Liam Naughton discusses writing 90s earworms and his latest EP
Liam Naughton and The Educators are London based rockers of Irish and
Australian descent whose music is an eclectic mix of brutally grungy
guitars and effortlessly melodic earworms.
“Exceptional songs with many a throwback to 90s influences” - The
“It was playing in the background at work one day, but I listened to
every word. It was the first time I’d heard Neil Young’s ‘Harvest
Moon’. I was 30, and after years of excuses, that was it! I was going
to learn the guitar and become a songwriter.”
Not long after his wake up moment, Liam moved from his home country of
Ireland to Perth, Western Australia, to isolate himself in order to
focus on his chosen path. Influenced by The Beatles, RHCP, Nirvana,
Radiohead and the general sounds of the of the 90s, Liam worked day
jobs, played in bars and wrote songs.
The story of his start / stop / crash / bang / restart career as a
performer and recording artist is set to be published as an
autobiography, appropriately titled ‘Liam, what the fuck are you
doing?’. The movie rights are available.
Currently living in London, Liam is playing the capital’s clubs with
his three-piece band promoting a series of mini-albums due for release
“His voice is a versatile instrument. Those looking for an earnest,
sparky and diverse singer-songwriter fare need look no further” -
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Hello hello and thanks for taking the time to have a chin wag. My
latest record ‘Cut On A Cut’ was released on 19th June and it’s gone
down like a spoon of honey…smooth and sweet but not overly so, and
like honey, I hope it never gets old. People really dig it eh.
Promise Cross Your Heart went to No 1 on IT’s Indie Top 40 chart so
that was a first for me. Well, a double first…1st on the chart and the
first time having a No 1
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
OK, I choose Life In Technicolour track for this one. And Technicolour is
spelt with a ‘u’ so not the American way. I know someone who has
suffered mental issues for a long time now. They have had to take
Lithium to keep them from flipping out. Problem is when they take Li
it makes the whole world look grey and drab. But without it, life
looks like a technicolour movie.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
I think there’ll be something in Cut On a Cut that’ll suit a lot of
different tastes. Yeah, all the songs are pretty meaty and gritty both
from a musical and lyrical perspective. No two songs are the same.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Musically, my get of my arse moment was when Danny Murphy hit the play
button on Harvest Moon in the background at work. When it finished I
asked “Can you play that again?”. I thought it was brilliant, the way
Neil Young put down his lyrics. After years of bull shitting myself I
bought a guitar and practised 4 hours a night, 6 hours on weekends for
6 months straight. I started writing soon after that so yeah, thank you Mr Young
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER
Party Words from Cut On A Cut is about the 4 seasons of a party. Ya
know, guests show up, people start getting high or drunk, doing
naughty things in the bathroom, then the lust takes over and before
you know it your back to reality. I shot some a home video for it here
in Australia. Got myself down to IKEA, bought 20 finger puppets and
put them to work. They’re great, ya know puppets, they do exactly as
you tell’em. So I cut up some spuds and made stands out of them with
popsicle sticks and got them doing all sorts. It’s pretty cool, check
it out. But if I was to pick my fav video from forever it would be Sledge
Hammer by Peter Gabriel.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Mmmhh…. My 3 main interests in life are music, science and shagging
donkeys…na, only joking, sports. So if I'm not twanging my guitar I’m
probably down the pub watching a game of rugby or looking up into the
sky wondering about how we got here. I’m going to dedicate 5 years of
my life some time to try to figure out the double-slit experiment. And
no, it’s not a porn movie hahaha
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
No, well maybe a little but is more adrenaline than nerves. If I’m
playing a solo gig it more amplified and there’s no hiding spots but
I’d recommend a couple of pints that’s all, a couple before and one
on stage and should be good to go.
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
Well, I first went to a studio here in Perth, Jericho Music, to record
my first EP Cornerstone released in 2013. It was just me and Jerry
Freedman the producer working on every aspect of the tracks. When we
finished pre-production we got in some session musicians to do their
parts. After it was released I then got players in for the live shows
and the band evolved from there. I now have the honour of playing with
great musicians when I’m home here in Oz, The Educators Australia
and If I’m in Europe I can also call on The Educators UK
HOW DO YOU WRITE?
I write the songs and the process is to sit down with my sometimes
friend / sometimes enemy Mr Acoustic Guitar. Wrestle with him, grab him by the throat and force him to the ground until he gives me something that I like; something fresh and
interesting in the chord prog or timing signature. Then I play him
over and over and over and over until he makes perfect sense and drags
a lyric out of me that I can develop into something that makes him and
me good friends again…..until the next time we sit down again (and
have a chat).
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I write about the things I see and feel every day. Some things pass
you by but, whatever your make up, be it nature or nurture some things
make your ears prick up. Things that affect you deep inside your soul
(not trying to be over dramatic) I guess. Just every day things; I’ve
a lot of empathy for this world. Wish I could turn it off sometimes.
I’ve written about mental illness, addiction, life, love, loss,
fascism (Combat Kevin from Leaning In), how we can’t control life,
prostitution, happiness, sadness, goodness, badness, three bags
fullness etc etc. I’ve just written a song about ‘Harvey Weinstein’
that’ll get a run on the next LP. I called it ‘Harvey Weinstein’ cause
I like to be cryptic. They’re all stories anyway