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5 minutes with Bill Orrick

"To me, music tells the story of a writers' learning"

Today we welcome a solo artist into the Fit4Talent interview room, Bill Orrick, welcome!

Please, tell everybody who you are, what you do and how long you have been doing it for.


I am a singer songwriter guitarist, based near Preston. I play atmospheric folk-pop. I have played in various bands over the last few years and 12 months ago decided to persue a career as a solo singer. I have been gigging to build my fan base and networking as much as I can for the past year. It"s going pretty well I think!

It"s great to see someone with a passion for music working independently to get yourself seen, whilst keeping your feet on the ground, how has your journey so far been?

It"s a great journey. I"ve learnt so much from writing songs, going out and playing to an audience, interacting from the stage. Gigging has really brought me out of my shell and given me lots of confidence, I used to be quite shy.

My daughter Lyra was born in May. She"s so amazing. My wife Leona used to do backing vocals on a few songs, but she"s too busy to gig at the moment, hopefully when Lyra is a bit older we can do that again.

You have been busy gigging over the past year, playing to a live audience gives you a great buzz, what has been your best moment so far?

The past year has been so good. It"s hard to choose. I loved playing at Glastonferret Festival Preston, particularly jamming "White Rabbit" with Mobius Loop was the highlight of the set.

I"ve also enjoyed hanging out with all the other great local artists I"ve gigged with and generally just meeting new people. It"s always a great buzz gigging, even bad gigs can still be fun if you let yourself go... don"t get hung up on bad sound, feedback etc, just make the most of it. The atmosphere you project from the stage is the atmosphere that fills the room.

What do you use as inspiration for music? Is it a person? A band past or present? Or a life experience?

I"m inspired by people and situations, whether it"s my wife, my parents, friends or complete strangers I read about in the news. If something affects me emotionally it tends to get written about, even if it"s just one line... that one line may combine with another about something completely different and that combination widens the scope of the song. The more subject matter covered, the more dense and mysterious and clever you can get with the lyrics. But each line matters immensely, I"m still re-writing some songs I started in 2006 because I"m not satisfied with them yet.

My songs start off in two halves generally... I always carry a notebook everywhere to write down lyric ideas. While the lyrics build up in the notebook, the other half of my songwriting is the guitar. I tend to write a new song when I learn something new on the guitar. To me, music tells the story of a writers" learning. I love that. The way a great artist will develop with each album, the music gets richer, like The Beatles, David Bowie (minus the mid 80"s) and Radiohead for example.

Now is your time to really be proud of what you do, what is it that you think makes YOUR music different to anything on offer at the moment? What makes you stand out?

My music stands out as different because it"s mine. I think a lot of writers get stuck in the trap of writing genre-specific stuff or thinking about what people want to hear. I"ve been there myself and it"s hard to stop it. I have to just write what I write and then see who"s interested, otherwise it doesn"t come from my heart.

I think I stand out because of my voice, but then I"m also pigeon-holed for it too, people sometimes call me "that Jeff Buckley dude" which is a massive complement, but at the same time I"m trying to find my own path, not just mimic Jeff Buckley.

You play the acoustic guitar at present, do you play any other instruments? If you could pick up any instrument in the world, and instantly be able to play it, what would it be?

I play guitar and sing, but I"ve always wanted to play piano. I couldn"t get my hands to do separate things. I love Tori Amos and more recently I"ve had gigs with Rae Morris (who also plays piano) and she is amazing, really inspiring to watch. Piano is such a full-sounding instrument! I will crack it one day, we are getting our old upright piano back soon and I want to learn and teach my daughter... or better yet, ask Rae Morris to teach her (and me!)

If you could perform on any stage with any artist, past or present, where would you choose and who with? And why?

I could fantasize about that question for days!

I"d love to play Glastonbury one day and I"d probably choose Tori Amos. Listening to her music really changed the way I approach the guitar, especially her albums Little Earthquakes and Boys For Pele.

It would either be Tori or Radiohead anyway, for obvious reasons!

Well it has been great talking to you today Bill, if people want to find out more, where can they go to do so?

I"m in the middle of making a website, it"s not quite ready yet, so you could go and watch me on YouTube at www.youtube.com/billorrickmusic and if you like it, then go and "like" me on facebook at www.facebook.com/billorrickonline

Thankyou for talking and good luck for the future.

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