The Southern Companion

  • The Southern Companion
  • 2016-02-23

When asked to sum up The Southern Companion’s sound, vocalist Darren Hodson describes it as “a big old blending up of all the great music I love, Americana/Alt Country Folk & Roots meets classic British Pop Rock, a Mid-Atlantic sonic whirlpool where the US&UK currents meet”.

The band are following up their debut album Short Stories and Tall Tales by continuing their British take on the Americana/Country genre with 1,000 Days of Rain. We spoke to Darren to find out more about them.

I’m borderline addicted to chocolate, cake and biscuits, it takes all the will power I have to still be this chubby.

2016 - a new year! What is your goal?
To build on great year we had in 2015 and keep spreading our Southern Companion thing as far and wide as we can, hopefully not going broke in the process.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
To try and live a little more in the moment, it’s very easy to not appreciate where you are right now as the nature of being a self employed, self sufficient musician is that you’re constantly looking forward and striving for bigger and better things. So you never stop and see how good you’ve got it compered to last month, last year, 5 years ago etc.

What was the biggest lesson you learnt in 2015?
Say yes more often, even if it scares you and you don’t think you’re capable of doing what you’re being asked to do, say yes and then figure out how to make it happen.

What was the musical highlight of 2015?
Playing at The City Winery in Nashville, opening for Rumer was amazing, such an incredible town, I loved every second of that show.

Who are you excited to hear from in 2016?
A lot of my favourite artists had records out last year, I’m loving the Tedeschi Trucks album that came out a couple of weeks ago, looking forward to the new Ray Lamontage one too.

Tell us about the record you have just released.
Our new album is called 1,000 Days Of Rain, it’s a very personal record for me and a lot of the songs sound a little heartbroken but there’s some uplifting moments to balance things out. I’m very proud of it, the guys in my band took my songs and played their hearts out on them.

If you had to pick three artists to be filed next to, who would they be and why? Tom Petty - because he’s consistently made great records that kind of cross genres and defy categorising, plus the Heartbreakers are just a killer band, Mike Campbell & Benmont Tench are two of my favourite musicians of all time.

The Black Crowes - They were my 1st love and I still love their records today, they’re one of those great bands who’s first record and last record sound COMPLETELY different but, still sounds like them if you know what I mean?

Jason Isbell - I’ve been a huge fan of his since I first heard the Drive By Truckers about 10 years ago, best songwriter of my generation, He’s one of the special ones that will be talked about for years to come.

Say yes more often, even if it scares you.

What inspired the record?
The two main, life changing events that inspired the record were becoming a father and then very soon afterwards losing my mum, but there’s also a lot of everyday kind of stuff in there, love, loss, family.

If the record were an animal, what animal would it be?
I literally have no idea how to answer that one, sorry.

Define your sound in five words.
Real, Authentic, Retro, Heartfelt, UK Country/Americana.

If you could jam with one artist alive or dead, who would it be?
If we’re talking about sitting in and jamming then I think The Tedeschi Trucks band would top my wish list right now, they’re just another level of musicianship and some of that goodness would just have to rub off, that’d be pretty hard to beat.

If you could have written one song by another artist, what would it be?
The first time I heard “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell It just floored me, so simple yet so on point, that whole Southeastern record is a lesson in songwriting, beautiful.

Someone is making a film of your life, who will play you?
Jack Black :o)#.

Lastly, tell us one thing you have never revealed in an interview.
I’m borderline addicted to chocolate, cake and biscuits, it takes all the will power I have to still be this chubby.

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