A Chat with David Christy Jones (15.03.21)

Based in Ireland, Ireland-based David Christy Jones has performed as a respected session artist from jazz and folk to rap and heavy metal. Using his experience and versatility in various genres, the Welsh-born multi-instrumentalist has a rather unique and eclectic sound. We speak with Christy about his upcoming album Welcome To Virology, favourite smells and alternative careers.

OSR: What can you tell us about your album Welcome To Virology?

Christy: Welcome To Virology is my debut album which I wrote, performed and recorded at home during the pandemic. The album is my own personal response to the pandemic situation and how the world around us has changed as a result. Sometimes my feelings toward the situation are bitter; sometimes angry, sometimes sorrowful and sometimes worried. I have done my best to put these feelings into the medium of music. I live with vulnerable family which has meant being particularly mindful to do everything in my power to protect my loved ones. This, of course, has meant spending the entirety of the pandemic in a personal lockdown and bubble. By extension, this has given me a great deal of time in which to make music and the result of that is Welcome To Virology.

OSR: Did you face any challenges when writing and recording it?

Christy: Honestly, I think the greatest challenge is promotion and raising awareness of my music. The writing and recording process wasn’t particularly challenging, save for a few bits here and there. My musical experience so far has been predominantly as a multi-instrumentalist ‘work for hire’. I have always been a member of other bands, but this is the first time I have ever been the ‘captain of the ship’, so to speak.

I’ve learned an immense amount through this experience and I’m learning more with every passing day. So, yes, certain aspects are very challenging but I’m grateful for the experience I’m gaining by navigating these obstacles and challenges.

OSR: If you could change anything about the album what would it be?

Christy: If I had the option to do anything differently it would have been the ability to record this album with a live band. As it stands, I have recorded all of the instrumentation on the album. Drums, guitar, bass, banjo, piano – it’s entirely me.

While I’m very proud of that self-sufficiency, I’m also fully aware that I have missed out on all of the wonderful new ideas other musicians could bring to the table. My fingers and toes are firmly crossed that as soon as it becomes safe to do so I will be able to recruit a band to make this vision come true. Perhaps then I can record a new album with the strength and shared ideas of a full group of awesome musicians by my side. Time will tell!

OSR: Does the album hold significance for you?

Christy: It holds terrific significance for me. Not only is it my first album but it also marks an increased maturity and understanding of myself as both a writer, performer and producer. The themes that the album deals with are very important to me as well. On top of that, I’ve made an album that I’m proud of. I’ve created this music because it’s something I wanted to listen to and make available for others should they choose to join me on this musical journey.

OSR: What do you hope people take from Welcome To Virology and your music in general?

Christy: Who am I to say? Music is subjective and mine is no different. I just hope that people enjoy the music and take away some sense of the love and attention that I put into making this. Short of that I only hope that it inspires even one person to think about making their own music in lockdown.

OSR: If you weren’t in music what career would you choose?

Christy: If you’d asked me that question a few years ago I probably would have answered with something relating to the sea. I’ve always loved the idea of becoming a nautical officer or something similar. However, in recent years, I’ve become absolutely obsessed with astronomy. I guess these days if I had the choice, I would probably study astronomy more seriously and investigate a career in that. Though in all honesty, I have absolutely no intention of hanging up my guitars just yet.

OSR: Which artist (living or dead) would you like to perform with and why?

Christy: Easy. Frank Zappa.

Anybody who knows me or my music would have seen this answer coming a mile away. That man has done more to influence my musical trajectory than anybody else. I don’t have many idols but he definitely sits on top of the pile in that regard.

For anybody curious about his work, I highly recommend checking out Roxy & Elsewhere. That album had a big influence on me.

OSR: What is your favourite smell?

Christy: Allow me to retort; what is your favourite colour of the alphabet?

OSR: What advice do you have for emerging artists?

Christy: As an ’emerging artist’ myself I’m not sure I’m the right person to be giving that kind of advice. Though a principle I hold very dearly that I would always encourage others to follow is that music should never be written with the sole intention of making money. By that, I mean that music can be a reflection of our deepest and most personal emotions and experiences. It can also be a neatly packed product that has been created with the sole intention of making a quick cash grab. I’m not saying for a second that this makes it in any way less enjoyable to create or to listen to. I do believe, however, that some artists sacrifice their artistic integrity in order to become popular and sell music. While that is absolutely their prerogative, I personally have no interest or intention of going down that road myself. I’d rather be unpopular than be dishonest to myself as an artist. To quote the aforementioned Frank Zappa: “I think that any artistic decision that is based on whether or not you are going to make money it is not really an artistic decision.”

OSR: Do you have any message for our readers?

Christy: Be safe and keep on trucking through these incredibly difficult and unusual times. I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote from the show Twin Peaks:

“Will this sadness which makes me cry – will this sadness that makes me cry my heart out – will it ever end?” The answer, of course, is yes. One day the sadness will end.”

Thanks to David Christy Jones for speaking with us. For more from David Christy Jones check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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