Entertainment & Events

Bobby Long a breath of fresh air in a “Dirty Pond”

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When the name Bobby Long is called, what do you think? You may think to yourself “I’ve heard that name before,” or you may think to yourself “oh, that’s right, he wrote a song for Robert Pattinson on Twilight!” Well, if that is your only thought on Bobby Long then you are missing out.

Bobby Long, a singer from the UK, has made his way to the top of the music scene with his deep heartwarming lyrics, and soulful style. His first album “Dirty Pond Songs” is quickly becoming a testament to the British singer’s prowess in the musical world. With his humble beginnings of playing open-mics in London, to the main stage of many venues across the world and in the U.S., he is bringing back true music that we all can enjoy.

He doesn’t play four chord wonders, or poppy lyrics about dancing in the clubs; that’s not what Bobby Long is about. Instead he unveils a seemingly forgotten form of music, with his own twist. All his songs are like a well orchestrated ballet of chord progressions and vocals that pluck at the deepest confined thoughts of your soul. When so many artists are playing for the pop crowd, Long is creating meaningful and well written music.

The music that is spawning from the British singer’s vision is bringing a hope to the musical world. In a world that is settling for mediocrity and sub par expressions of music, Bobby Long is a shining light in a dark room that is filled with crunk rapping, pop singing darkness.

Finishing up his tour dates in L.A., he will be coming to San Diego to play at UCSD’s Loft on Oct. 29. The Entertainer got a chance to catch up with the artist and ask him what he is all about.

Your new album “Dirty Pond Songs” has an interesting name, can you give us a little background on it?

It’s not really even an album, it’s more like a collection of songs. I’m actually in the process of doing my album right now. I had quite a collection of songs, like 20 songs, and I was coming to America and I needed something to give to the industry people and press people. So I decided to record in my bedroom for a couple of hours.

The title came from me and my friend. We both love those old kind of blues documentaries, like on Robert Johnson. Stemming from this, my friend had an idea for a music video. The video would consist of the feeling like casting a fishing rod into a pond and pulling out like a shopping cart or a boot. It kind of stuck and we always laughed about it, so we decided to call it Dirty Pond Songs.

How was the process of recording in your bedroom?

Well I was coming to America in April and I needed something to give to somebody and I just recorded it in my bedroom with a mic, it was cool.  I’m currently in the studio now though, working on my new album.

Is there a big difference in recording in a studio compared to your bedroom?

Yeah, I’m working with a bloke called Liam Watson, he did the White Stripes stuff and I’m playing with a band this time around and it is hugely, hugely different. We are doing everything quickly. We’re recording everything live so it is still an attempt and a quick process, it’s good.

What are some of the main influences you’ve have when you make songs for your albums?

I like Bob Dylan and the Beatles, bands like that you know. I love a lot of stuff from the sixties and Mo-Town, old Folk stuff like Pete Seeger, quite a mix blend. Most of it did come from the sixties; it’s the same for most kids with parents from the sixties. You listen to their stuff in the car and luckily my parents played a lot of good stuff and I picked up on it. I love a lot of new bands now, but I’m still mainly rooted from that and take most of my inspiration from older music.

When you first came to the U.S. were people receptive to your style of music?

In America people were more receptive because they have a lot of folk and blues music, and that’s what I’m good at. From that, I think there is more of an understanding in America for my music. There is a big kind of folk revival thing in England right now, but it’s still kind of British Folk based, but I love all the American guys. People like Robert Johnson and Willie Jeffries, I think it’s not dramatically better but I think people are more receptive to it.

How has the Twilight song helped your career?

It was a random occurrence, but it was a good happening.  Now, I’m touring all around the world and recording with a great producer to put out a really great album, and I am really thankful for the opportunity. It was a weird happening, and I didn’t expect it.

Do you have any favorite places to play in the U.S.?

America is such a vast country with a lot of different people, but I like to play in L.A. because I get a good response down there and a good turn out. New York is great, Nashville and Memphis are really good too. It’s just different, different people you know, but I like playing all over basically.

When you’re on stage what guitar do you play?

I play a Gibson. I recently bought this one and I’ve been playing with it for three months and it is beautiful. It’s the same one Dylan used, and it is a real beautiful guitar.

Has your new found success brought a lot of new friends and opportunities for you?

I always like to do my own thing, but yeah to a certain extent it has gotten better. I’m touring around the country and in foreign countries. People find that interesting. The more I play the more I find that people listen.

How are you handling your new found fame?

I really don’t think about it that much, because I really love playing. For the moment though, it’s kind of strange getting on a flight everyday, and driving in a car to a different place. It’s not as exotic as a tour bus and traveling around. I’m not in nice hotels, I’m staying  on friends’ floors, peoples’ floors, for the moment I’m at friends Britney’s house. I just want to write songs and play for others, and everything else is kind of bullshit.

Do you think moving to a record label has brought more constraints to your artistic freedom?

I feel more free now, working with good people and having the opportunity to put myself out there a bit more. It depends on who you’re working with and what you intend to do. The things I am doing, I deliberately made it so I wasn’t constrained and had a lot of more choices. Just like taking exams, the more you work towards your goals in terms of colleges, the better. It’s kind of like the music industry. The more effort you put in, and the more hard work, the more choices you have, and the easier it is. People have more respect for you.

Is playing with a band different then being solo?

I’m still playing on my own on the tour because it’s worked out like that, but playing in a band is a whole other kind of thing in terms of the meaning. There are good and bad things to playing with a band. For instance, if you like playing on your own you have such freedom and you can go in and out of things, improvise and do what you want. In a band you have the hard hitting nature of it, the sound that flows behind you. Playing with a band is a great thing. It’s just different in its own way.

You talked about meaning in songs, what are some of the meanings you try to reflect in your music?

I like to tell stories, and express things. I think you have to take the listener into account otherwise it comes off kind of ignorant. American’s tend to do so. But I like the way people interpret my songs differently, and just how they go about hearing my songs, it’s cool.

What can we look forward to at your show in San Diego?

It’s going to be a mix of all my songs, I like to mix it up a little bit, and I have quite a lot of songs now. I also like to take requests from the audience, when people shout stuff at my shows it’s refreshing. At the end of the day it’s not so much about myself, but it is about the people. They paid money so they should be able to hear what they want to hear.

Any advice for future musicians, and how they can stay true to themselves?

It always comes down to the individual, but I have always believed that to do anything you have to physically go out and do it. Until you step on stage you don’t really know how it feels, or how good you are. You also need peoples’ opinions on how good you are and how you can better yourself. Music is a sharing experience, you know? And you should play as many shows as you possibly can. Instead of talking about it, just go out there and do it. It depends on how you want to do it really, but that’s how I wanted to do it.

27 Comments

  1. TheLadyJane

    October 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    What a great interview with Bobby Long! He’s an amazing singer/songwriter/musician and I cannot go to enough of his shows. “Dirty Pond Songs” is my constant companion and I love knowing where the title came from. Thank you for interviewing Bobby! I highly recommend going to as many of his shows as possible!

  2. lucyg2921

    October 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for your interview with Bobby Long! I completely agree with your description of his music as true and meaningful. He will continue to attract more and more fans as people discover him and find out that real music is not gone and forgotten, after all. His live shows are something you should experience every chance you get. Bobby’s songs go with me everywhere – CD player in the car, iPod in the pocket, laptop at work – and they never get old. Thanks again for shining the spotlight on him.

  3. caspeta

    October 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for you interview with Bobby i really like your question and the way his answer this kid really know what he wants. I will be at the Loft tomorrow to see Bobby Long.

  4. DeEttaMarie

    October 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this write up/ interview with Bobby Long. He is a breath of fresh air in this mundane commercialized radio driven society. The day I turn on the Radio and hear Bobby Long, will be the day he has made a difference in it! I believe he is truly one of the best singer song writers in todays time, and he is most asurredly paving the way for folk music in mainstream media. Thank you so much for asking the question of his CD title. I have always wanted to know where the “Dirty Pond Songs” title came from. This is a wonderful article, thank you SO much for this. I highly recommend attending as many Bobby Long shows as possible, his show is so intimate, and his music is pure sound waves of beauty, that is comferting to your soul. Bobby Long is a Wonderful Artist, I am so glad I am able to share him with my children. He is definitely on our list of “get to know” artists!

  5. Stacy

    October 28, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Awesome! Thank you for this nice article, and for interviewing Bobby Long!!!

  6. Stephanie

    October 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Great interview!! You had some good questions and got some good answers!! I enjoyed reading it!

  7. Cyn

    October 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    “When so many artists are playing for the pop crowd, Long is creating meaningful and well written music.
    The music that is spawning from the British singer’s vision is bringing a hope to the musical world.”

    Well AMEN!!! FINALLY someone in the press who gets what many of us did the first time we heard “To Be a Mockingbird”. Wonderful article and interview.

