Behind The Music with Radio Drive Kevin Gullickson on  Sweet Thing

radio drive AmericanPM_cover.png

Listen to the INTERVIEW:

 
 

Band Name: Radio Drive
Person Interviewing: Kevin Gullickson

Song name: Sweet Thing

Music Genre: Alternative Pop Rock

The song is about my wife. Yet another song to express my love and appreciation for her. My music is a lot of things - influences from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2 and Coldplay. It's optimistic and encouraging. It can be heavy and deep and yet light and inviting all at the same time.

https://soundcloud.com/kevin-11-1/sweet-thing?in=kevin-11-1/sets/she-colors-my-world

How do you think this release represents your current direction: This release represents so much to me. First of all, I've released a full CD - the first full CD in almost 6 years. It's my fifth full CD release. I've released a best of CD and two singles over the last 6 years, but not an entirely new CD. I was in a bit of a slump for the last few years and needed to pull myself together and get back on track. My brother had passed away, which was devastated me.

Plus there was planning for a big European tour with my band that seemed to fizzle out. So much going on that took me out of the game. I had to step back and withdraw from everything to get regain my perspective. So this CD represents me getting back in the game. It represents my persistence, diligence and fortitude to keep on writing, recording and releasing music.

Musically, I think this is some of my best work yet. I've really focused on making my songs excellent in every way possible. I think - at least I hope - I've achieved that with the resources that I have available to me.

I love creating each instrumental part.

 

The Process of Creating Music...
I'm fortunate to have a home studio. So I do all my work there. I've learned to play all the instruments over the years, so I play all the parts on my CDs: Guitar, lead guitar, acoustic, bass guitar and keys. I will admit, the drums are midi - but, I did play drums for over 10 years in my teens. So I can play. I just don't have the room for a big kit. I still think like a drummer, so when I'm creating the drum parts I hear it in my head first, then create the part.

I have a huge sound library for the keyboard midi parts and drum midi parts. I've got thousands of sounds and instruments. Sometimes I spend hours just looking for that right keyboard sound.

I usually start my process by laying down a scratch track with an acoustic guitar and vocal. Then I start adding the rhythm parts (bass guitar, rhythm guitar and drums). Then I begin laying more guitars and keyboard parts.

I love creating each instrumental part. Each one is so unique: The bass guitar - something that's moving, melodic and yet laying down the groove. The keyboard parts - especially string arrangements. I love classical music and love songs that incorporate great string arrangements, like ColdPlay's music - and The Beatles, like Abby Road and Sgt Pepper.

Then the lead guitar - I love playing leads. Then vocals, and finally harmonies. I spent quite a lot of time on harmonies.

Once I'm finished with all the recording, then I do the mixing. I went to a recording school several years ago and have kept up (as best I can) with mixing. I've got some fantastic softare - iZotope - which is incredible. I'll mix it into the ball park - mixing down to stems, then I send out for the final mastering.

This last CD I was thrilled to work with a Producer in NYC, Robert L. Smith. He's worked with some of my favorite artists like Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Aerosmith and so many more.

How do you stay focused and balance creating with life..
Good question. I do have a day job, 9-5p. So it can be challenging. I write songs all the time, but I mainly do the recording in the winter. I live in Minnesota where we have long cold winters. So I'll hibernate over the winter and record. I'll spend the evenings and literally all weekend recording. Whereas in the summer, I like to get outside. There's yard work to do and everyone seems to have picnics, weddings, parties in the summer. So I'm busy with that.

Sometimes I don't feel like recording or writing. Since I do most everything, on those nights when I'm too tired to create, I'll edit or look for a keyboard sound from my huge sound library. Something like that doesn't take much energy, whereas creating something, I feel I need to be focused and more alert.

 

Best Advise...
There is so much. I think the one thing that really changed me was taking ownership of my career. For years I had been looking to other people to do everything for me. That can lead to a very unhealthy situation. For example, a person can get real desperate and make bad decisions and get hooked up with a devious shark that takes advantage of you. Sadly, I've been there.

"When I realized that it was up to me to make things happen and I took responsibility, things changed drastically for me."

 

I live in...
Lakeville, MN which is part of the Minneapolis / St Paul area. As everyone knows, Prince was from here. So the music scene is huge. One of the most well known clubs - First Avenue - is here. I've played there several times. There are so many local bands, and so many bands passing through here, playing the clubs. It's amazing. Plus, some great radio stations that help promote local artists.

Website & social media links: :
 http://www.radio-drive.com
http://www.facebook.com/radiodrive
http://www.twitter.com/radiodrivemusic
http://www.youtube.com/RadioDriveMusic
http://www.reverbnation.com/radiodrive

 

 

COMMENTS

  • galvanicmusicCool 🔥

  • homerikofficialGreat track! He would be an inspiration to many indie artists! Blessings in your journey!

  • radio_driveThank you Jacqueline and your amazing staff for all your support!!

  • radio_drive@homerikofficial thank you so much!

  • avaliveradio@radio_drive your very welcome. It's a blessing to work with you and we cherish your friendship. I'm especially excited to see your renewed vibrance for your music and that your embarrassing the art of self production. That's truely exciting.

  • avaliveradio@homerikofficial Kevin has just come through a journey of real struggle and we are happy to see him producing again with the added benefit of watching his journey of learning self production. He's got an excellent ear. This is so creative and exciting to be a part of

  • radio_drive@avaliveradio thank you Jacqueline!

  • homerikofficial@radio_drive @avaliveradioreally amazing story. Nothing can break you from what you want to achieve and that right there says alot! Glad to follow your journey!

  • avaliveradio@homerikofficial I agree. And that's what's so exciting about today in music. We are not limited nor under anyone's ones rules. (Except for Facebook lol ... ) And with all the music creation tools you can make music for as little at 200

  • homerikofficial@avaliveradio so true that's why we you got to love that these days us Indie Artists and Bands can do sooo much!

  • avaliveradio@homerikofficial I was just playing with the Original keys I/O they have in the studio here are when you think of what can be done with this and all the programs that comes with it for 200 it's amazing.

  • radio_drive@avaliveradio So glad our roads have crossed on our journeys.

  • avaliveradio@radio_drive your welcome.

  • karisakay76Awesome it is definitely a whole new ballgame now

  • chwmaestroWhen you need to do something that’s authentically you, do it yourself! That’s the moral of this story!

  • zitabarbaraREMINDS me of David gr

  • zitabarbaraGREY

  • zitabarbaraSorry my phone won't let me type

  • carmentoth111Sounds retro 🤘🏻❤️

  • avaliveradio@karisakay76 @chwmaestro@zitabarbara @carmentoth111 He's done this all on his own for the first time. Amazing to watch a musician strike out to tackle self production. Bravo @radio_drive

  • lisamittsFantastic. I would love to know how you got your songs on TV shows. That’s something I’ve wanted to do.

  • thecocoscottThat’s amazing—I’d love to self-produce one day :)

  • brassylucaSweet

  • darinjellisonmusicIt’s inspiring to hear of successes like that from indie artists, and that it has informed how they pursue future success.

  • carmentoth111@avaliveradio good for him 🤘🏻❤️

  • thekristinmouraKeep creating and keep telling your story .

  • radio_drive@lisamitts I submit to tons of opportunities on various music community sites like music x ray and reverb nation. Plus there are several places online where you can submit music for no fee. Do a google search for something like “music license submit “. Hope that helps.

  • lisamitts@radio_drive thank you so much! I will check it out. The song I posted today is one I want to submit. Really appreciate you taking the time to write this for me. 💞