Interview: Sandy Beales

Having performed with One Direction in their live band, Sandy Beales is certainly an experienced bassist. As one of our judges for Sound of the Times we caught up with him to find out more about what inspires him and what he’s looking for in this year’s entries…

This project is all about inspiring young musicians – which musicians inspire/d you?

Growing up Flea from the Chili Peppers was a massive influence, his funky in your face grooves made me want to pick up my bass all the time. Now it’s a much broader range of musicians, anyone who can groove and sit in the pocket.

As a judge what sort of performers are you hoping to find?

Of course talent is important, and also strong songwriting but mainly desire and a hunger to succeed, that’s something you can’t learn or teach.

What advice do you have for musicians entering the competition?

Don’t be afraid, be confident in yourselves and your songs.

You’ve worked with lots of big name musicians and you’re highly successful in your own right. What quality do you and all those musicians share?

Professionalism, punctuality and being flexible to many ever-changing scenarios are such good qualities for professional musicians.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to or performed at?

I am very fortunate to have performed at some amazing venues, but Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium have been my personal highlights.

Interview: Simon Gogerly

Simon Gogerly is a Grammy Award-winning mixer and producer. Having worked with U2, Massive Attack, Paloma Faith and countless other names in the music industry, Simon is now looking for the next generation of talent as a judge for Sound of the Times. We caught up with him to find out what inspires him and what he’s looking for in a performer…

Why are you supporting the Sound of the Times project?

To encourage new talent to come forward.

This project is all about inspiring young musicians – which musicians inspire/d you?

David Bowie was the first. I saw him doing Starman on Top Of The Pops and my world suddenly changed.

As a judge, what sort of performers are you hoping to find?

I’ll be looking for originality first & foremost. Standing out from the crowd is the most important thing.

What advice do you have for musicians entering the competition?

Take your best qualities and magnify them.

The number of live music venues has declined in the UK. What do you think can be done to support existing venues?

We need to lobby for increased arts funding in general, it is vital for a healthy society. When Winston Churchill was asked during WW2 why he wasn’t cutting arts funding he said ‘then what are we fighting for?’

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?

I do like a bit of prog….

You’ve worked with lots of big name musicians and you’re highly successful in your own right. What quality do you and all those musicians share?

Persistence is really key. Most people have tough times at some point so it’s about being stubborn enough to keep going. Oh, and musical genius…ha ha!

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to or performed at?

Peter Gabriel at the DeMontfort Hall, Leicester, Sunday 24th February 1980. It was incredible. He was touring his new album (Peter Gabriel 3) before it came out and it was groundbreaking in sound and presentation.

Please pick four songs that have inspired your musical career and tell us why…

Life On Mars? – David Bowie. The first single I bought in 1972. The production is epic.

The Gates Of Delirium – Yes. More epic-ness. It’s cheating really as there are several songs in there – it’s 20 minutes long.

Theme For Great Cities – Simple Minds. A huge driving instrumental that combines a great band with electronic atmospheres.

First Goodbye – Scritti Politti. Beautiful production of a hauntingly sad song. One I keep coming back to.

If you think your music is what Simon is looking for, enter Sound of the Times now: http://www.soundofthetimes.org/enter/

The Search Begins…

Sound of the Times is now live – kicked off with editorial coverage in Time & Leisure magazines. From 23rd June 115,000 magazines will be delivered across south west London and Surrey as part of a campaign to find the best young musical talent around. In 100 days the competition will close and the judging, expert mentoring and recording will begin before the release of the Sound of the Times album in early 2018. In 225 days we will be watching the winners perform a celebration gig at The Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Posted 23rd June