Interview: Megan & the Common Threads

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British country music artists Megan & the Common Threads have had a busy year that has included appearances at C2C Festival at O2 LondonTime Out’s Rising Stars of Country show and Nashville Meets London Festival. They’re also in the midst of completing the recording of their debut EP – and to that end have a PledgeMusic campaign going until 31 August. I was given the chance to interview Megan by email.

Your music is described as a mixture of country, blues, folk, funk and rock ‘n’ roll – what is your musical background? What did you listen to (or play) growing up that led to this mixture of genres?
I grew up in a very musical family in Ireland and started listening to country music at a young age – influenced by my mother! I learned to play piano early on and was heavily involved in musical theatre as a child and teenager. I suppose growing in a big Irish family and listening to Irish traditional music and country music tweaked my interest in these genres at an early age.

The blues, folk and funk came later when I dabbled in different genres and tested myself through songwriting and performing. Lately, my biggest influences are the other members of my band. They’re all amazing musicians and bring so much to the music through all of their own backgrounds.
You’ve been playing in various places around the UK for the past couple of years – what’s the country music scene like there?
The country scene in the UK is really booming right now! It’s been very evident over the past three years especially that it is a rapidly growing genre here. All you have to do is look at C2C festival in London – over the past three years it has become so popular that they’ve had to add an extra day. The demand for tickets is insane!
The balance of touring – of interacting with your audience – and creating (writing/producing) can be hard to find. Do you find that one pulls away from the other, or do they feed into each other?
Personally I do find the balance challenging. When there is loads of ‘admin’ work to be done it drags me away from physically playing / singing and working on my craft that way. When I’m touring it feels like everything kind of goes out the window because your main focus is on keeping your energy levels sky-high for stage time. But most of the time I enjoy each element of this career and I try and stick to a timetable to help with time management. Practice in the morning, admin work after lunch, songwriting in the evening – or some schedule like that!
One of your songs was featured on the TV show Nashville, which must have been exciting – how did that come about?
It was very exciting! Nashville is one of my favourite TV shows so I was thrilled! One of the editors loved the music and contacted us before pitching the song to the producers. Then we got selected!
If you could play any venue in the world, which would you choose?
Probably the Ryman in Nashville. I lived in Nashville for some time and the Ryman just has this magic aura about it. I loved going to live shows there.
What music are you listening to right now that you love?
I LOVE Brandi Carlile’s latest album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter. It’s been on repeat for the past 3 months!
What do you have planned for the new few months?
Lots! We’ve just finished recording our next EP, which is now being mixed and mastered. The single is due for release in late October followed by the full EP release next February so at the moment we are preparing for that. We’re just closing up our Pledge Music Campaign (ending 31st August which has been such an exciting campaign. Thanks to everyone who has been pledged!

We will also be touring in October and November in both Ireland and the UK. Come say hello!!

megan-oneill.com

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