Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Christian Gisborne, I’m a writer, artist, and aspiring producer. I head up Indie Rock n’ Roll outfit “Velvet Starlings”.
How did you get your start in music?
Being raised around the best rock n’ roll music and my obsession with The Beatles, Lennon, and Harrison in particular, and The Who and Townsend’s prowess for great songwriting. Also, my father was in a 90s Brit Rock band “Platiscene” so we have always had plenty of vintage gear about the house or in the garage for me to play and experiment with.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’d describe it as Indie blues based rock n roll with an on-going thread of the 1960s running through every instrument and melody.
How difficult is it to balance your life as a musician with a normal teenage life?
Ah, it’s not that bad, but it is time consuming trying to doing well at both. One good thing about doing so much music is that I get to skip out on the regular teen drama, which I’m grateful for. Also, as I go to a school of the arts, I am taking classes like recording arts at a very early age.
Then, on the other hand, I have to be constantly on social media for the music and managing all of that at the same time being pushed to get good grades. I dig it though. It’s a creative life I lead, and music is the therapy that I need to push through. Music also gives me a voice to talk about what’s going on (or going wrong) with my generation. Townsend did a bit of that back in his Generation.
You have a new Christmas song out called “It’s Christmas Time (A Winter Paradise)”. What can you tell us about this song?
Oh yeh, tis the season when the holidays roll around. I’m super influenced by Phil Spector’s holiday album. Darlene Love, her voice and vocal delivery on top of Spector’s wall of sound. Wow! So “It’s Christmas Time” (Winter Paradise) is our nod to that record. Throws back 4-floor beat and sleigh bells with classic holiday lyric cliches. Ha! Ours just came out a bit more Jagger / Spector -Esque. Plus, I liked the challenge of coming out with an original Christmas song, as who knows, in 10 years it could be a holiday favorite if enough people hear and share it.
Your self-titled EP is also out now. What can audiences expect from it if they’ve yet to listen to it?
I think our bio got it right, but next EP that’s a whole other ball of wax, hopefully, as it will be on…Vinyl 🙂
“Velvet Starlings’ long-awaited self-titled EP on Sound x 3 Records / Rock N Rolla Records was released in late 2018 which was a collaboration with producer-songwriter Roger Gisborne (leader of 90s Brit Rock band “Plastiscene”), mastered by Brian Lucey (Arctic Monkeys, Beck, Black Keys). The seven-track EP kicks off with leading single and video, “If Life Ain’t Getting You High”. The single features vintage guitar sounds, driving drums, and hard-hitting rock vocals. With introspective lyricism detailing living in the moment, “If Life Ain’t Getting You High” is an anthem for the youth of today. The band wear their influences proudly on their sleeves with the second single, “Borrowed Time”, a clear tribute to the sixties British Invasion era, which has been receiving considerable airplay & review. “Sold Down The River”, the latest single, showcases Dylan-esque lyrics, soulful Hammond B3 organ, gritty guitars and raw blues-inspired vocals.”
You sing, write, produce, and play multiple instruments. Do you see that as an advantage in that you can craft the song the exact way you want it throughout the entire process?
Oh, it’s definitely an advantage. Before I could play guitar properly, I was shaking and banging around all sorts of percussions, and then, keyboards, vintage organ sounds mainly, trying to emulate Ray from The Doors or Alan from The Animals. Then I moved on to guitars and bass and that’s enough to do the one-man band thing and even though you can record a hundred tracks a song, I like to keep it down to 24. Think about it, The Beatles recorded on 4 and then 8 tracks and they have some of the coolest productions along with Brian Wilson’s masterpiece “Good Vibrations”. Also, it comes in handy when I’m doing a three-hour farmers market jam or SoFar Sounds and need to play an organ for the verse and flip to the guitars for choruses on say, “Sold Down The River” where the organ is the main instrument on the verse.
What’s next for your career?
We have another E.P. already in the mix stages that we are excited about. We tracked it in 6 days, so hoping it’s gonna turn out. We are also releasing another video for our single, Sold Down the River, which we will shoot in Northern CA where the fires were. In 2019 We want to head to Austin for SXSW, and then to the UK, and hopefully, more Scandinavia, as we loved it there and they seemed to dig us too. I really need a booking agent so I can get the LIVE music out to as many places around the world!
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
I’d give them the same advice my father gave to me and is still always hammering into my head about authenticity. Do not be a follower, you don’t have to lead either, just be true to yourself, always. Don’t follow trends or run with (or trail behind) the herd, and don’t be afraid to wear your musical influences proudly on your sleeve, especially, if they are coming from the best singer-songwriters that ever roamed the earth. Always stay on the same course of what you know is right. That’s exactly why I have so much respect for Jack White. He just does his thing “over and over” get that pun 🙂 and he does it so well that he’s always on the right road that leads to authentic Rock n Roll.
Let the readers know where to find you online
All the usual spots…
Spotify Instagram FB and youtube “velvetstarlings” everything