The Gaze: Where are you from?
Conor Coughlan: I was born in Essex but I moved Canada when I was about 12. I spent a lot of time in the States touring the last couple of years too. I got signed to a label in the UK this past Spring and I’ve only just come back to the UK as a result of that.
What are you currently plugging?
I’ve got on album called Give It Up coming out on October the 9th in retail stores in the UK and it will be available online worldwide. I’m really looking forward to getting it out there and letting people have their first taste of my music.
Tell us about it in one sentence.
I recorded it in Berkeley, California, the album is quite up tempo and it’s got some great players on it (Tracey Chapman’s bassist and drummer actually played on it).
Define your sound.
I get asked this a lot and I usually just say acoustic rock but you can take what you want from it. Some might call it pop, some might say folk. It can really go anywhere.
What song are you most excited for people to hear?
There’s a track on the album called Under The Sun that I’m really excited for people to hear. It’s got some strings on it which sound beautiful and I’m not sure if people are expecting that. I’ve also never played the track live so it will be the first time people will be hearing it.
Who are your most common comparisons?
I’ve had Bruce Springsteen a couple of times and I’ve had Neil Young a few. I had a show once in San Diego and I was playing the last track from my album ‘Will You Be Mine?’ and a lady came up to me and said it reminded her of Ray Charles. That was a real honour.
Who would you compare yourself to?
I’d say I’m a mix of Neil Young, Springsteen and a bit of Jake Bugg thrown in there. The reason I say Jake Bugg is because he’s an artist who’s playing music with an older feel but making it pop and more modern. I like that.
What does success mean to you?
For me it’s basically about being able to live comfortably doing what I love, which is making music and performing live. If I can sell enough records and have enough people come out to my shows and can continue to do that, I’ll be happy.
What is your ultimate goal?
I’ve always said that I wanted to perform on David Letterman but since that’s not around anymore I’ll take one of the other American late night chat shows. I’ve also always said I’d love to play on Jools Holland too. I grew up watching Jools Holland so to get to perform on his show would be quite surreal.
And in the short term?
Basically get this record out and build as much of a fan base as I possibly can. Get on the road again and tour the UK.
Finally, tell us one thing about you that you have never mentioned in an interview before:
I’ve got quite a weird addiction with peanut butter. I’ll usually eat it like ice cream.