[INTERVIEW] with... Diggs Galliers

Diggs Galliers "I whistle melodies into my phone when I am out and about"  Photo: Richard Galliers

Diggs Galliers, ex-frontman of Welsh indie band Chapel Row "Playing guitar was something that came about a bit later in life. I played drums before I played guitar. Tapping on desks in school was natural to me. 

Barely 20 years of age and from Merthyr, singer, writer and guitarist Diggs clearly has a gift for song-writing, he is deeply passionate about it and can't seem to live without it. 

"Sometimes I write from 6 pm in the afternoon until 6 am the next morning. I whistle melodies into my phone when I am out and about, whenever one pops into my head. I also tend to plan musical pieces in my head when I am walking the dog."

Is there is a theme running through your song material? 

"It is a passion for what I do and the consideration for it. Whether it is life, songs about being alive or songs portraying my opinion on things."

To those who are unfamiliar with your work, when did you first become involved in music? 
Was guitar and singing the main instruments you focused on to begin with? 

"I have been gigging in cover bands on the pub circuit since I was 11 years old. I started off as a singer, I never thought about playing instruments although I used to have a bang on the drums every chance I could get. Then when I finished playing cover music I had a little rest and discovered the guitar and that was like a new beginning for me." 

"I have been lost in the music ever since and very slowly but surely progressed. Although I haven’t used them all in my music yet I play guitar, bass, drums, piano and the harmonica. It will be interesting to see what will be next." 

How do you go about combining being a musician to everyday life?

"Playing instruments, singing lyrics and writing melody is literally all I do. I have had a couple of different jobs here and there including being a roadie for big bands, working on the tarmac, fitting solar panels but my family has been supporting me, constantly allowing and encouraging me to stay focused, so it is literally about going out there and make it a reality for them and myself." 

 You are busy recording in the studio, how is that all going? 

"It is going great. I have been recording some demos on an acoustic guitar with bits of lead guitar and will  be heading into the studio shortly with my manager Nick Brine at Leeders Vale Studios."

 Are you working with a producer and where are you recording?

"I have been over the mountain in Blaine Gwent where I have been making some demos at a studio called Palm Studios. Alex Evans is the producer and he helped me out to make and arrange some of my tracks. He is a such an incredible guy." 

"I am going into another studio called Leeders Vale, which my manager Nick Brine owns. It is really beautiful with great sounds. My manager has worked on British masterpieces such as What’s the Story Morning Glory by Oasis and Second Coming by The Stones Roses."

"Not giving too much away just yet, I am going to be releasing a track and I will be dropping a single soon with a new music video to go with it."

What can we expect from your new track?

"It is one of my favourite songs, it is a really passionate anthem. My songs vary, some are fast and others are slower. They are all based around living and breathing, your passion I suppose. Whatever it is that you are here to do, everyone has got something they are ace at and they should embrace that."

Please tell us about your musical influences? 

"I like classic rock 'n' roll and who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones. I like them just as much as bands like Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and of course, Bob Dylan and Neil young."

"I tend to just listen and play my own music. I have a collection of my dad's records and sometimes I will play a song I have listened to a thousand times and chuck the radio on. Just want to emphasise the fact that I love jamming to the radio or a record player, so in that sense it has influenced my guitar playing a great deal."

What do you think about the current music scene? Any contemporary artists or bands you admire?

"I saw Wolf Alice supporting Foo Fighters in Manchester last week and they were good, Bang Bang Romeo are ace. Catfish and The Bottlemen are also doing great and they are such an excellent band."

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for young artists like yourself?

"Trying to be a working musician seems the hardest, getting noticed in itself can be an obstacle when you here and some big band having to call it a day due to the state of the industry, it does not give you much hope, but it does provide you with some inspiration to write more songs." 

Have you had any record label interest?

I have been chatting to one record label, we are currently still in talks and nothing has been confirmed. 

What makes Merthyr Tydfil special?

"Merthyr is a wonderful place. It is the birthplace of the red flag, it represents a week long revolt that took place in 1831, a red flag was raised for the first time in British history, the same red flag that Che Guevara is associated with. The first steam train was also developed here by a man called Richard Trevithick but history will tell you that a man from England built it."

"There is some great music being produced here and there is an amazing festival called Merthyr Rising which celebrates the local history. It showcases some good local bands and invites headliners such as The Alarm and Alabama 3. What an ace town absolutely full of some brilliant characters."

Tell us about your aspirations or plans for the future?

"I would like to get this record done, tour it around the U.K. then take it abroad and around the world, do all the festivals under the sun and do it all again every single day for the rest of my life and get my family a nice beach house in Florida. That is the dream and I am going to have a good go at it."

Is it your plan to tour around the UK?

"I have not got any dates or venues booked for a tour yet  but I will definitely be doing one this year. It is something I have been busting to tick off for a while now and the time has come. I quite fancy doing a headline tour. Or if there is any bands or solo artists out there happening to read this then, is there any chance of a support slot on your tour? I am hungry for it and I will warm the crowd up."