Interview: J.P. Riggall | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hartlepool singer-songwriter and frontman of Methodical Beast (formerly of  The Broken Broadcast), J.P. Riggall releases his brand new single, The Vagrant. The song is a much rockier affair than his haunting chamber folk sound of previous releases but the situational storytelling, soulful vocal and high-quality musicianship are still there for all to see and enjoy. We caught up with James (what the J stands for) to chat about his latest offering.

How are you? How has lockdown been treating you? 
It’s been great spending time with my family, I’ve got a baby girl who id have missed continuously working so that’s been brilliant. Did a bit of gardening, watched far too much Netflix, have you seen Ozark? It’s great! 

And of course recording an album, sending lots of WAVs to some friends to do bits as well. Very interesting way of doing things I’ve felt. 

Describe your sound. How does your solo project differ to your releases with The Broken Broadcast and Methodical beast?
The Broken Broadcast was purely about the songs, that’s why we started Methodical Beast (currently on Hiatus), we wanted more guitar with lots of different sounds. 

My new solo stuff is possibly somewhere in between, lots of sounds and all the songs, but tons of guitar. I’ve been listening to a lot of late Beatles, Neil Young, The Black Keys, Earthless. 

What’s your new single, The Vagrant, about?
I write a lot from the perspective of loneliness, or a wandering man with a guitar, so this is the epitome of my writing I guess. A drifter who falls in love with a waitress at a petrol station cafe waitress. I’ve tried to express that in the artwork too. 

Tell us about your songwriting process.
Generally speaking, it starts with a melody and a line or two of lyrics, I’ll put that to guitar and work from there, add a progression and either write a verse or chorus depending on what the previous line was. 

I’ve then been sending it to Ian Dixon for bass, Snowy for some additional guitar work or ideas and then to Martin Trollope to mix or add some sounds too. 

It’s probably the most I’ve ever enjoyed recording, I find it a lot more fun than recording a song you’ve been practising in a rehearsal space for 6 months, the energy for the song hasn’t waned. 

Do you have any future releases we should be looking out for?
I really want to put out a single in vinyl, that’s a massive bucket list item for myself, hopefully, my follow up single I can look at that. 

I’ve got an album’s worth of isolation material so I’m going to put that out. I’m over halfway done with the whole thing. 

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