Originally from Clontarf in Dublin, Rory Gillanders now resides in South Woodford London, where he works in construction and writes music in his spare time.
I caught up with the singer songwriter to delve into the artist and his debut EP. A four track EP titled Tomorrow Means Nothin’ that puts one in mind of a mixture of Bob Dylan, Paul Weller and Oasis. Rory has always had an interest in writing and playing the guitar but it’s only in recent times that his songwriting has come to the fore.
“I was always into writing short stories and poems and stuff in school, in primary school like; when I was eleven or twelve. In my teens I was strumming a few notes on the guitar but not taking it too seriously.
“I left it for a few years and went travelling to Australia and it was only when I got back I got into it a bit more seriously. I’ve always liked the writing side of things so I thought I’d put a bit of music to the words and see how it goes,” explains Rory.
Speaking about the music that has influenced him, there are some heavy weight singer songwriters on the list:
“In the last few years I’ve got big into Ryan Adams, other influences I’d say Noel Gallagher, Springsteen and Dylan.”
“I’ve listened to Dylan everyday for the last 15 or 16 years so he has to be a big influence,” laughs Rory.
A back injury in work last year meant that he suddenly had a lot of time on his hands and this was a catalyst for the creativity to flow that led to the writing and recording of: Tomorrow Means Nothin’.
His music combines a mixture of struggle and hope that make for some powerful anthems. The title tack of the EP Tomorrow Means Nothin’ has these elements in abundance:
Self funded, it took Rory a couple of months to record the EP as he had to go back a number of times when cash was available. The songs were recorded in Sam Thomas’ Studio in East London. Sam Thomas also produced Tomorrow Means Nothin’ and plays some lead guitar, bass and piano on the EP.
There is no underlying theme as such in the music explains Rory:
“I didn’t sit down and say I’m going to write songs specifically about anything. I was sitting around the flat and I had this chronic back pain and I wasn’t in the best of moods but I think that kind of made for some good writing.
“I was looking at Al Jazerra and thinking about war and kind of the war with myself, the war in my mind, not to get too depressing! Time, I suppose, I’ve lots of stuff I want to do and do I have enough time to do it ?” explains Rory.
Mental health is also a theme that plays a part in Rory’s Music:
“I suffer from anxiety, I think a lot of people suffer with their mental health and lot more people are talking about it now. That definitely played a part in the songs, wanting to feel better really, I suppose,” explains Rory
“They’re definitely not love songs, the way I was feeling at the time brought the songs out. Every cloud has a silver lining, the bad back maybe made for some good writing,” laughs Rory.
On “Be my God,” Rory bangs out an uplifting rock ballad that also features him playing the harmonica:
Rory is promoting his music through social media, radio and playing small gigs and open mike sessions. He recently played the Oxjam Festival in London.
“Yeah, it went well, there was over a 100 different bands in ten different venues across Islington. That was pretty cool.
“I’ve sent my stuff into radio stations as well, got played on 2XM and a few other radio stations in the UK.”
“I got played on Radio Nova by Gavin Glass, I was chuffed with that” says Rory.
“Yeah, I uploaded the music to TuneCore, got them the Album art, the cover and stuff. You pay a £30 yearly subscription and they put it up on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms,” explains Rory.
Rory is already writing and recording music for his next project. “I wanna be a free man” is another raw and powerful ballad:
Rory is philosophical about the future and has a very laid back approach. He simply just wants to keep playing his music:
“I’m not in it for the money at all. Obviously if I earn a few quid it would be great. I’m just gonna keep playing gigs man to get it out there,” says Rory.
Keep a look out on Rory Gillanders Music Facebook page for upcoming gigs in London and Dublin in the near future.