With lyrics that speak of a lived human experience and melodies that get stuck in your head, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Terry Springford has released three albums and two EPs and his tunes have been played on radio in Australia, the U.S., the U.K. and across Europe. Terry’s new album, ‘Fusion’, was released in April 2014. Australian Musician gets Terry into Q&A mode.
Epiphone FR100 acoustic. Made in the early 1970s.
Cole Clark FL1A.C Made in Melbourne and sounding sweet.
I use a Fishman Loudbox Mini for small venues otherwise the house sound system
No pedals on the acoustic guitar but I love using my Vocalist Live 3 vocal harmoniser
Elixir strings which I change around every 8 weeks
‘Fusion’, an 11-track album, was released mid-2014. No formal pans to re-enter the studio currently but I’d expect to have an EP to offer some time in 2015
I play mostly in and around Melbourne although I have a fondness for venues in the Dandenong Ranges where I’ve lived for 20 years. There’s a beautiful supportive creative community in the hills outside Melbourne.
Most memorable gig?
I recently played at Melbourne’s iconic Esplanade in St Kilda. It was a gig organised by a promoter (I usually organise my own) so found myself headlining a lineup where almost all the other artists were very young, very loud grunge and thrash bands. I was to perform as a solo acoustic act. I thought of doing a runner before I went on but decided I should persevere. So I went on stage, just me and an acoustic guitar while all these tough young thrash dudes stood right in front of me, staring. I started playing, half expecting to have something thrown at me. At the end of the first song the crowd clapped and cheered. They turned out to be one of the most respectful, appreciative listening audiences I’ve played to all year. They were such a delightfully engaging audience. I was heartened to see young musicians appreciate and respond to music that was vastly different in genre and delivery to their own but our mutual love of music shone through.
Worst stage nightmare?
Where do I begin? ha ha. Equipment failure is always up there at the top of the list. I’ve used a few dodgy house sound systems over the years. A couple of times the system has completely died mid-set so I’ve just played on unplugged. As a songwriter I spend a lot of creative energy improving my craft. I exclusively play originals live and aim to connect my musical stories with an audience. My nightmare is when some drunk starts yelling out for Guns N’ Roses covers.
Album that changed my life?
So many but one of my all-time favourite albums in Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. I first heard it at a party in a share-house above the east end market in Adelaide. I bought it the next day and played it endlessly. It was an album of melodic jangling electric guitars, hip literary and pop-culture references amidst lyrics that spoke of a young man’s angst, all performed with an alt-pop sensibility and swagger.
I’m scaling back towards the end of the year – I need a holiday – but will play a few bars in Melbourne here and there before putting together a schedule for next year. I’d love to do an east coast tour.
A tips for the kids?
Believe in yourself, learn from those who have gone before you, support and encourage your peers, find your own creative voice.