An Interview With... Barney Barnett


All you need to know about the saxophone fused rock and roll of Barney Barnett! 

Here at Middle Eight, we are keen to showcase up and coming artists who are working hard to make themselves heard.

Recently, we spoke to multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter Barney Barnett about his influences and what inspires him to make music.

Earning his stripes playing in bands such as Denim Snakes, Detached, and John Q Public, with whom he toured the UK and Europe, Barney has decided to go it on his own with debut single 'No Favours' released on the 15th of January.

The debut release draws you in with a Foo Fighters esque riff before Barnett's vocals take you somewhere more reminiscent of 90s Britpop. You're made to wait for the Barney Barnett staple however, with his trademark saxophone coming in after two and a half minutes like an uninvited guest who turns out to be the life and soul of the party.

Find out more about Barney Barnett below!

Who are you and where are you based?

I'm Barney Barnett, a singer songwriter from a small town outside of Cardiff called Llantwit Major.

How would you describe the music you make?

I'm influenced by so many different genres that it is hard to put a finger on. It's definitely some form of rock and has an indie feel... but it's more of a 90s indie feel and then I have the sax creeping in and changing it completely.

If Oasis jumped into bed with The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Alanis Morissette then the result would be me? Let's just say rock.

How did you first get into music?

I started playing the Sax when I was 9 years old, I guess that was my introduction to playing. I grew up on loads of rock ranging from the 60s to the 90s from my Dad and cheesy pop stuff (mainly 80s and 90s) from my Mum which definitely shaped my wide taste in music.

Thinking about it, there was quite often music playing in my house although neither of my folks are musical. The musical gene came from my Grandmother who is a very good pianist. She would babysit when I was young and play piano along to anything she saw on the TV. She told me she used to practice five hours a day and if you saw her play, you'd probably believe it to be honest... but she may be exaggerating, slightly.

In my teens I got into punk quite heavily and started playing drums. That was the beginning of my passion I'd say.

Who are your main musical influences?

How long have you got?

Ozzy is a HUGE influence on me. His solo stuff is my favourite music of all time. Especially the 'No More Tears' album. I just love his melodies. Very Beatles inspired.

Oasis have also influenced me a lot along with The Rolling Stones, Crowded House, Bruce Springsteen, Rival Sons, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Foo Fighters, the list goes on...

Which artists do you currently have on repeat?

Rival Sons. I love them. Also, Sam Fender. I really like what he's doing. Anything with Sax gets my vote.

Listening to a lot of The Stones and the Beatles too. Also, Black Label Society are another band I'm listening to at the moment.

What separates you from other artists?

I think ultimately, it's the sax. You don't really expect to hear it in my music at first and you don't see many front men with a sax around their neck blasting out big solos live either. They are usually in the background. I don't stay still with it either. If there's a drum riser, I'm star jumping off it, sax in hand. Performance wise, I'd like to think I give anyone a run for them money in terms of excitement.

What are your plans for the future?

Another single in a couple of months. It's ready to go, I'm just sitting on it for a bit.

Then, an album. I'm currently finishing off the remaining songs, then I have to book back into the studio and get a full length recorded. It's something I've never done, and I have enough music, so I thought why not. You only live once. Could be my only chance.

Then maybe some live shows if there is a demand for it once the industry gets back up and running. I love playing live more than anything if I'm honest so that will happen if the opportunity arises.

Barney Barnett brings the sax appeal (I'm not proud of it) to nostalgic rock and roll. Hard hitting debut 'No Favours' delivers a passionate play for independence through self-righteous lyricism that reflects Barnett's modest confidence.

You can listen to Barney Barnett's first single here and follow him on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with his work!

Follow Middle Eight on Instagram and Twitter for more musical musings and get in touch if you want to write for, or feature on, our site! 

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