Unity caught up with Cork Musician Paul Morrissey to ask him a few questions to get to know him a bit more, his influences and where he started..
When and why did you start playing?
At 13 got my first guitar out of a skip
Which instruments do you play?
Guitar, Ukulele, Bodhran
What was/were the first tune(s) you learned?
Christ Moore ride on
Is your family musical?
No all sporty except myself I took the musical route. My brother plays for cork city, niece plays for cork woman’s Team and nephew plays GAA for cork
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Glen Hansard his writing style is raw and emotional and the involvement he has in the homeless community is the icing on the cake for me
Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Glen Hansard, Mick Flannery, Newton Faulkner I’d like to some day pull out that style of writing
Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
Stevie Moore he played in a band called the kitchen sink. After I pulled a guitar from a skip I knocked at his door and he went trough the basics with me
Describe your first instrument? And other ther instruments ?
First was a guitar and then I picked up a Bodhran and the last few years had a crack of the Ukulele just for the fun of it.
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighbourhood or town?
Micheal Jackson playing Down the park and then when oasis came to town and we managed to sneak in and see the show and actually got jobs picking up rubbish for the morning after the concert
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
I used to love listening to Christy moore. I was in my element when I could play along to ride on and black is the colour
Who are your favourite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
Glen Hansard, Mick Flannery, and Newton Faulkner
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
I busk for the homeless all the time, played a few live on radio most recently with Alan O Donovan the green zone, and a few bars in town, but I try stick to the writing I’m very nervous when it come to live performances I suffer with General Anxiety Disorder so it can be challenging
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Just keep going because chances are nobody noticed but they will notice if you stop in the middle of a song, keep playing
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Unbelievably a bit to much to be honest but you just go for it
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Just go for it because if you don’t the regret is something that will play up on you, nothing better than finishing a performance that you were so nervous about and to be so happy you had the balls to go through with it
Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Not much lately with kids and work and a wedding , but a good session is when a guitar is being passed around and you have a few people that can belt out one
How often and for how long do you practice?
I try my best to pick the guitar up every day when I find an opportunity I’d like to say a good day I might get a broken up hour but if I can get my hands on it for five minutes that will do but everyday
Do you teach music?
Once or twice but not much
How do you balance your music with other obligations – mates, children, job?
With the kids being so young it’s hard so I really concentrate on writing with is quiet and I can do it in bed, but as I said Ill grab the guitar every opportunity