His New Album Is Due To Release This Autumn. Neal Hoffmann Took The Time To Share What He Has Been Up To.
By Jesse Busick | TDL | June 30, 2015
LONDON – The former front man of Amphibic that played shows such as Haldern Pop in Germany with the likes of Patty Smith and The Cardigans headlining has a new label under the name of his old band, Amphibic Records.
As a singer songwriter, Neal has a very distinct sound. If Johnny Cash and David Bowie maned a runaway truck you would come close to his style. I am listening to Under A Different Sun as I write this article and there is such a powerful presence of change and new direction to it and the song has literally blown up on his Soundcloud.
What’s life like for you while not on the road or playing music?
Well, life in London is an expensive bitch that can keep you busy all your life. I used to work in radio(on the technical side) but nowadays I do quite a bit of guiding round London and Oxford. I need to get more songs into films and on TV, like a couple of years back when my song Hungry Man made it onto American TV with a show called, Switched At Birth . The good thing about London is, that there is so much going on.
Who are some of your major influences in music or life?
I have always dug good songwriting and good singing and any list that I can start now, will be just a smidgen of the REAL list. After starting out listening to bands like AC DC, i realised that my voice does combine quite well with acoustic guitars. On that side I’d think of: Don Mclean, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Miller, Paul Weller, Del Amitri but also people like Billy Joel. Which brings me to singing. I love people who can sing, like Freddie Mercury, Jeff Buckley and even Johnny Cash, just for the voice. And i adore people who can write great songs and are not afraid to be a bit adventurous when it comes to harmony. David Bowie, Queen,Steely Dan,Elvis Costello (and of course The Beatles).
Looks like you are making a strong geographical presence while recording your next release. Norway and then Brazil? Tell us a little about this process and how the album is coming along.
Well, the plan was to use someone else for the mixing stage. But I wanted to spread the risk and also learn who is good at what. Brazil didn’t come off this time, but Norway, Finland and London did. I mixed one song myself and I have a pretty good idea about the different strengths of those mixing engineers now. The promo guys want a few more song as that will give us the opportunity to get reviews (apparently it is easier once you have a mini album). So i am in the last phase of arranging a song for only string octet (quartet wasn’t enough and I have two songs that were almost done anyway. Aaaaand the mastering is done by Mandy Parnell, who won a Grammy last year and is famous for working with Björk and Sigur Ros.
Are there any plans to tour the states?
There aren’t any plans for the States at the moment but this could change pretty soon, who knows. I work with a lady in Texas who books online gigs for me and it would be great to go over and do some shows!!
If you could play on stage with any artist to date, who would that be and why?