Dennis Watson almost lost his hearing but found that and his voice through music
Among its many powers, music is also a healing force. Take Dennis Watson‘s example – he had hearing development problems, so the doctor prescribed music, and look how this has turned out! Watson’s is out there with the musicians, making songs and collaborating with fellow talent on Drooble. Currently at work on three projects, he found the time to answer our questions and talk at length about his inspirations, songwriting process, and collaborating with vocalist Mara Cecconato. Check out what the man has to say on all things music!
Hello! Tell the world about yourself. How did you grow up to become the musician you are today?
When I was around 5-6 years old, I had hearing problems and couldn’t talk correctly so as a form of “therapy’ I was given a record player to listen to and sing. Over time i started copying TV commercial jingles on an old piano that sat next to my television. I then picked up the guitar when I was 13 or so with High School friends. Music pretty much took off for me from there… it’s a personal life saver for me.
Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!
I’m currently working on 3 projects – “Titan”, “Johnny”, and “High Jump.” Titan (which will be probably renamed) refers to lost people looking for answers, “Johnny” is a relationship song where you find out that the one your sleeping with wants “out” and “High Jump” has yet to have lyrics and needs further melody development.
You have been playing music for a long while! How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep going all this time?
It comes and goes in spurts, I think… it depends on a number of real life activities that often compete with musical activities. The inspiration comes from life and a desire to create “something beautiful out of nothing” – so to speak. In the end – music, art and literature is mostly what is left, anyway.
How is your local music scene in your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?
At this time I am doing solely home recordings, but I can see myself venturing out onto the live music scene again if I had the right fellow bandmates. Working with fellow musicians, Live is always an adventure. The local music scene here is quite good here since I live not far from Woodstock, New York.
What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?
My all time favorite record*(s) would have to be: CSN&Y “Deja Vu” – followed by Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira” album, and finally “The Pretender’s” first album. All of these albums have wonderful vocals and lyrics and the instrumentation (music) really captures the message the artists are trying to convey. These albums changed me as an artist since it taught me that one can clearly convey complex life stories, feelings and events through music in a manner that the audience can clearly accept.
What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?
I work with Audacity for recordings and a laptop. A Behringer interface, Casio keyboards, Roland amps, and 3 electric guitars: An old Blue DeArmond M-65; Ibanez GAX 70 with custom pickups, and a custom made Strat Copy. The final mastering of all my recordings is now being farmed out to a professional sound engineer.
What is your songwriting process like?
Well, I play/practice everyday and I frequently walk around with melodies and tunes in my head all the time. In order to “quiet my brain” after a while, I sit down and start playing what I hear in my head. Only then will I know if it works for real. I then come up with a basic recording and run it by a wonderful vocalist named Mara Cecconato who lets me know if she is interested in recording it. If Mara is interested, we take it from there and develop it over time. Previous to meeting Mara, I was creating instrumentals geared for solo play – with the potential for vocals to be added later.
Out of all the live shows you played, which one was the most memorable, and why?
I’m going to say when I played with a band called “Blaze Orange” in my mid-twenties. We were all very young and determined to make the best original music in the world. Hahahaaa… we used to practice above the Kingston Tea Garden on weekends and people would line up below our 2-story window to hear us play. I got a kick out of that.. lol.
What is your biggest musical goal?
To create memorable music that has a meaning or a message that people can relate to over time.
How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?
I love to hear what other musicians are doing and i have met some wonderful musicians online with Drooble. The Drooble website is a great platform to meet other musicians and initiate collaborative projects. That’s really why I joined and that’s how I met vocalist Mara Cecconato… to name just one.