“All I’ve ever really wanted was to have a life in music, and that’s what I’ve managed to achieve. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Singer-songwriter-producer Gary Clark is my super-special guest for episode #300! We talk about his career, from his ’80s band Danny Wilson (and their all-time great single Mary’s Prayer) to his songwriting for the wonderful movie Sing Street (and the great single Drive It Like You Stole It). We get into the twists-and-turns of his life in music, his transition from performer to producer, how he learned to write in another singer’s voice, the furious social media messages from strangers about the fact that he doesn’t sing anymore, the coincidence & blessing of getting tapped by John Carney to write music for Sing Street, how writing for musicals differs from pop songs, the ways the Infinite Jukebox changes how (young) people discover music and how he stays current, the time he avoided meeting one of his musical heroes, his work with the new act HYYTS, how a Danny Wilson reunion got derailed by Nanny McPhee, and much more! Give it a listen! And go watch Sing Street & listen to Gary’s music (I’d start with Meet Danny Wilson)!
“The very first thing Natalie Imbruglia told me when we sat down to write was, ‘I’m into angst.'”
“I’m amazed at how records continually sound better and better.”
About our Guest
Gary Clark is a Scottish musician, songwriter and record producer. As a performer he is best known as the frontman of 1980s pop band Danny Wilson, which scored a hit with “Mary’s Prayer” in 1987 off the album Meet Danny Wilson. After a second Danny Wilson album, Bebop Moptop, he made a solo album, Ten Short Songs About Love, in 1993, and was later a founding member of the short-lived bands King L and Transister. Gary found greater success in the years hence as a songwriter and producer, having written and produced songs for Natalie Imbruglia, Nick Carter, the Veronicas, Little Hours, and the Xcerts, among others. He composed and co-performed the music for John Carney’s 2016 film Sing Street and is the producer for HYTTS on his label, Blinding Heights. He’s currently helping adapt a musical version of Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at an undisclosed location on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 Microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Bio photo of Gary by me. It’s on my instagram. Nicer pix of Gary by Alison Clark.