Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Gabriel at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens about yourself, your story.
Gabriel Lynch: My name is Gabriel Lynch. I’m an independent Australian musician and songwriter. Music has been a big part of my life since I was a very young. My parents encouraged me to take up the violin when I was five years old. Shortly then I also became a member of the Australian Boys Choir. When I was 8, my dad – a music scholar and classical guitarist – showed me three chords on the guitar and from then onward, I was writing my own songs. By age 13 I had played my first show in a pub in my hometown of Melbourne, and I have never stopped performing since then.
I’m now 26 years old and I have spent most of the last three years making my living out of touring, performing and selling my own self-funded CDs. I’ve played in countries all over Europe, Australia and Asia and last year I was lucky enough to even perform at a festival in Singapore, alongside my heroes Elbow, The John Butler Trio and Architecture in Helsinki.
I’ve worked along some incredible musicians of various styles and genres. For the last three months I was working my improvising chops as a jazz singer with a small band at Bangkok’s renowned music hub, Brown Sugar. I have also been working alongside Australian DJ and composer, Robbie James, to create a new album of electronic music under the name Stray Nation.
At the present time, I’m working as a musician for hire in Bangkok. I’m also in the process of preparing to create a new record of my own (after having great success with my last EP, Dependent State). The finance for my new album will be raised via an online crowdfunding campaign which is a very new concept to me. But it’s also very exciting because I’m using that campaign to challenge myself as a songwriter – everyone who pledges has a chance to choose a song title and topic that I must then write and record for YouTube within two weeks!
Shardul Pandey: What makes your endeavors unique ?
Gabriel Lynch: The thing that makes my endeavours most unique is the fact that I am totally independent. That means that every tour, every record I make, every project I undertake is self-funded and produced. The other thing that perhaps makes my approach to my work unique is that I am always trying new ways to expand my own horizons. Beyond my own releases and performances, I also love to collaborate and play outside of my comfort zone. In the near future I’ll be releasing a joint electronic music project with Melbourne producer/dj Robbie James called Stray Nation. And, of course, in raising funds for my new solo album, I am asking my audience to help me with the songwriting process by suggesting song titles and topics. They get the opportunity to do this when they pledge their support. I think this brings in a new level of online audience participation and I think that interaction (which is one of my favourite things about playing live) is crucial to creating art that is all the more personal for my followers and supporters.
Shardul Pandey: On what musical projects you are working on? What can we expect from you in the next few years ? Any long-term goals?
Gabriel Lynch: As I mentioned, my main project at the moment is the songwriting exercise/crowdfunding project for my next album. This is a big challenge for me as I will have to pour out a lot of music in a short period of time. I’m hoping to then incorporate the best songs I come up with into the new album. The new album will be recorded in 2014 and will be followed by tours in Asia, Australia and (hopefully) the US for the very first time. I’d be lying if I said I had any strict goals. But my main ambition through everything I do is to make more friends, expose my music to more people and find those individuals who connect with what I do. Music is about sharing and I hope to do that in every way possible. That means playing and performing at every opportunity, continuing to write and create new material for my followers, and collaborating with other artists.
Shardul Pandey: Would you like to share the experience of your first performance?
Gabriel Lynch: I was about 13 years old when I first played live. I was invited by a small collective to participate in an open mic night at a pub in Melbourne. It was a very small affair, but I remember being deeply excited because it was my first time performing my music in front of strangers. It was also exciting to be inside a pub! Of course, my mother had to accompany me to many of my shows when I was under the legal drinking age (18 in Australia). But she was really supportive and ended up taking me to loads of shows throughout my teen years.
Shardul Pandey: What is your foremost experience as an artist ? Any favorite moment you would like to share?
Gabriel Lynch: There are a great many to choose from. I think the best moments for me when I receive words of comfort or encouragement from strangers. That sometimes happens when an audience sings along with my songs. It happens when somebody sends me an email to say ‘thank you’ for a song that touched them in a particular way. Perhaps the one experience that comes to mind first was my début performance at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre. The audience was incredibly enthusiastic and were so excited by the opportunity to sing harmonies with me (something I like to do when I play live – the results are often mixed). They really gave it their all and they were so quick to approach me afterward, one at a time, to introduce themselves and say hello. I think I met a couple of hundred people that night and I’ll never forget it!
Shardul Pandey: Any other creative mediums you work in?
Gabriel Lynch: I stick with music mostly. Although that’s a broad statement. I have several projects on the go and I work as a hired gun for jazz ensembles and cover bands to keep myself busy. But I have recently started writing online for a handful of music websites. The most popular column I have is for Philippines’ DIG Radio site. The column is entitled “All Musicians Go to Hell” and I use it as an opportunity to talk about all things music: performing, music criticism and analysis, tips for other musicians. The fun part is using humour to convey my message.
Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?
Gabriel Lynch: I think I’d describe it as expression. Simple as that. When I hear music that makes me feel something, irrespective of what, and irrespective of genre, that says to me that the composer has achieved something special.
Shardul Pandey: Who were your biggest musical influences ?
Gabriel Lynch: I’m extremely fond of many different musicians from different backgrounds and periods of history. My favourite contemporary artists are groups like Elbow, Radiohead, Ben Folds and Eels. But I also have a deep love of classical music (Debussy and Elgar are among my favourites) and jazz (Brad Mehldau is one of my heroes). But musically I find my experiences, meeting people and going through the trials of life are some of the best sources of inspiration.
Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving ?
Gabriel Lynch: The uptempo numbers from Ben Folds Five are usually a good start for music to make you feel energised. Songs like “Kate” and “Song for the Dumped”. I also love Mutemath and their style of bluesy rock. It’s sophisticated and incredibly intense, but a lot of fun.
Shardul Pandey: Any plans for an international tour on your skyline?
Gabriel Lynch: Yes indeed. Once my new album is finished, I’ll be attempting to reach as far and wide as I can. I’ll start with Asia and my home country, Australia. But I’m hoping to get to the US for the first time. This will all take place midway through 2014.
Shardul Pandey: What you feel is your strength as a musician and how would you like to be remembered ?
Gabriel Lynch: Musically speaking? I suppose it would be my songwriting. I never really thought of myself as a singer, much less a guitarist. But I think I have the ability to express, through melody and song, the things I write about before lyrics even come into the equation. But what really matters, at the end of the day, is that I love working with other musicians. I think my best quality, therefore, is my approach to making music with others. I like to think I make friends of anyone I play along, and having that relationship opens you up to the possibility of creating something very unique and special.
Shardul Pandey: What advice would you give to newbie musicians?
Gabriel Lynch: Be honest in your music. Forget about being cool. Forget about playing the most current and popular style. Be honest and write and play the music that speaks to you. If you’re honest, people listening will be able to find it and that’s how you’ll reach them. That’s how you’ll grow a support base. And it will also make you happy.
Shardul Pandey: What is your web address, do you own a domain?
Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?
Gabriel Lynch: I hope that your readers and all netizens who stumble upon this article and/or my music will give it a chance. Support doesn’t come in the form of money or page ‘likes’. But if you hear what I do, and if it means something to you, you can support me by sharing my songs with your friends. You can support me by following my news. And, most importantly, if you make it known that you like what you hear, then I’ll have all the more reason to come and perform for you the next time I hit the road. And I hope that will be sometime very soon.