PART 1 - THE 'INTERVIEW'
1 - Had you been involved with any bands or musical ventures prior to Bright Smoke?
"There were brief periods in the past where I had collaborated and performed the odd gig with other people, but I've predominantly always been a solo artist."
2 - Bright Smoke is a solo venture. What originally pushed you towards becoming a solo artist as opposed to a band member?
"I have always been heavily influenced by other artists that have mainly performed on their own; Melanie Safka and Joni Mitchell for example. I find the simplicity forces the listener to engage in the lyrics and guitar in a way that makes the music very emotive, powerful and provocative. You are on your own, it's a much more intimate experience."
3 - Where did the name Bright Smoke come from?
"A close friend of mine actually came up with the name. It's from the original Shakespeare script of Romeo And Juliette. The full quote is "feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire". I find the imagery that the name "Bright Smoke" creates works very well with my image. I picture bright colours and incense smoke burning.
4 - Why do you perform under the name of Bright Smoke instead of Byrony Marie Fry?
"I changed my stage team to "Bright Smoke" from my previous, and actual name "Byrony Marie Fry" for many reasons. Firstly, it's easier to spell, pronounce and remember! I recently took a big time out after having an operation to remove my tonsils, during this break I also re-evaluated where my music was going. I then spent months writing new material and teaching myself better guitar techniques. I have also been t-total for over a year now and my life has drastically changed. The new name represents a fresh start both musically, personally and socially."
5 - Your sound is similar to some of the great female folk singers such as Joan Baez. How would you describe your sound?
"I would say it's a throw back to 60's/70's acoustic folk with a modern twist and soulful vocals. I write very openly about issues that have directly affected me. This automatically creates a lot of emotion and clarity due to the passion behind my vocals."
6 - You have already made some of your material available on your YouTube page. One of the stand out tracks that you have put up is 'Parallel Minds'. What is the song actually about?
"This song is all about me wanting to move to New York one day. I have never been there, but have researched the Williamsburg art and music scene and it's absolutely buzzing! The song expresses how I am free within my own mind and a fresh start in a new country wouldn't be me running away. I've dealt with addictions in the past, tried to move cities, but my problems came with me. I guess the song is just a letter to myself, and to the world, that I am ready to move on and leave the past behind me, for good this time."
7 - Who would be your dream collaboration?
"That would have to be Melanie Safka. I was brought up listening to her music. She played at Woodstock 1969 alongside Hendrix, Joplin and Jefferson Airplane, and she's still gigging and going strong. I have been in contact and after sending her a video to one of my songs "Glimmer and Spark", she replied saying that my passion and sincerity had "reignited her spark". I literally cried there and then!
8 - Any new songs in the pipeline and when can fans expect a new single or EP?
"I have a RIDICULOUS amount of new material. It's unreal. I write at least 3/4 songs a fortnight. I usually end up gigging at least one of them. I'm just in the process of organising recording quite a few of my new songs so I can get some MP3's out there. I won't release my EP as "Bright Smoke" until I've got a lot more exposure though."
9 - Any live dates coming up?
"I'm playing Southsea Fest on Psychedelia Stage on the 14th September. New Cross Inn in London on the 18th September, then at The Hobbit in Southampton on the 21st September. After that it's the Psychedelia Birthday Weekend on 6th October at The Cellar in Southampton."
10 - Who would be in your dream supergroup?
"Hmm depends if you mean alive or dead musicians?! Well, if they were alive it would be interesting to see if all these guys were put in the same room to jam: Jack White, Bob Dylan, Melanie Safka, Josh Tilman, Toots Hibbert and Stevie Wonder. If they were dead it would be Marc Bolan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Shannon Hoon and Bob Marley."
PART 2 - THE 'QUICKFIRE ROUND'
1 - Favourite Beatle?
2 - Favourite band?
"This is near on impossible. Apart from the obvious... The Rolling Stones, The Kinks etc... The Libertines would be high up there. Father John Misty, The Maccabees, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Mystery Jets?! Honestly couldn't just pick one. I'm indecisive on this one."
3 - Favourite new band?
"Temples. That's only so easy to answer because they are fucking awesome!!"
4 - Favourite song?
"Melanie Safka - Beautiful People / Bob Marley - Redemption Song (that's like the ultimate two choices in a life or death situation. We'd be here all day otherwise!)"
5 - Favourite album?
"Hmmm this is a very tricky one too! Toss up between Father John Misty - Fear Fun, Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark, Amy Winehouse - Back To Black, The Beatles - Revolver, The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed...the list goes on and on!!!"
6 - Vinyl, CD or download?
"I currently have a list of 1000 vinyls I am going to purchase when I buy my first record player and start collecting vinyl. For now it's either CD or online."
7 - Style icon?
"This is tricky because I have quite a psychedelic colourful 60's vibe. Style icons range from Twiggy to Karen O! I'm more inspired by movements rather than particular people."
8 - Favourite clothing brand?
"I actually don't wear brands! I've only shopped in charity or vintage shops for the last six years. I have quite strong views on the exploitation of workers in foreign countries, and I think it's daylight robbery what people pay for the sake of having a label. I'd rather give that money to charity and buy something unique than become a commercialised clone to the modern fashion industry!"
9 - Favourite film?
"Amelie (which I also decided to call my flat faced Persian gremlin of a cat)."
10 - Favourite TV show?
"Time Team. (Don't laugh)."
11 - Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
"This is something I have never ever thought about?! My life would make a pretty crazy film. I reckon Drew Barrymore would portray my quirks and free spirit quite well."
12 - Favourite food?
"Chocolate cake. I do love the cake."
13 - Football team?
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Bright Smoke! Check out our previous feature on Soldier On!
You can see Bright Smoke perform 'Parallel Minds' here - http://www.youtube.com/user/BrightSmokeHQ/videos
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