I have been songwriting in a way from a very young age and used to annoy my parents no end by wandering around, making up songs about everything I had seen and thought when I was a toddler. ‘there goes mum, walking about grumpy, dads always drunk, tra, la, la, la, la.’
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
My dad was and still is tone deaf with zero musical ability. As a child he used to tell me he played the ‘Swine-ette,’ which was apparently “a length of catgut, stretched over a pig’s bum and plucked with your teeth”?? He was and is still very much a strange man.
My mum used to sing in a band when she was young and was crazy about the music from the 60s and 70s. When I was a kid, she used to rock family parties by playing great singalong sets on the acoustic guitar.
This was my inspiration to play guitar, and I started learning on and off from about the age of 10, but it wasn’t until I was 15 and asked for a four-track recorder for Christmas, that I really started to put some time into playing and writing. One problem I still have is that whenever I try to learn someone else’s song or do practice exercises, I tend to get sidetracked and end up writing my own riff or song. Because of this, there are very few songs bar my own that I can actually play.
Punkish In Nature
My early songs were punkish in nature, mostly due to my low ability as a guitarist, but thankfully this was also quite fashionable at the time, and there was a bit of a scene in Glasgow. I didn’t quite have the courage at this stage to write meaningful personal lyrics, so did a weekly songwriting challenge with my friends in which I had to write a song based on a title they gave me. This led to the catchy songs like, ‘The People in HMV think I’m shoplifting’ and ‘I think I went a bit mental with the salad cream.’
My first band evolved over about five years and member changes into Minus3. When I left that band, in one of my trademark twenty-something overreactions, I started the band The Kamikazes, which was a heavy gigging band that burnt out very quickly in a way that was almost a testament to the moniker. In both these bands, I wrote most of the songs.
I then took an unintentional 10+ year break from songwriting, and during this time, I married, had kids, and built a ‘thrilling’ career in financial risk management. I also spent some time seriously ill and on death’s door due to Crohn’s disease, but after three life-saving surgeries, I got my perspective on life back and started to write music again.
In 2017, I started building my home studio and recording my first solo album, Malcontent. I have written and recorded on average three songs per month since, although many remain ‘unfinished…’
I tend to do every instrument myself, but that’s more due to necessity at the moment rather than anything else, and I’m keen to collaborate more in the future.
I am still very much learning how to engineer, produce, and master music, but I absolutely love it. Apart from my family, nothing else on this planet brings me as much joy as writing and recording my own music. Although my music has been described as Alternative/Folk/Punk, I try new ideas and style all the time. Take a listen to my music, and you will hear a fair amount of variety. One thing that is important to me is tension and release, and well-constructed choruses, so this is what I am invariably aiming for.
Lyrically, I write predominately about my experiences with Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression, the lies, and
corruption within politics, the challenges of modern life and tragic
history. Most of my songs now are very personal, but also left very
open to interpretation by the listener. As a lyricist and singer, I am developing all the time, though, and the next song really could be anything.
As a young child, I loved the radio pop and rock of the late 70s and early 80s, but my fondest musical memories from the limited amount of tapes my parents played in the car were from listening to The Eagles, Dire Straits, and Queen. My love of Queen especially led me into heavier rock and metal, in my early teens, my favorite bands were Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Aerosmith. This led to my love of Grunge like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden, Metal like White Zombie, Pantera, and Rage Against the Machine, which in turn was overlapped by the new punk movement set in motion from Green Day and The Offspring.
Punk was a particular draw for me, as it was finally music I could play. Let’s face it; the guitar is a lot easier than the big rock bands of my childhood. My favorite bands from that era are still Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day, and Rancid. Through this, I was also fanatically following the British rock scene, starting with the Almighty and Therapy?, and leading to Terrorvision, Kerbdog, Paradise Lost and the musical love of my life, The Wildhearts. I still love every one of the bands mentioned, and although I still passionately seek out new music, my era in my heart is still definitely the 90s.
The Great Unfinished…, Category: Artist, Albums: Malcontent, Singles: The Blues Made Me Do It, Love Sick Ep, Top Tracks: I Don’t Deserve You, I Can’t Leave Without You, Positive Codependency, Never Know, Life’s Not Fair, Biography: The Great Unfinished… is the solo output for Glasgow folk/punk recluse Iain McMeechan.