more recently Paul Weller play at Edinburgh Castle, that is a venue and a half. The sheer lack of alcohol is terrible but the venue, back drop is beautiful. So dream scenario would be supporting Ray Lamontagne, at Edinburgh Castle but they’d need to do something with that liquor license man.
10. And what will be your ambitions for the rest of the year?
We have a headline show booked for the 14th of Oct (rescheduled from the 7th of May due to Covid19) I will be playin’ with a full band at that show so really looking forward to that. It’ll be a bit different from the other gigs.
After that we don’t have much booked in. Looking forward to recording again, I have a few things I really can’t wait to get down. There’s a few I’m excited about. Other than that think I’ll try spend a bit more time with folk, been too long.