BTD Radio presents… Caroline McLavy
Welcome to the studio!
I am so excited to get started with this interview but first could you tell our listeners where you are from?
CM: I’m from Leicester in the UK. Our recent claims to fame would be winning the Premiership Football, and before that finding King Richard III.
I wanted to say, “thank you” for putting a link back to our site. That really means a lot to us. I was reading the “about” section on your website and you touch on some very interesting topics on your album “Electrostatic.” How did this album get its name?
CM: Well a link to your site makes me look good.
I think technically, considering how long it took to finish, I should have called is ‘Quasi static’. I was probably reading a science book and really liked the word. I would hope that calling the album ‘Electrostatic’ gives the listener a preview of the high energy electro pop they are about to be subjected to.
How do you start your writing process? What triggers Caroline’s mind? Do you get pen and paper out when you get an idea or text everything on a phone?
CM: Some songs took years to complete, others were born after a few minutes. I find you can’t force it, it’s just a case of letting it happen. Most of the time it involves me with an idea, scribbling down what’s in my head. Usually, as I write the words, the tune comes with it and it develops from there.
The first song on your album is, “Constant Pain” which btw is a fabulous song. Why is that the first song on your album? Did you have a say on the playlist layout? Are the songs in a certain order due to story or feel?
CM: Thank you, I’m glad you like it. I put Constant Pain as the first song as I wanted the album to capture the listeners interest straightaway. I love the grinding bass line of this song. It really draws you in.
Yeah, I mused many evenings about the playlist layout. I wanted to create a feel to the album as you listen from start to end. I wanted the last song of the album to flow into the first song, like a cycle. ‘The calm before the storm’ is also a good track to end a live set.
Are you a musician as well? If so what instruments to you play? Do you have a band or are you a solo artist?
CM: No, I don’t play any instruments. I’m a solo artist, but I co-produced the album with Arcane; Richard Henderson, owner and producer of Digital Bass Studios. Previous to him, I worked with producer called Mark Spivey who helped me with the core song structures. Richard had the difficult job of trying to translate what was playing inside my head into something in reality. He did a great job. He totally got my brand of music and that made it easier being on each other’s wavelength.
What does “dance like your life depends on it mean?”
CM: Oh, I was referring to ‘You Know,’ a song about finding your crowd, your scene, your music and living every moment of it you can. I love dancing, I like to dance until I feel like I can’t breathe, that my legs are about to drop off or my heart could explode – and then I want to dance some more.
I see you gig a lot, good for you! What has been your silliest memorable moment that you can tell us about during a performance? Have you ever forgotten your lyrics?
CM: Oh don’t jinx me! Sometimes I sing the wrong line but no one has worked that out, so I get away with it.
One gig I did was in a pub. It had been double booked with the football, so it started later than advertised. The performance area was on the floor right next to the main entrance. The pub had the strangest audience. The football crowd were still drinking away, but there was a good portion of well-dressed people who had called in for a drink on their way out clubbing. On top of that, the pub still had a ‘core’ crowd of regulars, the kind that have their own seat and mug behind the bar for their half pint of stout. I remember performing to this random eclectic audience, with people coming and going right in front of me. I saw this old lady standing at the bar with her hair net and half pint looking completely horrified at me.
Back to your album, you touch on social anxieties and depression, those are hard topics to write about. Could you tell us what made you write about these subjects? Through these songs, do you find yourself being a leader to help other who suffer from these issues?
CM: I don’t know about leader. I think a lot of artists use songs as a way of therapy, a way of making a good thing out of a bad situation. It’s important to be upfront about such topics. They shouldn’t be hidden and avoided, or taken out of context, however, I don’t generally want to perform them live. ‘This is Not my Life’ is about the physical strain that depression takes on a person.
Which song is you more favorite on the album?
CM: That’s a hard question. They all have their own place for me. If any of them make me any money, then that will be the song I like the best.
Who were your childhood influences and do you see a little bit of those influences in yourself while performing on stage?
CM: I love 80s synth pop, well any song with a good synth riff in it just does it for me. I ran a live music venue for 4 years which was a great opportunity to watch a lot of singers perform and pick up tips and ideas, although most singers perform with a band or at least play instruments. I feel like I have to try and fill the stage by myself. Secretly, I would love some dancers up there with me.
What would you say has been your most favorite thing about being an artist?
CM: There’s lots of things I love. This is a really difficult question. I enjoy studio time and the creative process but what I love the most is getting to share my songs with people. Having my songs listened to makes them more real in a way.
It was a pleasure interviewing you! We would love for you to tell our listeners where they can find your music? If you have any special shout-outs, please feel free to do them now.
CM: Thanks for having me! My album is available to listen to from my website www.carolinemclavy.co.uk. I’m also on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play – the general places. I’d love to hear any comments so please feel free to shout me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CarolineMcLavy.