After reaching mainstream success on Season 3 of NBC’s “The Voice”, singer Terry McDermott is showing no signs of slowing down. Since the show’s conclusion, McDermott’s been busily writing and recording new music while simultaneously building a loyal following.
His fan base, known collectively as “McHobbits”, have rallied behind the singer’s every endeavor; even propelling his first hook-laden single, “Pictures” to the #1 spot on the iTunes Rock Singles chart in less than 24 hours.
McDermott’s follow-up single, “Lose This Feeling” is a personal introspective that forges new ground while also paving the way for his forth-coming EP (due early in the new year). Penned along with friend and musical collaborator Todd Burman, “Lose This Feeling” continues the trend of showcasing McDermott’s infectious songwriting ability as well as his commanding vocals.
On Sunday, December 8th McDermott will have the honor of performing the National Anthem at the New Orleans Saints NFL game before heading off for more shows in Vietnam, the U.K and Jamaica. McDermott’s band, The Bonfires includes guitarist David Rosser (Afghan Wigs); bassist Alex Smith (World Leader Pretend); drummer Eric Bolivar (Anders Osborne) and keyboardist Rich Hyland, who played in a rival Scottish band back in Aberdeen when McDermott was a member of the band Driveblind.
I spoke with McDermott about his upcoming EP as well as what he thinks makes classic rock (the genre he highlighted while competing on “The Voice”) so special.
What can you tell us about your upcoming album?
It’s a five-song EP with a culmination of material that was written with the band along with some songs I wrote with the guitar player from my previous band. There’s also a song on there that I wrote with a Grammy winner friend of mine that I’m really excited about.
What was the inspiration behind your new single, “Lose This Feeling”?
The basic inspiration for the song was always there. It was just a matter of capturing it at the right time. I had spent a lot of time working with Todd [Burman] at his Hollywood studio. He told me about an idea that he had and wanted me to come in and work on it with him. It was shortly before that encounter that my daughter had been born.
I had lost my mother eleven years ago and when my daughter was born she was a spitting image of her, which was something I wasn’t really prepared for. It really made me think about the bitter-sweet nature of our existence on this ball of rock. It’s that perpetual feeling. One of being so blessed and lucky to have this wonderful child in your life and then thinking about the strange, sometimes cruel nature of it. It’s part of life. That became the inspiration for the song.
Was there a reason why many of the songs you performed on “The Voice” were from the classic rock genre?
That style of music is what really inspired me growing up and made it very easy for me to enjoy my time on the show.
What do you think makes that style of music so appealing?
If you go back to the music industry in the 1970’s when bands like The Eagles were selling records, people were buying and cherishing albums. They were physically picking albums up off the shelves, taking them home and wearing them out. Bands back then were held up on a pedestal with tremendous loyalty from their fans and as those fans aged, the bands never lost that sparkle.
You also can’t take anything away from the songwriting either. It was much more singer/songwriter oriented back then as opposed to today. Just listen to any Glen Frey or Don Henley track. They’re timeless pieces. They’re songs that you can break down to just one man and a guitar and the quality will still shine through. Anything that has longevity like that should feel like classic rock, because it’s got a chance to stay on the shelf.
How important are the fans to you and your music?
You really can’t talk about one and not the other. There’s something very organic and truthful about playing shows and having your fans fly in from all over the country just to see you. It’s very rewarding. It’s also a great example of the modern-day synergy that exists between the fans and the artist. Where the record label has become superfluous to many to some degree. If you’ve got the fan base who believes in you, you can bring material to them and cut out the middleman.
It’s a great time and a lot of fun to be an independent artist. You have more flexibility to control your own destiny.