  8. AlisonIlana

    October 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Great article about Bobby! Just stumbled upon him a a few months ago and his music does NOT disappoint. He is a unique voice with a lot of passion in his music. This is a great article that really represents Bobby as a musician and “Dirty Pond Songs” is great! Keep up the great work!

  9. Tanya

    October 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you for this article, the interview was wonderful. I am not a music expert so I won’t pretend to be but what I can say is this… There is not one song on his “collection of songs” that I don’t like and his music just makes me happy. To me that is the true test of good music.

  10. Sherri

    October 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    There is nothing I love more than seeing an article on Bobby Long!! Thank you for interviewing him and recognizing his talent. Bobby has restored my confidence in good music and with his music I can make it through anything. If you haven’t been to one of his shows you are missing out on one hell of an experience!! He truly is a breathe of fresh air in this poluted musical world. Thank you again!

  11. Dee

    October 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Great article. He really has allowed us to experience some amazingly passionate and meaningful music…unlike the hollow drivel that floods the radio waves today. It is just so refreshing to listen, and his live performances are filled with so much passion and soul, it’s impossible to move away from it.

  12. vamosrafa07

    October 28, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this insightful and very interesting article/interview.
    I love that there are still people like Bobby out there who create such unique and beautiful music.

  13. Janet

    October 29, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Thank you for the interview!!! I have seen Bobby live and own the Dirty Pond Songs!! He is such a talented musician!

  14. Joanna

    October 29, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Definitely one of the best Bobby Long interviews out there. Thanks. He’s amazingly talented. More people need to notice!

  15. Therese

    October 29, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for a great article. It is nice to hear his perspective on the music he writes. Bobby Long is an amazine artist in every sense of the word. I am looking forward to hear him play in December.
    It is nice to see rising artist have a place to show their talent.

  16. Mary Ann

    October 29, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Bobby is an amazing and talented musician and what a refreshing article!

  17. Evie

    October 29, 2009 at 8:02 am

    This interview & article is a breath of fresh air! I love some of the questions asked as they’ve never been addressed before & I really like how you focus so much on his music and how he feels about the whole process of touring & recording. Wonderfully done!

  18. Spetey

    October 29, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Fantastic interview. Great questions and his answers are so thoughtful.

  19. Jennifer

    October 29, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Great article and fantastic questions!

  20. Thaifer

    October 29, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the great article about Bobby. One of the best interviews I’ve read of his in a long while.
    I’m a big fan and am really looking forward to Bobby playing America again.

  21. Julie L

    October 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    thanks so much for a wonderful article about Bobby. I love the interview and haven’t read one this good and informative about his music in a while. it’s refreshing. i can’t wait to see Bobby in December!

  22. Krissy Jill

    October 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Bobby Long is about the only hope this generation has musically. The folks on today’s airwaves should use his level of talent, passion and integrity as goals to strive toward. Thank you for such a well written article on a very deserving artist!

  23. PokerStarlight

    October 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you so much for such a great article and for featuring the talented Bobby Long. You say it best in that, “Well, if that is your only thought on Bobby Long then you are missing out.”

    I hope that people who’ve not yet had the opportunity to experience what an amazing artist he is will take note and explore an example of a true musician and performer. In my opinion, the “downfall” in the music industry that’s blamed specifically on the pirating of music also has a lot to do with the quality of today’s music. If what’s played on the radio is any indication, it’s only going further downhill. We need to get back to music with meaning, with heart, with passion…

    I think we could all use more Bobby Long in our lives.

    Thank you again for a great interview and article.

  24. Patti

    October 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I was forwarded your article/interview and I whole heartedly agree with everything you said. His type of music certainly isn’t in the normal rock genre that I’ve been listening to these past few years but I have found myself drawn to it from the moment I heard it. He is a breath of fresh air and has reminded me how much I truly love well done music.

  25. mandeebg

    November 1, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Great article! Thanks for writing about Bobby Long. He is truly a gifted artist. It is so nice to see recognition for “real music”!

  26. sheila

    November 15, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Thank you for a great article. Bobby is gifted and talented musician, and he is from a seemingly forgotten music, but it is a music that he is perfecting, and making all his own. Thank you for recognizing his incredible talent.

  27. Ali

    November 16, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Finding this article a tad late, but I’m so glad I did find it period. Out of many interviews I’ve read with Bobby, this was one of my favorites. Bobby’s talent is just amazing, he sings from his soul and pushes himself further and further with each performance. The songs that Bobby continues to write and sing are just beautiful!!! Can’t get enough of Bobby Long’s music. Thanks for the interview. Some very original questions and answers I might add!! I HIGHLY recommend seeing him live- he’ll pull you in!

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