INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by WANDA MARTIN
After the break-up of art-pop collective Half Loon (which featured Charlie Heaton of ‘Stranger Things‘ fame on drums) a couple of years back, the band’s frontman Daniel Pickard decided to embark on a solo career, and earlier this year, he unveiled his debut EP, ‘The Promise Of A Face‘, which drew from a truly eclectic range of musical influences, and featured hook-laden melodies and clever but relatable lyrics at its very heart.
Having recently released a follow-up track, ‘Tease‘, Daniel spoke to me about the new single, as well as such things as his songwriting approach, recording process, and future plans.
What would you say was your earliest musical memory?
Singing Ken and Barbie with my sister, and performing it to our godparents.
Was there a specific moment in your life when you decided that a career in music was for you?
No, I don’t recall sitting myself down for a moment and saying this is it. I love writing songs.
Prior to embarking on a solo career, you were the frontman of alt-pop outfit Half Loon. How did the band come about?
I was looking for musicians for a year or so, then I met one at a party, one came to a show of mine, and another answered my phone call to a mutual friend. It was a handsome dose of serendipity.
And what were the main highlights in your time with the collective?
I would say playing at the Liverpool Psych Festival, and touring Europe in December 2016.
What were the reasons behind you deciding to go solo?
We were all going off to do our own things – Nicholas was moving back to Australia, Charlie is a hit in Hollywood, and I wanted a completely new sound.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
It evolves all the time. There isn’t a particular method I stick to.
Earlier this year, you brought out your debut EP, ‘The Promise Of A Face’. How was the recording process for that?
The recording was split between the rural environment of a studio in Oxfordshire, and at Toast Studios in London with Max Prior. He’s great, he’s been assistant to Craig Silvey (Grammy award-winning producer who has worked with the likes of Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam) for a while, and he tells me “No” more often than not, and I think it’s working.
And you recently unveiled a new single – entitled ‘Tease’. What gave you the idea to do that?
‘Tease‘, I think, is a result of my admiration of electronic music, and contemporary production from France. It’s a song I wrote out of embarrassment after posting a love letter.
Now that the track has been released, what are your plans for the near future?
I’ve begun working on an album, which I’ll be recording next year, and there will also be a new single arriving early in 2020, along with a video.
And lastly, do you have a long-term plan at all?
Initially, I’m to build a team around the cause. I want to be productive, I’d like to write songs for other people, to be making and releasing albums yearly, and I would also love to work on a film score. Not too much ado?
‘TEASE’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM DANIEL PICKARD – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND SO IS HIS DEBUT EP ‘THE PROMISE OF A FACE’, WHICH WAS RELEASED EARLIER THIS YEAR.
FURTHER INFO ON DANIEL CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: