Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Sunday Spotlight: Jeff McCall
1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
My name is Jeff McCall and I’m a singer who writes and produces his own music. Originally from the Essex, I now live in a small village called Earith that’s about 20 miles North of Cambridge.
2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
I started seriously writing and producing music back in the 80s and that’s where my musical soul has remained. It just seems natural to me to continue making the 80s style synthpop that I’ve always loved. There’s been a bit of a resurgence in New Wave and Synth Wave music these last couple of years, so there’s a willing audience for my music. Fans tell me it reminds them of the good times they had back then, and many are fooled into believing that my songs were actually released back then.
3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
I started making music back around 1983 when I joined a synth band called Malicieux Garde as their vocalist. I’d always enjoyed singing, and performing live just became an addiction for me. We wrote and toured for around 6 years with some success but never managed to get signed. A growing family and house moves meant I lost my home recording space for many years. It wasn’t until I moved to Cambridgeshire that I got my home studio back and all my old gear came out of mothballs. It wasn’t difficult for me to get straight back into writing and I had continued singing off and on along the way. Once I started writing again there was no stopping me. I released my first solo EP ‘Perspective’ in February 2016 and a full-length album Night Life followed in October 2017.
4. Stage or studio?
Stage is the absolute best experience for me. I love to sing for people and just adore being in the limelight. I would jump at every opportunity to perform live. However, I also love the studio environment too. I’m a bit of a tech and gadget nerd, so electronic synthesizer based music suits me well. The studio often feels like a one-way time machine for me; I sit down to write or produce some music and hours later I’m sat there in the future wondering where all the time went!
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
I still have all the stuff I ever bought including a Casio CZ1000, a Korg X3 and a Roland D110 that I bought from new when they first came out. I even still have my trusty Tascam 144 Portastudio that my first songs were recorded on. These days I’m tending to do everything in-the-box. I use Propellerhead Reason on my PC to record in my home studio. I have two widescreen monitors connected to my PC so I can spread out the DAW windows and see the mixer at the same time as the sequencer for better workflow. I use a Behringer Xenyx X1222 USB mixer as my audio interface so I can plug in any of my analogue gear if I need to. My main vocal mic is an sE Electronics SE2000 that I use with an SE Reflection Filter in lieu of a vocal booth. My monitors are KRK Rokit 5s, which work great in my setting. It’s a simple and compact set up that works great for me and doesn’t get in the way of making the music.
6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
It might sound crazy, but my favourite bit of gear is my Novation LaunchKey Mini keyboard. I love Novation gear and I have a lot of it! The Mini is so compact I can just grab it and have it in front of me on my work desk whenever I’m writing. It’s much less cumbersome than a conventional keyboard controller and I can shove it in a backpack too if I’m away and want to write on my iPad. I do have constant cravings for a larger Novation controller though, lol!
7. Where can we check out your tunes?
You can listen to my retro synthpop at my website and on YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud. Here are the links: