Interview with Darron J Connett

Darrron J Connett emerged a few years ago as a solo artist and singer in his band Connett. He now fronts the excellent Last Of The Troubadours, whose tunes include "Who's Gonna Love Us Now", "Audacity Of Hope" and "Till Tomorrow". We put some questions to him about the band, his influences and where he see the future heading.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Shepherds Bush West London, went to school in Notting Hill but now reside in S W London not far from Wimbledon.

When did you start playing in bands?

I've always been obsessed with music as my mum, aunties, uncles and cousins all blared out their tastes from their rooms growing up which was lots of Elvis, Beatles, Small Faces, The Who, lots of Trojan ska, soul, but I always had my ears open to the sounds on the radio, like all people you get into shit stuff and learn by your mistakes, I was truly awakened by the whole dare I say it Britpop era. But I've been making my own music in some shape or form since school and got a record deal soon as I left.

Which artists have influenced your musical direction?
I've been influenced by everyone I've heard really, its no secret of my mod influences as i am proudly one but I've never been one to lean to the obvious, I love a lot of obscure pop,love people like Nillson, Bowie, Scott Walker etc I adore Richard Hawley and to surprise people Glen Campbells Witchita Lineman is my all time favourite record and John Holt's probably my favourite singer.

You came to the fore as a solo artist a few years ago.  Tell me a bit about that.

I've always been a solo artist but formed bands in between, the modernists who are into Weller, Oasis etc really got behind me and only yesterday I was asked if "Just A Boy" could go on a compilation album of course I said yes its a fucking great song. Around that time I forged a bit of a following even people from far flung places message me to say they dig my tunes, that always blows me away but I guess I felt I lost my way and needed to move on and the scooter & target side of mod frightens me a bit and I felt I was getting dragged in to a place I didn't want to be. Don't get me wrong I love all that stuff but I didn't want get stuck as ambition for me hold no limits and as all artist should think I wanted the world as I've said before aim for the stars & I might hit my head on the ceiling.

Your band Connett released an album Waging War On The Obvious in 2009.  What are your thoughts on that album.

When I formed CONNETT... it felt like a new chapter ,we had some outstanding times together ones that will stay with me forever and more importantly we made some great music, "Waging War On The Obvious" was our debut and that opened a few doors for us, Paul weller said he loved it and personally invited us to Black Barn to record which was ridiculous as the man I idolised was now saying if I keep writing songs like that I would go all the way,and he was very complimentary on my voice too, not one to name drop but that's happened loads of times by various know musicians & singers, I look over my shoulder as they can't surely be talking about me!!!! But like all decent frontmen I have my alter ego and mine thinks he's God's Dad haha. So it's alway nice. That then gave us the opportunity to record our 2nd album "Love & Curses" in Chicago America at Colorama studios, truely a magical time we recorded music, played music, laughed all day, we really got treated like Gods out there, great times...then we signed with 208 records who released both our albums (still available) we gigged a lot but started treading water so I put us on hiatus, will we reform and play again? I hope so theyre great musicians & top people so never say never. But not sure anyone wants us to anyway haha.

When did The Last Of The Troubadours form?

Summer 2011 I formed the Last Of The Troubadours with Joel Rogers, firstly as a acoustic duo our first gig was supporting the Real People, a band we both love so it was happy days from then on. Luke Jeffries joined on drums then Rob Pyne from the rifles joined us on bass then TLOTT was off! Me and Joel are at the helm writing the songs but Lukes an all rounder and a bit of a studio boffin so he with our help arranges the songs. I'm much more relaxed as I'm not shouldered with all the responsability as its 50/50 for Connett/Rogers my control freak side does have to bite his tongue sometimes but as my names not exclusivly above the door I can step back unless i need to do otherwise but we never argue or fall out as they they agree with all I say haha no not at all. Joel knows his stuff and together were writing great songs and basically singing from the same song sheet if you pardon the pun. Our debut ep "Sooner The Better" came out Spring 2012 on itunes and cd via Delicious Junction records we've had great gigs at places like the 100 Club supporting bands like Athlete, Mark Morris from the Bluetones, done a video for "Whos Gonna Love Us Now" which went down well,got lots of airplay on xfm & 6 Music etc were also about to record the next 5 track ep working title "Dont Stand On Shadows" hopefully were go on to the next level and keep growing as the new songs are sounding really cool so exciting times lets see where it takes us?

You are often seen in pictures and videos sporting quality scarves.  Do you have a favourite label?

Glad you like the scarves, well hands up I love style and love being seen as stylish I've done quite a lot of modeling over the years face of ikon shoes some of the mod readers might know,we have also done both "all in good time mags" for Delicious Junction shoes. I'm really into Gibson London suits and tweeds at the moment coupled by Nicholson Walcot scarves & pocket hankies. I think style is essential some bands these days look like they've rolled out of Wetherspoons in chavsville and stopped off at JJBs fucking awful man, have some self respect.  Not so long ago you could tell who was in a band and who wasn't not at the minute though, although bands like The Strypes, Miles Kane, Eugene McGuinness make an effort which I really love, even when Oasis wore the anoraks they still looked cool, it's important even if I'm a one man campaign scruffy herberts should fix up and look sharp!

Finally, in a addition to the ep, what are you plans for the current year?

This year the Last Of The Troubadours will gig, tour uk & europe, record more get up in everyones grill till they take notice and realise were bringing something new to the table, it's going well and people seemed to like what weve done so far so were let it run its coarse and hopefully it'll run & run and were keep evolving, I'm enjoying it at the moment so all good. I'll record a avant gardish type solo effort some where down the round but probably not till 2014 I write many songs not right for TLOTT more Scott Walker/early Bowie type vibe its purely for me but hopefully when it comes it'll go down well but it'll only be available on key fobs by then haha...cheers Rob

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