1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I always loved music, but I had a good music teacher when I was 9 or 10, who really showed me I could play anything if I practiced. I started playing the violin at school, then picked up the guitar and dropped the violin (although I kept the bow) in my early teens. I’m sure that was partly driven by not seeing a violinist on Top of the Pops. And then a major moment was seeing Dr Feelgood on the TV and realising I didn’t need to have to be as good as Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page or Steve Howe to be in a band – not that I’m as good as Wilko Johnson either, but the simplicity of what they offered was very attractive. It’s in our nature to let things become more and more ornate and complex, and then tear it all back to plain and simple, and that journey from Prog Rock to Pub Rock & Punk Rock is a good example of that happening. I was a teenager, so I enjoyed the tearing down part.
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to my parents records, swing and rock ‘n roll mostly, and then The Beatles on the radio when I was small. That sort of morphed into me buying my own records in the early 70s. Playing the guitar was a natural step I think, and it was still an act of rebellion to play in a band, so I did that too. Then it was bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the mid Seventies, then Punk. I was inspired by all those records, the swing bands of Duke Ellington and Ted Heath from my parents, but also Johnny Cash and Bill Haley, and Lennon & McCartney, then David Bowie, Glam Rock, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page, Dave Gilmour, and then all that anarchy, and out the other side with bands like Ian Dury and The Blockheads, who could really play. I’m inspired and influenced by everything I hear that I like or find interesting.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I started playing at around 9. That was the violin and the xylophone in my Junior School band. (I’m glad there were no recordings of that!) I can’t remember when I started writing although I think it was probably soon after I started playing the guitar. That would have been doing other peoples songs that I couldn’t play properly, and it ending up being so bad it was something completely else! Then it was bands and 4-track recorders and dirty little studios and off I went.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I don’t play live anymore. It’s not what I do – I think of myself as a composer and musician in that order, and because I play most things on my tracks it’s a bit impractical to reproduce it live. I sometimes sing and play the guitar to my granddaughter Olivia Grace, who finds it hugely amusing.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
It’s really hard to pick out individual moments – I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to do the things I do. I was very happy the first time I saw “Music by Kim Halliday” on a proper cinema screen (at the National Film Theatre in London!). I made friends with Jake Riviera (who started Stiff Record in the Seventies), and I worked with Rat Scabies and, of course, Halflight was made with Martin Lister, who was my friend for more than 20 years, and we had such a good time making it.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
www.kimhalliday.com is my website, and although I have stuff on Bandcamp and Soundcloud and Facebook and everywhere, it’s easiest to go to my site first. Enjoy!