Danny Beardsley is primarily known as frontman to progressive rockers The Parallax Method. However, away from the band, Danny is carving out his own career as a solo artist inspired by the likes of Chris Cornell, Freddie Mercury and Eddie Vedder. Following the recent release of his acoustic solo album, Blood From A Stone (Unplugged), we spoke to Danny about those influences and much more.
Hey Danny, thanks for your time, how is life treating you at the moment?
Danny Beardsley: “No problem and thanks for taking the time to check out my work. Life is good, my family and I have been very fortunate during the COVID crisis. Generally keeping myself busy at home with childcare, homeschooling and lots of songwriting.”
So, you’ve gone with an Unplugged version of your debut, how did the idea come about?
“This started out as a project during lockdown I could keep myself productive with and share something with my fans. The plan was an acoustic single or an EP, but I got carried away and ended up doing the entire album. For the most part it wasn’t too challenging from a structure sense because I originally wrote the tracks acoustically.”
It’s obviously different to your work in the Parallax Method, what do you get out of being able to write material like this as a writer and a musician?
“It’s very different indeed and incredibly rewarding being able to be expressive and creative with multiple projects. We’ve always seen TPM as a compositional creative outlet, a fun project to push ourselves as musicians and learn more about the wonders of music with no boundaries at all. My solo material is more song orientated and creates an opportunity to split roles between guitar and vocals. The aim is writing music that my fans enjoy listening to whilst retaining a sense of fulfilment and integrity.”
Influence wise, names like Eddie Vedder and Queen are used, who was it that made you want to be a musician and why?
“My musical tastes are rather diverse but Queen started it all for me. Hearing Brian May for the first time changed everything, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Given your work in The Parallax Method as well, if we were to look down your spotify playlist I’m guessing it would be quite an eclectic mix?
“Yes we all enjoy a very eclectic mix of specially when travelling to gigs. To name a few; Big Wreck, Incubus, Periphery, Snarky Puppy, The Aristocrats, BTBAM, Keith Urban, Julian Lage, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Soundgarden, Primus, Peter Frampton, Dirty Loops… its a never-ending list.”
Obviously the lockdown must have affected your plans but as a solo artist has it given you the time and freedom to concentrate on your own solo material?
“Absolutely. It’s given me time to develop my voice more and refine my second album which I’m currently getting ready to record. A lot of thought is going into tones and arrangements, but I’m currently creating all the lead lines. This is something I wanted to leave until the end because the song is paramount. The extra flashy guitars are the icing on the cake, that’s what I like with music anyway.”
There are some iconic unplugged albums in the MTV series, if you could pick one artist who you would love to perform an acoustic set with who would it be and why?
“That’s a great question and also an intimidating one. I think sharing a stage with Chris Cornell would have been wonderful. The way he reshaped his back catalogue acoustically was beautifully done and his voice spoke for itself. A true legend.”
In terms of future solo material, what are your thoughts / vision?
“New material is ready for recording and it’s a big step forward for me as a songwriter. Strong, honest lyrics and loads of melody. The cool thing is a lot of my Prog influences have blended into the album too. I feel like I’m finding my sound which is kind of crazy after all this time.”
Other than the album, are there any plans coming up in the immediate future that fans should know about?
“To continue pushing the acoustic release and see what everyone thinks and then I’ll be busy recording the next album over the next few months but I haven’t set a time limit. I will continue to shape up my vocal abilities ready for live shows (whenever that may be.)”
Finally, good luck with the album. Just to finish, what do you hope the future holds in store for you?
“Thank you very much. I think the ultimate goal is creating an album that will stand the test of time. An album that stands out as a classic. That kind of goal feels a billion miles away, but I’m enjoying my journey working towards it. Once normality returns, I’d love to push the live shows more and get my music out there, meet new people and learn as much as I can. The bottom line, if someone finds enjoyment, a form of escapism or inspiration from any music I put out that’s the best part and the most rewarding.”
Blood From A Stone (Unplugged) is out now and is available from here