Second Square To None

Colin Boylan - Just Another Sunbeam by SSTN Strings

This week we have Monaghan guitar-player/song-writer/noisemaker, Colin Boylan.

Tell us a little about your musical background ie influences, formative experiences, bands you play/played in.

I (used to) play in a band called Green Lights. Pretty sure it's all finished now though. People are moving around a lot and it's hard to do anything since I don't really live in Dublin right now. I also played in a lo-fi pop/noise(?) band in Tokyo when I live there last year called Walkie Talkie in the Cornfield. It was loads of fun. My main influences would be Pavement, Low, Liars and the Mars Volta but it changes a lot. I love Pavements catchy and incredibly simple ramshackled melodies that just get stuck in my head, the layered noise that Alan Sparhawk (Low) makes, the droney sounds from Liars and the guitar isanity and ridiculous time signitures from the Mars Volta. I also like a lot of Irish bands like the Cast of Cheers, Adebisi Shank, Jogging, Enemies, BATS, Patrick Kelleher, Redneck Manifesto.... Pretty much anything off the Richter Collective record label. Really exciting stuff happening in Dublin nowadays I think especially on that RC label.

Describe your process of music-making/composition. Is this piece (ie the one submitted to SSTN) typical of this process?

Well, usually when I am bored I find myself playing a lot with my loop pedal (Boss DD-6) and making a big layered wall of sound. It's so much fun. It's hard to know what the exact outcome of the piece but it will usually have a key melody and then other noise and sounds layered over that. It's usually in a certain key so I can do what ever I want over this - vocals, keys or even more guitars! If it sounds out of place I try to mould it back to something which is easier to work with. The stranger the sound the better I think. It makes it all a bit more memorable for me. A lot of patience is needed usually.

What sort of equipment (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear, instruments etc.) do you use to make your sounds?

Boss DD-6 delay, Boss Heavy Metal HM-2, sometimes a Big Muff and some cheap octave and tremolo effects too recently. I love to experiment with different chains of effects. It's crazy how a simple change in a effects pedal chain can alter a sound or tone completely. The Boss heavy metal is a recent addition and I absolutely love it. Fuck Buttons introduced me to it and it gives off one of the filthiest distortions I have ever heard but it's quite easy to control not like chaotic Big Muff. Recording wise I use Reaper and a recently aquired Focusrite Saffire USB 6. I am quite new to home recording although I have been making rough demos for the past 7 years or so. I also use an Roland SP 404 which is great for altering or messing with sounds live or pre recorded stuff. Recently, I enjoy playing guitar in a not so traditional way. I discoved a way to play it with a bodhron stick by banging it off the strings and letting it reverberate. It just makes it sound like a completely different instrument sometimes. St. Vincent and Thomas Truax are two guitarists I really admire because of their unusual and unique guitar techniques.

Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.

No gigs yet. I have just started recording a batch of tracks. I am not sure what exactly will happen with them! An album hopefully sometime over the next few months.

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