Coming at you from the Midlands, Danny Beardsley is founder and member of instrumental progressive trio, The Parallax Method. Keeping busy during lockdown, Danny has recorded an acoustic reworking of his debut album, Blood From A Stone. A new single, Wilt Away, will be released on Friday 10th July, and expect Blood From A Stone Unplugged, on Friday 17th July, through all major platforms.
At what age did you start performing?
I started playing guitar at the age of 9 but had a terrible fear of performing in front of others for years. I had to play guitar to family through my bedroom door. I gradually shook that fear and started performing at school showcases and then eventually formed numerous bands throughout the years.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
I remember hearing Bohemian Rhapsody for the very first time and it completely blew my mind. That was the light bulb moment and I started studying my dad’s vinyl collection, everything from Thin Lizzy to Peter Frampton. I feel very lucky because that spark and love I have for music and playing guitar, is just as bright now as it was back then.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
My very first gig, I can’t really remember that far back, but my first gig as a solo artist last year then it was such a huge hurdle I’ve been trying to overcome for years. I was nervous of course, but I felt proud of myself, my band mates and Heather my manager. It’s been a long and challenging journey getting the music gig ready.
It definitely gave me the confidence boost I needed and words can’t express how rewarding it was to perform to a room full of people who enjoy the songs. I am extremely grateful for their love and support.
Compared to The Parallax Method, what should people expect when they check your solo material out? How would you describe it?
It has vocals for starters and the material is a lot more within the standard song formula. No matter what I’m working on I always try my best to retain plenty of melody. TPM is our ultimate creative outlet where there are no objectives whatsoever and technical ability is a major focus.
My solo material is more straight up rock for lack of a better term. I love being able to incorporate fancy guitar lines and exotic scales but the song has to shine through.
The other difference is TPM is a collaborative project which is fun whereas my solo stuff is exactly that. I hand the music to the guys and they work their magic. Ben and Dave are an absolute dream to work with and no matter what we are working on it always feels very natural.
You have revisited your debut solo album ‘Blood From A Stone’, and produced an acoustic version of it. What was the biggest challenge tackling it in this format? No stack of amps to hide behind when it’s just you and an acoustic?!
This started out as a project during lockdown I could keep myself productive with and share with my fans. The plan was an acoustic single or an EP, but I got carried away and ended up doing the entire album. For the most part it wasn’t too challenging from a structural sense because I originally wrote the tracks acoustically. That being said lead lines had to be reshaped because acoustic is harder to play in my opinion.
The focus definitely shifted more towards the vocals on this acoustic release which was the biggest challenge. Not having any kind of rhythm section, big over driven guitars and screaming guitar lines was an aspect I missed for sure.
Do you consider yourself a guitarist first and foremost, and just dabble in singing?!
I consider myself a Guitarist who is learning to sing. The more I practice, write and perform I feel more comfortable but I’m aware of my vocal limits currently. There is a distinct shift in my musicianship though because when I’m having a bad day vocally, I’m having a really bad day as a result, whereas before it didn’t bother me so much because it was so secondary to guitar playing. I am starting to understand and feel more comfortable with my own voice now. I’m also enjoying singing more now, previously it has always felt like a chore.
The acoustic cover you put together for Celine Dion’s ‘Ashes’ from ‘Deadpool 2’ is immense, are there any tracks that you would simply not attempt though? And, what tracks should no-one attempt to cover?
That is very kind of you to say so, thank you very much. I get so stressed doing covers because I’m trying my best to serve the song. Prior to ‘Ashes’ my wife suggested taking it easy vocally for the next cover. Imagine her reaction when she heard my plans to cover Celine Dion.
I enjoy choosing songs I can make my own because I’ll never be able to recreate the original. It’s a mark of respect I guess, I value the work that goes into writing a song. I’m open to trying anything within reason. I think any song can be covered when approached in the correct way with good intentions. That isn’t to say it will be better than the original, far from it. It’s just a great way to learn how great songs are written and a way of improving musical skills.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
First and foremost don’t stand out for the wrong reasons, like being a dick. Worship the music, not the musician. The main focus should be on writing honest, believable music and taking the time to listen to your fans. I’m still learning every single day and I am trying to be a better musician and a better songwriter. In theory the rest should follow I guess. Gather your influences and create your own sound. Be professional and try to build an interesting display of content on social media.
What is the current status of The Parallax Method?
We are sitting on an album’s worth of material. Life has thrown a few curve balls over the last couple of years and it’s been difficult to keep the momentum going. We are obviously conscious of keeping our fans waiting and we are sorry about that. When the time is right we can fire up the engine again and share what we’ve been working on.
What band out there at the minute do you feel that The Parallax Method would be best suited to open for?
We often get compared to Primus so that would be pretty sweet. We’ve played some very diverse shows through the years. I think because we are so bizarre we kind of blend in with lots of other bands. A gig lineup with 3 completely different bands is a lot more enjoyable in my opinion. Variety is the spice of life after all.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
The Parallax Method hopefully…….we can dream ha!
Who would you regard as an underrated guitarist?
There are so many underrated guitar players out there and there is room for all of them. One player in particular is Brad Kypo from Australia. He’s in a band called ‘Three Wise Monkeys’ and his guitar playing is absolutely stunning. He plays all the right notes, a beautifully crafted tone and a super sweet guy.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
I did have tickets for Peter Frampton but that was cancelled due to COVID unfortunately. I went to see Devin Townsend perform ‘Empath’ in December. That was absolutely incredible.
What current issue are you particularly passionate about?
Where do you start with today’s issues? I’m very passionate about any cause that is encouraging more humanity and equality in the world. Equality, diversity and kindness are all very important to me and something I want to instil in my daughter. I’ve also given up eating meat over this past year, so I’d say that is also somewhat of a passionate issue for me.
The album that you have in your album collection/spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
Hannah Montana Movie Soundtrack. No further comment.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2020?
Writing music, homeschooling and trying to avoid COVID juice.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
My main social media platform is Instagram @mrdannybeardsley and Facebook @DannyRBeardsley. I also have a Danny Beardsley Youtube Channel where you can subscribe if you like what you see and finally I have a mailing list via my website www.dannybeardsley.com where subscribers get exclusive previews, news and offers.