Instrument: Vocals, guitar, singer-songwriter
Hometown, home country: Brisbane, Australia.
Boy, it was really difficult to decide who should be Artist Of The Month for October! After much discussing, debating and back and forth… congratulations go to GARETH WHEELER!
We basically fell in love with your music: the title of Artist Of The Month and the AKG WMS 420 Wireless Microphone are yours!
Gareth Wheeler makes music that stirs strings in people’s hearts and his fans made it very, very clear:
“Love your music. Beautiful voice and songs. Keep singing!”
“Beautiful music Gareth. Your success is well deserved. Go for it!”
“Love that guitar and the voice. Great music!”
“All massively talented, but Gareth’s touching songs written from the heart shade it for us all at Cool Britannia Radio Station. No one wears their heart on their sleeve like he does!”
“Not many artists come along these days which can create songs which take people away. Gareth and his music are true gems and deserve to be recognized.”
Gareth Wheeler grew up surrounded by music and gathered influences from classic bands but also living abroad, in Germany, for years. And yet, he draws his inspiration from times of heightened emotions or transition, both positive and negative. Gareth is able to focus his creative process on private matters that everybody can relate to. Wasn’t that the definition of singer-songwriter?
He already has two albums, The Human Race and Survivors of Nature. He is working on his third, which will be called Canary in the Mind. And, most importantly, radio stations are starting to play his music.
Do you also share this feeling that something is happening to Gareth’s career? Well done, Gareth, and keep it rolling! 😀
Who or what inspired you to take up guitar?
There was a kid at school in grade 5 who brought his guitar to school once and played alongside the teacher on keyboard. I saw how the other kids reacted – they had stars in their eyes – and I knew that I needed to learn to play that instrument. And lucky for me, I had a dad who played the thing.
When and why did you start making music?
At about the age of 12. My father played guitar and sang folk and rock songs at home and at family events. He started to teach me to sing and play guitar and encouraged me to participate in these semi-public performances. My brother played piano and sang too, and we often played together.
What was your first ever job?
I was 16 and I got a job collecting tickets for a carrousel at a local fair. I also had to help children on and off the horses.
My next job was as a Singing Telegram, where I had to dress up as various characters (Elvis, a gorilla, Superman, …), drive to an event with lots of people, and embarrass a certain person by singing a personalized song and making jokes about them.
How did you earn your first money as a musician?
I earned my first money in Deutsch Marks, busking on the S-Bahn in Berlin. I played the same two songs back and forth from Zoologischer Garten to Friedrichstrasse, and earned pretty well… until I was kicked off!
I remember, one lady passenger protested and said to the security guard, “Oh just let the boy finish his song!”
Where you surprised (so much, so little)?
I was surprised that people were so generous!
Live or studio, what suits you best?
I would definitely say studio… because it gives you the chance to really focus on perfecting your sound. When fans can listen to a polished recording, they can get closer to having an ecstatic experience.
Then again, playing live gives me – the performer – that thrill, that adrenaline kick that switches my performance into overdrive and I transcend all boundaries of time and space.
Your favorite part of a music production
Composing, definitely. This is the stage when I tap into the mysterious “creative wellspring” and find the timeless “flow”. It sounds a bit corny, maybe, but it really is like that. It’s how I imagine meditating is, except you’re very much active and creating something whose origins you can’t exactly explain.
The lowest moment of your career
I guess about 7 years ago, when I wasn’t writing any new songs. I had no inspiration, no flash, no spark – no ideas at all for new songs. I didn’t even want to pick up my guitar! I wasn’t going through a particularly difficult time in my life, so I really didn’t know what was going on. I had always enjoyed being inspired with snippets of songs, and then gradually forging a complete song out of them. But when no ideas came, I felt like a fraud.
The highest moment of your career so far
Well, I recently became Artist of the Week – that was pretty special to me. (NB: <3)
To be honest, I feel that, in some ways, my life resembles that of the artist Rodriguez, who had a family, a job, yet tried to balance these with his love of music-making. I’ve often put other things ahead of my music.
Where would you like to live, musically speaking?
Probably Berlin – I hear buskers can earn in Euro now!
Where would you like to play a gig?
Dresden, Germany. I lived there for 4 years after my time in Berlin, and I fell in love with the square in front of the Semper Oper. I could easily imagine playing there surrounded by all that Baroque splendor.
Your idea of a perfect gig
One where the majority of the audience and I were completely satisfied with the gig in terms of the choice of songs, their order and the band’s performance.
Your idea of a disastrous gig
One where, despite my energy and passion, the audience was not into it.
Your favorite outfit for a gig
Simple, dark colours. A black shirt, I guess.
Your favorite music instrument besides yours
Probably the piano/keyboard. I like the way all of the notes are laid out like that, and its sound reaches deep into the human soul.
The most musical natural sound
Rain and thunder. The Doors’ introduction to Riders On The Storm is a classic example of the potency of these natural sounds.
The perfect foreign language to sing
I would say either French or Spanish. To me, these languages can express the full range of human emotions.
Which works are you most proud of?
I didn’t know it at the time when I wrote them, but I’m probably most proud of my more romantic/break-up songs, like Go Your Own Way, Oh Sweetheart and Hurt Like You.
What is the most important skill required – besides talent – to become a successful musician?
Perseverance and determination to continue writing – no matter what happens.
And also to seek new avenues to promote one’s music in this technological age.
What keeps you up at night with regard to your music career?
Wondering if I should have done more production before finalizing a new song and uploading it online.
The best concert you’ve seen in the audience
Probably an Elton John concert here in Brisbane. The best concert I haven’t seen, on the other hand, was a Coldplay concert here in Brisbane, which I stupidly didn’t take the chance to go to.
The most beautiful album cover ever?
Pink Floyd’s Animals.
The last track you listened to?
The Eagle’s Lying Eyes came on in the car today on my way to work. It was like an old friend dropping by to say G’day! 😉
The last single/EP/album you bought?
A single called Hollering Saints by an Australian band called Hello Satellites.
Describe your music
I suppose it’s a combination of folk/rock/country and instrumental rock, although I haven’t had the resources to really fulfil my vision of that last genre.
The Artist Of The Month wins an AKG WMS 420 Wireless Microphone!
The WMS420 wireless microphone system provides a highly flexible as well as easy to use solution. The ultra high frequency system is set up within seconds and is equally suitable on stage as well as in locations where a single- or multi channel solution is needed.
The entire WMS420 wireless system consists of the SR420 stationary receiver, HT420 handheld transmitter and the PT420 pocket transmitter.