With the release of his debut solo single, 'Real To Me' and album fast approaching, Brian McFadden is in a relaxed and open mood. One fifth of one of the biggest boy bands in the world, now a solo artist in his own right, at the age of just 24, Brian has all the hard won wisdom of a music veteran, but with none of the cynicism. Having sold 30 million records and picked up twelve UK number 1's with Westlife, Brian’s passion for making music is undiminished and invigorating.
Engaging and frank, Brian describes his new album as largely autobiographical, “every song" he admits is “a true story”. Half the album was written in collaboration with Guy Chambers and the other half with Paul Barry and producer Mark Taylor. The album is a genuine tour de force, a record stuffed with anthemic rock hits, perfectly showcasing the genuine rock and roll swagger of Brian’s voice. The album is produced by Guy Chambers, Richard Flack and Mark Taylor.
"Going in I had some ideas about what I wanted it all to sound like but basically we started from scratch and just saw how things went. Lyrically I had loads of ideas and concepts and those guys were great at just bringing things out of me.”
Production started on the album in May 2004, “It’s been quick but then some of the best tracks on the album were written really quickly. Paul and I formed a strong writing relationship right away and I wrote, 'Real To Me' with Guy on our very first meeting. We just clicked right away.”
Brian approached the album entirely focused on the music. When Brian talks about the album he speaks with all the fresh and infectious energy of someone making their very first record. For Brian the primary aim was to make the best record possible and find a sound that truly reflects his style, all other factors were secondary. “I just really want to be an artist on my own terms making music that I am really proud of”, says Brian. “Of course I want people to like it and listen to it and hopefully they will. Westlife fans have grown up with us and I think there is space in the new sound for everyone”.
This tough new sound is influenced by a whole range of different bands and groups including the band he manages in Ireland: Franklin. "I really like Maroon 5 and Snow Patrol at the moment”, says Brian, "I have always been into guitar stuff, from Bryan Adams to Nirvana".
Brian is currently in rehearsal with his band and is looking forward to taking the album out on the road later this year.
"That’s the difference with the album. I can’t wait to tour with it, it’s got a live feel and you can really perform it".
The first single, 'Real To Me', is an impassioned and eloquent guitar anthem about re-evaluating priorities and finding an individual voice and place of your own. Brian is keen to point out that although the song is clearly about his amicable split from Westlife, it is the only song on the album that directly references this time in his life. Lyrically and in terms of subject matter, the inspirations for the rest of the songs on the album are extraordinarily varied and ambitious. ‘Irish Son’ is about growing up Ireland and the Catholic Church; ‘Walking Into Walls’ deals with domestic violence while, 'He's No Hero', explores the effect of alcoholism. The dramatic track, ‘Demons’, is about insomnia and nightmares. The song, ‘Woman’, Brian laughingly says, is about, "How no matter how much you try you can never win with women". A real journey then, full of colour, drama and insight, delivered straight from the heart.
As a solo artist, Brian has truly found his voice, producing lyrically mature and incisive music with energy and passion. Willing to take risks and experiment with his new sound, Brian is also proud of his past, well aware that he was part of something special with Westlife.
"I am blessed to be where I am, and am just really excited to be able to make music I love".
The title track and single, 'Real to Me' is out September 6th.