This month we're excited to hear the debut album from alternative folk soloist Gallery 47 (aka Jack Peachey). Chaos Ensued is set to be released on 23rd August 2019 through Bad Production Records, but ahead of that the singer-songwriter tells all about life as an rising star.

Gallery 47Gallery 47

For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?

The new record sounds quite different to some of the music I've released in the past. It's difficult to say eclectic without sounding directionless, but the songs on 'Chaos Ensued' are showing influence from all sorts of alternative and rock genres. Realistically, I'm still a singer-songwriter at heart, and I try to write songs for acoustic guitar and vocal. So the arrangements on this release are quite ambient, heavy and chaotic, though all of the songs can also sound soft and calm depending on how they're being played live.

What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?

I think that it's very difficult to keep your confidence going when things are quiet for a while. Maybe in the past I would let self-doubt stop me from working. Nowadays I've found a way of soldiering on, but I always accept from the beginning of a new project that I will probably slave away at it for months on end with the very real risk that it won't meet expectations when all is said and done. 'Expectations' could be from promoters who overlook your requests to play live shows, or publishers who aren't happy with the production, or people who don't mind your songs but don't particularly crave them either. I have read pages and pages of feedback in the past which tear me apart - "I didn't like the voice" or "It sounds like a demo" or "The mastering is off". So I always try to do 'better', whatever that is, but also I'm restrained by a limited budget for studio time, mastering etc.. Above all, the biggest challenge I have faced is maintaining self-belief when it feels like you're not good enough to break through. Though I don't often listen to my own songs once they've been released, I do sometimes spend a few hours with them. There are always little things which I'm not happy with, but generally I'm surprised and happy to hear them. At the end of it all, you can try to make the best songs you can, and you shouldn't let the various voiced opinions affect your own ear and your own view of your own quality and self-worth.

How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?

I think it's different for everyone. Sometimes you get a 'rising star' who is tagged as a potential major label prospect at a young age. They get fast-tracked to headline bills and everyone talks about them. More often than not, the name fades and people move onto another one. Sometimes those individuals do get picked up and some nameless consortium of in-the-knowers reveal drips and drops of information of weighty advance payments and record label deals. The hype can be infectious and sickening to everyone else. Many get depressed. Many get ignored from the beginning. I had one song called 'Otherwise' which was completely ignored by everyone I sent it to, and then it was picked up by the BBC in Nottingham and they playlisted it for months and months. Then you get excited and happy, and then that moment passes and you get bitter that your next song isn't getting all that. Eventually there comes a moment where it feels as if the world is willing  you to give in. Many do. Some don't. Again, many get depressed. And then the ones who manage to keep going eventually form a skin so thick that they probably do have a better chance at making a name for themselves. Often, by this stage, it is more about determination and drive than anything else. Some of the musicians I see breaking through are doing so with songs I don't like as much as the ones they released when they were getting ignored.

How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?

In the end, self-indulgence will only get you so far. You can take total control over everything. It will stress you a lot. You will likely not be able to meet your own high standards, or at least you will retain some lingering doubts. The more creative control you take, the more it will hurt if the end result fails. On the other hand, I don't think that there is any use in trying to define yourself with a sound which you didn't personally choose. For sure you can write a selection of songs and then these can be arranged in different ways. Maybe at the moment it's easier to get somewhere with a louder or crisper mastering job, or with synthetic beats or production pyrotechnics in general. I'm stubborn as a mule sometimes, because I genuinely think that there is a good amount of luck and fortune going on at all times in everything. I think that people can blame their songs or their mixes for their lack of success, when history is full of examples of people who fell through the cracks only to be later rediscovered. Some artists you can see trying to follow trends throughout their careers. I notice it mostly in people going from the 1970s into the 1980s, which the advent of synthesisers and digital reverb and all that. I can't help but think that as soon as an artist is tailoring their sound for whatever is in the charts at any given time, well, those artists are forgetting what it was which made them want to make music in the first place. Unless, of course, they wanted to be famous. I mean, you could argue that by making chart-friendly songs, it gives you a podium to release the occasional wild-card. Certainly if I don't accept this myself then I'll be making songs all my life which probably nobody will ever hear, and then I'll die.

Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?

All of my favourite musicians have been saying something loud and controversial at the points where I've stumbled upon them. I grew up obsessed with Marilyn Manson's albums from when he was working with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). Songs like 'The Beautiful People' through to 'The Dope Show' and then the whole of 'Holywood'. I was raised in a Roman Catholic family and maybe I wanted someone to say something really provocative. At the same time though, I just liked the fact that it wound up my brother so much. He thought I was 'weird' for liking all that 'weird' music. When I got into my later teens, I got heavily into 'The Bends' era Radiohead, and into pretty much all music with guitars in, really. I saw Muse and Radiohead live in my teens and was fascinated by them. I really liked System of a Down. I only recently saw Slipknot for the first time and they were absolutely incredible. I only saw Black Sabbath last year or so and they blew my mind with pretty much the original line up. By the time I started calling myself 'Gallery 47', I was mostly into Bob Dylan records, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, James Taylor. Stuff you might call 'folk' or 'folk-rock' or 'troubadour folk' or 'singer-songwriter'. I don't like calling stuff folk just because it's played on an acoustic guitar. With Bob Dylan, I liked the whole civil rights element. Sure, he was around a huge number of songwriters (and the entire folk tradition) who were challenging big problems with society as it was. Maybe people fixate too much on Dylan. It must stress people out how Bob Dylan gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom while there will probably be a huge number of lesser-known folk artists who spent their lives on little to no pay trying to further an equally-important agenda. But, that's life isn't it. Bob Dylan is the person I discovered and whose music I fell in love with, so while it's unoriginal I have to single him out. And Joni Mitchell. And Neil Young. And The Beatles. It's impossible to name all your influences!

If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?

If I could collaborate with anyone in the world right now it would be someone extremely well known who would give me a fleeting chance at getting heard in time to ever make a living from music as I approach 30. These days I spend most of my time anxiously researching health conditions and worrying that I'll expire before I ever get a chance to play Glastonbury. I'm only half serious though. There's a musician called 'Keto' in Nottingham who I'm always trying to write a couple of songs with. Part of the joy of being a solo artist is that you can collaborate with members of other bands and groups pretty easily. On my album 'Young World' I worked quite closely with James Waring from Nottingham's 'The Invisible Orchestra' on all the drums and percussion. He brought a whole new sound. But right now, after years or experimenting with bands and musicians, I almost want to retreat back to where I was in 2010 when I started. Just a guitar and a vocal until I like a song, and then maybe see if I need to experiment and mess around with the arrangement afterwards. 

Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.

My brother David Peachey played the role of 'Bernard' in the children's TV show 'Bernard's Watch'. People have either never heard of it or they get ridiculously excited. I feel that he got quite a decent amount of appreciation at quite a young age and has since seemed pretty happy to pursue a regular life. I also used to act a bit as well. I once played Judas in a school performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?

At the moment, I feel like I've got past a lot of the stress. I've become passive and acceptant, despite being very driven and active in my approach to writing songs. There was a time when I felt that the more music I created, the better chance I would have. Now I feel that it's probably best to focus on individual singles or songs, spending much more time on them. All I want at this stage in my life is to be able to stay alive long enough to see some of my music become a little better known. If I could end up getting paid an acceptable amount to play for an hour or two to people several times a week or month, that would be really nice. I don't particularly seek tabloid fame. I think I'm too anxious and stress for anything too big. But I love the idea of having a song that gets big.

Where do you hope to be this time next year?

I hope to be in good health, sipping tea, listening over the a new record and feeling excited that it might change things in the year to come.

What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?

I have booked myself onto several shows across Nottingham and London in venues which I don't particularly know what to expect. You can expect me to be throwing myself in at the deep end, and you can expect me to turn 30 and panic on August 23rd 2019.