Interview: Ciaran Whyte

We like your new song “What Good Does Worry Do?”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
WGDWD was a song I actually wrote in about half an hour before a gig. I had to fill a 45 minute set with all of my own music and I was about 4 minutes short so I thought I’d just write a new song instead of trying to chance a cover. The hook of “What good does worry do?” was something I had in my notes from ages ago, and I just found chords and a structure that I was really happy with. Normally the process isn’t that easy! The inspiration behind the title, and the song in general, was my girlfriend, who was working through her dissertation at the time. She’s a superstitious woman, and a serial worrier, which was a fiery combination during the most stressful time in her life. I was always trying to encourage her that she would do well because she put in the work and had the ability, and that seeing a magpie or crossing someone on the stairs wouldn’t have an impact on her successes! I’ve never understood why she believes in this stuff and makes life so much more difficult for herself, so I wrote this song to try to encourage her. She ended up getting a first so I was right all along haha!

The song also has an official music video with it too. What ideas went into the way the video was filmed? We noticed the Rush t-shirt, are they music heroes of yours?
I was awarded an artist development grant from my local council (Renfrewshire Council) to professionally record and release an EP, and I’m very outspoken about how proud I am to be from Paisley, so it was a no-brainer to film the music video in and around the town. My first ever gig was in The Bungalow, and Alan and Tommy, who run the venue, have always been very supportive of me, so they gave me permission to film there. I’m also a huge St Mirren fan, and I’ve done charity gigs for the club before, as well as having previously entertained guests in the 1877 bar before games, so I was thrilled that they allowed me into the stadium to film. It was nice just to be back in the ground to be honest! Finally, I have busked on the high street for years, which has played a huge part in my development as an artist, so I wanted to capture a scene like that in the music video. Rush are absolutely music heroes of mine! I’m a drummer by trade, and it was Neil Peart who inspired me to keep plugging away. I don’t think I’d be a musician if it wasn’t for my dad showing me Red Barchetta when I was eight years old because he knew I loved cars! I could talk for days about how much I love Rush so it’s dangerous to get me started…

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I would definitely describe my sound as some sort of eclectic alternative folk/rock. I have such a wide range of influences that I want to incorporate into my music that I don’t want to feel pigeon-holed into one specific genre. My writing is hugely inspired by the likes of Rush, The Barenaked Ladies, The Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Scottish bands like Skipinnish, Skerryvore and Heron Valley, and even heavier artists like Trivium and Slipknot! You will see throughout the EP that no two songs sound the same, and that’s what I want to continue doing throughout my career.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
I feel very fortunate to have actually had quite a few highlights already in my career. One of my first live gigging experiences was playing with the Jimmy Blair Accordion Orchestra in front of the judges at the live auditions at Britain’s Got Talent! I got to meet Ant & Dec, and even played a drum solo in front of thousands of people as a fourteen year old boy. Technically we got through to the next round, but due to the logistics of having to transport a full accordion orchestra to London for the next round, we never got any further in the competition. Other highlights include headlining a tribute festival with a Meatloaf tribute band (Peatloaf) in front of about 5,000 people, getting the opportunity to play at a hotel in Greece for a few weeks and getting paid for the experience, as well as a room for free, and selling out King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut with one of my other projects, Dead by Monday! I would absolutely love to go on a world tour and get to see and experience new cultures and countries while getting paid to do so. I would also love to play, or ideally headline, festivals like Download or Wacken or anywhere that would take me just for that experience as well! Genuinely, if I can keep making money by playing music then I’ll be living the dream!

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
I think I would have to say either The Barenaked Ladies or The Dave Matthews Band as a dream support gig! I adore the songwriting and lyricism of both artists so much, and I would do anything to share the stage with such a cast of incredible musicians. Unlike a lot of my other influences, I think the crowd actually wouldn’t mind my music too well at those shows too!
My dream live booking would be 80s Rush. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Rush a handful of times since 2007, but my favourite albums are their 80s albums so I would love to see them in that era!

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
I’ve been listening to a variety of artists recently, as per! Buckle in. Don Broco, real groovy alt rock.
Vukovi, a tremendous Scottish rock band that everyone should know and love. Infected Mushroom, electronic duo who are just very very cool. Maneskin, the Italian Eurovision winners. Twelve Foot Ninja, multi-genre Aussie chaos band. Gojira, French very very heavy metal. The Scratch, Irish acoustic folk/metal band, who have been my new favourite band since I discovered them a couple years back. If there’s anyone on this list who needs more recognition, its absolutely these guys!

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