Simon Godfrey is best known as one of the founding members of UK’s progressive rock band Tinyfish. Shineback is his new project where he, with the help of several guest musicians (Matt Stevens, Dec Burke, Henry Rogers, Andy Ditchfield, Hywel Benett, Paul Worwood, Danny Claire and Tamara Tanche), handles all the vocals and instrumental work. “Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed” is a concept centered “on an insomniac called Dora who takes a video camera into one of her very rare sleeping dreams and blogs about what she sees while in that dream-world in order to help understand and maybe cure her sleep disorder. What Dora finds however is much more than she expected.”
Giving up playing live (with Tinyfish) due to the hearing condition that would possibly led him to a hearing loss, Simon “wanted to write an album which came from the heart and chose to ignore the boundaries of genre and not give a damn if it was commercially or critically viable.“
Following the Shineback’s appearance on Progstravaganza XV: Ascension, here is the questionnaire answered by Simon.
How did you come to do what you do?
I had no choice. All I possess is a huge ego, the attention span of a goldfish and a pair of 70s high heeled Bowie boots.
What is your first musical memory?
Listening to my mum’s copy of the album Up, Up And Away by the 5th Dimension as a 5 year old. It had a track called Pattern People on it which still gives me goose bumps to this day simply because of the way the vocals blend together.
What does progress in music represent to you?
Anything that ignores convention and boundaries. Tenure and tradition are the enemy of innovation. The one exception to this is chocolate ice cream; that can remain unchanged.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have a glove puppet called Harriet. She tells me what to do and I follow her every command (except when she tells me to kill people with her magic axe).
What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?
The message is in code and if I were to divulge the content to the world, I would have to use Harriet’s magic axe upon all of humanity. This would made me sad but it could improve my chances of finding a parking space where I live.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
I am a detail junkie so I tend to spend a lot of time refining the structure and instrumentation of the piece as I go. As a result, the music I make is closer to Darwinian evolution than it is to momentary inspiration (although that does happen on occasion). You also have to know when not to fiddle with something when it’s already as good as it is ever going to sound.
What is your method of songwriting?
Usually I begin either with a chord sequence on an acoustic or an interesting sample or loop in my sound library. Both act as the foundation of almost all the music that I write.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
If you love music, just do it and forget about fame and fortune. I guarantee that you will NEVER be happy if you crave global recognition. Those that make it are rarely the artists they were once they become famous.
What are you looking forward to?
Porn on the internet.
Buy Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed from Bad Elephant Music.